Friday, 12 August 2011
The crackdown on dissent continues in communist China
The crackdown on dissent continues in communist China. Today human rights activist Wang Lihong went on trial in Beijing:
Wang, 55, a doctor and a veteran of China’s pro-democracy movement in Tiananmen Square in 1989, was arrested on April 21 and is charged with creating a disturbance, the group Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) told Agence France-Presse.
Prominent artist and activist Ai Weiwei, recently released from detention, tweeted his support for Wang earlier this week.
“If you don’t speak out for Wang Lihong, you are not just a person who will not stand up for fairness and justice, you do not have self-respect,” Ai wrote.
Rights groups say Wang’s charges are linked to her support for activists who used the Internet to call for Chinese citizens to join anti-government protests echoing unrest in the Middle East and Africa.
The charge she faces carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment, Joshua Rosenzweig of the human rights group Dui Hua Foundation told AFP over the phone from Hong Kong.
More than 100 people gathered outside the court early Friday in an outlying suburb of Beijing, where they were monitored and filmed by dozens of police.
Several people shouted 'Wang Lihong come home!' and 'Wang Lihong is innocent!'
One well-known activist outside the court said police had detained scores of other legal rights petitioners near the Beijing South railway station late Thursday to prevent them from supporting Wang during the trial.
Nine mainly European diplomats went to the court and asked to observe Wang's trial.
Police escorted the diplomats into the court building but they were not allowed into the courtroom, said one of the group, which included representatives of the German, Austrian, Swiss and Canadian embassies.
Where are the protests of the "international community"? Why is European Union "High Representative", Baroness Ashton not already speaking out loud an clear against China´s crackdown on human rights?