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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

Posted on Feb 24, 2018 in International Relations, News, Op Ed, Publications | Comments Off on Does the Chinese government want to be the world’s censor?

By Yang Jianli 2/23/2018  Recently, a poster for Mercedes-Benz by the same-named German auto maker sparked a “public opinion” protest in China. Caving to pressure, on February 6, 2018, Daimler AG (of which Mercedes-Benz is a division) issued a public apology. Although China’s foreign ministry spokesperson did not explicitly state that the apology was made at the behest of Chinese authorities, nevertheless, he still declared in a victor’s tone: “Recognizing one’s mistakes and correcting them is the most basic principle of conduct.” Indeed, there is no need to speculate whether the Chinese government exerted direct pressure on Daimler AG. Under Beijing’s increasingly strict control, no large-scale online media story can develop in China without official permission. The so-called “pressure of public opinion” is, in fact, pressure applied by the Chinese government. I think the most surprising aspects of this...

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Concluding Remarks at the Opening Session of 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

Posted on Feb 19, 2018 in International Relations, Publications | Comments Off on Concluding Remarks at the Opening Session of 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

 YANG Jianli It’s wonderful to see so many old and new friends here at the 10th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. I want to express my profound gratitude to Hillel and his terrific team for putting together just another important assembly of people’s voices in the week leading to the opening of the annual session of the United Nations Human Rights Council. The camaraderie, and the sharing of experiences and strategies at this Summit has always given me hope, even during the darkest days for human rights when too many eyes have adjusted the shadows that power and greed cast on the existence of our brothers and sisters around the world, and when what has been gained in principle, what has been recognized in fact, has been eroded by an acceptance that it is better to accommodate...

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12 IILC Day IV Report: Closing Ceremony

Posted on Feb 2, 2018 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on 12 IILC Day IV Report: Closing Ceremony

Day IV Report The final day of the Conference began with the second part of Dr. Han’s presentation on the Global Magnitsky Act. In this session, he focused on the evidentiary requirements, emphasizing the high bar that must be satisfied, and the importance of using multiple sources and corroborating evidence. Dr. Han also provided useful guidance on evidence collection, risk assessment, and command responsibility. Click here to view conference closing ceremony footage. The day concluded with the adoption of a joint declaration of unity and an agreement to push for Global Magnitsky-type legislation in Australia, where the 13th Conference will be held. Two Australian participants, Ms. Kyinzom Dhongdue, Member of the Tibetan Parliament in Exile and Campaign Manager of the Australia Tibet Council, and Mr. Feng Haiguang, an Australia-based human rights activist, delivered closing remarks. Joint Statement The 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith...

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12IILC: Day 3 Report 3: Australian MP Michael Danby’s Speech at the 2017 Citizen Power Award Ceremony

Posted on Jan 27, 2018 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on 12IILC: Day 3 Report 3: Australian MP Michael Danby’s Speech at the 2017 Citizen Power Award Ceremony

Day III Report (3) Australian MP Michael Danby’s Speech at the 2017 Citizen Power Award Ceremony   Australian MP Michael Danby’s Speech at the 2017 Citizen Power Award Ceremony, the 12th InterEthnic/InterFaith Leadership Conference, Japanese Diet, Tokyo, Japan, Nov.16, 2017 Click here to watch MP Danby’s Speech Footage  Firstly I would like to thank the Japanese Diet for hosting us here, and I would like to particularly like to thank Dr Yang and Initiatives for China, for organising this wonderful gathering of supporters of democracy in China, for all the minorities from all over the world. I’ve come a long way to be at this conference, and I am really glad that I did (come). To see all of the people from East Turkistan, Inner Mongolia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tibet- my dear friends from Tibet. Seeing all democrats of...

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12IILC: Day 3 Report 2: Citizen Power Award Ceremony at the Japanese Diet

Posted on Jan 23, 2018 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on 12IILC: Day 3 Report 2: Citizen Power Award Ceremony at the Japanese Diet

Day 3 Report 2 Citizen Power Award Ceremony at the Japanese Diet Click Here for Award Ceremony Video Footage In the afternoon of November 16, the Conference participants went to the Japanese Diet for a tour and the presentation of the 2017 Citizen Power Awards, which was held in the First House of the House of Representatives. In addition to Conference participants, three Japanese MPs attended and spoke. Three outstanding figures in the struggle for human rights in China were given Citizen Power Awards this year: 1) Mr. Makino Seishu, 2) Professor Ilham Tohti, and 3) Ms. Wang Qiaoling (human rights activist and wife of human rights lawyer Li Heping). Mr. Enver Can, a Uyghur human rights activists and Chairman of the Ilham Tohti Initiative, delivered an acceptance speech on behalf of Ilham Tohti, and Ambassador Maysing Yang read...

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12IILC: Day 3 Report 1: Workshop: How to Use the Global Magnitsky Sanction Mechanism to Combat Human Rights Abusers

Posted on Jan 14, 2018 in Global Magnitsky Act, InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, News, Publications | Comments Off on 12IILC: Day 3 Report 1: Workshop: How to Use the Global Magnitsky Sanction Mechanism to Combat Human Rights Abusers

Day 3 Report 1 Workshop: How to Use the Global Magnitsky Sanction Mechanism to Combat Human Rights Abusers   Click here to view the workshop footage   Dr. Han Lianchao, Vice President of Initiative for China/Citizen Power for China, led the first installment of a two-part workshop on the one-year-old U.S. Global Magnitsky Act, focusing on the requirements of the Act and how Conference participants can develop cases involving Chinese officials based on either the corruption prong or the gross violations of human rights (GVHR) prong, and submit them to the US State Department and Department of Treasury for review for possible sanctions (including visa ban and freezing of assets). Dr. Han focused on the GVHR prong of the...

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12IILC: Day 2 Report 5: Workshops: Digital Security and UN Human Rights Mechanisms

Posted on Jan 11, 2018 in InterEthnic InterFaith Leadership Conference, International Relations, News, Publications | Comments Off on 12IILC: Day 2 Report 5: Workshops: Digital Security and UN Human Rights Mechanisms

Day 2 Report 5 Workshops: Digital Security and UN Human Rights Mechanisms Mr. Luo Shihong, a human rights activist based in Geneva, Switzerland, gave two training workshops in the late afternoon of: 1) Digital Security, and 2) UN Human Rights Mechanisms.   1.   Digital Security   In this very practical and important workshop, Mr. Luo explained to the participants the multiple ways they were likely vulnerable online, and concrete steps they could take to give themselves, their colleagues and partners, some added protection online. He gave an overview of the risks and how to add protection on multiple platforms used by most activists, from email to browsing and searches, to video calling and conferencing and messaging platforms.  He emphasized that the most important thing was to have “safety consciousness,” i.e., to be aware of, and pay attention to, digital security and...

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