India reduces security outside UK high commission in New Delhi

Barriers also removed from high commissioner’s residence after Sikhs protest at Indian mission in London

New Delhi has reduced security outside the British high commission and the high commissioner’s residence in the Indian capital, removing the usual yellow metal barriers that provide an extra layer of protection.

Political analysts say it is retaliation for the UK police failing to stop a violent protest by Sikhs outside the Indian mission in London on Sunday when they vandalised the premises and pulled down the Indian flag.

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Pakistan court orders police to halt efforts to arrest Imran Khan

High court move follows violent clashes between police and supporters outside former PM’s house in Lahore

A court in Pakistan has ordered police to suspend an operation to arrest Imran Khan, after violent clashes between the former prime minister’s supporters and law enforcement outside his house.

The vicinity of Khan’s residence became a battleground on Tuesday, when police arrived after a lower court in Islamabad issued a non-bailable arrest warrant for not appearing before it despite several summonses.

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Hong Kong court jails Tiananmen anniversary vigil organisers

Prosecutors said Chow Hang-Tung, Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong were under foreign influence but refused to say who it was

A Hong Kong court has jailed three former members of a group that organised annual vigils to mark the 1989 Tiananmen Square crackdown in China.

Chow Hang-tung, 38, a prominent Hong Kong pro-democracy activist and former vice-chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance in Support of Patriotic Democratic Movements in China, was among those convicted by a magistrate’s court. The two others were Tang Ngok-kwan and Tsui Hon-kwong.

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Thai man jailed for selling duck calendars that ‘mocked’ king

‘Tonmai’, 26, given two-year sentence over cartoons of yellow ducks that became symbol of democracy protests

A 26-year-old man in Thailand has been sentenced to three years in prison, reduced to two years, for selling satirical calendars featuring pictures of cartoon ducks that officials say insult the monarchy.

The man, a legal officer known by the nickname Tonmai, was arrested on 31 December 2020 after police raided his home and confiscated desk calendars that included images of yellow ducks – one of the symbols of youth-led pro-democracy protests that began more than two years ago. Officials said the calendars, which were being sold through a Facebook protest group, defamed the king.

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‘You won’t find a braver man’: the Muslim witness confronting India’s legal labyrinth

Nisar Ahmed was almost killed in the Delhi riots. But when he became a witness in court cases against the alleged perpetrators, he realised that was only the start of his troubles

This is how Nisar Ahmed remembers it. On 24 February 2020, at about three in the afternoon, an uproar outside his house brought him to his window. A large crowd of men was passing through Bhagirathi Vihar, his neighbourhood in north-east Delhi, chanting “Victory to Lord Ram!” and “Wake up, Hindus, wake up!”. Ahmed conferred with Asma, his wife. They decided, somewhat uncertainly, that the procession was probably harmless to Muslims like them.

“It felt like the usual political sloganeering,” Ahmed recalled. Politics was politics, but this was a neighbourhood where Muslims and Hindus called one another over for chai and sat outside together late at night. That brotherhood was protection enough. If there was any disturbance, elders would settle it. That was the hope anyway, and Ahmed was a man who lived on hope. His house overlooked a sewage canal, but when he looked out of his window he would choose to see instead the unbroken sky. Small things like this brought him inordinate pleasure.

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Detained activist fears for missing zero-Covid protesters in China

Ding Jiaxi also tells lawyer he is worried about health after being held for more than three years

The detained human rights activist Ding Jiaxi has expressed concern for young protesters who have disappeared since participating in the “blank paper” protests against the zero-Covid policy in China last year.

At least 16 of them are still in police detention, according to names gathered by activists, while Ding himself has been detained for more than three years.

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Thin blue square: video shows apparent Chinese police drill against protester

Footage seems to show 10 officers training to neutralise one man using fabric banners

How many police officers does it take to neutralise a single unarmed protester? According to a video purported to be from China, it takes at least 10 highly disciplined members of law enforcement, as well as some bespoke blue banners.

In footage that emerged on Thursday, black-clad officers are shown practising a drill to surround a single person holding up a white piece of paper – an item that became the symbol of the anti-lockdown protests that rocked several major Chinese cities at the end of last year, and the demonstrations against the security laws imposed on Hong Kong in 2020.

