Statement by Parliamentary Secretary Obhrai on Arrest of Chinese Human Rights Defenders

May 14, 2014 - The Honourable Deepak Obhrai, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs and for International Human Rights, today issued the following statement regarding the detention of Pu Zhiqiang, a leading Chinese human rights lawyer, and other well-known Chinese activists following their recent participation in a private meeting to peacefully discuss the upcoming anniversary of the events of June 4, 1989:

“Reports that Chinese authorities have arrested several participants in a private seminar on the events of June 4, 1989, on the grounds that they were ‘picking quarrels and provoking trouble’ are deeply disturbing. The Government of Canada calls on Chinese authorities to release Pu Zhiqiang, Xu Youyu, a social scientist, Hao Jian, a professor at the Beijing Film Academy, Liu Di, a freelance writer, and Hu Shigen, a pro-democracy activist, as well as a number of other activists currently in detention. 

“Under the Chinese constitution, Chinese citizens enjoy freedom of speech, assembly and association. The detention of these individuals violates China’s domestic and international human rights obligations.”

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