Easter blessings from UCAN
There is no more important week in the year for Christians than this Holy Week. We call it Holy because of the mystery we celebrate - God's gift of His son who loves us to his death on Calvary and beyond.
Because of that love, we wish each other Happy Easter even when we know there is a lot of tragedy about it - Good Friday. As Christians, we know that what we see happening with and in Jesus goes to the heart of what we know from our own experience of life.
At the Second Vatican Council, the Christian lives we all lead were described as being shares in the Paschal Mystery. We have our share in the death and resurrection of Jesus every day. Our lives are part of the Paschal Mystery.
At UCAN, we work to describe that mystery in the unfolding tragedies and astonishing blessings of the people we seek out and report, feature and comment on.
While at times deeply distressing work, this effort of ours gets its coherence in the same way the death of Jesus did - because of the astonishing grace of a God who never gives up on life and love.
Because of that, we can wish you Happy Easter.
Fr. Michael Kelly SJ
Rights report slams China crackdown
Efforts to control lawyers have intensified in past two years, rights group says
- Mike MacLachlan, London
- United Kingdom
- July 1, 2011
The state‚Äôs efforts to control lawyers have intensified over the past two years and have been stepped up further in recent months, the London-based rights body says in a report titled Against the Law ‚Äď Crackdown on China‚Äôs Human Rights Lawyers Deepens.
‚ÄúThe crackdown stems from government fears of a ‚ÄėJasmine Revolution‚Äô inspired by the Arab Spring, AI says, adding that it has led to the detention of scores of government critics, activists and netizens since February.
‚ÄúHuman rights lawyers are subject to escalating silencing tactics from suspension or revoking of licenses, to harassment, enforced disappearance or even torture,‚ÄĚ said Catherine Baber, AI‚Äôs Asia Pacific deputy director.
AI cites the case of the Beijing Gongxin law firm which represented Uighur Christian, Alimujiang Yimiti, jailed for ‚Äúpassing state secrets to foreign organizations," and has since suffered regular harassment.
It also attacks Beijing over the ‚Äúdisappearance‚ÄĚ of the Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. He was taken in for questioning in February 2009 and was not seen again until March 2010. He vanished again within a month and has not been seen since. The government denies knowledge of his whereabouts.
‚ÄúThe Chinese state is attempting to wield and manipulate the law to crush those it perceives as a threat," Baber said. ‚ÄúHuman rights lawyers are being targeted as they try to use the law to protect citizens against the excesses of the state.‚ÄĚ