Browsing Tag

human rights

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Thai protester sentenced to 2 years in prison for mocking queen with fashion show

Thai protest
  • A court in Thailand finalized the sentencing for Jatuporn “New” Saeoueng, a pro-democracy protester, on Monday.
  • Jatuporn was charged with violation of the lese majeste law, which addresses the defaming of the monarchy a punishable crime, and the Public Safety Act.
  • The demonstration — which took place in downtown Bangkok on Oct. 29, 2020 — called for the monarchy’s reform and mimicked the princess’ fashion show.
  • Although Jatuporn was initially sentenced to three years of imprisonment, the sentence was reduced to two years and a fine of 1,000 baht (approximately $27.55).
  • Jatuporn still faces six additional charges, which she is prepared to appeal up to the country’s Supreme Court.

Pro-democracy protestor Jatuporn “New” Saeoueng was sentenced to two years in prison for insulting Thailand’s queen through her attire.

A court in Thailand finalized the sentencing for Jatuporn on Monday. The activist was accused of insulting the country’s queen after she wore traditional Thai attire at a pro-democracy demonstration. She was charged with violating the lese majeste law, which addresses the defaming of the monarchy a punishable crime, and the Public Safety Act.

China facing UN action after damning human rights report

CHINA XINJIANG
  • China is reportedly facing action from some countries in the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) following a recent report that accused it of “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs in Xinjiang.
  • Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of attempting to block the report’s publication.
  • The debate on holding China accountable for its alleged abuses reportedly intensified as the HRC opened a new term on Monday.

China is reportedly facing a collective response from member states of the United Nations Human Rights Council (HRC) after the Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights (OHCHR) concluded that Beijing has committed “serious human rights violations” against Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities in Xinjiang.

The violations, which are seen as potential crimes against humanity, are detailed in a long-awaited report released on Aug. 31. Diplomats from three countries and a rights expert previously accused China of working to block its publication.

Long-awaited UN report on human rights abuses in Xinjiang triggers fiery Beijing response

UN xinjiang report
  • On Aug. 31, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 48-page report that found “serious human rights violations” in the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.
  • OHCHR said that the extent of arbitrary detentions against Uyghur and others in the context of "restrictions and deprivation more generally of fundamental rights, enjoyed individually and collectively, may constitute international crimes, in particular crimes against humanity."
  • The report also highlighted how Chinese authorities engaged in acts of intimidation, threats and reprisals against victims and their relatives who are now living abroad and speaking about their experiences in Xinjiang.
  • “It is completely a politicized document that disregards facts, and reveals explicitly the attempt of some Western countries and anti-China forces to use human rights as a political tool,” Liu Yuyin, spokesperson for the Chinese mission to Geneva, said in a statement.
  • Meanwhile, rights advocates, foreign officials and Uyghur exiles who are looking into endorsing the issue before the U.N. Human Rights Council this month have welcomed the report.
  • “Despite the Chinese government’s strenuous denials, the U.N. has now officially recognized that horrific crimes are occurring,” said Uyghur Human Rights Project Director Omer Kanat.

A United Nations report accusing China of committing grave human rights abuses in Xinjiang has triggered a fiery response from Beijing. 

On Wednesday, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) released a 48-page report that found “serious human rights violations” in the Chinese government’s crackdown on ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang region.

Chinese NGO accuses ‘warmongering’ US of violating human rights in the Middle East

  • The China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS), a Chinese NGO, accused the United States of committing human rights violations in a report published on Tuesday titled “U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond."
  • The CSHRS listed some of the supposed violations the U.S. committed while at war in the Middle East, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and the torture of prisoners.
  • The report claimed the U.S. caused "direct, serious and lasting damage" to locals after launching the Gulf War (1990-1991), the Afghanistan War (2001-2021) and the Iraq War (2003-2011), among others.
  • The NGO also accused the U.S. of creating a “humanitarian disaster rarely seen throughout the world” after becoming involved in the Syrian War and the Libyan War.
  • Besides war, the CSHRS accused the U.S. of “turning a blind eye to the global spread of the COVID-19 pandemic” by continuing to impose unilateral sanctions on Syria, Iran and other nations, which in turn makes it more challenging for these places to acquire medical supplies to combat the virus.
  • “The nature of American hegemony and the barbarity, cruelty and perniciousness of its power politics have been completely exposed, and the people of the world have a better understanding of the hypocrisy and deception of the American democracy and the American human rights,” the report concluded.

