23 January 2018
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Charter 08: for human rights in China


26/01/2009
Peking University tells students to boycott Charter 08
Whilst law professors sign the charter, the university tells students not to do to what the charter calls for, slamming anyone who says anything positive about it.

24/01/2009
Wang Lianxi, a Tiananmen Square dissident, in psychiatric hospital
Released in 2007 after 18 years in prison, prior to the Beijing Olympics he was confined to the hospital, and is still under treatment, although his friends say that he appears to have no need of hospitalization. Human rights groups are asking that he be examined by independent psychiatrists.

21/01/2009
China will increase military spending, to confront foreign and domestic threats
A program has been announced to make the army more modern and technologically advanced by the middle of the century. The increase in spending is justified by the presence of foreign threats and hostile, secessionist forces, like the Tibetans massacred in March. Warnings to the United States and to Taiwan.

08/01/2009
Pro-democracy activist Wang Rongqing sentenced to six years for "subversion"
He is one of the veterans of the pro-democracy movement. The heavy sentence demonstrates that the government intends to suffocate the spread of democratic ideas, following the publication of the Charter 08. Beijing also fears demonstrations in 2009, the 20th anniversary of the massacre in Tiananmen. Wang Rongqing has also written in defense of religious freedom.

08/01/2009
More than 101 Charter 08 signatories interrogated or detained by Chinese police
Police is threatening to charge charter supporters of “plotting to overthrow the regime”. Search engines like google.cn, Yahoo! and Baidu are filtering the document, and yet it is being disseminated anyway. The number of people signing the charter has now reached 7,300.

02/01/2009
Charter 08’s Liu Xiaobo held in undisclosed location in violation of China's laws
Liu could be held for a year and half without charges or trial. More and more people are signing up to Charter 08 to change China into a country that defends human rights.

17/12/2008
Bao Tong: Beijing should explain how Charter '08 violates the law
Endorsements are increasing for the proposal for the democratic transformation of the country. Former communist leader Bao Tong has sent an open letter to Beijing, stressing that everything requested in Charter '08 is already provided for in the Chinese constitution, and asking them to explain "why it is illegal."

16/12/2008
Repression against 08 Charter signatories grows
Tens of supporters are interrogated, threatened, placed under surveillance or arrested as a result of orders “from higher up”. The document is censored on Internet.

12/12/2008
Arrests continue for signers of Charter 08
More signers of the document calling for respect for human rights are in jail, or under house arrest. But President Hu says that China will promote human rights only according to "the basic situation of the country."

10/12/2008
Over 300 sign “Charter 08”, a manifesto for human rights in China, but some are already arrested
Among the signatories Liu Xiaobo, an intellectual, was arrested on Monday. Another, Zhang Zuhua, was interrogated for 12 hours and then released. Scientist Jiang Qisheng and lawyer Pu Zhiqiang were also interrogated. Pu is closely monitored by police. Like Czechoslovakia’s ‘Charter 77’, this manifesto calls on the authorities to radically change the country’s oppressive system, and guarantee instead human rights, including freedom of religion.



Editor's choices

EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'

Fady Noun

A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.


CHINA
Yunnan: Christians accused of membership in an apocalyptic sect get up to 13 years in prison



The Three Grades of Servants cult, an underground pseudo-Protestant sect founded in Henan, is especially strong in the countryside. Those convicted claim they are just ordinary Christians and know nothing about the sect. Defense lawyers have been threatened with loss of their license to practice.


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