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Human rights defenders play a critical role in ensuring peaceful exercise of rights and promoting an independent civil society. As China’s civil society faces increasingly steep restrictions, human rights defenders have become the targets of draconian and comprehensive crackdowns. For their efforts, many human rights defenders have lost their jobs, family members, and personal freedom; many suffer mistreatment and torture in prison. In these dark times for so many of them, HRIC honors their work, their spirit of dedication, and the great price they continue to pay in promoting the progress of civil society. Please take a moment to send messages to the imprisoned and detained rights defenders—to show your concern, solidarity, and support.
New and Recent
HRIC submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, as input into a report he will present to the Human Rights Council in its 50th session in June 2022 (HRC50).
November 24, 2021 (updated) In a joint appeal to the director of Shanghai Municipal Bureau of Justice and the warden of Shanghai Women's Prison, where citizen journalist Zhang Zhan is serving a four-year sentence and in declining health, 693 individuals, including rights lawyers, clergymen, and...
“As a collective of non-governmental organisations defending human rights and freedom of the press, we urge you to exonerate and release human rights defender, journalist, and former lawyer Zhang Zhan, who is suffering from a critical health condition and may die soon if she remains in detention...
“FIDH and its member organization HRIC urge the Council and its member states to take urgent actions to address the alarming deterioration of rights and freedoms in the Hong Kong SAR, China. . . .”
“We, a group of 72 international non-governmental organizations and individuals, are writing to call on your government to drop the charge of “inciting unauthorized assembly” against Chow Hang-tung (鄒幸彤) and unconditionally release her. . . .”
Some of these women are lawyers and legal advocates who have chosen the difficult path of rights defense on their own. Others are family members of lawyers and legal advocates targeted by the authorities—who have been compelled to take up rights defense in order to protect their own freedom and...
Thirty-two years ago, hardliners in the Communist Party of China made the cold-blooded decision to crush citizens’ voices and mobilize the People’s Liberation Army against the Chinese people, killing and maiming unarmed, peaceful protestors demanding the fundamental conditions for a healthy society...
[Translation by Human Rights in China] On June 4, 1989, in a time of peace, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army, under the leadership and command of the ruling authorities, sent tanks, armored vehicles, and soldiers with live ammunition onto the ten-mile Chang’an Avenue in Beijing. Without...
In December 2020 the European Union (EU) announced that it had concluded in principle a Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI) with China. In so doing, the EU deliberately segregated its investment negotiations with China from its human rights engagement. The folly of that approach is now clear, as the European Parliament has imposed an indefinite freeze on ratifying the CAI due to entirely predictable human rights issues. The impasse only clarifies what the human rights community has been saying: sooner or later, the serious human rights deficits of the CAI must be addressed. What’s at stake is the effectiveness and coherence of the EU’s overall engagement with China. . . .
Sharon Hom: “An agreement without human rights clauses or obligations in effect provides a blank check for an authoritarian regime and, frankly, leaves the companies to their own devices to address, ignore, or be complicit in human rights violations.”
In the Joint Appeal, HRIC joins 35 NGOs and labor unions around the world to express grave concerns that the EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI)—reached between leaders of the two governments in December 2020—“sends a signal that the European Union will push for closer cooperation...
HRIC joins 23 NGOs and individuals in urging the Biden Administration to prioritize human rights in U.S-China policy as the “scope and scale of human rights violations committed by the Chinese government inside and outside the country require a fundamental shift.” February 17, 2021 Joseph R. Biden...
Guo Feixiong ( 郭飞雄 ) , well-known Chinese human rights activist, was stopped at the Shanghai Pudong Airport on January 28 while en route to the United States to care for his ailing wife. The authorities reportedly cited “ suspicion of endangering national security " as the reason. Guo has begun a...

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December 6, 2021

HRIC submission to the UN Special Rapporteur on the Independence of Judges and Lawyers, Mr. Diego García-Sayán, as input into a report he will present to the Human Rights Council in its 50th session in June 2022 (HRC50).

>>Read submission<<

UN Experts Speak Out on Hong Kong

  • Four UN experts on Hong Kong: "Arrests under security law are serious concern, UN experts call for review" (Oct. 12, 2021): EN
  • UN Special Rapporteurs’ communication to China on the erosion of the right to freedom of speech, education, and academic freedom in Hong Kong (Aug. 13, 2021, made public on Oct. 12, 2021): EN

Click to see other UN statements on Hong Kong, under “Related Resources.”

Updated on January 10, 2021
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
Oct 1-3, 2021, Berlin

The 3-day conference organized by Disruption Network Lab will explore:

  • What power structures and technologies are framing the dominant narratives about China?
  • Who is benefitting and who is resisting?

Day 1: Keynote by Sharon Hom: “Deconstructing China’s Party-State Narratives: Why It Matters and What We Can Do” (Friday, Oct 1, 16:10–17:30, CET/10:10-11:30AM, ET)

Day 2: Keynote by Jack Poulson, Ex. Dir., Tech Inquiry, US (Saturday, Oct 2, 18:30–20:00, CET/2:30-4PM, ET)

Conf. panelists to include:

Arslan Hidayat (Uyghur rights activist, AU)
Badiucao (Cartoonist and activist, CH/AU, on video)
Ray Wong (Hong Kong activist, founder of Hong Kong Indigenous, HK/DE)
Glacier Chung Ching Kwong (Hong Kong political & digital rights activist, PhD student in law, U. of Hamburg, HK/DE)
Maya Wang (Senior China researcher, Human Rights Watch)

HRIC is accepting applications for the 2022-2023 Robert L. Bernstein Fellowship in International Human Rights. Great opportunity for a JD or LLM seeking practical experience in international human rights work focused on mainland China and Hong Kong. Deadline: November 19, 2021.

See description and application guidelines.

USCC Hearing: "U.S.-China Relations in 2021: Emerging Risks"
Wed, Sept 8, 2021, 9AM – 3:30PM

 >>Full Screen<< 

Panel I: Beijing’s Assertion of “Comprehensive Jurisdiction” over Hong Kong

Panel II: The CCP’s Control of Markets and Data

Administration Panel: Administration Views on U.S. Export Controls

Panel III: Assessing Export Controls and Foreign Investment Review

See full hearing schedule.

Friday, July 16, 9PM EDT/6PM PDT

HRIC’s Sharon Hom will join Ching Cheong and Eddy U at the panel moderated by Kennedy Wong.

For panel details and live streaming, please visit:

Inspiration from Hong Kongers prosecuted and sentenced for involvement in the June 4, 2020 candlelight vigil in Victoria Park
Unofficial English translation by a group of human rights advocates and Chinese feminists, edited by HRIC.
Photo credit: Maina Kiai