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MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION on the cases of human rights activists Wu Gan, Xie Yang, Lee Ming-chec, Tashi Wangchuk and the Tibetan monk Choekyi

16.1.2018 - (2018/2514(RSP))

with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure

Charles Tannock, Urszula Krupa, Monica Macovei, Ruža Tomašić, Zdzisław Krasnodębski, Jana Žitňanská, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Branislav Škripek, Valdemar Tomaševski on behalf of the ECR Group

See also joint motion for a resolution RC-B8-0043/2018

Procedura : 2018/2514(RSP)
Ciclo di vita in Aula
Ciclo del documento :  
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European Parliament resolution on the cases of human rights activists Wu Gan, Xie Yang, Lee Ming-chec, Tashi Wangchuk and the Tibetan monk Choekyi


The European Parliament,

- having regard to its relevant previous resolutions,


- having regard to the statement by the EEAS Spokesperson on the verdicts of Wu Gan and Xie Yang in China of 27 December 2017,


- having regard to the 35th round of the EU-China dialogue on human rights on 22-23 June 2017 in Brussels,


- having regard to the EU-China Summit held in Brussels on 1-2 June 2017,


- having regard to the EU-China Strategic Partnership launched in 2003, and to the European Commission and EEAS joint communication of 22 June 2016 to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Elements for a new EU Strategy on China’,


- having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948,

- having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966, to which China is a signatory,


– having regard to Rule 135 of its Rules of Procedure,


A. whereas Wu Gan, a Chinese human rights activist and blogger, was arrested during the so-called 709 crackdown on civil rights campaigners in 2015; whereas he has been in pre-trial detention for more than two years without access to his family after staging a protest outside a court against an alleged miscarriage of justice in a death penalty case from 2000;


B. whereas on 26 December 2017 Wu Gan was sentenced to eight years in prison on charges of “subverting state power” at the Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court, what is the harshest sentence in the spate of the trials targeting civil rights lawyers and activists; whereas Wu Gan and his lawyers had confirmed, prior to his sentencing, that he would appeal if found guilty; whereas after he was sentenced, the detention centre refused their request and lawyers were only able to meet with him one day before period for filing an appeal ended;


C. whereas in a statement after his sentencing Wu Gan named 13 officials who allegedly tortured him during detention;


D. whereas Xie Yang, a human rights lawyer who represented the family of Xu Chunhe, a man shot dead by police in Heilongjiang Province in May 2015, was detained by police on 11 July 2015 and was placed under “residential surveillance” in an unidentified location and with no access to his family or legal counsel; whereas Xie was formally arrested on 11 January 2016 on charges of inciting subversion of state power and disrupting court order;


E. whereas on 8 May 2017, the Changsha Intermediate People’s Court tried Xie Yang and inquired as to his treatment in detention; whereas Xie stated that he had experienced no torture while detained, in contradiction to his signed testimony written earlier; whereas the Court granted Xie probationary release at the conclusion of the trial hearing, but kept him in custody for subsequent months granting him very limited communication with family members; whereas on 26 December 2017, the Changsha Intermediate People's Court declared Xie guilty of inciting subversion of state power and announced that he would be exempt from any punishment;


F. whereas Xie Yang has reported numerous acts of torture and mistreatment, including verbal harassment and threats by guards and by inmates instructed to do so by guards; whereas Chinese authorities reportedly have continued to harass Xie’s family and legal counsel throughout his detention;

G. whereas Lee Ming-cheh, a Taiwanese pro-democracy activist known for his human rights and democracy advocacy through social media and who also assisted human rights advocates and their families in mainland China, disappeared after entering Zhuhai in China’s Guangdong province from Macau on 19 March 2017; whereas on 29 March, China’s Taiwan Affairs Office (TAO) acknowledged that Lee was under investigation by relevant agencies for allegedly engaging in activities that endangered its national security. Whereas on 26 May 26, the TAO stated that Lee had been arrested by security agencies in Hunan Province for “subverting state power.”; whereas the authorities did not provide any information to his family nor ensured their right to visit him prior to his trial;


