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Macau; U.N. Human Rights Council: Activist to File Complaint

(Feb. 27, 2013) On February 21, 2013, Jason Chao was arrested by the police in Macau, together with activists protesting outside a building in which Wu Bangguo, the Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress of the People’s Republic of China, was expected. Chao stated that he was not directly part of the event, in which protestors were handing out leaflets, but was instead just filming it. It has been reported that he plans to take the issue to the United Nations Human Rights Council. (Sum Choi, Detained Activist to File Police Human Rights Abuse Complaint to UNHRC, MACAU DAILY TIMES (Feb. 25, 2013); Human Rights Council (2006 – ), UNITED NATIONS DOCUMENTATION: RESEARCH GUIDE, (last updated Feb. 26, 2013).)

Chao claims that after police officers checked his identification, they pushed him down, knocking him on the floor and breaking his camera. In an interview after the incident, he said that although he was not handcuffed, he was in other ways treated as a prisoner and placed in solitary confinement, without explanation. (Choi, supra.) He added that the U.N. agency was planning a review of human rights conditions in Macau and that he intends to send information about his treatment to the Geneva body to be considered. (Id.)

Chao is the head of the New Macau Association, a political party with three members in Macau’s legislature. (Sum Choi, Jason Chao Turns the Tables on the Gov’t, MACAU DAILY TIMES (Feb. 26, 2013);Ansar Ibrahim, New Macau Association Democratic Media Self Censorship, NEWS PRESSED (Dec. 11, 2012).)

Macau is a Special Administrative Unit of the People’s Republic of China. While China controls its foreign relations and defense, Macau has some autonomy, particularly in economic and commercial relations. (U.S. Relations with Macau, U.S. Department of State website (July 3, 2012).)