President Obama Give Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize:China and Copenhagen
President Obama Give Liu Xiaobo Nobel Peace Prize:China and Copenhagen
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Leading article: A disturbing prelude to an era of growing Chinese power
Draconian sentences highlight Beijing's indifference to democratic values
Monday, 28 December 2009
At the end of a decade in which China has become a global power, it is making headlines for the wrong reasons. First, it was accused of wrecking the climate change talks in Copenhagen. Then there was the savage sentence meted out to the courageous dissident Liu Xiaobo. His so-called crime has been to persistently call for constitutional change and reform of the one-party system, for which he has just been handed a staggering 11-year sentence...
Barely noticed has been a round of sentences that call attention to another disagreeable aspect of China's justice system: its harshness towards minorities. Christmas Day saw another five death penalties handed down to Uighurs for their role in the ethnic riots that shook Xinjiang province in summer. That brings to 22 the number of death penalties ordered in connection with the riots since September, nine of which have already been carried out...
Worryingly, as we enter an era in which America's power seems set to wane while that of China's rises, this idiosyncratic model will increasingly be seen as worthy of emulation. This is already the case in the Far East in countries like Vietnam, where the regime is clearly bent on managing affairs according to a Chinese recipe. But as Chinese influence spreads through trade and loans, notably in Africa, China's authoritarian model is likely to become an object of admiration and imitation there as well...
The Price of FreedomFreedom fighters in Iran and China pay a high price this Christmas
DECEMBER 27, 2009
In Iran and China, Christmas weekend brought two inspiring examples of the high price that men and women are still willing to pay in the eternal struggle for political freedom.
In Beijing, the Chinese Communists ignored the protests of more than a dozen countries and sentenced 53-year-old literary critic Liu Xiaobo to 11 years in prison for the crime of peacefully agitating for democracy. His verdict came after a two-hour, closed-door trial Wednesday from which diplomats, his wife and his chosen lawyer were barred.
"When he decides to do something, he doesn't regret it,'' said his wife, Liu Xia, who was allowed to speak to her husband for 10 minutes after he learned his fate. "He said he hopes to be the last person punished for practicing freedom of expression" in China. No wonder Chinese officials are so afraid of Mr. Liu, who wields the power of the unbreakable individual spirit.
Meanwhile, in Tehran, democratic protestors continued to risk their lives and freedom by going into the streets despite an increasingly brutal government crackdown. On Sunday, security forces opened fire on demonstrators in the College Square neighborhood, killing at least four and injuring dozens, according to witnesses and opposition Web sites. The nephew of opposition leader and former presidential candidate Mir Hossein Mousavi was among the dead.
It's impossible to know when these freedom fighters will realize their democratic goals, but they deserve our admiration and support.
In Sentence of Activist, China Gives West a Chill
Published: December 25, 2009
BEIJING — The harsh sentence handed down on Friday to Liu Xiaobo, one of China’s most prominent campaigners for democracy and human rights, prompted strong rebukes in the United States and Europe, but it also raised fresh questions over whether the West has much leverage over a government that is increasingly self-assured on the world stage.
By sentencing Mr. Liu to 11 years in prison for subversion, the Chinese government sent a chilling message to advocates of political reform and free speech. Mr. Liu, 53, a former literature professor who helped draft a manifesto last December that demanded open elections and the rule of law, was convicted after a closed two-hour trial on Wednesday in which his lawyers were allowed less than 20 minutes to state his case...
But many experts on Chinese politics said that Mr. Liu’s conviction on vague charges of “incitement to subvert state power” through his writing was also an unmistakable signal to the West that China would not yield to international pressure when it came to human rights. During his visit to China last month,President Obamaraised Mr. Liu’s case with President Hu Jintao. Leaders of the European Union have been pressing for his release...
“If China’s Communist Party wanted to advertise to the world that they will do anything to protect their power and use the judiciary to accomplish that, then the persecution of Liu Xiaobo was a perfect vehicle,” Jerome A. Cohen, an expert on China’s legal system and a senior fellow at theCouncil on Foreign Relations, said Friday.