H. whereas on 11 September 2017, Lee’s court trial commenced at the Yueyang City Intermediate People’s Court in Hunan Province; whereas on 28 November Lee was sentenced to five years in prison and was deprived of his political rights for a period of two years;


I. whereas this marked the first time that a Taiwanese person was sentenced by mainland Chinese authorities for subverting its state power; whereas Lee’s detainment comes at a juncture during which cross-straits relations are deteriorating;


J. whereas Tashi Wangchuk, a Tibetan shopkeeper and advocate for the rights of Tibetans was detained by police in his home area of Yushu in Qinghai on 27 January 2016, following the release on 28 November 2015 of a video by the New York Times in which he spoke about his anxiety over the survival of Tibetan culture, linked to the erosion of the language; whereas many Tibetans view language policies as an attempt by the government to destroy their culture;


K. whereas Tashi Wangchuk was tried on 4 January 2018 at the Yushu People’s Intermediate Court in Qinghai where he pleaded not guilty to the charges of “inciting separatism”, and is currently awaiting the verdict; whereas he could face up to 15 years in prison if convicted;


L. whereas Tibet’s 11th Panchen Lama, Gedhun Choekyi Nyima, went missing 22 years ago along with his parents after they were detained by Chinese officials in Tibet; whereas the last information on Panchen Lama’s condition became public in September 2015 when an official from the United Front Work Department of Tibet Autonomous Region responded to questions from the media that Panchen Lama was living ‘a normal, happy life and receiving a good cultural education’ and that he ‘does not want to be disturbed; whereas the continued detention of Panchen Lama in secret is an act of enforced disappearance;


M. whereas the Chinese Government has passed new laws, in particular, the State Security Law, the Counterterrorism Law, the Cybersecurity Law, and the Foreign NGO Management Law, which have been utilised to persecute those engaging in public activism and peaceful criticism of the government as state security threats, as well as to strengthen censorship, the surveillance and control of individuals and social groups and to deter individuals from campaigning for human rights and the rule of law;


N. whereas the promotion of and respect for human rights, democracy and the rule of law should remain at the centre of the long‑standing relationship between the EU and China, in line with the EU’s commitment to uphold these values in its external action and with China’s expressed interest in adhering to these very values in its own development and international cooperation;




1. Remains highly concerned by the Chinese Government’s approach towards human rights defenders, activists and lawyers;


2. Calls on the Chinese Government to drop all charges against Wu Gan, Lee Ming-cheh and Tashi Wangchuk and calls for their release, as it is believed that they are solely motivated by their peaceful work in defence of human rights and democracy;


3. Is concerned that the rights of Xie Yang and Wu Gan under China's Criminal Procedure Law to a fair trial, proper defence and prompt access to legal representation were not properly respected;


4. Calls on the government to ensure that, pending their release, Wu Gan, Lee Ming-cheh and Tashi Wangchuk have regular, unrestricted access to family and lawyers of their choice, are not subjected to torture or other ill-treatment and have access to adequate medical care;


5. Calls on the Chinese government to reveal the whereabouts of Panchen Lama and allow him to live a life with all basic rights; is deeply concerned that the government is continuing its hard-line policies against the Tibetan people;


6. Calls on the Chinese authorities to guarantee in all circumstances that all human rights defenders in China are able to carry out their human rights activities without fear of reprisals; notes with concern that in the official Chinese view universality is questioned on grounds of cultural differences and encourages the Chinese leadership to reconsider how it approaches the question and to respect the universality of human rights consistent with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;


7. Encourages China to ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and to sign and ratify the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance;


8.  Recalls the importance of the EU raising the issue of human rights violations in China and to bring up these specific cases during political and human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities, in line with the EU’s commitment to project a strong, clear and unified voice in its approach to the country;


9. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, the European External Action Service, the Member States, the Governments and Parliaments of the People’s Republic of China and of Taiwan.



Ultimo aggiornamento: 17 gennaio 2018
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