The China Society for Human Rights Studies (CSHRS), a Chinese NGO, accused the United States of committing human rights violations in the Middle East in a report published on Tuesday.

In the report titled “U.S. commits serious crimes of violating human rights in the Middle East and beyond,” the CSHRS listed some of the supposed violations the U.S. committed while at war in the Middle East, including crimes against humanity, war crimes and the torture of prisoners.

‘A lost generation’: UN expert issues urgent call for help to stop Myanmar junta’s war on children

Myanmar Report
  • Thomas Andrews, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, revealed the Myanmar military junta’s attacks on children.
  • In a June 14 report, Andrew detailed that the military attacks have displaced over 250,000 children, and more than 1,400 children have been detained. There are also 142 recorded cases of child torture.
  • Andrew highlights Myanmar children as the most vulnerable to the junta’s brutality.
  • If international action is not taken, Andrews warns that “Myanmar’s children will become a lost generation.”

Thomas Andrews, the UN’s special rapporteur on human rights in Myanmar, reported the Myanmar military junta’s “relentless attacks” on children.

Located in Southeast Asia, Myanmar is a country that borders Thailand, Bangladesh, India and China. While the majority of the population (54 million) identifies as Buddhist, there are multiple ethnic groups, including Rohingya Muslims.

American activist Theary Seng, dozens of other Hun Sen critics jailed for treason in Cambodia

Cambodian lawyer
  • On Tuesday, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court in Cambodia sentenced 60 opposition figures, including prominent lawyer Theary Seng, for conspiring to commit treason.
  • Seng was sentenced to six years in prison, while the others affiliated with the dissolved group Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) received sentences ranging from five to eight years.
  • They were charged with treason and incitement for efforts by the group to return their leader, Sam Rainsy, from exile in 2019. He was also sentenced in absentia to eight years in prison.
  • The mass trial, which the U.S. accused of being politically motivated, is seen as a means to curb opposition against the rule of Hun Sen, Cambodia’s incumbent prime minister since 1985.

Cambodian American lawyer and human rights activist Theary Seng was among the 60 opposition figures convicted for conspiring to commit treason by a local court in Cambodia.

Seng and her co-defendants, who were affiliated with the dissolved group Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP), were sentenced to between five to eight years in prison on Tuesday. 

Chinese netizens slam own government after Beijing retaliates against US report on human rights abuses

Chinese netizens Weibo protest
  • In a rare collective response, Chinese citizens criticized their own government on Weibo after it retaliated against the U.S. over a damning report on its alleged human rights abuses.
  • Much of the criticism focused on the government’s handling of the COVID-19 outbreak in Shanghai, which has remained in lockdown for weeks.
  • “Look at yourself in the mirror and see how you're treating the people. (You) keep staring at American news all day,” one Weibo user wrote.
  • A rare protest took place in Shanghai on Thursday as residents of an apartment complex blocked the government’s mandate to make certain buildings house COVID-19 patients.
  • Voices heard in a footage taken during the protest reportedly claimed that Chinese police were hitting people.

Chinese netizens have taken to Weibo to vent about the Chinese government on a range of issues following its retaliation against the U.S. over damning accusations of human rights abuses.

On Tuesday, the U.S. State Department released its 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which detailed China’s multiple offenses ranging from the stifling of Hong Kong’s democracy in the east to the genocide of Xinjiang’s ethnic minorities in the west.

US State Department criticizes China’s human rights record in latest report

statedept
  • The U.S. State Department’s latest global human rights report accused China of meddling in Hong Kong’s political affairs by revising its electoral process and imposing new laws. The department published similar findings in an earlier Hong Kong Policy Act Report on March 31.
  • The report also highlighted the targeting of ethnic minorities in China and Beijing’s efforts to detain overseas critics.
  • Beijing previously published its own report listing human rights violations committed by the U.S., which it accused of “playing with fake democracy.”

The U.S. State Department has once again accused the Chinese government of several offenses in its latest global human rights report released on Tuesday.

The department’s 2021 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices, which cited research by diplomats, NGOs and news outlets’ accounts as sources, came less than two weeks after the department released its Hong Kong Policy Act Report, an annual publication mandated by the United States-Hong Kong Policy Act of 1992.

