The HRIC Daily Brief is a daily selection of news stories and commentary related to human rights in China, drawn from Chinese- and English-language news and online media sources that we monitor daily. In addition to headlines and source links, HRIC also provides English translation of Chinese headlines.

Friday, January 14, 2005

January 14, 2005

Top news of the day

Law – legal reform / legal rights
Lawyers can accompany clients in interrogations
检察官询问疑犯律师可在场, January 14, 2005
A prominent legal professor Chen Ruihua (陳瑞華) revealed that suspects’ legal right to have their lawyers' presence when interogate by procurators would very likely be written into the revised Criminal Procedural law.


Death penalty
Billionaire sentenced to death for murder
北京亿万富翁雇凶杀人被判死刑, January 14, 2005
A typhoon in Beijing Yuan Baojing (袁宝璟) was given capital punishment by a Liaoning court for intended murder.

Government – governance and accountability
95% public opinion incorporated in Nanjing Government Work Report
China Youth Daily, January 14, 2005
Nanjing city government highlighted the important role of public opinion collected in a series of public discussion and consultation in the written up of this year’s Government Work Report, which greatly reflects public concerns on social issues such as traffic jam, rising price level, and etc.

Human Rights
Group Criticizes China for Rights Abuses in 2004
Reuters, Jan 14, 2005
Human Rights Watch criticized China as a "highly repressive state" where the government routinely violates basic freedoms

June 4th – Arms ban
Straw to discuss arms embargo
SCMP, January 14, 2005
British Foreign Secretary will visit China next week to discuss the possible lifting of the EU arms ban and the recognition of China’s full market economy status.

UK pushes for tighter EU arms code
Michael White and Tania Branigan, Guardian, January 14, 2005
Britain is campaigning to tighten the EU's code of conduct on arms sales to authoritarian regimes in return for endorsing the Franco-German drive to lift the European embargo on weapons exports to China.,3858,5103251-103690,00.html

June 4th – prisoners – Zhao Ziyang (趙紫陽)
Rights group persists in the appeal for getting Zhao Ziyang Nobel Peace Prize
人权组织继续为赵紫阳争取诺贝尔和平奖, January 14, 2005
Human rights groups and right activities continue their efforts in appealing the Nobel Prize committee in reconsidering Zhao for the Nobel Peace Prize after last year failure.

Labour – union
US labour union urges China to allow labour form independent labour union
Radio Free Asia, January 13, 2005
The largest labour union in the US criticized China’s strict control over labour union activities in China and urges for China’s effort in approving labour rights in forming independent labour union.

Union can play an important role in preventing coal mine tragedy
Nanfang Weekend, January 14, 2005
Labour union can play an important role in preventing coal mine accident through actively involving in monitoring safety conditions and measure in coal mine working areas. Nevertheless, the government and social support, together with cooperation of coal mine management are also important.

Law – legal profession
Ten outstanding young legal experts in China
中国评出十大杰出青年法学家, January 14, 2005
The China Law Society (中國法學會) announced 10 most outstanding young legal experts in China. They are prominent professors and researchers from top Chinese universities.

Migrant workers - abuse
The plight of migrant rural workers
Nanfang Weekend, January 13, 2005
A migrant rural worker found dead in the quarter after negotiation for delayed work payment with the worker leader. His death revealed the plight of migrant rural workers.

8 years, the fight in getting back delayed payment of a migrant rural worker
Nanfang Weekend, January 13, 2005
A group of migrant rural workers in Chongqing had been fighting for their delayed work payment in the past 8 years, without success. This leads one to hope for the effectiveness effectiveness of recent laws in regulating delay payment to migrant workers, which may ease the unfair treatment of migrant workers in the future.

Population – one-child policy
The controversy of criminalizing out-law family planning practice
Nanfang Weekend, January 13, 2005
Criminalization of out-law family planning practice may be seen as a way to ease the pressure of increasing sex-ratio in the country, experts point out the side-issues should not be overlooked, whose implication can be far-reaching.

Poverty – rural poverty
Xiao Kang (小康) in Guangdong rural villages ranked 5 in the nation
Nanfang Daily, January 14, 2005
Survey showed China had realized 16.9% of its goal to achieve Xiao Kang condition in all rural Chinese villages in 2003. At the provincial level, Guangdong ranked 5, followed Shanghai, Beijing, Tianjing and Zhejiang.

A tale of two toilets
Mark Baker, Guardian Weekly, 14 January 2005
This is a tale of two toilets, and two Chinas. A few months ago I used the facilities of the swanky Kerry Centre, a 31-storey business centre in Beijing. I began to doubt China was a developing country.,,1389668,00.html

Protests and petitions
An alternative to the controversial revision of petition regulations
Nanfang Weekend, January 13, 2005
The government would focus on seeking consensus on the scope and framework of the draft amendments of the petition regulations, rather than continuing the discussion of the controversial content of the amendments, seeing as a lead way to achieve progress of petition reform.

Public health
Experiment of urban public health system reform to be launched to centralize social resources
城市医疗卫生体制改革试点启动 重点吸引社会资源, January 14, 2005
Ministry of Health announced that urban public health system reform would be launched this year in 3 to 5 designated experiment sites.

Spreading the word
Catherine Armitage, The Australian, 15 January 2005
Modernity has not brought religious freedom to Chinese Christians.