Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Human rights activists face persecution in China

Amnesty International USA, 18 October 2010

Liu Xiaobo’s Nobel Peace Prize award has put the international spotlight on his persecution by the Chinese authorities, who sentenced him to 11 years in jail for â??inciting subversion of state powerâ?? after an unfair trial.

But Liu is just one of many Chinese human rights activists who currently languish in detention in the country. They are prisoners of conscience, jailed solely for exercising their right to freedom of expression.

The human rights defence movement in China is growing, but those who attempt to report on human rights violations or challenge politically sensitive government policies face serious risk of abuse. The authorities make frequent use of vaguely-worded charges to silence and imprison peaceful activists, such as â??endangering state securityâ??, â??subversion of state powerâ?? and â??separatismâ??.

Liu Xiaobo’s wife, Liu Xia, became another victim of this crackdown when she was placed under house arrest after she returned home from visiting Liu in prison after he had won the Nobel prize.. Amnesty International profiles five other prominent Chinese activists who have been locked up for daring to criticise the government.

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