At the 47th session of the Human Rights Council, ISHR along with the Informal Sector Service Center presented a joint statement in Nepal’s Universal Periodic Review expressing concern about the situation of human rights defenders in the country.
There cannot be rule of law without free and empowered lawyers; this is true anywhere, including in the People's Republic of China. Yet, five years after the 2015 '709 Crackdown', Chinese weiquan ('rights defence') lawyers still face a range of restrictions and rights violations aimed at silencing their calls for justice and reform, and barring them from defending victims in court.
Disbarment, secret detention, disappearances, harassment of relatives, stigmatisation: persecution against human rights lawyers in China has changed in form but not in its scale or scope. UN human rights experts and a number of States have reiterated serious concerns and calls for the immediate release of jailed lawyers, but are met with blunt dismissal by a Government merely interested by its own version of 'rule by law'.
To recognise what has now become known as 'China Human Rights Lawyers Day', ISHR releases a bilingual information flyer on the patterns of repression against Chinese human rights lawyers, and outlines action points for States to step up support to the lawyers' community.
Lawyer Xie Yanyi, who himself was targeted during the crackdown, reminded us yesterday that 'righteouness and conscience are invincible'. These must also be the principles underpinning a stronger response by the international community to the plight of the foremost defenders of rule of law in China.
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Faced with the appropriation of their name, Peruvian NGO Madres en Acción is pushing back, filing a legal action to recover it. In an amicus brief in support of the action, ISHR argues that trademark law is being used to attack defenders and this must stop.
A new ISHR report maps China’s presence and influence in the UN economic and social affairs system, highlighting potential risks for civil society participation and the promotion and protection of human rights.