John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Once again I say, tell others, don't let them get away with this

China Puts Dissidents under House Arrest For Human Rights Day
China on Friday detained key dissidents, placing some under house arrest amid growing calls for a tougher U.S. stance on Beijing's rights record ahead of World Human Rights Day.
As rights activists and former prisoners of conscience gave testimony to a U.S. congressional hearing on human rights abuses in China, Beijing-based veteran democracy activist Zha Jianguo said he is now at home under tight surveillance.

"They've been standing guard outside my door since early this morning," Zha said. "The police called me and said that tomorrow is World Human Rights Day, and that they'll be doing this for two days."
"They said I mustn't go out," he said. "I said that's not OK, I have things to do, and you're going to deprive me of my basic right to freedom of movement on Human Rights Day?"
He said he went out on Friday anyway. "They just followed me the whole time, until I had done what I needed to do and came home," Zha said.
"They're still standing outside the door now."
He said veteran political journalist Gao Yu, who was released from jail on medical parole earlier this year, is in a similar situation.
In Washington, Jin Bianling, wife of disappeared rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong, says she is hoping U.S. politicians will step up the pressure on Beijing over her husband's whereabouts.
"I am hoping that the leaders of the U.S. Congress will get in touch with the Chinese leadership and find out where my husband Jiang Tianyong is," she told RFA before attending a hearing on human rights run by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China in Washington.
Jiang has been incommunicado, believed detained, since last month after visiting the family of detained rights lawyer Xie Dan in Changsha, Hunan province.
"My husband bought a train ticket to go back to Beijing from Changsha on Nov. 21, and he sent out a social media post at around 10.22 p.m," Jin told reporters ahead of the hearing.
"We haven't heard anything from him since."
Hope Trump will be tougher
She called on the Chinese government to release Jiang immediately.
"If he is being held under residential surveillance, we want to know where he is," she said. "We also call on them not to torture him, and to take steps to take care of his health."
Former Beijing University professor Xia Yeliang, who also attended the hearing, said many Chinese dissidents in exile are hoping for a tougher line on human rights under a Trump administration.
"When Donald Trump becomes president of the United States, it's likely that we will see a shift in policy towards China," Xia said.
"People of all ethnic groups have been targeted for persecution by the ruling Chinese Communist Party, and we want Congress ... to understand the serious failings of the current regime," he said.
Veteran democracy activist Wei Jingsheng told the hearing that he fully supports president-elect Donald Trump's idea of a trade war with China, and that such an action should have been started a long time ago.
"Since Chinese law does not guarantee human rights, it is able to keep labor prices at a very low level," Wei told the hearing.
"This has led to the relocation of U.S. companies to foreign countries, while [it] also allows Chinese goods entering the US market with low prices, resulting in unfair competition," he said.
‘Pressure works’
Anhui-based rights activist and former state prosecutor Shen Liangqing said the government routinely clamps down on politically sensitive figures around Human Rights Day, which is also the anniversary of the detention of jailed Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo in 2008.
"Of course it's highly inappropriate that they are violating human rights on Human Rights Day; it makes a mockery of it," Shen said.
"But this is business as usual for the Chinese Communist Party. They have been doing this for years as part of their stability maintenance strategy."
He said Chinese leaders care very little about international public opinion.
"They don't care about all that: they just want to make sure that all remains quiet and that there are no signs of trouble," he said.
But Uyghur dissident-in-exile Rebiya Kadeer said international pressure was the reason for her release from jail in 2005 on medical parole.
"Let us be clear," Kadeer told the hearing. "Pressure works."
She called on Beijing free jailed Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti, his students and all Uyghur writers and reporters who contributed to his UighurBiz website.
She also called on the Trump administration to "urge China to change its repressive policy, which is the root cause of all bloody incidents in Uyghur region."
Human Rights Day falls on Dec. 10 every year, and was established in 1950 to mark the adoption of the United Nations' Universal Declaration of Human Rights two years earlier.
It is frequently used as a focal point and key anniversary for political and human rights activists in China.

