News / Asia

China Denies Knowledge of Missing Dissidents

Geng He, wife of disappeared Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, seen on poster at rear, is interviewed before a news conference with Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., on Capitol Hill in Washington,  Jan. 18, 2011, where he called attention to human rights
Geng He, wife of disappeared Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, seen on poster at rear, is interviewed before a news conference with Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., on Capitol Hill in Washington, Jan. 18, 2011, where he called attention to human rights
Stephanie Ho

China denies knowledge of several cases of dissidents who have recently disappeared.   These include an ethnic Chinese-Australian man who was an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, online, and a lawyer who was the focus of a report by a United Nations human rights group. 

Reporters asked about two specific cases at Tuesday’s Foreign Ministry briefing.

One involved Chinese-Australian writer Yang Hengjun, who disappeared in China a few days ago.  The other case is that of Gao Zhisheng, a human rights lawyer who disappeared into police custody, nearly a year ago.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu says she has not heard of Yang Hengjun.   She also says she does not know about Gao Zhisheng’s specific case, but notes a report issued by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention calling for Gao’s release.

Jiang says China "attaches importance" to cooperating with the U.N. group.   However, she also urges the group to respect China’s judicial sovereignty in what she describes as an "objective and just manner".

Listen to this interview on Gao with Maran Turner, Executive Director of Freedom Now

 

The U.N. working group issued a report Monday accusing the Chinese government of detaining Gao, in violation of Chinese and international law.   The group expressed regret that the government did not provide the information it had requested.

The working group is an independent body composed of human rights specialists from Senegal, Pakistan, Chile, Norway and Ukraine.   It files its reports to the U.N. Human Rights Council.

Meanwhile, Sino-Australian blogger Yang Hengjun has disappeared.   Yang has not been seen since he called a friend from the southern Chinese city, Guangzhou, Sunday, and said he was being followed by three men.

Joshua Rosenzweig is with the Duihua Foundation, a group that monitors cases of political prisoners in China.  He says he is most alarmed that government critics, like blogger Yang, have just disappeared into legal limbo.

"What strikes me about the arrests and disappearances, over the past months, is the level of disregard, apparent disregard for legal procedures, which is much more worrying - it is a symbol of the state of rule of law in China at this particular moment," Rosenzwweig said.

He says Yang Hengjun is often "quite critical" of the political and social situation in China, but is also very careful in how he expresses his views.

In a February interview, Yang indicated that there is what he described as "high pressure" not to write anything online about Egypt, where a mass uprising forced the president to resign.  

Yang describes the system of censorship in China as much stronger than that of any other country. He says, if China did not have the censorship capabilities it has, it might become what he described as "a new Egypt."

Meanwhile, news of the disappearances come amid legal developments in other cases, including the announcement of official subversion charges against detained blogger Ran Yunfei and a 10-year jail sentence to activist Liu Xianbin, who was convicted of subversion.

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid