Wednesday, April 21, 2010

DUI HUA TO CHANGE BLOG LOCATIONS FROM APRIL 26

Beginning April 26, The Dui Hua Foundation will move its two blogs, Dui Hua News and Dui Hua Human Rights Journal, to new URLs. From that date, Dui Hua News can be read at www.duihuanews.org, and Dui Hua Human Rights Journal can be read at www.duihuahrjournal.org. Please update your bookmarks and RSS reader.

Dui Hua will no longer update posts at the current URLs.

Thank you for your attention and your interest in Dui Hua’s work!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Dui Hua Hosts Program for Juvenile Justice Initiative

On April 6, The Dui Hua Foundation hosted a dinner program at the University Club of San Francisco to introduce its 2010 Juvenile Justice Delegation, which will visit China in May, and share the foundation's ongoing work on juvenile justice in China and the United States.

The evening brought together members of the 2010 delegation, as well as distinguished members of the San Francisco judiciary, Bay Area professionals working in juvenile justice and other criminal justice areas, and long-time Dui Hua supporters and friends. Representatives of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco attended the event, and Deputy Consul General Lu Wenxiang made introductory remarks in which he lauded Dui Hua's Executive Director John Kamm and the foundation for many years of promoting dialogue and good relations between the United States and China. With more than 100 attendees, the program is the largest public event to date organized by Dui Hua.

In her introductory remarks, San Francisco Superior Court Judge and delegation leader Lillian Sing pointed to the historic nature of the juvenile justice exchange, and cited the positive impact on juvenile justice reform in China of a previous delegation: the October 2008 Supreme People's Court study delegation to the United States, which was hosted by Dui Hua with the support of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Especially noteworthy is China's interest in the probation officer system and the sealing of juvenile records, as well as the increased use, on a trial basis, of "postponed prosecution," a practice similar to "diversion" in the juvenile justice system in the United States. Judge Sing also introduced the members the upcoming delegation to China as well members of the Board of Directors of The Dui Hua Foundation.

In his remarks, Executive Director Kamm thanked Hong Kong's Fu Tak Iam Foundation for its generous support of the 2010 juvenile justice delegation to China. He also thanked the many members of the Bay Area's Chinese community who have stepped forward to help make the visit possible.

The 2010 delegation, which will visit Beijing and Qingdao from May 9 to May 15 at the invitation of the Supreme People's Court, is made up of Judge Lillian Sing (San Francisco Superior Court Judge and delegation leader), Judge Julie Tang (presiding judge of the San Francisco Juvenile Court), Ms. Patricia Lee (Managing Attorney for the Juvenile Division of the San Francisco Public Defender's Office), Mr. Allen Nance (Assistant Chief Probation Officer, City and County of San Francisco), and Ms. Laurie Garduque, (Program Director for Juvenile Justice, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation). Accompanying the delegation will be Dui Hua's Senior Manager for Research Joshua Rosenzweig and two interpreters, Ms. Sonia Ng and Mr. Chi-ho Chan.

Kamm noted that the United States and China will soon hold the 15th session of the bilateral human rights dialogue. "The United States and China have many disagreements in the area of human rights, but not enough effort has been put into identifying areas where the two countries can work together. Juvenile justice is an area where the two countries can cooperate to their mutual benefit." Kamm suggested other areas where China and the United States can learn from each other and help each other, including women in detention and health in detention. "If we can work well together in areas where there is common ground, we might well find that talking with each other on issues where we don't agree will prove easier and more productive."

Learn more about Dui Hua's Juvenile Justice Initiative, including information on juvenile justice in China, the 2010 delegation, and the Dui Hua-hosted delegation from China's Supreme People's Court who studied the US juvenile justice system in 2008.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Dui Hua Invites You to Dinner & Conversation for Our Juvenile Justice Initiative on April 6

The Dui Hua Foundation invites you to join in an evening with Executive Director John Kamm and the 2010 Juvenile Justice Delegation to China! Kamm will introduce this historic initiative to guests on April 6 at a dinner program that will bring together Bay Area juvenile justice experts—including members of the 2010 delegation—Dui Hua board and staff members, and many others interested in juvenile justice in China. We hope you can join us!

Dui Hua’s Juvenile Justice Initiative

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

5:30 – 6:30 pm: Reception & Cash Bar
6:30 – 8:00 pm: Dinner & Conversation

University Club of San Francisco
800 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Attire: Business Casual
Cost: $50/person

Space for the event is limited, so register today! (Reservations are requested by Monday, March 29.)