Tell others, don't let them get away with this

In China, a Nobel Peace Prize winner remains behind bars

Latest award ceremony a reminder of a chair that sat empty 6 years ago

KENJI KAWASE, Nikkei deputy editor

Hong Kong Alliance Chairman Albert Ho Chun-yan, right, and board member Andrew Wan Siu-kin seek the support of citizens in downtown Hong Kong on Dec. 10. (Photo by Kenji Kawase)
HONG KONG -- Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos on Saturday received his Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts to end a civil war that had raged for more than half a century. The medal and honor was conferred to him in person from the chairperson of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, in the presence of King Harald V of Norway, in Oslo City Hall.
Six years ago on this day, Liu Xiaobo, a Chinese literary critic and poet, was awarded the same prize. However, he and his wife, Liu Xia, were not allowed to leave the country to attend the ceremony. Liu Xiaobo was and remains locked up in a prison cell in northeastern China. In Beijing, Liu Xia stays under house arrest.
Not since 1936 had imprisonment kept the prize's winner from showing up in Oslo. Back then, it was Carl von Ossietzky who was paying the price for speaking up. He had been selected for the award a year earlier.
Ossietzky was a German journalist and one of the Nazis' foremost critics.
Liu Xiaobo was among the authors of a manifesto known as "Charter 08," issued on this day in 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the promulgation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The charter calls for the rule of law, respect for human rights and an end to one-party rule.
Right before the charter was made public, Liu Xiaobo was detained. On Christmas day in 2009, after two trials, he was sentenced to 11 years in prison for "inciting subversion to state power."
Since then, Beijing seems to have made every effort to eradicate Liu Xiaobo from the country's collective memory.
In Hong Kong, though, reminders of Liu's contribution to society still flow.
On a main shopping street here in Causeway Bay, the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, or the Hong Kong Alliance, on Saturday was asking people to sign Christmas cards to be sent to Liu and to indicate their support for "Charter 08."
Andrew Wan Siu-kin, a board member of the group and a Democratic Party legislator, told the Nikkei Asian Review that this annual drive in support of political prisoners in China, including Liu, is to "keep the spotlight on these people and to provide indirect protection for them."
He fears that once attention dissipates, even more harm could be done to those who have spoken up for rights in China. "So, we keep shouting," he said. "And we want to draw international support not to forget these people."
The U.S.-based Human Rights Watch is also not letting go of the issue.
"Although he never should have been in prison in the first place," said Sophie Richardson, the group's director for China, "we need to remind Beijing that he's going to come out from prison."
Richardson was in Hong Kong to present the latest investigative report on the extralegal detention system, known as shuanggui, that President Xi Jinping uses in his war on corruption. She worries that as people's memories wane, Beijing could sweep matters under the rug.
"My fear," she said, "is that if people don't make very clear [their expectations of Liu Xiaobo being released after his term], it's much easier for them to hang on to him longer."
Richardson, who represented her organization in Oslo six years ago, wishes for people across China to continue recognizing and keeping in mind Liu's "incredible victory."
China's record on human rights has been underwhelming at best. The Network of Chinese Human Rights Defenders, or CHRD, with peer organizations in mainland China, last month issued a report. It indicates "large discrepancies between the [Chinese] government's promises and its actions related to protecting and promoting human rights," said Renee Xia, the CHRD's international director. China's "overall human rights situation has worsened over the past three years."
The period more or less coincides with Xi's rise to power, which began in the fall of 2012.
The report also says Beijing's responses to questions on human rights claims lack sincerity.
The U.N.'s Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and its Special Rapporteur on Torture in 2013 sent a joint urgent action to Beijing that raised concern on Liu Xia: She seemed to be under house arrest for no reason other than being married to Liu Xiaobo. Beijing's response was that Liu Xia is a "woman of 53 years of age ... originally comes from Beijing [and is in] fairly good" health. It went on to say that no Chinese public security body has "adopted any legal or compulsory measures with regard to her."
The CHRD report notes that this kind of response is "typical [and] illustrates China's lack of constructive cooperation."
Frances Eve, a CHRD researcher based in Hong Kong, spoke to the NAR about the matter. "Though the Chinese government tries to portray itself as a responsible member of the international community," she said, "it remains the only country in the world imprisoning a Nobel Peace Prize laureate.
"Actions speak louder than words, and China should release Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, from arbitrary detention and show it's willing to respect fundamental human rights."
Liu Xiaobo's arrest is not only a breach of international agreements Beijing has signed but illegal under its own constitution. Article 35 spells out that Chinese citizens "enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration."
In addition, Article 41 states that citizens of China "have the right to criticize and make suggestions to any state organ or functionary."
As the Norwegian Nobel Committee pointed out when awarding the peace prize to Liu Xiaobo, "[I]n practice, these freedoms have proved to be distinctly curtailed for China's citizens."
Six years on, and matters seem to have only deteriorated. Yet Albert Ho Chun-yan, chairman of the Hong Kong Alliance, has a different view. The more the Xi government clamps down on freedom, Ho said, the more it shows that it is growing paranoid.

