25 April, 2015 AsiaNews.it Twitter AsiaNews.it Facebook            

Help AsiaNews | About us | P.I.M.E. | | RssNewsletter | Mobile






mediazioni e arbitrati, risoluzione alternativa delle controversie e servizi di mediazione e arbitrato
e-mail this to a friend printable version


» 03/13/2009
CHINA
Human rights award for Liu Xiaobo and for Charter 08
The prize for Liu, under house arrest since December, is intended to recognize his struggle for human rights and freedom of speech. Meanwhile, the family of the activist lawyer Gao Zhisheng has fled to the United States, and is denouncing constant intimidation and torture.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - The dissident Liu Xiaobo, who has been under house arrest since December, was honored yesterday with the Homo Homini Award, given each year by the People in Need Foundation, a European organization, to people who have distinguished themselves in the struggle for human rights.

Liu Xiaobo was honored together with 302 other scholars and personalities who signed the document Charter 08, published on December 9 to ask Beijing for more democracy and respect for human rights. The document was immediately censored in China, and websites that published it have been blocked, but over a few days it was endorsed by more than 8,000 people, including officials of the Communist Party who are convinced that change is necessary. Many of the signers have been interrogated by the police, and Liu was arrested.

The presentation states that Liu, a pro-democracy advocate and a student leader during the protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989, has been honored for "his comprehensive approach to promoting human rights and his persistent courage in fighting for freedom of speech in China over the last 30 years."

Meanwhile, on March 11 the family of the Chinese lawyer Gao Zhisheng arrived in the United States. Gao is known for his struggle for human rights, and disappeared weeks ago. He was nominated for the 2008 Nobel Peace Prize.

Geng He, his wife, told Radio Free Asia yesterday that her husband was tortured. Gao was a member of the Communist Party, and in 2001 he was praised by the Chinese justice ministry as one of the 10 best lawyers in the country. Then he defended the rights of miners, underground Christians, and followers of Falun Gong against the authorities. In 2007, he wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress, but afterward he was arrested and tortured for weeks, including electric shocks to his genitals and cigarette burns on his body.

Geng He added that she and her two children, ages 15 and 5 (in an old photo with Gao) were placed under house arrest in Beijing, and constantly monitored, in order to pressure her husband. Her daughter was prevented from going to school, and attempted suicide in desperation. They were able to leave China only with the help of friends "who risked their own lives." After a long train voyage they arrived in Thailand on January 16, crossing the border on foot. From there, they went to the United States with the help of ChinaAid.

There has been no news of Gao since February 4, when he was taken by the police from his village in Shaanxi.


e-mail this to a friend printable version

See also
04/01/2009 CHINA
Party official issues urgent call for democratic reforms
04/28/2009 CHINA
Falun Gong members commemorate 10 years of persecution in China
03/06/2009 CHINA
The "usual" Chinese policy: dissidents arrested ahead of National People's Congress
12/12/2008 CHINA
Arrests continue for signers of Charter 08
04/14/2009 CHINA
Defense attorney for Falun Gong beaten bloody by police

Editor's choices
VATICAN
Pope remembers and prays for "latest tragedy" of migrants, "our brothers and sisters" who "are seeking happiness"At the Regina Caeli, Pope Francis says he is praying for the hundreds of victims in a sinking off the coast of Libya. An appeal to the international community to "act decisively and promptly." "Every baptized person is called to witness in word and deed, that Jesus is risen, He is alive and present in our midst." The Christian message "is not a theory, an ideology or a complex system of precepts and prohibitions, or moralism, but a message of salvation, a concrete event, even a person: the Risen Christ, the living and only Savior of all" . The Pope will be in Turin on June 21 to honor the Shroud, the exposition of which begins today.
SAUDI ARABIA – YEMEN
Saudi war in Yemen masks widening domestic tensions
by Afshin ShahiSaudi Arabia is using the conflict in Yemen to control domestic problems, especially social inequalities and religious sectarianism. However, whilst the royal family flaunts its wealth, some 20 per cent of the population lives in poverty. Many disgruntled young Saudis end up becoming "foreign fighters" for the Islamic state (IS). Some 15 per cent of the Saudi population is Shia, under the heavy thumb of the Sunni-dominated state. Afshin Shahi, director of the Centre for the Study of Political Islam and lecturer in International Relations and Middle East Politics at University of Bradford, provides the following lucid analysis.
VATICAN
Pope: on the persecution of Christians, the international community should "not stand by mute and inactive” and “look away”For the sixth time in a week, Pope Francis mentioned the martyrdom of Christians in today’s Regina Caeli (the Marian prayer at Easter), slamming the indifference of the international community towards this "alarming failure to protect basic human rights.” Today’s martyrs "are many, and we can say that they are more numerous than in the first centuries." In addition, “Faith in the resurrection of Jesus and the hope He has brought to us is the most beautiful gift that a Christian can and must offer his brothers and sisters. To one and all, therefore, do not tire of repeating: Christ is Risen!”

Dossier

by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
Copyright © 2003 AsiaNews C.F. 00889190153 All rights reserved. Content on this site is made available for personal, non-commercial use only. You may not reproduce, republish, sell or otherwise distribute the content or any modified or altered versions of it without the express written permission of the editor. Photos on AsiaNews.it are largely taken from the internet and thus considered to be in the public domain. Anyone contrary to their publication need only contact the editorial office which will immediately proceed to remove the photos.