China

Hong Kong activists face sentences on 16 April

HKCTU general secretary Lee Cheuk-yan (centre) On Thursday 1 April nine leaders of Hong Kong’s Civil Human Rights Front, were convicted of organising and participating in an unauthorised assembly. Those convicted include most of the long term leading activists of the movement for democracy in Hong Kong, including 82 year old Martin Lee, Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) leader Lee Cheuk-yan and socialist activist Leung Kwok Hung (“Long Hair”). Sentencing was delayed for two weeks to 16 April. Prison sentences of up to five years for each offence may be handed down. Whilst waiting...

Uyghurs: the facts and history

Friday 5 March saw the first in a series of webinars organised by student Uyghur solidarity activists in London and California: SOAS Uyghur Society and SoCal Students for Uyghur Justice. This event focussed on the history of the Uyghur people and included introductions from academic researchers. The organisers plan to make the recording available online soon — the Uyghur Solidarity Campaign UK will share it. It’s well worth solidarity activists watching to gain some background and context. Lars Laamann looked back through centuries of the region’s history. Exploring the development of modern...

Report finds genocide against the Uyghurs

A new report tests the evidence of China’s persecution of the Uyghur people against the 1948 UN Genocide Convention. Article II of the Genocide Convention defines genocide as: “any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: (a) Killing members of the group; (b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; (c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; (d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births...

Hong Kong: against the Beijing clampdown

The trial of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) general secretary Lee Cheuk Yan, Martin Lee and five others of the Civil and Human Rights Front under old British colonial laws, for "unauthorised assembly" on 18 August 2019 is scheduled to end on Thursday 18 March, and a verdict expected on 1 April. Meanwhile, 43 of the 47 taken to court on charges of subversion (under the new National Security Law), are now in prison, remanded until the charges are heard in three months time. Those charges carry possible life sentences. The 43 include not only the radical young activists...

Genocide denialists at the Morning Star

TheDaily Worker had a shameful record of justifying or denying the Stalinist show trials of the 1930s and the systematic denial of basic human rights in the USSR and Eastern Europe after the war. It had nothing to say against Stalin’s mass deportation of the Crimean Tatars and other peoples during World War 2, or against China’s treatment of the people of Tibet. You could argue, however, that it never sunk so low as to attempt to justify or deny genocide. Its successor, the Morning Star, is doing just that. On Friday 26 February, the Morning Star carried three articles about China. Inevitably...

Activist agenda: Student Uyghur solidarity; Safe and Equal budget day protest

Students at SOAS university in London passed a Uyghur solidarity motion by an 86% majority at an online union general meeting on 22 February. The Ugyhur Solidarity Campaign will be urging other student unions to do similar. ND Labour is supporting Safe and Equal’s Budget Day online protests (3 March) demanding full sick and isolation pay for all. Some neurodivergent people are particularly vulnerable to Covid-19, especially those with mental ill-health and/or learning disabilities and those who live in care homes. • All links and info on these and other campaigns, and suggested words for...

New repression in Hong Kong

On Sunday 28 February 47 participants in Hong Kong’s democratic primaries last June were charged with “conspiracy to commit subversion”, a charge that brings a possible life sentence. The hearing of bail requests from the 47 slowed down court proceedings. Only six were heard before the normal end of court business. The court continued until 2:30am, when Clarisse Yeung, one of the defendants, collapsed and had to be taken to hospital. Another three were also taken to hospital, including Leung Kwok Hung. It looks as though all bail will be refused and all will be remanded in prison for the next...

Solidarity with the Uyghur people

The Uyghurs, a majority-Muslim people who mostly live in East Turkestan, are facing persecution and genocide at the hands of the Chinese State. More than a million people are interned in camps, where torture, abuse and rape are reported to be taking place. China’s propaganda has stepped up following a series of news stories internationally about their treatment of the Uyghur population. State media recently released a series of short films subtitled in English, titled Embracing a New Life, featuring Uyghur women narrating, in Mandarin Chinese, their “empowering” experiences after “re-education...

Drop charges against Hong Kong rebels!

On 16 February, the trial started of seven democracy leaders in Hong Kong. Two others pleaded guilty. They are accused of organising an unauthorised assembly on 18 August 2019, when the Civil Front called a rally of 1.7 million people. Among the accused are Hong Kong trade union leader Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of the HKCTU (Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions); other left wing activists such as Leung Kwok Hung (“Long Hair”); and “pan-democratic” veterans such as the 82 year old Martin Lee. The charges, unconnected with the new National Security Law (NSL) and relying instead on old...

Activist agenda: Safe and Equal, Free Our Unions, Neurodivergent Labour, Poplar 100

Safe and Equal is pursuing its drive for full isolation pay for all with systematic phoning-round of its hundreds of contacts, demands for information from councils and from the NHS Test and Trace operators, and an appeal to other groups for a united front on the issue. Momentum Internationalists has given support; a good informal response from Don’t Leave Organise, but no formal answer yet. Free Our Unions has a Zoom meeting on anti-union laws, Tuesday 2 March, 6:30 pm. Speakers include Gerry Carroll MLA on the Trade Union Freedom Bill in the Northern Ireland Assembly, Mark Porter, Unite...

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