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One-third of Arrested Hong Kong Democracy Activists Are under 18

According to the Hong Kong government, nearly one-third of the Hong Kong pro-democracy demonstrators who  the police have arrested are young people under the age of 18.

Young people want to protect their civil liberties from the increasing erosion and suppression of the mainland Chinese government. Many high-schoolers have also participated in the movement.

A high school student told VOA, “The future belongs to us. We must fight for it because this is our own future, the future of the next generation, and the future of the people of Hong Kong. If we do not fight, there will be no one to fight for it.”

Since June, 750 young people under the age of 18 have been arrested for participating in anti-government demonstrations. Among the 2,000 plus arrested, young people account for nearly one-third.

The Hong Kong government also requires universities and schools to report any students who wear masks to participate in anti-government demonstrations.

Source: Voice of America, October 14, 2019

Police Detained Retired Female Professor for Posting Photos of Hong Kong Protesters

Huang Chun, a 65-year-old retired professor from Guizhou University for Nationalities, was sentenced to 15 days of administrative detention for “disturbing the social order.” She posted pictures of Hong Kong demonstrators and the “June 4th” event on WeChat and Twitter. The public security authorities gave her a warning for openly criticizing the government on the Internet or accepting interviews with foreign media. On the evening of the 70th National Day, the authorities restricted her movement and did not allow her students to visit her.

Huang told Radio Free Asia that the Hua Xi public security bureau arrested her. During her arrest, she was stripped naked, forced to wear a uniform, handcuffed, and forced to have her blood and urine tested. She said later they sent her to a location where the Armed Police Force was stationed to serve her sentence of 15 days of detention Over tens of thousands of people were locked inside at that location. An RFA article reported that Huang’s description of the detention location was similar to the education and training center set up in Xinjiang. There is reason to believe that China has expanded its detention facility. Since 2018, the Chinese Armed Police Force was moved and put under the Central Military Commission. This means that the armed police forces are outside the administrative organs of the State Council and are not subject to the control of the local public security.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 11, 2019

CNA: Reporter Beaten When Covering News of Wuxi Bridge Collapse

According to the Central News Agency, three people died when the bridge in Wuxi, Jiangsu province, collapsed on October 10. The police blocked reporters during the interview at the scene. At the street corner, the police beat one reporter very badly. They also shot down the drone that the media had set up. Authorities set up a road block two kilometers away from the scene. When questioned about the quality of the bridge, the company that is responsible for the bridge design insisted that the design meets all of the requirements that were specified. Local officials even concluded that the collapse was due to an overload of vehicles that happened before the data on the bridge’s weight limit was published. People are concerned that the collapse may have been due to the poor quality of the bridge as well as flaws in the structural design.

Source: Central News Agency, October 12, 2019

Labor Service Organization Closed on National Day; NGOs in China under Increasing Pressure

The Mumian Social Work Association (MSWA), a Guangdong based labor related non-governmental organization, announced the launch of its closing procedure on China’s National Day (October 1), four months after the arrest of its founder Tong Feifei. Local labor rights activists have observed that NGOs in China have little room for survival. The authorities are mounting a cruel suppression of NGO leaders in the name of national security.

In April 2013, Tong Feifei, a Peking University master of sociology, established MSWA. It has launched community development and vocational school students’ service programs in Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Zhongshan and Shunde. It also conducted social work training and research, as well as public advocacy for social issues. The authorities once recognized its low-key style.

It is believed that the closure of MSWA is related to the Jasic Incident last year. In July 2018, a group of workers from the Shenzhen based Jasic Technology Co., Ltd. (abbr. Jasic) sought to form a labor union to address their low pay and poor working conditions. The factory management responded by firing its employees. This sparked two weeks of protests and demonstrations drawing from both factory workers in Shenzhen along with students. The police crushed the movement and arrested the workers and students.

Right after the Jasic Incident, the authorities started immediately to suppress all civil NGOs involved in labor rights or care giving. In May of this year, the heads of several NGOs including Tong Feifei, Liang Zicun, Li Dajun, and Li Changjiang were arrested. In July, the National Security Bureau in Changsha, Hunan province, arrested a few other activists working on labor discrimination.

Source: Radio Free Asia, October 1, 2019

RFA: Residents in China Must Pass Facial Recognition Test in Order to Apply for Online Services

Radio Free Asia reported that, in order to further strengthen network management and control, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced on September 27 that, starting from December 1, telephone users must pass a facial recognition test before they can apply for Internet access. In the notice there is a new set of regulations to be implemented which includes eleven new proposed measures.

On September 1, 2013, China enforced the telephone real-name system. That is, whether it is landline or a mobile telephone, applicants must use real identification for registration. Subsequently, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, the Ministry of Public Security, and the State Administration for Industry and Commerce jointly issued the “Special Action Plan for the Management of the “Black Market for Telephone card”. On January 1, 2015, the measure for the real-name system for purchasing mobile phone cards was implemented nationwide.

According to the RFA article, the the authorities have been criticized for taking tough measures to increase control over the people. Some say the effect will only be counterproductive and will likely cause rebellion among the people.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 27, 2019

Mandatory Collection of Male DNA Data in China

Many local governments in China are planning or have started collecting citizen DNA data. Following Xinjiang, Ningbo in Zhejiang province, and Anqing in Anhui province, the police in Guilin city of Guangxi province recently issued a notice to local residents that they would collect male DNA samples. In the week of September 20, a police branch in Guilin issued a “Notice on Collecting DNA Information from Male Family Blood Samples” to the residents. The purpose was “to complete the basic information task of public security, comprehensively improve the control and management of the population, and improve the capability to serve the people.” Between September 20 and December 31, the local police will visit the residential areas and collect blood samples from male residents. At least one male in every household has to have his blood sample collected.

The police already started collecting human biological data, such as DNA and iris data, from residents in Xinjiang as early as 2017. The media reported that, in a village in Jiangxi Province, police officers also visited door to door to collect male blood samples from every family, one from adults and one from children. The villagers are required to fill out the “DNA Database Personnel Information Form.”

The Chinese police have reportedly stored about 100 million DNA samples from the population and the figure keeps growing. Petitioners, people who seek justice and want to travel to Beijing to have their issues addressed, will be forced to undergo blood tests once they are taken to the police station. When this happened in the past, they only found out later that the police were extracting DNA data from their blood. Arrested dissidents or activists in recent years have also experienced forced blood tests. However, the Chinese government has never explicitly announced the actual purpose of establishing a DNA database in a compulsory or semi-mandatory manner.

Source: Radio Free Asia, September 26, 2019