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Message in banner held up by police, July 1, 2020, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong: “This is a police warning. You are displaying flags or banners/chanting slogans, or conducting yourselves with an intent such as secession or subversion, which may constitute offences under the ‘HKSAR National Security Law.’ You may be arrested or prosecuted.” The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region was passed by the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Standing Committee (NPCSC) on June 30, 2020 and went into force the same day at 11:00 p.m. It was inserted in Annex III of the Basic Law of Hong Kong as one of the national laws applicable in Hong Kong.
New and Recent
(New York, Paris) FIDH and its member organization Human Rights in China (HRIC) condemn the latest wave of high-profile arrests of pro-democracy figures under the recently-enacted national security law. Yesterday, police in Hong Kong arrested 10 people, including independent media owner Jimmy Lai...
Dear Foreign Ministers, We, a coalition of 17 organizations and independent scholars, write to express our grave concerns about Hong Kong’s National Security Law, imposed on June 30, 2020 by the Chinese government. We appreciate the concerns you have expressed publicly about this development, but...
Five years ago, in July 2015, the Chinese authorities rounded up some 300 lawyers, legal advocates, and other rights activists in a campaign aimed at strangling rights defense work in China, including within the legal system. In what has come to be known as the 709 Crackdown, many were charged with...
In this timely essay, Chen Jiangang, one of China’s well-known rights defense lawyers, tells the story of the campaign waged by the Chinese authorities over the past decade intended to crush the rights defense legal profession.
In the late evening of June 30, 2020, the National People’s Congress Standing Committee Standing Committee (NPCSC) unanimously passed The Law of the People’s Republic of China on Safeguarding National Security in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (NSL-HK) that went into force the same day...
New York, Paris Taipei, 1 July 2020: FIDH and its member organizations Human Rights in China (HRIC), Taiwan Association for Human Rights (TAHR), and Covenants Watch condemn in the strongest terms China’s unilateral adoption and promulgation of the national security law for Hong Kong.
[Translation by Human Rights in China] At precisely the moment when countries around the world are still focusing their energies on combating the pandemic of the century, and the situation in Hong Kong deteriorates by the hour, the Chinese authorities have seized the opportunity to announce a “Hong...
OPEN LETTER June 16, 2020 To: Li Zhanshu Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPCSC) Re: Reject National Security Legislation Dear Chairman Li, We are writing to express our grave concerns regarding the recent adoption by China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) of...
On June 10, Zhang Hai of Wuhan submitted a complaint to the Wuhan Municipal Intermediate People’s. Court in the first case filed by a Wuhan citizen against government authorities for concealing information about the new coronavirus. This concealment, he argues, led to his father’s death. Zhang...
April 28, 2020, Xiaoyan Feng( 丰晓燕 ) , the deputy investigator of the Research Office of the People’s Congress of Linyi City, Shandong Province, distributed democracy leaflets in Wangfujing, Beijing, advocating for democratic reform and the reelection of the Chinese president, and opposing social...
In his article, lawyer Chen Jiangang discusses what he terms as the “Four Breakthroughs” that President Xi Jinping has “achieved” during his administration: 1. Breaking with the principle of abiding by international treaty obligation, (referring to the the 1984 Joint Declaration that the Chinese...
On January 19, 2018, lawyer Yu Wensheng published a "Citizen’s Proposal to Amend the Constitution," with recommendations for deleting the "Preamble” to the Constitution and for other political reforms. He was criminally detained the following day, on suspicion of "obstructing official business" and...
HRIC welcomes the 2020 PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award bestowed on Xu Zhiyong, announced on June 4. The honoring and recognition of one of the most influential rights advocates in China today come as Xu is detained under “residential surveillance” in an undisclosed location and facing charges of...
  • June Fourth Victoria Park 2016
For the first time in 30 years, Hong Kong authorities are banning the annual June Fourth candlelight vigil in Victoria Park, which has been peacefully held for decades, drawing tens of thousands, and as many as 150,000 to 200,0000 in some years, to commemorate those who died in the June Fourth...
[English translation by Human Rights in China] This year, 2020, is the 31st anniversary of the June Fourth massacre that took place in Beijing, China, in 1989. We will not forget the tragedy. That year, in peacetime, the Chinese government mobilized our nation’s military force—a force flaunted as "...
In just over two months, under Xi Jinping’s personal command and direction, the novel coronavirus that initially emerged in Wuhan has spun out of control to become a once-in-a-century pandemic event that has caused the untimely deaths of hundreds of thousands of people around the world. [1] To...
On Thursday, May 21, authorities in Beijing announced a draft Decision to formulate and enact national security legislation prohibiting four identified security threats in Hong Kong: secession, subversion of state power, terrorism, and foreign interference. The move contravenes requirement in...
HRIC has selected the Chinese-language timelines that make use of Chinese government, news, scientific, social media sources, along with English-language sources, that tell the story of the pandemic from the perspective of those affected by it inside China and for a Chinese audience.
April 30, 2020 is the 10th anniversary of the revocation of Tang Jitian and Liu Wei's lawyer's licenses. In 2008, Tang Jitian and Liu Wei were among 35 lawyers who called for the direct elections of officers of the state-controlled Beijing Lawyers Association. In 2010, Tang and Liu’s lawyer...
Background After almost a century of colonial rule, the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1984 between the United Kingdom (UK) and The People’s Republic of China (PRC) paved the way for the return of Hong Kong to the PRC in 1997. It established a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) to be...
  • 15 arrested pro dem figures collage (Photo: Courtesy Hong Kong Free Press)
The arrests of 15 pro-democracy activists on Saturday, April 18 marked a sharp turning point in the protest movement that has engulfed the city for nearly a full year. Taking place amidst a global pandemic and renewed calls for enactment of Article 23 national security law, this campaign targeted...
Xu Yan ( 许艳 ) , the wife of Beijing lawyer Yu Wensheng ( 余文生 ) , sends a letter to the Mayor of Beijing, seven Deputy Mayors, and the Chief Secretary of the municipal government, appealing to them, on whom the people depend for their livelihood, to immediately launch a mechanism for protecting and...

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General comment No. 37

Article 21: right of peaceful assembly

July 27, 2020

“The fundamental human right of peaceful assembly enables individuals to express themselves collectively and to participate in shaping their societies. . . . Together with other related rights, it also constitutes the very foundation of a system of participatory governance based on democracy, human rights, the rule of law and pluralism.”

Also see press release

June 26, 2020

“. . . Most recently, the National People’s Congress took a decision to draft a national security law for the Hong Kong SAR – without any meaningful consultation with the people of Hong Kong – which would, if adopted, violate China’s international legal obligations and impose severe restrictions on civil and political rights in the autonomous region. . . . The draft law would deprive the people of Hong Kong, who constitute a minority with their own distinctive history, cultural and linguistic and even legal traditions, the autonomy and fundamental rights guaranteed them under the 1984 Sino-British Joint Declaration and the ‘One Country, Two Systems’ governance framework.”

Tuesday, June 9, 5pm Eastern time (US and Canada)

Speakers on this panel organized by the Lieberthal-Rogel Center for Chinese Studies, U. of Michigan, discuss the legal and political crises in Hong Kong stemming from the recent Decision by China's Central People's Government to draft and impose a national security law on Hong Kong.

  • Nicholas Howson, Professor, University of Michigan Law School
  • Martin Flaherty, Professor, Fordham Law School
  • Louisa Lim, Journalist and Author
  • Sharon Hom, Ex. Dir., Human Rights in China
Panel discussion: 1st Anniv. of Anti-Extradition Movement

Jun 8 (Mon) 9 pm EDT, 6 pm PDT / Jun 9 (Tues) 9 am HKT

Prominent rights advocate Xu Zhiyong was taken away by police in Guangzhou on Saturday, February 15, 2020. He was a founder of Gongmeng, Open Constitution Initiative, a legal research an aid organization that was shut down by the authorities in 2009, and a leading advocate of the New Citizens’ Movement, which advocated for the protection of rights of citizens through nonviolent means.

at UN Security Council AOB on Hong Kong (via VTC) May 29, 2020

“The question before us in the Council today comes down to this: are we going to take the honorable stand to defend the human rights and dignified way of life that millions of Hong Kong citizens have enjoyed and deserved . . . or are we going to allow the government in Beijing to undermine their international legal commitments and force their will on the people of Hong Kong . . . ?” Statement; Remarks as delivered

Thurs, May 28 1PM ET | on HKDC Facebook page
“To remember is to resist”
Sharon Hom remarks at 61st anniversary of Tibetan National Uprising Day, March 10, 2020
Updated on August 7, 2020
Photo credit: Studio Incendo
Presented by Bernstein Institute for Human Rights (NYU Law)

The NYU U.S.-Asia Law Institute and Human Rights in China present
The 2014 Bernstein China Symposium



9:00-9:15 a.m.: Welcome and Introduction
Dean Trevor Morrison, Eric M. and Laurie B. Roth Professor of Law, New York University School of Law

Compiled by HRIC based on published reports and information available online. Total Count: 136 individuals. (An asterisk (*) denotes that the detention or physical restriction of the individual has ended.) 

Last updated August 2014. 

See also: Citizen Activists on Trial 2013-2014: Schedule/Status and Essays



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