February 8th, 2017 | Victims of Communism

Victims of Communism — Memorial Foundation

February 8th, 2017


A Top Chinese Judge Is Calling Trump a “Bully” and Schooling Him on What the Law Is About
Charlie Campbell, TIME
The US president is an “enemy of the rule of law,” according to a top Chinese judge, reacting to Trump’s verbal attacks on an American judge who blocked his controversial travel ban last week. He Fan, a member of the apex Supreme People’s Court of China, denounced Trump as a “bully without dignity” on social media, drawing a link between his criticism of US District Judge James Robart and the slaying of a Chinese judge in his home by a former defendant last month.

Study Retraction Reignites Concern over China’s Possible Use of Prisoner Organs
Dalmeet Singh Chawla, SCIENCE
A journal has decided to retract a 2016 study because of concerns that its data on the safety of liver transplantation involved organs sourced from executed prisoners in China. The action, taken despite a denial by the study’s authors that such organs were used, comes after clinical ethicist Wendy Rogers of Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia, and colleagues authored a letter to the editor of Liver International on 30 January, calling for the paper’s retraction in the “absence of credible evidence of ethical sourcing of organs.”

China May Still Be Using Executed Prisoners’ Organs, Official Admits
Stephanie Kirchgaessner, THE GUARDIAN
An official in charge of overhauling China’s organ transplant program has said the country may still be using organs from executed prisoners in some cases, even though there is technically zero tolerance for the practice. The admission by Huang Jiefu, a former Chinese deputy health minister, came as human rights activists and medical ethics experts voiced strong objections to his inclusion at a Vatican summit designed to tackle illicit organ trafficking.


One Cuban Artist Depicts the Sea As a Deadly “Iron Curtain”
David Alm, FORBES
Artist Yoan Capote, who lives outside Havana, has just put on display a show titled Palangre, which is comprised of multiple works that function simultaneously as paintings and sculptures, and depict their subject—the Caribbean—as a place of terror and death. Capote, who was born in 1977, says the show represents the psychological and emotional reality of his countrymen and women, for whom the sea is a kind of “iron curtain” no less formidable than the Berlin Wall. “In Cuba, we understand the sea as a kind of metal barrier,” he says.


New Images Show How North Korea Is Expanding Its Missile Research
Evelyn Cheng, CNBC
The nuclear threat from North Korea looks greater than ever. Even as the new US defense secretary warned North Korea on Friday of an “effective and overwhelming” response if the rogue state uses nuclear weapons, images indicate that Pyongyang continues to rapidly build out its missile program—research, development and facilities for storing, launching and testing missiles. “There’s a lot going on. It’s not looking good,” said David Schmerler, research associate at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies.

China Seen as Key to Financial Sanctions on North Korea
China’s willingness to implement existing sanctions is vital to financial pressure on the development of nuclear arms by North Korea, a former senior US official Daniel Glaser said Tuesday. Since early 2015, Washington has been applying incremental pressure on Pyongyang. “The key to North Korea financial pressure has always been—[and] remains—the willingness and the ability of the Chinese to crack down on North Korean access within the Chinese financial system,” said Glaser in an interview with VOA.


Russian Court Says Opposition Leader Navalny Guilty of Embezzlement
A Russian judge said on Wednesday that opposition leader Alexei Navalny was guilty of embezzlement, Interfax news agency reported, a decision that may force the activist to drop his plan to run in next year’s presidential election. The judge at the court in the city of Kirov was still reading his verdict, but it was clear from his remarks Navalny would be found guilty, the agency said. Navalny said during a break that the new verdict repeated word for word a previous court ruling which the European Court of Human Rights found had violated his rights.

Investors Warm to Russia, With Toy-Store Owner Set to Be First Big IPO Since 2014
Russia’s top children’s goods retailer is set for a $1 billion listing in Moscow this week, the country’s first big initial public offering since 2014 and the latest sign of renewed investor confidence in the sanctions-hit economy. The IPO is the first on the Moscow Stock Exchange this year and could prepare the ground for more listings after a fallow period following the Kremlin’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 and the crisis in Ukraine which led to the US and other western countries imposing sanctions on Moscow.


Senators Seek Hill Veto Power over Trump on Russia
Manu Raju, CNN
A growing number of senators from both parties plan to ratchet up their push to stiffen sanctions on Russia and demand Congress have the final say if President Donald Trump decides to weaken penalties on the country unilaterally. The move by six senators is the latest warning from Capitol Hill to the new administration over US-Russian relations. On Wednesday, a group led by Sens. Lindsey Graham, R-South Carolina, and Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, plan to introduce legislation that would impose strict new congressional oversight and veto power over the Trump administration if it decided to lift sanctions on Russia.

China Needs to Release Two Political Prisoners
On Monday night, US Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., took to the Senate floor to highlight the plight of Jiang Tianyong and Tang Jingling, two lawyers imprisoned by the Chinese government for their human rights advocacy. Rubio’s speech was his second in 2017 as part of his #expressionNOToppression initiative, which highlights human rights abuses around the world. Jiang was disbarred by the Chinese government because of his vigorous human rights advocacy. Tang was convicted of “inciting subversion of state power” after working on cases related to village compensation, corruption and also by representing activists.


Bipartisan US Lawmakers Urge Trump to Sanction Venezuela
A bipartisan group of 34 US lawmakers has sent a letter to President Donald Trump urging him to step up pressure on Venezuela’s government by immediately sanctioning officials responsible for corruption and human rights abuses, The Associated Press has learned. The letter was partly prompted by an AP investigation, which it cites, that found corruption in Venezuela’s food imports. It also calls for a thorough probe into alleged drug trafficking and support for Middle Eastern terror groups by the country’s new vice president, Tareck El Aissami.


Petition Pushes Hanoi to Release Vietnamese Activist
More than two dozen Vietnamese civil society organizations and nearly 850 individuals signed a petition on Tuesday demanding that authorities immediately release activist Tran Thi Nga, who was arrested just before the Tet holiday last month. According to the petition, Tran Thi Nga was harassed, attacked, and monitored before her arrest. Signed by 31 civil society organizations and 847 individuals, the petition claims that Nga was innocent when she carried out her peaceful activities advocating for human rights and democracy, blogger Nguyen Tuong Thuy, one of the petitioners, told RFA’s Vietnamese service.