Abduction and enforced disappearance have been increasingly used by oppressive regimes globally. Torture and enforced disappearances have been a structural problem of state punishment and repression rather than being exceptional instances of it. Used by colonial powers and liberal democracies these techniques have been widely shared and circulated between states as modes of extracting confessions. In many of these cases, people have been subjected to arbitrary arrest, detentions without a warrant, and sexual violence. This strategy has been frequently used in places like Argentina, China, Egypt, Kashmir, and Turkey. The speakers speak to these politics from their experiences in Egypt, Kashmir and “Xinjiang”.
With Ahmed Said, Ather Zia and Vincent Wong. Moderated by Mahvish Ahmad.
Interview with Lam Chi Leung, a socialist based in Hong Kong and a member of Left21, a socialist collective.
Hong Kong residents are now living under the new reality of China’s imposed “security law.” Revolutionary socialists find themselves in a difficult and dangerous situation, as do all social and democratic activists.
The Hong Kong Security Law is framed by a complex relationship between U.S. and Chinese imperialism. The trade war between the two nations has led to posturing that includes President Trump’s threatening to ban the Chinese social media platform TikTok while at the same time blaming the horrors of COVID-19 on China. Trump said in an interview with Gray Television, “It’s a big business. Look, what happened with China with this virus, what they’ve done to this country and to the entire world is disgraceful.”
The movement for democratic rights in Hong Kong can also be placed in the broader context of the fight against police brutality and in general state repression. The explosion of the movement against police brutality in the U.S. has similar parallel movements in many countries and places, including Hong Kong.
Zoe Zhao: Sociology PhD student working on issues of gender, digital labor and transnational social movements. Having volunteered for several NGOs and social movement networks in China and the US, she hopes to contribute to contemporary transnational organizing via activist scholarship.
Anna Nizhnik: Associate Professor, Russian State University for the Humanities. Socialist feminist, publisher, activist. Specializes in Literary Gender Studies and Women’s History.
Ecehan Balta: Holds a bachelor’s degree in Sociology, master’s degree and PhD in Political Science. She has been an ecosocialist feminist activist for around 30 years. She is a member of Baslangic (A Start) Collective founded after the Gezi uprising in 2013 as a combination of movements from different political origins. She is also a member of Socialist Alternative, a Turkish section of ISA (International Socialist Alternative).
Moderated byFatemeh Masjedi: Iranian academic historian and activist based in Berlin. Member of the Alliance of Middle Eastern and North African Socialists. She was a political prisoner in Iran because of her women’s rights activities.