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In mainland China, the Chinese authorities have never allowed public commemorations of the victims of the June Fourth crackdown of the 1989 Democracy Movement. Up until 2020, the people of Hong Kong had been able to hold annual candlelight vigils—for large-scale public remembrance and to press for official accountability. In 2021, for the 2nd year in a row, the Hong Kong authorities are banning the vigil. HRIC urges the international community to stand up against enforced amnesia of June Fourth: by lighting a candle at 8 p.m. on June 4 wherever you are, reading the stories of the UNFORGOTTEN (, and sending solidarity messages to the Tiananmen Mothers (
New and Recent
Thirty-two years ago, hardliners in the Communist Party of China made the cold-blooded decision to crush citizens’ voices and mobilize the People’s Liberation Army against the Chinese people, killing and maiming unarmed, peaceful protestors demanding the fundamental conditions for a healthy society...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] On June 4, 1989, in a time of peace, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, under the leadership and command of the ruling authorities, sent tanks, armored vehicles, and soldiers with live ammunition onto the ten-mile Chang’an Avenue in Beijing. Without...
In December 2020 the European Union (EU) announced that it had concluded in principle a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China. In so doing, the EU deliberately segregated its investment negotiations with China from its human rights engagement. The folly of that approach is now clear, as the European Parliament has imposed an indefinite freeze on ratifying the CAI due to entirely predictable human rights issues. The impasse only clarifies what the human rights community has been saying: sooner or later, the serious human rights deficits of the CAI must be addressed. What’s at stake is the effectiveness and coherence of the EU’s overall engagement with China. . . .
Sharon Hom: “An agreement without human rights clauses or obligations in effect provides a blank check for an authoritarian regime and, frankly, leaves the companies to their own devices to address, ignore, or be complicit in human rights violations.”
In the Joint Appeal, HRIC joins 35 NGOs and labor unions around the world to express grave concerns that the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI)—reached between leaders of the two governments in December 2020—“sends a signal that the European Union will push for closer cooperation...
HRIC joins 23 NGOs and individuals in urging the Biden Administration to prioritize human rights in U.S-China policy as the “scope and scale of human rights violations committed by the Chinese government inside and outside the country require a fundamental shift.” February 17, 2021 Joseph R. Biden...
Guo Feixiong ( 郭飞雄 ) , well-known Chinese human rights activist, was stopped at the Shanghai Pudong Airport on January 28 while en route to the United States to care for his ailing wife. The authorities reportedly cited “ suspicion of endangering national security " as the reason. Guo has begun a...
Sharon Hom: “Human rights defenders, as well as all users of social media or technology tools, are trapped between a rock and a hard place—between the manipulation for profit of “surveillance capitalism” and the economic and political constraints of party-state authoritarianism.”
On January 10, well-known Chinese rights activist Guo Feixiong issued an urgent open letter (see below) to Premier Li Keqiang and Minister of Public Security Zhao Kezhi, urging them to order Guangzhou authorities to return his passport so that he may come to the United States to take care of his...
  • A scene from the unofficial primaries held in July 2020, which the authorities characterize as “subversion of state power” under the National Security Law. (Photo: Studio Incendo)
Sharon Hom: “This is the moment to hold the authorities’ feet to the fire, a test, and an opportunity to give Article 4 real teeth to provide rights protections guaranteed in the international obligations of the mainland Chinese and Hong Kong SAR governments.”

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Tuesday, June 22, 2021 | 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Featured Speaker:
Senator Pat Toomey (PA)
Sharon Hom, Executive Director, HRIC
Dennis Kwok, Former Member, Hong Kong Legislative Council
Susan O’Sullivan, Former Director, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor/East Asia and Pacific, U.S. Department of State
Jerome A. Cohen, Professor of Law Emeritus, NYU School of Law
Martin S. Flaherty, Professor of International Human Rights Law, Fordham Law School


Inspiration from Hong Kongers prosecuted and sentenced for involvement in the June 4, 2020 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park

In Memoriam

Robin Munro (1952-2021)

HRIC is deeply saddened by the passing of a great friend, scholar, and human rights and labor activist. We extend our heartfelt condolences to Robin’s family and colleagues. Robin enriched all the lives he touched with his fierce intelligence, generous spirit, and dry sense of humor. We will always remember him.

Read tributes:
China Labour Bulletin
Donald Clarke

Mon, May 31, 2021, 1PM EDT (19:00 Brussels)

HRIC’s Sharon Hom will speak at opening panel—“Freedom of Speech and Security in the Digital Era”—following keynote speech by Maria Arena, Chair of EP Subcomm. on Human Rights.

Reserve to watch film screening following panel: “Coded Bias” by U.S. filmmaker Shalini Kantayya

Updated on June 21, 2021
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
HKDC panel on Hong Kong’s latest developments—implications of the subversion charges against 47 democracy figures
March 5, 2021
Unofficial English translation by a group of human rights advocates and Chinese feminists, edited by HRIC.
Photo credit: Maina Kiai