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HRIC in Action: December 2009 – March 2010 (I)

April 30, 2010


  1. Supporting Rights Defenders
  2. Advancing the Growth of Civil Society in China
  3. Promoting Rule of Law in China
  4. Engaging Other Stakeholders in Respecting and Promoting Human Rights in China

I. Supporting Rights Defenders

HRIC supports individuals inside China by bringing international attention to human rights issues and individual cases of abuse.

Against the official Chinese story of success and progress, HRIC works to increase international understanding of the actual human rights challenges and opportunities.

Key Activities

  1. HRIC informs the press and the public on developing stories and issues through media and communications work, including facilitating press interviews with rights defenders or their families and providing interpretation.
  2. HRIC enables Chinese voices to be heard in spite of domestic censorship by providing English translation of open letters and statements by Chinese writers, activists, petitioners and others, as well as legal and other key case documents. HRIC also provides Chinese translation of English-language documents to make information accessible to Chinese readers.
  3. HRIC builds international solidarity around specific issues and cases through outreach and collaboration with other groups.

Screening of Portraits of Loss and the Quest for Justice at the European Parliament | Brussels (December 1, 2009)
With the support of the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), HRIC screened the 20-minute documentary that focuses on the stories of eight victims of the June 4, 1989 government crackdown for approximately 50 members of the European Parliament. The film was produced by HRIC from interviews conducted and shot by the Tiananmen Mothers. HRIC previously screened the film at the Asia Society in New York and Cinema CAC-Voltaire in Geneva.

Interview with Vaclav Havel | Prague (January 19, 2010)
HRIC Executive Director Sharon Hom spoke with Vaclav Havel about Liu Xiaobo. Havel, former Czech president and the principal exponent of Charter 77 which inspired Charter 08, spoke about the difficult process of democratic reform in communist systems, and expressed his support for and solidarity with Liu Xiaobo.

  1. Media and communications

    In the four-month period of December 2009 – March 2010, HRIC set up nine press interviews for rights defenders and their families with media outlets including the New York Times, BBC, ZDF-TV (Germany), El Economista (Mexico), and TVE (Spain).

    1. Press releases, statements, case updates

      With 23 press releases, statements, and case updates during the four-month period of December 2009 – March 2010, HRIC kept the public informed about the following issues and the situation and cases of the following activists, scholars, and writers:

      Crackdown or imprisonment of rights defenders, petitioners, and government critics

      Freedom of Expression / Censorship

      Official Accountability for June Fourth

    2. Press Interviews

      In the four-month period of December 2009 – March 2010, HRIC did 29 press interviews on the following topics and cases with the following media outlets:

      Topics and cases
      Black jails
      Circumvention technologies
      Dalai Lama’s visit to the U.S.
      Feng Zhenghu
      Gao Zhisheng
      Liu Xiaobo
      Secretary of State Clinton’s speech on freedom of expression
      State Secrets Law

      Media Outlets

      Wire Services




      Associated Press (AP)
      Agence France-Presse (AFP)

      New York Times
      Wall Street Journal
      LA Times

      Bild (Germany)
      El Pais (Spain)
      Helsingin Sanomat (Finland)
      Le Temps (Switzerland)
      Libération (France)
      Rzeczpospolita (Poland)

      CapitolNEWS Connection Radio
      Public Broadcasting Service (PBS)
      Voice of America-Radio
      Voice of America-TV

      Bayerischer Rundfunk (German public radio)
      World Radio Switzerland (WRS)

      CBS News Online

      • Facilitating press interviews with rights defenders and families
    3. Empowering Chinese Voices through Translation

      In the four-month period of December 2009 – March 2010, HRIC translated the following documents (in addition to the translation featured in the 2010, no. 1 issue of the China Rights Forum listed in Section II):

      Chinese to English

      English to Chinese

    4. Outreach and Collaboration