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Wuhan welfare protests escalate as hundreds voice anger over health insurance cuts

Crowds of retirees gather in cities of Wuhan and Dalian to protest against cuts as local government coffers feel strain of years of Covid policies

Crowds of hundreds of older people took to the streets in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Dalian on Wednesday in escalating protests against changes to the public health insurance system.

The protests were sparked by cuts to monthly allowances paid to retirees under China’s vast public health insurance system. The changes, gradually introduced since 2021, come as local government finances are strained following years of strict and costly zero-Covid policies.

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Elderly Chinese people protest in Wuhan against medical benefits cuts

Rally is latest showing of public discontent since demonstrations against Covid curbs

Thousands of older people have staged a rally in the rain in central China to protest against significant cuts to their medical benefits, in the latest outburst of public discontent since nationwide protests against Covid curbs gripped the country late last year.

Video clips on social media show a large crowd of elderly protesters in raincoats and holding umbrellas gathering outside the Wuhan city government by the Yangtze River on Wednesday, while police officers form a line to stop them from approaching the gates. The location of the rally has been verified.

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‘We just want to live in a normal world’: China’s young protesters speak out, and disappear

‘Blank Paper movement’ decrying government policies rekindles dissent after Xi Jinping’s decade of iron-fisted crackdowns

Cao Zhixin was an ordinary young woman with no political ambition, but a fateful decision to take to the streets one night last year has inadvertently turned her into the face of resistance in China.

“She was just a girl who was keen on books, she didn’t have great ambitions,” says a close friend who spoke to the Guardian but requested anonymity for fear of reprisals. “She said all she wanted was a husband, kids and a warm bed.”

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Hong Kong: landmark national security trial of 47 democracy advocates begins

Protests as former politicians, activists, campaigners and community workers appear in court accused of ‘conspiracy to commit subversion’

Hong Kong’s largest national security trial began on Monday, involving 47 of the city’s most high-profile democracy advocates, in a hearing that has been labelled a trial of the territory’s pro-democracy movement itself.

The group of former politicians, activists, campaigners, and community workers are accused of “conspiracy to commit subversion” over the holding of unofficial pre-election primaries in July 2020.

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Afghan refugees protest against plans to move them from London to Yorkshire

Some of the refugees worked alongside British army before Taliban took power in 2021

Afghan refugees have protested against the UK government’s plans to move them 200 miles from London to Yorkshire amid claims that they could challenge the decision in the courts.

Carrying homemade placards saying “Do not disturb our education”, more than 120 people – including teenagers and toddlers – gathered outside Downing Street on Friday.

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Thai activists in weak condition on hunger strike, say doctors

Jailed activists Tantawan Tuatulanon and Orawan Phupong are demanding lese-majesty law be repealed

Two young Thai activists accused of insulting the monarchy are in a weak, exhausted condition and experiencing symptoms such as nosebleeds and chest pain after a hunger strike during which they have only sipped water, according to their lawyer and doctors.

Tantawan “Tawan” Tuatulanon, 21, and Orawan “Bam” Phupong, 23, were accused of breaching Thailand’s lese-majesty law after they held up a poster at a shopping mall asking people whether they believed that royal motorcades – which lead to road closures – create trouble for the public. Tantawan faces a second lese-majesty case over a speech she gave on Facebook live.

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Hongkongers in UK ask Suella Braverman to ditch ‘repressive’ anti-protest bill

Exclusive: Letter to home secretary says bill echoes ‘dangerously broad laws’ that result in jailing of protesters

Hongkongers in Britain have called on Suella Braverman to reconsider controversial measures in her public order bill, which they likened to the repressive measures used to crack down on democratic opposition in their home city.

In a letter to the UK home secretary, aspects of the bill were described as “repressive measures that threaten to paralyse entire social movement” and posed a threat to their right to protest in Britain, including against Chinese communist repression in Hong Kong.

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Hong Kong police arrest six for selling ‘seditious’ book at lunar new year fair

Six people accused of publishing book relating to 2019 protests in move critics say has spread terror

Police in Hong Kong have raided a lunar new year shopping fair and arrested six people for selling a “seditious” book related to the 2019 anti-government protests in a move critics say has spread “terror” just days before the celebrations.

National security officers accused three men and three women, aged between 18 and 62, of producing and publishing “a seditious book about a series of riots that occurred in Hong Kong from June 2019 to February 2020”, and selling it in a lunar new year stall in a shopping centre in Mong Kok, a bustling shopping district.

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