"If they are confident of their strength and trust their own people," he said, Chinese leaders would "not have to be so afraid of their people and [would] not have to exercise [such a] tight grip over the whole country, including control [of] popular opinion."

Say that again....

"I've made a couple of mistakes I'd like to do over."

I've left a path of destruction behind me.

Cross my legs and hope to die!"

"He's the cream of the corn."

"There are too many cooks in the broth."

"The short answer is 'Yes.' The long answer is 'No.'"

"Looks like I've spent the day chasing a wild herring!"

"We are the glue that keeps things moving."

"You're barking up a dead tree."

"That's not his cup of cake."

"You don't want to shoot yourself in the foot because you might want to take a walk later."

"Shut your mouth and eat your dinner."

"I love being spontaneous. I just need a little warning."

"We ought to make the pie higher."

"Golf is a game that is 90% mental and 10% mental."

"Being in a hurry is a complete waste of time."

"That guy smokes like a fish!"

"You can't pull the sheep over my eyes!"

"I wasn't rich like you guys. I didn't eat gold or have a flying pony."

"After my C-section, the only thing I was allowed to drink was liquids."

"All old people should be shot at birth."

"He's as sharp as a new penny."

"I know that area of town like the back of my head."

"She's like the pot calling the kettle a frying pan."

"She used enough scotch tape to feed a third world country."

"That really burns my goat!"

"You shouldn't let people get under your goat."

"I'm sweating like a bullet."

"It's like six of one and two dozen of the other."

"I hate to throw cold water on your bubble."

"I just got my car fixed and it's runnin' like a dime."

"That really raises the shackles on my neck."

"I'm optimistic but my optimistics is on the other side of the teeter-totter."

"We gotta get our soup and nuts together."

"I'm trying to contain an outbreak, and you're driving the monkey to the airport!"

"I used to be as sharp as a button."

"That'll put the monkey in your court."

"It was time to separate the wheat from the baby."

"You're only smart on the outside."

"I guess you're just AOL."

"If we can't lead them with a stick, we are going to have to beat them with a carrot."

"Not everything that shines is baloney."

"You're opening a complete can of Pandora's worms there."

"Monday morning the fan is going to hit the roof."

"It sounds like sour milk, and I don't like the smell of it."

"I don't want to put all my monkeys in one barrel."

"We've got to dig our way out of this puppy."

"In the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed horse is king!"

"You're a minefield of information."

"Looks like he's thrown a wrench in the monkey works."

“You don't want to put all your legs under one blanket.”

"I can't do it in the spur of a hat."

"That really burns my craw!"

"A two-prawn approach is necessary."

"He won't last, he's just a flash in the pants."

"You gotta walk with your pants on."

"Can I pick your ear?"

"I don't want to shoot myself in the hip."

"A little pain never hurt anyone."

"Is everyone else in the world a moron, or is it just me?"

"I can't come in to work because I need to have an autopsy."

"I don't feel like the sharpest button on the beach today."

"You have to keep all your marbles in the same duck."

"We don't want to screw ourselves in the foot."

"I feel like I'm beating my head against a dead horse."

"The ball is in his camp now."

"We need to get our ducks in the fire."

"Whatever rubs your boat!"

"You know I’m just pulling your lamb."

"If you fall and break your leg, don't come running to me!"

"They need to get all their ducks in one sock."

"We don't want to go barking up a dead horse."

"We're going to come out of this smelling like geniuses!"

"The ball is squarely on our shoulders."

"The best way to learn is from the school of Fort Knox."

"Make sure you cross your p's and q's."

"Throw that monkey back over the fence."

"She really rubs me up the wrong tree."

"Well, I'm just busier than a one-armed naked man."

"He had all of his ducks in one sock."

"I've just got my feet in too many pies right now."

"This thing is about to grow legs and take off...."

"Are you going to call the whole kettle black because of one bad potato?"

"If we do that we'll open up a whole new wormhole."

"Will everyone stop misundermining me!"

"I'd like to be a fish on the wall at that meeting."

"He was slow as Moses."

"I am sick and tired of the lack of disrespect towards me!"

"My arms were knee-deep in mud."

"'I see,' said the blind man to the fly.”

"We need to find a solution, even if it isn't the right one."

"Hey, don't eat the messenger!"

"It's only when this business comes into the foreplay that we should be concerned."

"We're going to have to watch that with a fine-tooth comb."

"..that's what really separates the wheat from the sheep."

"He's not the brightest brick in the basket."

"Don't worry; I've got an ace up my hole."

"He's not the brightest cookie in the lamp."

"You planted the seed, and I ran with it."

“I swear on my dog's breakfast!”

