Rights protest at Chinese embassy

Rights protest at Chinese embassy

Baramee Chairat, board member of Amnesty International Thailand, pretends to file a complaint in front of the Chinese embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road Thursday morning. (Photo by Achara Ashayagachat)
Baramee Chairat, board member of Amnesty International Thailand, pretends to file a complaint in front of the Chinese embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road Thursday morning. (Photo by Achara Ashayagachat)

The Human Rights Lawyers Association and Amnesty International Thailand called on China to disclose the whereabouts and legal status of hundreds of human rights attorneys and activists detained in a Beijing crackdown last month.

Dozens of Thai human-rights defenders gathered in front of the Chinese embassy on Ratchadaphisek Road in Bangkok this morning to submit a letter to ambassador Ning Fukui, but no one emerged to receive the petition.

Demonstrators instead handed the letter mockingly to a man in a panda suit in front of dozens of police officers guarding the embassy.

Similar protests were organised at Chinese embassies elsewhere in a collective effort to express concerns over China's nationwide crackdown on human rights defenders that began July 9 with the disappearance of prominent rights attorney Wang Yu.

Janejin Ema, director of the Thai Human Rights Lawyers Association, said attorneys were part of the human-rights protection network and Thai lawyers wanted to join hands with colleagues in other countries to demand that lawyers and activists detained in China receive regular and unrestricted access to family and legal counsel while being protected from torture and other mistreatment.

Baramee Chairat, board member for Amnesty International Thailand, said the group was deeply concerned about negative impact of Beijing's crackdown on the "rule of law."

Ms Wang worked at the Fengrui law firm in Beijing, whose director, financial manager and other staff members also were taken away.

Lawyers across the country have been targeted, including Zhou Shifeng, Sui Muqing and Li Heping. Many of those detained were part of a group of more than 100 counsels and rights activists who signed a public statement condemning Ms Wang's disappearance.

These lawyers should be able to do their work without being harassed, detained and criminally charged for protecting the rights of others, said Mr Baramee.

Ms Janejin and Mr Baramee called on the Chinese government to confirm the whereabouts and legal status of all detained and missing lawyers and activists.


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