Eight year jail sentence for Chinese dissident Wu Gan

State using systematic frame-ups and ‘carrot and stick’ methods to extract confessions

Adam N. Lee, chinaworker.info

On 26 December, the blogger Wu Gan, known by his online nickname Super Vulgar Butcher, was sentenced to eight years in prison by a court in Tianjin. This was the harshest sentence to be passed so far in a state crackdown on activism that began more than two years ago. It is common for China to hold trials of high profile dissidents during the Christmas period, to minimise international media coverage.

Wu was arrested in May 2015, two months before a major crackdown was launched against a group of around 250 lawyers and activists. Known as the ‘709 incident’, these mass arrests marked an escalation of state repression under ‘strongman’ ruler Xi Jinping which has since further intensified. China is currently experiencing its most severe repression since the post-1989 crackdown.

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China has 41 journalists behind bars amid ever-widening media controls

Report from RFA

As governments jailed a record number of journalists around the world in 2017, a U.S.-based press freedom group says the ruling Chinese Communist Party has a total of 41 journalists currently behind bars under the newly strengthened leadership of President Xi Jinping.

In its annual report, the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) hit out at U.S. President Donald Trump for making no mention of Beijing’s record on human rights during his recent trip to the country last month.

“Trump made no public reference to human rights, despite an ongoing crackdown that has led to the arrests of Chinese journalists, activists, and lawyers,” the group said.

The group also highlighted the use of “medical neglect” to target writers and journalists in jail and detention centers, citing the death of Nobel peace laureate and writer Liu Xiaobo in hospital under prison supervision last July, following a diagnosis with late-stage liver cancer.

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Hong Kong: Only mass struggle can defeat repression

A week hardly passes without the Chinese dictatorship stepping up its pressure on Hong Kong

Editorial from Socialist magazine (Journal of the CWI / Socialist Action)

Beijing is pushing for greater political control and to quell Hong Kong’s culture of mass democracy protests. Most recently it has been cranking up the volume with calls for Article 23, a national security law that would criminalise opposition to the Communist Party (CCP) regime.

Independence

Growing pro-independence sentiment among young people in Hong Kong has rattled the regime. Repression inevitably creates a backlash, but the dictatorship doesn’t learn and believes force and intimidation are the solutions to its problems.

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