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2010 Juvenile Justice Delegation
Lillian Sing, San Francisco Superior Court Judge

Julie Tang, San Francisco Superior Court Judge

Patricia Lee, Managing Attorney for Juvenile Division of San Francisco Public Defender’s Office

Allen Nance, Assistant Chief Probation Officer, City and County of San Francisco

Laurie Garduque, PhD, Program Director for Juvenile Justice, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Sonia Ng, PhD, Chinese Interpreter

Joshua Rosenzweig, Dui Hua Liaison Officer and Senior Research Manager

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For more information on the April 6 event, please write to Dui Hua or call our office, at (415) 986-0536. If you are not able to attend the dinner program, we welcome you to make a contribution to support Dui Hua's work in juvenile justice and other program areas.

Read here about the Dui Hua-hosted delegation of Supreme People’s Court judges who studied the US juvenile justice system in 2008, and learn more about juvenile justice in China and the 2010 US delegation heading to China in May.


Dui Hua is grateful to the Fu Tak Iam Foundation Limited for their sponsorship of the 2010 Juvenile Justice Delegation.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Official Data Show State Security Arrests, Prosecutions in China Exceeded 1,000 in 2009

HONG KONG (March 12, 2010) – Arrests and prosecutions for "endangering state security" (ESS) in China last year retreated from 2008’s historic levels but remained high, according to new estimates produced by The Dui Hua Foundation after examining partial  data revealed earlier by China’s chief prosecutor.

Based on figures appended to copies of the annual work report delivered on March 11 by Supreme People's Procuratorate (SPP) Prosecutor-General Cao Jianming at the annual plenary session of China’s National People's Congress (NPC), Dui Hua estimates that during 2009 as many as 1,150 individuals were arrested and nearly 1,050 individuals indicted on state security charges in China.

Reflects heightened concerns for stability

More arrests and indictments for ESS were carried out in China over the past two years than in the entire five-year period from 2003 to 2007. The acceleration of state security prosecutions reflects a concerted effort by Chinese security forces to rein in ethnic unrest, impose heavy penalties for “subversive” speech and association, and combat perceived threats to political and social stability.

“After a lull of a few years, state security arrests began rising again in 2006, after Chinese leaders began to worry about the potential impact of so-called ‘color revolution,’” noted senior Dui Hua researcher Joshua Rosenzweig. “The numbers for ESS in 2008 were so high that we knew they had to drop last year, but whether you look at absolute numbers or percentages over the past couple years, these are still levels not seen in over a decade.” (Click on the graph below to view data on ESS arrests and indictments in China since 1998.)



In a departure from previous reports, the Supreme People’s Court did not release detailed statistics on criminal trials held in 2009. But recent data from the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR) suggests that the crackdown on ethnic unrest likely contributed to the high number of ESS arrests and prosecutions in 2009. On January 15, Rozi Ismail, president of the XUAR Higher People’s Court, reported a 63 percent increase in ESS trials in 2009 compared to 2008. Although national criminal justice statistics in China are rarely broken down by offense or region, Dui Hua research has established that since the early 2000s, trials of Uyghur defendants have accounted for as much as two-thirds of all the country’s ESS trials. Given the sustained crackdown in response to last July’s violent ethnic clashes and the ongoing protests by Tibetans throughout the Tibetan plateau, Dui Hua believes that a substantial percentage of those being prosecuted on state security charges are likely to be members of these two ethnic groups.

“The sense that China is facing imminent threats from ethnic separatists, rights activists, political dissidents, and ‘hostile foreign forces’ has apparently strengthened the hands of those in the leadership who favor imposing ‘stability above all else,” Rosenzweig said. “Against this backdrop, one expects to see more prosecutions for crimes like ‘subversion,’ ‘splittism,’ ‘incitement,’ and ‘providing state secrets overseas.'"

Discussion of methodology

The version of the 2009 SPP work report distributed to NPC delegates, members of the media, and other observers included charts breaking down arrest and indictment totals according to crime categories found in China's Criminal Law. In these charts, the three smallest categories—ESS, "endangering national defense interests," and "dereliction of duty by military personnel"—were combined under the legend "Other." Based on more than a decade of published data from the China Law Yearbook, Dui Hua has identified relative stability in the number of arrests and prosecutions made for endangering national defense interests and dereliction of duty by military personnel, with arrests in these two categories remaining at a fairly consistent annual rate of about seven per 20,000 total arrests. If one assumes continued stability for these categories in 2009, then most variation in the “Other” category should be attributable to ESS.

