An LGBTQ rights group in Beijing it became the latest Chinese organization to be forced to shut down due to the Xi Jinping regime’s crackdown campaign.
Due to forces beyond our control, we regretfully announce that the Beijing LGBT Center stopped working today”the center reported Monday night in a text posted on the group’s official account on the WeChat platform.
The shutdown represents a critical blow to groups that were once able to go public her advocacy work for LGBTQ+ rights.
“They are not the first group, nor are they the biggest, but because the Beijing LGBT Center was in Beijing, it represented the LGBT movement in China,” said a Chinese activist who requested anonymity for fear of his safety.
“In our political, economic and cultural center, having this type of organization was a symbol of the presence of the LGBT movement”he added.
The Beijing LGBT Center had described its mission as evolving. Started as a safe space for the community to hold events and then became an advocacy group with the objective of “improving the living conditions of the sexually diverse community”.
They also offered low-cost emotional health counseling and posted lists of LGBTQ-friendly health professionals.
For its part, the human rights NGO Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) denounced new pressure and harassment from China against lawyers such as Zhou Shifeng, who is “under police surveillance” without the possibility of leaving from his apartment.
According to CHRD, Zhou, who was sentenced to seven years in prison in August 2016 and released in September 2022, is “under police surveillance”, with people “checking the door of his house and apartment”.
“Her phone and Wechat social network account are also being monitored. In addition, he was prevented from visiting the mother of a friend of his during Mother’s Day, on May 14,” the NGO said on Monday through Twitter, a censored network in the country.
The NGO also warned of pressure against Li Heping, one of the most renowned defenders of activists in the country and who was sentenced in 2017 to three years in prison for “subversion”.
According to CHRD, Li’s landlord came to his door along with ten other people to try to forcefully evict him despite the fact that he has signed a five-year rental contract that expires on August 17.
“The landlord came to threaten him with death and they broke the windows of his apartment. He li called the police, who sided with the landlord,” CHRD noted.
Both Zhou and Li were detained along with numerous other lawyers from firms defending activists and dissidents. (or people close to these lawyers), in the so-called “709 campaign” that began in 2015 against this group.
Finally, the NGO also ensures that the police have questioned the activist Zhu Chengzhi in recent days for “following up” on a preliminary hearing against Wang Aizhong, who is accused of “causing fights and problems”.
These charges, according to CHRD, are used by the authorities “as a pretext” to imprison government critics, including those who post comments or share information on the Internet that they consider a threat to political stability.
(With information from AP and EFE)
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