"If there was a rainbow at night, how would you know it was there?"

"Just because he's our landlord doesn't mean he owns the place."

"All old people should be shot at birth."

"I know that area of town like the back of my head."

"That's the carrot at the end of the tunnel."

"Vision is in the eyes of the beholder."

"Eventually, I want it now."

"In the last year, you've turned around 150%."

"It was a huge incontinence for me."

"I was already squeezing the buffalo."

"I think we're on the same page here, just different parts of the page."

"I think you might have hit the nail on the button."

"I'm caught between a rock and a wet spot."

"I was thinking about you in the shower this morning and I thought of a name for you."

"If you have that, the world is your walrus."

"It was jumping up and down like a sieve."

"I've got ears like a hawk."

"This guy's sharp as a cookie."

"I had too many hands in the fire."

"He's between a rock and a hotplate."

"It depends whether you are drinking from the side of the glass that is half-full or half-empty."

"I don't need a compass to tell me which way the wind shines!"

"It's like the blind talking to the blind!"

"She's not the brightest tree in the forest."

"I need a trash compactor because my garbage is too heavy to carry up the driveway."

"Cut the cake a different way and go for the lowest hanging fruit."

"Now, I do not want to toot my own wagon."

"He's not the brightest cookie in the lamp."

"We'd be biting off a new can of worms."

"Well, it's no skin off MY teeth!"

"That's just cutting your throat to spite your face."

"Remember! There is no 'I' in 'Team Spirit'!"

"If you can't finish the job on time, that'll really put a wrinkle in your feather."

"'Usually' only counts in horseshoes."

"I wouldn't trust them with a nine foot pole."

"Everything has been peaches and gravy."

"You're getting too clever for your own boots!"

"Then I figured that something was rotten in Denver."

"I'll be straight as a doorknob with you."

"Open your mouth and shut your ears when I'm talking to you."

"He couldn't find his way out of a paper bag if it bit him."

"They dropped the apple cart, now it's up to us to get it back on the tracks."

"We'll be done by the schedule date, maybe later."

"We are going to have to put all our oars in the fire for this project."

"That really throws a monkey at the wrench..."

"She's totally green under the collar."

"You don't want me down here breathing down your throats."

"I didn't think it would be a good idea to rattle the barrel."

"That floor is so clean you could comb your hair off of it."

"He is always robbing Peter Paul to pay Mary."

"It's good to get a taste of someone else's moccasins!"

"This is for your FYI."

"We definitely don't want to nail ourselves into a corner."

"I'm not the brightest bean in the hole."

"I want quality, not quantity; but lots of it."

"Don't look for a gift in the horse's mouth."

"I'm doing this just to break up the mahogany."

"We need to iron out our bread and butter."

"I think we should go for the whole ball of wood."

"Each of you pitched a home run today!"

"I usually dealt with him using felt-tipped gloves."

"It's an exercise in fertility."

"Hindsight is 50-50."

"You are never going to fail unless you try."

"We're scraping the bottom of the iceberg."

"Today is like the day Rome was built in. We can't afford to have any fiddlers."

"He might be barking at a red herring."

"He was smoking like a fish."

"He's as deaf as a bat."

"We don't want to stick our necks out and get our asses chopped off."

"I didn't have two dimes to pee on."

"I gave him a real mouthful."

"I really took the bull by the hands."

"He doesn't know his hole from an ass in the ground."

"I can't remember but it's right on the tip of my head!"

"You can lead a pig to pearls..."

"Thanksgiving is early this year because the first Thursday fell on a Monday."

"The skeleton is there. You just have to sharpen it and put the decorations on the tree."

"He would give you the shoes off his back."

"That question was so easy I could have answered it blindfolded."

"We're going to clean the competition's lunch."

"We've baked our cake, now we have to eat it."

"I want 24 x 7 availability, 5 days a week."

"The phone was ringing off its hinges."

"I didn't want to stir the apple cart."

"It was so quiet you could hear a needle drop in a haystack."

"I don't put my chickens before the horse."

"It was time to get the train out of the harbor."

"I didn't have many bullets left in the tank."

"I was shooting at straws."

"I was running on exhaustion fumes."

"I was looking for a seed that would get it over the hump."

"I didn't want to sit in the hotbox with my fingers in my ears."

"It's water under the dam now."

"I put the ball in the other shoe."

"That took the steam out of my sails."

"No point in making a molehill out of an elephant!"

"You can try, but it's like waiting for toast to boil."

"Can you tell me when my past due amount is due?"

"Eventually the penny will come home to roost."

"You are the wind beneath my cheeks."