‘If I lose my freedom’: How China’s human rights defenders are preemptively resisting forced confessions

Published on 16 May 2017 at Hong Kong Free Press, here. On May 3, police in Yunnan abducted human rights lawyer Chen Jiangang. He was forced to drive with security over 3,000 kilometres back to Beijing. He remained in their custody for over 80 hours, coincidentally missing the trial of his client, Xie Yang, whose … More ‘If I lose my freedom’: How China’s human rights defenders are preemptively resisting forced confessions

Exposing falsehoods in Chinese law: Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk is no separatist

Published at Hong Kong Free Press on 27 January 2017, here. A year ago today, Tashi Wangchuk disappeared. He was recently indicted and is now awaiting trial, facing a 15-year sentence for the baseless charge of inciting separatism. His crime: advocating Tibetan language rights in an interview with the New York Times – hardly a threat … More Exposing falsehoods in Chinese law: Tibetan language advocate Tashi Wangchuk is no separatist

Taiwan: Can Tsai Ing-Wen Change the Politics of Death?

This article was originally published at the Diplomat on February 10, 2016. Following Tsai Ing-wen’s electoral victory last month, KMT lawmakers have been challenging Ms. Ing-wen, who will be inaugurated as Taiwan’s first female president on 20 May, and her Democratic Peoples Party on several issues. Among them, Ms. Ing-wen has been demanded to reveal … More Taiwan: Can Tsai Ing-Wen Change the Politics of Death?

Nonviolent activism around the Olympic Games: History and lessons learned

This article was originally published at openDemocracy.net on 24 November 2015 and is available here. Whereas countless public figures have insisted that the Olympics be kept “apolitical” for decades, nonviolent action and civil society together have succeeded in revealing the hollowness of such a notion. A Tiananmen Square-themed Olympic logo. Creative Commons. Some rights reserved.Bringing … More Nonviolent activism around the Olympic Games: History and lessons learned

Against Letpadaung: copper mining in Myanmar and the struggle for human rights

 This article was originally published at OpenDemocracy on 3 August 2015. Available here. The Letpadaung copper mine in the Sagaing Region of central Myanmar has become a major fault line in the struggle for human rights in that country. It is also emblematic of a global problem: the damage caused by exploitative resource extraction coupled … More Against Letpadaung: copper mining in Myanmar and the struggle for human rights

Matching resistance to repression in China

First Published at openDemocracy on April 8, 2015. Also available here. Prominent human rights activist Pu Zhiqiang has languished in pre-trial detention since his arrest last May – in the lead-up to the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre – on charges for several crimes including “picking quarrels and provoking trouble”. His case remains … More Matching resistance to repression in China

Violence and Nonviolence in the Uyghur Struggle

First published at opendemocracy.net on 10 October 2014 as Resistance, repression, and the cycle of violence in the Uyghur Struggle. On Tuesday, September 26, 2014 a Chinese court convicted Ilham Tohti, a Uyghur economics professor, to a life sentence on charges of separatism in a disgracefully political trial. Amnesty International’s China researcher William Nee wrote, … More Violence and Nonviolence in the Uyghur Struggle

Xinjiang or East Turkestan: Contending Historical Narratives and the Politics of Representation in China

July 5th marked the fifth anniversary of a series of bloody events in Xinjiang collectively labeled as the 7/5 Urumqi riots. Immediately afterward, state and international media set to reporting and analyzing the conflict, scholars and international human rights organizations soon joined. Meanwhile the government in Beijing launched damage control, exerting its monopoly of symbolic … More Xinjiang or East Turkestan: Contending Historical Narratives and the Politics of Representation in China

The contentious politics of China’s New Citizens Movement

This article was originally published by openDemocracy.net on June 6, 2014. Available here. – Corruption has been among the grievances that have inspired civil resistance and toppled empires, even in some of the most authoritarian regimes. In China, from indignation over the corrupt Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) that helped mobilize the 1911 Xinhai Revolution, ending the … More The contentious politics of China’s New Citizens Movement