The State Department issued a statement on Friday calling on China to release Mr. Liu, saying that the “persecution of individuals for the peaceful expression of political views is inconsistent with internationally recognized norms of human rights.”
Such pointed criticisms are unlikely to have much impact, many China analysts said. Mr. Hu assumed full power in 2003 after a period of modest legal reforms. But under his leadership, the government has presided over a tightening of Internet restrictions, the repression of rights lawyers and the persecution of intellectuals who called for greater transparency and an end to single-party rule. Those who thought that the leadership might loosen its controls for the Beijing Olympics last year were disheartened by the crackdown that took place to prevent people from organizing demonstrations.
Fatal flaws in Chinese law
Published: 28/12/2009 Editorial
China is a rapidly emerging nation, in the jargon of the day, but it has shown defects that will prevent it from being a true world power. Industrially and in many economic areas, China measures up to its reputation as a global player. Its defence forces are modernising. But two recent events, at home and abroad, show that Beijing has not earned and cannot command the respect of a 21st century superpower...
The ''state subversion'' trial of the dissident Liu Xiaobo failed all possible tests of fairness. Outsiders were not permitted and the witnesses did not testify in public. Mr Liu, a 53-year-old former literature professor, was brought into the court, heard his accusation read, and then was taken away for 11 years in prison, plus two more years of enforced censorship.
The procedure was no trial to determine guilt or innocence. Instead, it was a harsh warning to others who might dare to write or to voice complaints against central authorities.
The second case took place in Cambodia, and the proceedings were even murkier and more opaque than the trial of Prof Liu. Chinese diplomats or other authorities gave Cambodia orders, threats or an ultimatum _ who knows which, or what combination? _ that caused the Hun Sen government to reverse its old policy of granting asylum to political refugees. Now, Cambodia has ''decided'' to deport 20 Chinese Uighurs, including two infants back to China. Beijing has said the 20 were criminals, involved in last July's riots which left at least 197 people dead in Urumqi city and the surrounding Xinjiang Autonomous Region.
China offered no public proof that the Uighur refugees were criminals or violent. The refugees themselves said they feared punishment, jail terms or the death penalty. Cambodian authorities who had previously drawn strong praise from the United Nations for helping refugees from regional minority groups clearly felt the Chinese breath on their back of the neck over the case. It was obviously no coincidence that just days after Cambodia deported the Uighur, China announced 14 separate aid deals, worth US$850 million (30 billion baht)
Chinese dissidents emulate anti-Soviet heroes with Charter 08Chinese intellectuals have challenged the country's Communist leaders to end one-party rule with the launch of Charter 08, a throw-back to the Charter 77 declaration of Soviet-era Czechoslovakian dissidents.
By Richard Spencer in Beijing
Published: 3:56PM GMT 09 Dec 2008
The bold plea for political reform calls on the government to allow freedom of expression and association and to give up Communist Party control over the legal system.
Its launch coincides with Wednesday's 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is one of the most dramatic steps taken by dissidents since a crack down during the run-up to the Beijing Olympics.
The authorities have already moved against those responsible, an informal group headed by lawyers and journalists, according to some of the more than 300 signatories to the document.
Several have been detained for questioning, and one of China's most prominent dissidents, Liu Xiaobo, who was imprisoned after the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, was still being held on Tuesday night...
The original Charter 77 was a declaration by dissidents in Soviet-era Czechoslovakia which called upon the then Communist government to ratify United Nations human rights conventions, and honour the human rights obligations of the Helsinki Accords of two years earlier.
Among the signatories to that document were the future Czech president Vaclav Havel, and other leading writers.
