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Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Hearing on "Understanding China's Crackdown on Rights Advocates: Personal Accounts and Perspectives"

A Congressional hearing on the recent crackdowns on human rights activists

April 8, 2014 3:30pm to 5:00pm

Chinese officials have cracked down on independent rights advocacy, detaining large numbers of individuals for peacefully advocating on issues ranging from combating official corruption and protecting the rights of ethnic minorities to ensuring educational equality for migrant children and seeking greater freedom of the press.  Those detained include Ilham Tohti, a scholar and an advocate for the Uyghur ethnic minority, who sought to build bridges between Uyghurs and the majority Han population. They also include individuals from the New Citizens’ Movement, who have called for social justice, rule of law, and citizen rights.  The detentions are occurring against the backdrop of the Chinese government’s own anti-corruption campaign and stated push for legal reforms.  Witnesses will discuss, among other things, personal accounts of the crackdown as well as its significance for China’s human rights and rule of law development.

This hearing will be webcast live here.


Jewher Ilham: Daughter of detained Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti

Donald Clarke: David A. Weaver Research Professor of Law, George Washington University School of Law

Dr. Sophie Richardson: China Director, Human Rights Watch

***Additional witnesses may be added


On February 21, 2014, nine members of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) signed a letter to Chinese President Xi Jinping expressing serious concern over the worsening crackdown on rights defenders and civil society activists. The letter is available here.