The second trial of two participants in the New Citizens Movement, Ding Jiaxi and Li Wei, began in Beijing on Tuesday. As with Xu Zhiyong, the two have been charged with “gathering a crowd to disturb public order,” a crime that carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.
According to a report issued by the US Congressional-Executive Commission on China, the Chinese government’s treatment of recently deceased activist Cao Shunli, who had been under detention since September 2013, contradicted international laws regarding the treatment of ill prisoners.
In response to protests from a NGO on the UN assembly floor calling for a moment of silence for Cao Shunli, a civil society activist who recently died in detention after failing to receive adequate medical treatment, the UN Human Rights Council postponed the adoption of China’s Universal Periodic Review, a self-assessment of domestic human rights developments.
According to legal experts, Chinese prosecutors are increasingly torturing witnesses and suspected criminals during criminal interrogations. Prior to the implementation of criminal procedure reforms in 2012 aimed at barring the use of confessions obtained through police torture, police were often tasked with coercing statements from witnesses and criminal defendants.
Chinese authorities formally arrested prominent Uighur scholar Ilham Tohti, charging him with “secession” in relation to his public advocacy of Uighur rights. Beijing police detained him at his home over a month ago and then held him at a detention center in Xinjiang before formally leveling charges. If convicted, Tohti faces a sentence ranging from 10 years to life in prison. The crime of secession is also punishable by death.
Police detained more than 20 individuals who attempted to visit activist Cao Shunli at the 309 Military Hospital in Beijing. One activist, Wang Ling, said that a nurse blocked the entrance to the intensive care unit where Cao is undergoing treatment, telling the visitors that she is deeply unconscious and would not recognize them.
American University Washington College of Law published the online version of the Laogai Research Foundation's commentary on the abolition of China's reeducation-through-labor system, which the journal published in print in December 2013. Titled "A Jail by Any Other Name," the article puts forth the argument that although the abolition of this relic of Maoist repression is a welcome development, such reform does not address the more fundamental injustice of officially sanctioned arbitrary detention that underpins the laojiao system.