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Monday
July 2020
12:07 PM IST
News Headlines
Former India cricketer Chetan Chauhan tests positive for COVID-19        West Indies beats England as international cricket returns        Rahul again targets Modi for Eastern Ladakh face-off with China        Aishwarya, daughter Aaradhya test positive for coronavirus        More cities to come under lockdown as India''s COVID tally surges to nearly 8.5 lakh        Pope Francis saddened by Turkey''s move to convert Hagia Shophia into mosque        Russia''s Sechenov University completes trials of Coronavirus vaccine        Trump wears mask on camera for first time as he visits military hospital        Kerala has become ''hub'' of smuggling gold, alleges Chennithala        Kerala reports 435 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 7,873        2 key accused in gold smuggling case remanded to judicial custody        488 cases in Kerala, Infection tally touches 7438; 2 deaths        Gold smuggling case: Swapna, Sandeep taken into custody by NIA        Amitabh Bachchan tests COVID-19 positive, hospitalised        Hardik Patel appointed working president of Gujarat Congress        TN records 3,965 new COVID-19 cases,69 deaths        Why is Modi scared of disclosing names of those who donated to PM Cares, asks Rahul        Trump commutes friend Roger Stone''s sentence        Ruling People''s Action Party reelected in Singapore        5 killed in hostage situation at church in South Africa        
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International News
UN experts voice alarm as rights lawyers disappear in China
 
Geneva: A group of independent UN rights experts said on Monday they were "gravely concerned" about the welfare of three human rights lawyers "forcibly disappeared" by Chinese authorities shortly after their arrests last December.

Ding Jiaxi, a prominent Beijing-based disbarred lawyer, previously jailed for protesting against official corruption, and lawyers Zhang Zhongshun and Dai Zhenya have been held since late last year in so-called "residential surveillance in a designated location" (RSDL).

That is a form of extrajudicial detention lasting up to six months where detainees are denied access to lawyers and relatives, and are vulnerable to torture and coercion, according to activists.

The three were among more than a dozen lawyers and activists who were detained or went missing in the final days of 2019 in what rights groups have said was a crackdown on participants of a private democracy gathering.

Five UN experts in areas including freedom of opinion and expression, and torture, as well as the UN Working Group on Enforced and Involuntary Disappearances, warned there were "parallels between this recent crackdown and previous attempts to silence dissenting voices in China".

Nine other lawyers and activists who attended the informal weekend gathering in the city of Xiamen "have also been summoned for questioning or detained in what has been a cross-provincial operation led by a special taskforce of Yantai City police," the experts pointed out.

The experts, who are appointed by the UN but who do not speak on behalf of the body, expressed alarm at the use of RSDL in China, insisting it constituted a form of enforced disappearance.

"It has also unfortunately become common practice for Chinese authorities to provide limited or conflicting information on the victims and the charges they face," they said in a statement.

"The families are often kept in the dark about the well-being of their loved ones."

The experts acknowledged that there are provisions in international law that allow exceptional measures to be taken to protect public order and national security.

But they insisted that "enforced disappearance is a grave and flagrant violation of human rights and is unacceptable in all circumstances".

"We are dismayed that national security provisions are used to target human rights defenders who meet peacefully and exercise their right to free speech, even if such speech is critical of the state," they said.

The experts also cautioned that the arrest and detention of the three lawyers could have a "chilling effect" on the defence of human rights in China.

"When the authorities in any country systemically charge human rights defenders with 'subversion of state power' or other terror-related charges without clearly communicating the factual basis for such accusations, we worry that these defenders are just being persecuted for the exercise of their most basic human rights," they said.

Earlier this month, activists revealed that Xu Zhiyong, an outspoken Chinese rights activist who called for President Xi Jinping to step down over the coronavirus outbreak, had been charged with "inciting state subversion" and had been placed in RSDL since mid-February.


Pope Francis saddened by Turkey''s move to convert Hagia Shophia into mosque
Russia''s Sechenov University completes trials of Coronavirus vaccine
Trump wears mask on camera for first time as he visits military hospital
Trump commutes friend Roger Stone''s sentence
Ruling People''s Action Party reelected in Singapore
5 killed in hostage situation at church in South Africa
Indian-origin journalist Kailash Budhwar dies in UK
12 people killed, 19 missing in Nepal landslides
Seoul mayor canceled meeting with South Korean prime minister hours before death
China warns of ''unknown pneumonia'' deadlier than COVID-19 in Kazakhstan
Missing Mayor found dead in north Seoul
Heavy rain hits scenic central Japan, more damage in south
Trump threatens to cut federal aid if schools don't reopen
Pak PM urges world community to share info on COVID-19 strategies as tally rises to 239,225
Brazilian Prez Jair Bolsonaro tests positive for COVID-19
US mulls restricting citizens? access to chinese Social Media network TikTok ? Pompeo
TikTok to leave Hong Kong as security law raises worries
China criticizes US joint carrier drills in South China Sea
Pakistan''s health minister tests positive for COVID-19
800,000 Indians may be forced to leave Kuwait after the Gulf country approves expat quota bill
ENTERTAINMENT NEWS
My whole life has been a miracle: Rajinikanth
 Mumbai: From starting out as a bus conductor to becoming one of the biggest stars of the: country,  
'Game of Thrones' star Indira Varma tests positive for coronavirus
Coronavirus: Release of Ranveer Singh-starrer '83' put on hold
'Joker' earns Joaquin Phoenix his maiden Oscar
KERALA NEWS
Kerala has become ''hub'' of smuggling gold, alleges Chennithala
 Kochi: Sharpening his attack against the CPI(M)-led LDF government over the sensational gold smuggli
Kerala reports 435 new COVID-19 cases, tally rises to 7,873
488 cases in Kerala, Infection tally touches 7438; 2 deaths
Youth outfits of parties clash with police, demand CM''s resignation
NATIONAL NEWS
Rahul again targets Modi for Eastern Ladakh face-off with China
 New Delhi: Targetting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Sunday
Aishwarya, daughter Aaradhya test positive for coronavirus
More cities to come under lockdown as India''s COVID tally surges to nearly 8.5 lakh
Amitabh Bachchan tests COVID-19 positive, hospitalised
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