Problems of polluted water, land, and air are crucial to China’s leaders and environmental rights defenders alike. Both feel they have the nation’s best interests at heart in addressing them. President Hu Jintao’s theories of “scientifific development” and “harmonious society” converge closely in discussions about nature, and his address at the party congress this past October was peppered with references to “sustainable development” and the environment. Meanwhile, Chinese who strive to protect the environment are observing with alarm their country’s ecological decline.
A key goal of The Dui Hua Foundation is the promotion of dialogue between China and the United States on issues related to human rights, transparency, and the rule of law. To this end, Dui Hua has been looking for opportunities for exchanges on topics of concern to both countries.
In Yichang, Hubei Province, Executive Director John Kamm referenced the Office of Civilian Complaints (OCC) in San Francisco to illustrate civilian police oversight in a presentation on the subject. The text below summarizes the information from that section of his talk.
In the previous issue of Dialogue, Dui Hua provided updates on three individuals imprisoned during the 1989 pro-democracy demonstrations. We noted that the foundation has been expanding its efforts to obtain updates on the whereabouts of the several dozen individuals we believe remain in prison for offenses connected with the events of 1989.
Dui Hua revealed in a November 2007 press release that official statistics published in the 2006 China Law Yearbook show the number of arrests in China for “endangering state security” more than doubled in 2006 compared to 2005.
Eleven Guangdong defendants convicted of sabotaging construction sites and blocking factory gates in the course of protests over the misappropriation of communal farmland had their appeal rejected by the Foshan Intermediate People’s Court on October 25, 2007, according to information obtained by Dui Hua.