China (Bronze President): A new report claims that a threat group dubbed Bronze President, which is believed to be tied to the Chinese government, has been targeting human rights activists for the past five years. The workers who were targeted were all working on campaigns involving Chinese human rights violations. Currently there are a “handful” of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) which have been identified as targets, but it is believed that the number of targeted NGOs is likely significantly higher. One of the targeted NGOs was focusing on bringing attention to the Chinese government’s treatment of thousands of Uighur and other Muslim minorities in China, as well as the current situation in Hong Kong. The group has also been linked to campaigns against law enforcement agencies and political entities operating in countries surrounding China.
Analyst Note: The fact that the organizations and information targeted by Bronze President are so important to Beijing only further supports the assessment that the threat group is tied to the Chinese government. Beijing likes to keep a close eye on groups and individuals that publicize information which paints the Chinese government in a less than favorable light. Often times NGOs that are heavily focused on human rights have access to information that would help Beijing to more easily identify and track down activists within Chinese controlled areas.