Proceeding from these assumptions, Dui Hua estimates that Chinese law enforcement authorities formally arrested nearly 1,130 individuals for ESS in 2009, down sharply from 1,712 in 2008 but still reflecting a 280 percent increase over the historic low reported in 2005. Similar calculations for ESS indictments yield an estimate of roughly 1,040 in 2009, down from 1,407 in 2008 but a 200 percent increase over 2005.

Based on previous years’ experience, Dui Hua does not expect the actual figures for ESS in 2009 to be publicly available until that year’s edition of the China Law Yearbook is published in late 2010, when it may be revealed that the numbers for 2009 are even greater than Dui Hua’s estimate. The China Law Yearbook containing 2008 data showed the actual ESS figures for arrests and indictments that year were 5.5 percent and 6 percent higher, respectively, than the 2008 estimates released by Dui Hua  following the NPC session in March 2009.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

John Kamm Speaks at Stanford Law School

Executive Director John Kamm gave a talk entitled “Two Decades of Human Rights Dialogue with China” at Stanford Law School on February 17. Before approximately 60 event attendees, Kamm spoke about his transition from businessman to human rights activist. He also answered questions about several topics, including bridging the divide between Chinese and Western students on the subject of human rights in China, and elaborated on Dui Hua's advocacy methods.

The program was co-sponsored by two Stanford student groups: the International Law Society, which organizes events on international law, business, and policy, and the China Law and Policy Association (CLPA), which explores legal, political, economic, and social trends in China, highlights issues in US-China relations, and seeks to increase awareness of these issues in the Stanford community. 

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Chinese Government Provides Sparse Information on Gao Zhisheng

On February 12, the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, informed John Kamm, executive director of The Dui Hua Foundation, that Mr. Gao Zhisheng is working in Urumqi, Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, and that he has been in contact with his wife in the US and relatives in China.

Sources close to Gao’s family advise that Mr. Gao’s wife has not yet had contact with her husband. It has thus far not been possible to reach Mr. Gao’s relatives in China.

Additional information on Gao Zhisheng’s current situation is being sought from the Chinese government.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Dialogue Analyzes US-China Tensions, Death Penalty in Asia & Continued Rise in ESS Crimes in China

The lead story in the Winter 2010 issue of Dialogue analyzes growing tension in US-China relations, which began to sour at the climate conference in Copenhagen and only worsened in January. The article is accompanied by a piece on the so-called Tiananmen Sanctions put into US law nearly two decades ago after the events of June Fourth. Although their enforcement has changed over time, the sanctions still have significant impact on US-China partnerships today.
A piece on the death penalty in Asia explores the evolution of capital punishment in the region, and looks at recent developments among China’s neighbors for potential models for  the death penalty's future on the mainland.
The research and prisoner section focuses on the unrelenting increase in recent years in arrests and prosecutions for “endangering state security” (ESS) crimes. The high number of ESS cases in 2008 is due in part to the crackdown in Tibetan areas in March 2008. Following the ethnic unrest in Urumqi last year, numbers are expected to be large again for 2009.
News About Dui Hua describes Executive Director John Kamm’s recent advocacy missions—stretching from October 2009 to January—including his keynote speech at a seminar organized by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The section also notes launch in December of the foundation’s Twitter feed.
Dialogue can be read on our website as DIALOGUE.online. We welcome you to subscribe to our free quarterly newsletter (as an e-newsletter or print copy), become a Dui Hua fan on Facebook, and sign on to follow Dui Hua on Twittter.

John Kamm to Speak at Stanford Law School on February 17

Executive Director John Kamm will give a talk entitled “Two Decades of Human Rights Dialogue with China” at Stanford Law School (map) on Wednesday, February 17, from 12:45 to 2:00 PM. The talk is free and open to the public.

The program is being co-sponsored by two Stanford student groups: the International Law Society, which organizes events on international law, business, and policy, and the China Law and Policy Association (CLPA), which explores legal, political, economic, and social trends in China, highlights issues in US-China relations, and seeks to increase awareness of these issues in the Stanford community. 

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Dui Hua Launches Twitter Feed

The Dui Hua Foundation is pleased to announce that we are now on Twitter. This new tool offers another way to follow Dui Hua's advocacy programs and activities and stay up-to-date on developments in human rights and rule of law in China and around the world. Visit us on Twitter here to keep close track of Dui Hua's advocacy work!