New Zealand court rules to allow extradition of resident to China in unprecedented ruling

new zealand parliament
  • New Zealand’s supreme court made a historic appeal on Wednesday to send Korean-born permanent resident of New Zealand Kim Kyung-yup to China on charges of murdering a young Chinese woman named Peiyun Chen on his visit to Shanghai in 2009.
  • Like most Western nations, including the U.S. and most of Europe, New Zealand does not have an extradition treaty with China, an agreement to transfer over an accused suspect of a crime from one country to another to be placed on trial.
  • The New Zealand courts had previously voted to extradite Kim last year but eventually rejected the notion after agreeing that China did not provide adequate reassurance that the suspect would not be tortured or abused.
  • Many have expressed worry about the precedent that Kim’s extradition would set. Victoria University law professor and former law commissioner Geoff McLay said that Kim is “the tip of the iceberg” and that China could request more extradition cases in the future.
  • New Zealand originally received China’s extradition request back in May 2011; however, it is only in the current ruling that the courts concluded China could be trusted to not subject the accused to any human rights violations.

In a historic ruling, New Zealand’s courts have decided to allow the extradition of one of its permanent resident to China to stand trial.

New Zealand’s supreme court made a historic appeal on Wednesday to accept the sending of Korean-born Kim Kyung-yup to China on charges of murdering a young Chinese woman named Peiyun Chen on his visit to Shanghai in 2009. 

Speed skater gives away his Beijing Winter Olympics gold medal to protest China’s human rights violations

nils van der poel
  • Olympic speed skating champion Nils van der Poel gave away his gold medal to protest human rights violations in China.
  • Van der Poel handed his gold medal to Angela Gui, daughter of Gui Minhai, who disappeared in 2015 after publishing a book that criticized the Chinese government and is now detained on espionage charges.
  • The 25-year-old Swede had won a gold medal in both the 5,000-meter and 10,000-meter speed skating event at the Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • Van der Poel has voiced concerns over human rights violations in China while criticizing its selection as an Olympics host nation.

Swedish Olympic speed skater Nils van der Poel gave his Beijing Winter Olympics gold medal to the daughter of a man detained for publishing a book criticizing the Chinese government to protest the nation’s human rights violations.

Angela Gui posted on Twitter about Van der Poel visiting her in Cambridge, England, yesterday, after he handed her his gold medal from the 10,000-meter speed skating event to honor Angela’s father. Van der Poel also won gold in the 5,000-meter speed skating event at this year’s Winter Olympics.

Ex-UN attorney says the organization ignores China’s alleged human rights abuses due to financial power

SEC-GEN_ANTONIO_GUTERRES
  • Emma Reilly, a former employee with the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), claims she was asked to send a list of Chinese dissidents to Beijing in 2013.
  • A shocked Reilly said she attempted to report the matter to superiors, only to find out that it was just “how the U.N. works.”
  • Following attempts to expose the incident, Reilly said she suffered “extreme retaliation” within the organization until she was fired in November 2021.
  • In a new interview, Reilly said she believes the U.N. is deliberately neglecting to address China’s alleged human rights abuses due to the country’s growing diplomatic and financial influence.

A former employee of the United Nations has accused the intergovernmental organization of deliberately neglecting to address China’s alleged human rights abuses due to the country’s growing diplomatic and financial influence in the global arena.

Emma Reilly, a human rights attorney who worked at the U.N. Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), was fired last November after allegedly facing years of retaliation within the organization, reported The Epoch Times.

GOP congressman claims NBC refused to air ‘Genocide Games’ ad calling out Beijing Olympics sponsors

genocide games gop ad
  • Florida Republican lawmaker Mike Waltz claimed NBC refused to air “Genocide Games,” his purportedly $40,000 ad which calls out specific U.S. companies for supporting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.
  • The ad also criticizes China’s government for alleged human rights violations.
  • “This is the equivalent of holding the Olympics in Germany in the 1940s or Rwanda during their atrocities,” Waltz said of the ongoing Winter Games. “It is beyond the pale that the [International Olympic Committee] didn’t move the games.”
  • Some of the companies mentioned in the ad, which features Boston Celtics center Enes Kanter Freedom, include Procter & Gamble, Visa, Coca-Cola, Airbnb, Intel and Nike.
  • NBC refuted Waltz’s claim, saying that it had requested the lawmaker to censor the names of the companies in his video.

Rep. Mike Waltz (R-Fla.) claimed NBC refused to air an ad that calls out U.S. sponsors of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics and accused China of human rights violations.

In a tweet on Saturday, the Republican representative from Florida said the news station refused to air his ad, which he called “Genocide Games,”  unless he censored the U.S. companies’ names in the video, Mediaite reported.