*China’s Communist Party Central Committee 15 October, 2010, started its annual closed-door meeting to map out the country’s economic course for the next five years, amid increasingly fervent calls for political reform and against the continuing crackdown on human rights activists, dissidents and lawyers. Also, open letters by opposing voices and a wider press coverage*
Liu, a literary critic, writer and political activist, was sentenced to 11 years in prison in 2008 for “inciting subversion against the state”. In 2008, Liu and several hundred intellectuals in China issued a manifesto, Charter 08, calling for political reform and an end to one-party rule. Former Czech president Vaclav Havel has proposed Liu for a Nobel Peace Prize.
This year International Conscientious Objectors’ Day will be celebrated as usual in the UK with a small ceremony at the CO’s Memorial consisting of a lump of volcanic rock in Tavistock Square, London, close to the statue of Gandhi and the Hiroshima blossom tree. It commemorates those who refused to kill, even when they faced their own death for disobeying military orders.
The traditional knowledge and practices of about 370 million indigenous peoples in 90 countries around the world are increasingly being recognized as vital for conservation of nature and efforts to combat and adapt to climate change.
Ban Ki Moon called on “governments, indigenous peoples and UN to ensure that the Declaration on Rights of Indigenous Peoples becomes a reality”.
China has come under fire for its use of the death penalty – and for failing to publish official figures on capital punishment. Amnesty International has produced an annual report criticizing Beijing, and urging the government to be more transparent. Fewer people were executed in 2009 than in previous years, according to the document.