The document was originally signed by 303 people, in spite of a risk of arrest and jail. The signatories were prominent citizens inside and outside the government, including lawyers; aTibetan blogger, Woeser; and Bao Tong, a former senior Communist Party official. The Charter calls for 19 changes to improve human rights in China, including an independent legal system, freedom of association and the elimination of one-party rule. "All kinds of social conflicts have constantly accumulated and feelings of discontent have risen consistently," it reads. "The current system has become backward to the point that change cannot be avoided." China remains the only large world power to still retain an authoritarian system that so infringes on human rights, it states. "This situation must change! Political democratic reforms cannot be delayed any longer!"
Specific demands are:
Amending the Constitution.
- Separation of powers.
- Legislative democracy.
- An independent judiciary.
- Public control of public servants.
- Guarantee of human rights.
- Election of public officials.
- Rural–urban equality.
- Freedom of association.
- Freedom of assembly.
- Freedom of expression.
- Freedom of religion.
- Civic education.
- Protection of private property.
- Financial and tax reform.
- Social security.
- Protection of the environment.
- A federated republic.
- Truth in reconciliation.
DECEMBER 3, 2009
(New York) - The international community should immediately and collectively increase pressure on the Chinese government to release Liu Xiaobo, one of China's most prominent political prisoners, Human Rights Watch said today...
"Liu Xiaobo is a test case for the international community," said Sophie Richardson, Asia advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "To all governments who regularly profess that they bring up human rights with the Chinese government: this is the case you should fight for now."
China: Dissident and literary scholar Liu Xiaobo formally arrested
Released on June 24, 2009
Amnesty International condemns the formal arrest of prominent scholar and activist Liu Xiaobo on suspicion of "inciting subversion of state power" on 23 June. The People's Daily reported that police accused Liu Xiaobo of activities such as "spreading of rumours and defaming of the government, aimed at subversion of the state and overthrowing the socialism system in recent years".
"These charges against Liu Xiaobo seem to stem from his support for Charter 08, which actually calls for many of the same human rights protections that were reiterated in China's first ever National Human Rights Action Plan," said Roseann Rife, Asia-Pacific Deputy Program Director at Amnesty International. "His arrest follows a series of crackdowns on activists around the 20th Tiananmen anniversary and intensified control of internet use which only demonstrates the authorities' lack of commitment to and total disregard for the goals of the Action Plan."
"This use of state security charges to punish activists for merely expressing their views must stop," said Rife. "This is another act of desperation by a regime that is terrified of public opinion."
China dissident's wife pleads for detained husband
Wed Feb 11, 2009
BEIJING (Reuters) - The wife of a prominent Chinese dissident who backed a campaign for democratic change said his detention made a mockery of China's laws, even as Beijing defended its record before a United Nations panel.
Liu Xia, the wife of dissident Liu Xiaobo, has so far avoided extensive public comment on his detention by state security police since late last year, when he helped to launch the "Charter 08" petition urging an end to one-party rule in China.
The case of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo flared up in the American media this weekend, after Liu's wife Liu Xia published a Washington Post editorial asking President Barack Obama to help get him released from jail.
Liu Xiaobo was one of the original drafters of Charter 08, a political reform and human rights document, and was arrested last December along with two other intellectuals. His wife's recent treatise urged the US President to get directly involved in Liu's case, because she fears that the Chinese "government is preparing to stage a show trial" to put away her husband for good.
DECEMBER 7, 2009
The wife of jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is losing hope that her husband will be released. Friends tried to comfort her by suggesting China would set him free after June's 20th anniversary of the bloody Tiananmen crackdown; then after the 60th anniversary of Communist party rule in October; and finally after Barack Obama's visit last month. "Nothing has changed after all these events so I think the best thing is not to have hope," she says. She hasn't been allowed to see him for 9 months. (via Rebecca MacKinnon)
Chinese dissidents let down by Obama Nobelby Shaun Tandon – Fri Oct 9, 2009
WASHINGTON (AFP) – China’s dissidents are voicing unease about President Barack Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize, saying that the award could have been effective in promoting human rights in their country.
Some in China’s democracy movement are outraged at what they see as a weak stance on rights by Obama, who the same week as Friday’s announcement avoided a meeting with Tibet’s exiled Dalai Lama that would have upset Beijing.
