Drop all charges against Guangdong labor rights activists!
In July 2016, the Hong Kong labor organizations issued a public statement calling on the international community to support four Guangdong labour activists arrested on December 3, 2015. We demanded that the authorities should respect workers' right to freedom of association and collective bargaining, and drop all political persecution against Chinese labour NGOs, release all arrested activists and curb the power abuse of local authorities.
Three of the activists were put on trial on September 26, 2016 in the Panyu District Court in Guangzhou City. They could not appoint lawyers freely but accept government appointed lawyers, and the concerned citizens were forbidden from entering the court. The court ruled them guilty of "assembling a crowd to disturb social order". Zeng Feiyang was sentenced to 3 years imprisonment, suspended for 4 years, Zhu Xiaomei and Tang Jian (Tang Huanxing) 1.5 year imprisonment, suspended for 2 years. The employers whom violated labor rights and upset social justice were not held responsible, but the labor activists supporting workers defending their lawful rights were punished!
Meng Han is the last activist still in detention. After being detained for nearly 11 months, trial against him will be held on November 3-4, facing the same charges of "suspected of assembling a crowd to disturb social order". Meng Han has stood steadfast to the righteousness of labor NGOs assisting workers to defend labour rights and resolve labour disputes in a rational and civilized manner. He has always refused to plead guilty and the authorities imposed enormous pressure on him in order to break his persistence. His family has been monitored and harassed, even forced to evacuate from their home. In August, Meng Han was made to dismiss the lawyer appointed by his family, and it is unclear if there is a lawyer representing him. His case is also separated from the others. There is a general suspicion that the authorities intend to impose heavy sentences against Meng Han.
The international community will not forget Meng Han, and we solemnly reiterate the followings:
Immediately drop all political suppression against labour NGOs and charges against labor activists, release Meng Han now!
Protect Meng Han's right to a fair trial in accordance with international conventions and domestic laws!
Curb the power abuse of public departments.
Asia Monitor Resource Centre
China Labour Bulletin
The editorial committee of Red Balloon Solidarity
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions
Labour Action China
Labour Education and Service Network
Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior