China: The Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy; the sources used in their 27 September 2000 reporting of the death of Shi Bei; whether this information was independently confirmed and by whom and when
|Publisher||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada|
|Author||Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada|
|Publication Date||10 January 2002|
|Citation / Document Symbol||CHN38144.E|
|Cite as||Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, China: The Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy; the sources used in their 27 September 2000 reporting of the death of Shi Bei; whether this information was independently confirmed and by whom and when , 10 January 2002, CHN38144.E , available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3df4be1e1c.html [accessed 8 March 2014]|
|Disclaimer||This 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.|
According to information provided on their Website, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy, which changed its name from the Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China in April 2000, was independently founded by Frank Lu Siqing in December 1993 (n.d.). Initially focused on collecting and processing information in Hong Kong newspapers and disseminating the material to dissidents in China, the Centre established a "widely-based communication network" of "dissidents/informants" in China (ibid.). With more than 1000 "members and informants" in mainland China, the Centre is, according to the Website, able to "gather and verify" human rights issues pertaining to such matters as labour, religion and dissidents (ibid.). The information is documented in Chinese and English and provided to the "international media, the UN and governments" (ibid.).
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000 stated that "an informal network of dissidents in cities around the country has become a credible source of information about government actions against activists" and that the "information is disseminated to the outside world through organizations such as the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy and the New York-based Human Rights in China" (Feb. 2001, section 4).
A 19 August 2001 Agence France Presse (AFP) article reported that "the center has been a leading and largely reliable source of information on alleged human rights abuses in China, including the arrests of political dissidents, the crackdown on the banned Falungong spiritual group, worker's strikes and workplace accidents."
The AFP article also reported that, according to information provided by the Hong Kong-based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy, Frank Lu, the director of the Center, had been described as a "hostile foreign element" and the Center as a hostile "overseas organization" in an April 2000 Chinese court ruling (AFP). The article further reported the Centre as stating that "the decision could form the legal precedent for evicting the center from Hong Kong after the territory legislates its own law on subversion as stipulated by the Basic Law, the territory's mini-constitution that lays out China's promise of autonomy for the territory under the 'one country, two systems' formula" (ibid.).
No information as to the sources used in the Centre's 27 September 2000 reporting of the death of Shi Bei and whether this information was independently confirmed and by whom and when could be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.
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 additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
Agence France Presse (AFP) [Hong Kong]. 19 August 2001. "Ruling Rights Group Head 'Hostile Foreign Element' Possible Precedent for Eviction." (FBIS-CHI-2001-0819 19 Aug. 2001)
Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2000. February 2001. United States Department of State.
Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy. n.d. "Introduction."
Additional Sources Consulted
Unsuccessful attempt to contact Chinese Democracy Education Foundation
Unsuccessful attempt to contact Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy
Unsuccessful attempts to contact Human Rights in China
Internet sites including:
China Internet and Information Center
Human Rights in China
Human Rights Watch
Laogoi Research Foundation
World News Connection