Chinese activists had been tipped as Nobel contenders on this year of anniversaries, when China marked 60 years of communist rule, 50 years since the Dalai Lama’s flight and 20 years since the crushing of the Tiananmen Square democracy uprising.
President Barack Obama you need to do the right thing and Give the Nobel
Peace Prize to Liu Xiaobo. Here is a person who is more of an embodiment
of Peace, Justice and Harmony and not War who deserves the prize now. If you
are the Rhetoric President then keep the prize. If you dare to do more-then
pass the prize on to Lui and what he represents.
Take the cue from the Special Olympics- oftentimes when a competitor falls in a
race, the others stop to help give a hand to the athlete to get up and the race
continues: that is a model of Human Dignity from which we can all learn.
Can Europe and China Shape a New World Order?
Published by Council on Foreign Relations
Grant, the director of London’s Center for European Reform, argues for a “strategic partnership” between the EU and China to confront global problems that affect them both.
Hitler’s Empire: How the Nazis Ruled Europe
Published by Council on Foreign Relations
The Nazis are rightly better remembered for their capacity to wage war than for their ability to consolidate peace. In this impressive work, Mazower demonstrates just how incompetent they were at the latter task…
There were not enough ethnic Germans to rule the vast conquered regions by an iron fist alone, yet the Nazis’ tactics made any alternative to such rule impossible. “Germany,” Mazower points out, “could have racial purity or imperial domination, but it could not have both.”
Irwin Cotler: "Andrei Sakharov, please forgive us"
Posted: December 21, 2009, 10:00 AM by NP Editor
The year that will soon end marked an important period of remembrance: the 20th anniversary of 1989 — the fall of the Berlin wall, the “Velvet Revolution,” and the Dec. 14, 1989 passing of one of the great heroes of the 20th century, a man who helped make the events of that year possible.
The “conscience of his people,” as he was then known, the conscience of humankind as he veritably came to be, Andrei Sakharov was a person of moral authority and courage unparalleled in his time. A distinguished nuclear physicist, recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1975, and founder of the Moscow Human Rights Centre, Sakharov was the father of the human rights and dissident movement in the U.S.S.R. In March 1989, he was elected to the new Soviet Parliament, the All-Union Congress of Peoples Deputies, where he led the democratic opposition, continuing to stand up and confront the whole of the Soviet Union, as he had done for the previous 40 years.
On the wide-ranging 1975 international agreement known as the Helsinki Final Act: “[It] is our Human Manifesto. The Soviet Union has turned it into a prosecutor’s club.” Sakharov was referring to the imprisonment of Yuri Orlov and Anatoly Sharansky, the founders of the Moscow Helsinki Human Rights Group, who were prosecuted for “anti-Soviet slander and agitation” for supporting the 1975 agreement that the Soviet Union had itself signed.
On the trial of Natan Sharansky: “[It] is the trial of the Jewish people.” He added, “Sharansky’s only crime was to tell the truth and to tell it in English.” Sakharov understood that Sharansky had become the symbol for the struggle for Soviet Jewry and the spokesperson for his own democracy movement. In imprisoning Sharansky therefore, the Soviet Union was imprisoning a voice of millions...
And so the conscience of the Soviet Union, who had condemned the invasion of Czechoslovakia in 1968 and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan of 1979 — while lending his moral authority in support of Soviet Jewry, political prisoners, and the just causes of his time — was vindicated by history.
At this point in time Nobel Peace Prize winners Al Gore and the Dalai Lama have remained silent
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Abolition King Coal, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power and Weapons Everywhere!
The Great Struggle Continues….
Please also see:
Abolition of King Coal, Fossil Fuels, Nuclear Power and Weapons(update Friday Feb 13. 2009)
(Original PSEA Document) Abolition of King Coal Everywhere!(Update Friday March 13 2009)
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WAR DECLARED ON WHITEHOUSE BY BANKS, KING COAL, GAS, AND NUCLEAR