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China Reduces Sentences of 11 Uyghur Prisoners, including Huseyin Celil

In a rare act of mass clemency, the Xinjiang High People’s Court has reduced the sentences of 11 Uyghurs convicted of endangering state security and terrorism. The reductions were announced at a rally held at Xinjiang Number One Prison on February 1, 2016.

PHOTO The Xinjiang High People’s Court. Credit: takungpao.com

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China: Juveniles Biggest Winners in 2015 Special Pardon

Just before last September’s 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress (NPC) passed a decision—subsequently issued by President Xi Jinping—to grant a special pardon (teshe) to selected prisoners. Ninety-five percent of recipients (29,927 offenders) were under age 18 at the time of their offense and either sentenced to fewer than three years in prison or had less than one year left to serve for a non-serious crime.

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Dui Hua Digest

In this issue of Digest, we look back at the achievements and challenges of 2015 and look ahead to programs slated for 2016. We continue to highlight the cases of women convicted of state security crimes, this time with our lens on state secrets and espionage. Remembering the roots of Dui Hua, we tell the story of how three June Fourth protesters were released early in Shandong.

PHOTO Executive Director Kamm talks to supporters at the Friends of Dui Hua event in December.

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China Mulls Ranking System for Lawyers

Rumors of a new policy that would create professional ranks for lawyers have put Chinese legal professionals on the defensive. The system could be used to limit lawyers’ ability to represent defendants in trials heard by higher-level courts or in major or complex cases. Observers say that central authorities intend to use the system to increase professional standards and ramp up regulation of the legal profession.

PHOTO The Chinese government appears poised to launch a ranking system for lawyers, which could pose problems for defendants lacking legal representation.

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China: State Security Indictments Hit Record High in 2014

China indicted more people for endangering state security crimes in 2014 than in any year since China Law Yearbook began reporting the figure in 1999. The number of people indicted rose to 1,411, up 2 percent from 1,384 in 2013. Despite an increase in indictments, Dui Hua had information on fewer ESS cases than in previous years.

PHOTO Number of individuals indicted for ESS crimes, 1998-2014.

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Chinese Court Amends Charges Against Guo Feixiong Before Conviction

On November 27, a local court in Guangdong Province sentenced veteran democracy activists Guo Feixiong and Sun Desheng to six years and two and a half years’ in prison, respectively. There are many grounds upon which to criticize and even condemn the conviction that stems from street protests marking the early days of Xi Jinping’s accession to power. Here, we focus on a small, but significant, part of the trial process.

PHOTO Democracy activists Guo Feixiong (a.k.a., Yang Maodong, pictured left) and Sun Desheng (pictured right) were recently sentenced to prison terms.

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Featured Video: China’s Human Rights Diplomacy

Developments in China’s human rights diplomacy since June 4, 1989.

What We Do

Dui Hua is a nonprofit humanitarian organization that brings clemency and better treatment to at-risk detainees through promotion of universally recognized human rights in well-informed, mutually respectful dialogue with China.

We focus on four areas, with an aim to help at-risk detainees—political and religious prisoners, juvenile justice, women in prison, and selected issues in criminal justice. And we take a five-pronged approach, premised upon our belief that positive change is realized through constructive dialogue—advocacy, expert exchange, research, publications, and community engagement.

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