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Message in banner held up by police, July 1, 2020, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: “This is a police warning. You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans, or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offences under the ‘HKSAR National Security Law.’ You may be arrested or prosecuted.” The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Standing Committee (NPCSC) on June 30, 2020 and went into force the same day at 11:00 p.m. It was inserted in Annex III of the Basic Law of Hong Kong as one of the national laws applicable in Hong Kong.
New and Recent
  • Credit: Studio Incendo
New!
Against the troubling rights erosion made possible by the NSL and the political abandonment by the Hong Kong SAR government of its people are: the institutional and normative safeguards inherent in Hong Kong’s judicial and legal system, and the safeguards provided by international human rights...
  • UN Human Rights Council
New!
During the UN Human Rights Council’s 45th session that concluded yesterday in Geneva, Council member states and civil society organizations voiced urgent concerns about China’s serious and ongoing human rights abuses, centering on two sets of actions that have prompted international outcry:...
  • Wang Zang (left) and Wang Li (right)
Human Rights in China has learned that poet Wang Zang ( 王藏) and his wife Wang Li ( 王丽), of Chuxiong City, Yunnan Province, have been arrested for "inciting subversion of state power." Police authorities have referred their cases in mid-September to the procuratorate to seek indictments. According...
An open letter to: UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet, UN Member States. We, the undersigned organizations, join together to call for an international mechanism to address the Chinese government’s human rights violations, and urge you to...
In a joint communication to the Chinese government, seven United Nations independent human rights experts presented a legal assessment of the National Security Law for Hong Kong (NSL). They also detailed their numerous concerns that the law does not comply with the government’s international legal...
In this update, Xu Yan, wife of detained human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, provides the latest developments in her husband’s case. On the morning of September 3, Yu’s two defense lawyers plan to meet with Yu at the Xuzhou Municipal Detention Center to discuss his upcoming trial of second instance...
Sharon Hom: “While the use of online platforms enables broader participation, greater transparency, and easier access, we also urge greater attention to potential measures for protecting civil society groups and human rights defenders against retaliation, particularly for those operating in...
On August 20, 2020, Peking University issued a “Notice on Regulating the Declaration and Approval of Participation in Online International Conferences Organized by Foreign Parties.” The Notice requires all teachers and students planning to participate in online conferences (webinars) to declare...
Sharon Hom, HRIC Executive Director: “Hong Kongers continue to exercise their rights in the closing civil society space and express resistance in creative, diverse ways. The international community must stand in solidarity with the people of Hong Kong.”
“Dear Foreign Ministers, We, a coalition of 17 organizations and independent scholars, write to express our grave concerns about Hong Kong’s National Security Law. Governments need to stand by the people of Hong Kong and respond with urgent and meaningful actions. We urge all governments….”
Many were charged with and convicted of “subversion of state power” and “inciting subversion of state power.” HRIC’s updated 709 case chart highlights the ongoing impunity of the Chinese authorities in violating the rights of rights defense professionals and activists, the right of an individual to...
In this timely essay, Chen Jiangang, one of China’s well-known rights defense lawyers, tells the story of the campaign waged by the Chinese authorities over the past decade intended to crush the rights defense legal profession.
HRIC has prepared an annotated bilingual chart of the NSL-HK to facilitate reading of the law and highlight the troubling, problematic aspects of the law, including…
“The new law is Beijing’s ultimate tool to crush dissent, shut down civic space, and erase the rule of law in the Special Administrative Region (SAR).”
Under siege at home and abroad, Xi Jinping, the helmsman of the Communist Party of China, decided he may as well go all out, wage a war against whatever may come while other countries are preoccupied, and settle the Hong Kong question once and for all…
“We urge the NPCSC to abandon plans to introduce national security legislation for Hong Kong, as what is known about the draft law so far and the experiences with respective national security laws in mainland China strongly indicate that neither the law nor its application would conform to...
On June 10, Zhang Hai of Wuhan submitted a complaint to the Wuhan Municipal Intermediate People’s Court in the first case filed by a Wuhan citizen against government authorities for concealing information about the new coronavirus. This concealment, he argues, led to his father’s death. Zhang…
Distributing democracy leaflets in Beijing landed Feng Xiaoyan in the No. 4 People’s Hospital in Linyi, Shandong, where she has been kept as a psychiatric patient and force-fed medications.
In his article, lawyer Chen Jiangang discusses what he terms as the “Four Breakthroughs” that President Xi Jinping has “achieved” during his administration: 1. Breaking with the principle of abiding by international treaty obligation, (referring to the the 1984 Joint Declaration that the Chinese...
On January 19, 2018, lawyer Yu Wensheng published a "Citizen’s Proposal to Amend the Constitution," with recommendations for deleting the "Preamble” to the Constitution and for other political reforms. He was criminally detained the following day, on suspicion of "obstructing official business" and...
Xu Zhiyong wrote in his seminal essay in 2012: “China Needs a New Citizens Movement”: “China needs a new citizens movement. This movement is a political movement in which this ancient nation bids utter farewell to authoritarianism and completes the civilized transformation to constitutional...
  • June Fourth Victoria Park 2016
For the first time in 30 years, Hong Kong authorities are banning the annual June Fourth candlelight vigil in Victoria Park. “The ban comes amid an alarming acceleration of attacks on the autonomy of Hong Kong and the undermining of the rights and freedoms of the Hong Kong people guaranteed under...
[English translation by Human Rights in China] “We have to ask the Chinese ruling party and the Chinese government: Which civilized Chinese law expressly confers the government the right to use state military force to kill, at will, students and civilians in peaceful demonstrations?
Gao Wenqian writes, “The pandemic has severely impacted China's politics, and seriously questioned and challenged Xi’s “almighty” status that he has so painstakingly crafted. This was unimaginable before the outbreak in Wuhan. The image of Xi as a "wise leader" no longer exists, with his true form—...
On Thursday, May 21, authorities in Beijing announced a draft Decision to formulate and enact national security legislation prohibiting four identified security threats in Hong Kong: secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, and foreign interference. The move contravenes requirement in...
HRIC has selected the Chinese-language timelines that make use of Chinese government, news, scientific, social media sources, along with English-language sources, that tell the story of the pandemic from the perspective of those affected by it inside China and for a Chinese audience.

