china promises to suppress political dissent by detaining human rights campaigner
China – China is breaching the right of jailed activists accused of “subversion of state power” to carry out legal proceedings to defend themselves in yet another escalation of the country’s human rights crackdown.
This comes as security authorities have vowed to eliminate any political opposition ahead of a party congress later this year, when Chinese President Xi Jinping is expected to win re-election to a new five-year term.
China has charged Xu Zhiyong, a Chinese activist, and Ding Jiaxi, a human rights lawyer, with “subversion of state authority,” and they will be prosecuted separately on June 17 and June 20. Jiaxi’s wife’s social media posts, on the other hand, have exposed the Chinese authorities’ tampering with the facts.
Ding Jiaxi’s wife said in a tweet that the lawyers were not allowed to see the activists and were not given a copy of the materials.
Former instructor at Beijing University of Post and Telecommunications Xu Zhiyong became a human rights activist and created the “New Citizens Movement” to aid China’s transition toward constitutionalism.
The activists were arrested after China indicted a group of about twenty lawyers and activists who gathered in a rental property near the Chinese coast in 2019 to discuss the embattled human rights movement.
According to Chris Buckley of The New York Times, a weekend gathering in 2019 will provide Beijing with an opportunity to strike back at the “rights defence” campaign. Two important participants are now facing the potential of spending years in prison.
Xu Zhiyong and Ding Jiaxi, two of the most well-known attendees, are awaiting trial on subversion charges relating to the event.
Such gatherings, which were formerly popular among Chinese human rights activists, have become increasingly dangerous under Xi Jinping’s hardline administration. Many periodicals, research institutions, and associations that once supported China’s independent-minded activists have been dissolved under him, according to Buckley.
Those who remain silent as Xi Jinping prepares to prolong his reign of terror, question how China’s human rights movement will survive a tightening ring of monitoring, house arrest, detentions, and trials.
“This demonstrates how they are scared of even the tiniest sprouts of Chinese citizen consciousness and civic society,” Liu Sifang, a teacher and amateur musician who attended the event and now lives in Los Angeles, said in an interview.
After claiming on film that interrogators mistreated him during his first detention, one of the attendees, lawyer Chang Weiping, was detained a second time and arrested on the accusation of subversion.
Xu, 48, and Ding, 54, have both informed lawyers that they did nothing wrong, but if a party-controlled court convicts them, they may face prison terms of ten years or perhaps longer.
While Western governments have concentrated on widespread detentions of Uyghurs in Xinjiang, Buckley believes that the prosecution of Xu and Ding exemplifies the Chinese Communist Party’s nationwide campaign against dissent.