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China: Information on whether Chinese authorities denied individuals the right to work as penalty for having participated in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in June 1989 and the duration of such penalties

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 February 1998
Citation / Document Symbol CHN28514.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: Information on whether Chinese authorities denied individuals the right to work as penalty for having participated in the Tiananmen Square demonstrations in June 1989 and the duration of such penalties, 1 February 1998, CHN28514.E, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6abf7c.html [accessed 18 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

In a telephone interview of 15 January 1998, an academic with the United Nations International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy at the University of British Columbia, whose field of expertise is China and the Chinese legal system, provided the following information. The Chinese government is trying to put behind the events that took place at Tianamen Square in June 1989. It is no longer a matter of any importance to the government whether one participated in the Tianamen Square demonstration. Individuals who simply attended the demonstration have not been denied the right to work. There is no "right to work" in Chinese law. There are many individuals out of work today in China today due to the restructuring that is taking place in the economy and those who have no skills are the most likely to be unemployed. It may be more difficult for certain very high profile leaders of the demonstrations to get work because employers do not want to create any problems for themselves. The Chinese government does not want to prosecute even high profile dissidents as it is seen as largely counter-productive.

According to a Reuters report of 3 May 1996, Liu Gang, one of the student leaders during the Tianamen Square demonstration who spent six years in prison, told the BBC in a interview that his life was being made miserable because of police harassment. In an earlier Reuters interview cited in the same report, Liu Gang stated that "the police had illegally tampered with his mail and telephone line, restricted his freedom to move house, prevented him from finding work or setting up a business, and intimidated his friends and relatives".

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim to refugee status or asylum. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Reuters. 3 May 1996. "Chinese Dissident Says Fled 'Unbearable' Treatment." (Global News Bank)

United Nations International Centre for Criminal Law Reform and Criminal Justice Policy, University of British Columbia, Vancouver. 15 January 1998. Telephone interview with an expert on China and Chinese law.

Additional Sources Consulted

China Focus [Princeton]. 1993-1996.

China Journal [Canberra]. 1995 to present.

China Rights Forum: The Journal of Human Rights in China [New York]. 1993 to present.

Electronic sources: IRB Databases, Global News Bank, LEXIS/NEXIS, REFWORLD (UNHCR database), World News Connection (WNC).

Resource Centre Country File (China). 1990 to present.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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