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October 26, 2020 12:00 PM - 1:30 PM ET

General comment No. 37

Article 21: right of peaceful assembly

July 27, 2020

“The fundamental human right of peaceful assembly enables individuals to express themselves collectively and to participate in shaping their societies. . . . Together with other related rights, it also constitutes the very foundation of a system of participatory governance based on democracy, human rights, the rule of law and pluralism.”

Also see press release

June 26, 2020

“. . . Most recently, the National People’s Congress took a decision to draft a national security law for the Hong Kong SAR – without any meaningful consultation with the people of Hong Kong – which would, if adopted, violate China’s international legal obligations and impose severe restrictions on civil and political rights in the autonomous region. . . . The draft law would deprive the people of Hong Kong, who constitute a minority with their own distinctive history, cultural and linguistic and even legal traditions, the autonomy and fundamental rights guaranteed them under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ governance framework.”

Tuesday, June 9, 5pm Eastern time (US and Canada)

Speakers on this panel organized by the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, U. of Michigan, discuss the legal and political crises in Hong Kong stemming from the recent Decision by China's Central People's Government to draft and impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

  • Nicholas Howson, Professor, University of Michigan Law School
  • Martin Flaherty, Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Louisa Lim, Journalist and Author
  • Sharon Hom, Ex. Dir., Human Rights in China
Panel discussion: 1st Anniv. of Anti-Extradition Movement

Jun 8 (Mon) 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT / Jun 9 (Tues) 9 am HKT

Prominent rights advocate Xu Zhiyong was taken away by police in Guangzhou on Saturday, February 15, 2020. He was a founder of Gongmeng, Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research an aid organization that was shut down by the authorities in 2009, and a leading advocate of the New Citizens’ Movement, which advocated for the protection of rights of citizens through nonviolent means.

at UN Security Council AOB on Hong Kong (via VTC) May 29, 2020

“The question before us in the Council today comes down to this: are we going to take the honorable stand to defend the human rights and dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserved . . . or are we going to allow the government in Beijing to undermine their international legal commitments and force their will on the people of Hong Kong . . . ?” Statement; Remarks as delivered

Thurs, May 28 1PM ET | on HKDC Facebook page
“To remember is to resist”
Sharon Hom remarks at 61st anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day, March 10, 2020
Updated on October 13, 2020
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
Presented by Bernstein Institute for Human Rights (NYU Law)
HRIC Daily Brief

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