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'China detaining dissidents advocating for rights of fellow citizens'

News Agencies | Updated on: 14 February 2022, 9:54 IST

Even as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has granted the opportunity to host the prestigious world event to China, the country does not seem to be interested in the rights or welfare of the Chinese people at all.

Activists advancing civil rights for the citizens of China are being detained by the Chinese authorities for subverting state power, putting them in the crosshairs of the Chinese government, Jianli Yang has stated in a column in National Review, a US based news magazine.

Chinese president, Xi Jinping, had consolidated and tightened his control over the Chinese society to a degree unseen for decades, Yang noted.

He lamented that Human Rights lawyers and two important leaders of the Chinese Citizens Movement, Ding Jiaxi and Xu Zhiyong, have been detained at a time when they should be celebrating the Chinese New Year with their friends and family members.

"The movement was founded by these leaders in 2011. These people defend and exercise their rights as citizens under the Chinese constitution," Yang wrote in the column.

He stressed that these two Chinese leaders had demanded that government officials' financial holdings be disclosed and all children, particularly those of migrant workers, should be given equal access to public education.

"Since these activists had raised their voices and committed themselves for the rights of their fellow citizens, they were detained by the Chinese authorities. Even after the two leaders were released, they continued to promote the development of civil society, reaching out to citizens around the country who shared their aspirations," Yang added.

On December 7 and 8, 2019, they had attended a two-day private gathering with around 20 lawyers and friends in Xiamen city in Fujian Province, reported the Magazine.

The Chinese police detained Ding Jiaxi on December 26, 2019, and Xu Zhiyong on February 15, 2020, and held them under a police measure called "residential surveillance at a designated location" (RSDL).

China Human Rights Defenders, RSLD, has become a widely and frequently used detention tool in China. The RSDL is a form of detention that is employed by Chinese authorities on the individuals "endangering state security".

Human rights activists, now and then, have flagged that this kind of detention is in violation of human rights and have urged China to stop using it.

In RSDL detention, the two detainees were subjected to torture and other means of torture. Prolonged sleep deprivation, harassment through loud noises, interrogation while strapped tightly to an iron "tiger chair," food and water restrictions and deprivation of showers and exposure to sunlight were some of the torturous ways used by the authorities, Yang stated in the column.


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First published: 14 February 2022, 9:54 IST