|Two Reports Savagely Criticize China’s Human Rights Record|
The U.S. Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC), Annual Report 2016 and the British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission (CPHRC) have both been scathing of the Chinese Human rights record and the lack of progress and transparency since being granted entry to the World Trade Organisation in 2001.
The CECC says that “2016 will mark 15 years since China’s accession to the World Trade Organization (WTO). At that time, the Chinese government made commitments that were important not only for China’s commercial development in the international marketplace, but also for its development of the rule of law domestically. China— now ranking as the world’s second largest economy—has benefited greatly from the international rules-based system in driving its economic transformation and growth, but the Chinese Communist Party has continued to reject the notion that the rule of law should supersede the Party’s role in guiding the functions of the state, impeding China’s ability to honor its WTO obligations.”
“The Chinese government’s human rights record is utterly deplorable,” said CECC chairman and Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) in a statement. “It is a dark time for China’s reformers, dissidents, and rights defenders as they face escalating repression and conditions deteriorated again last year.”
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) said in a statement: “China has in fact used the international rules-based system to fuel vast economic growth, while further restricting freedom and increasing repression.”
The report notes many issues in China today, including a crackdown on human rights lawyers; the abuse of Tibetans, Uyghurs, and North Korean asylum seekers; the compromise of Hong Kong’s “One Country, Two Systems” self-governing principle; and the repression of religions.
The CECC report notes that practitioners of Falun Gong still face “continued harassment and abuse” since the persecution began in 1999, and “human rights organizations and practitioners have documented coercive and violent practices against Falun Gong practitioners during custody, including electric shocks, sleep deprivation, food deprivation, forced feeding, forced drug administration, beatings, sexual abuse, and forcible commitment to psychiatric facilities.”
Rights defense lawyers who took on Falun Gong cases were also targeted by the regime. Gao Zhisheng, one of the first Chinese lawyers to defend Falun Gong practitioners is still monitored day and night and unable to travel - his family are seeking asylum in the United States.
Rep. Smith said that “detained Falun Gong practitioners, and other prisoners, were reportedly victims of the horrible crime of organ harvesting,” while the report notes international skepticism over China organ czar Huang Jiefu’s claims that the regime has stopped using organs from prisoners.
On June 13, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Chinese regime’s practice of harvesting organs from prisoners, including Falun Gong practitioners.
The CECC report recommends that:
Members of the U.S. Congress and Administration officials are encouraged to:
Give greater public expression, including at the highest levels of the U.S. Government, to the issue of press freedom in China, condemning the harassment and detention of both domestic and foreign journalists, the denial, threat of denial, or delay of visas for foreign journalists, and the censoring or blockage of foreign media websites.
Sustain, and where appropriate expand, programs that develop and distribute widely technologies that will assist Chinese human rights advocates and civil society organizations in circumventing Internet restrictions, in order to access and share content protected under international human rights standards.
Raise with Chinese officials, during all appropriate bilateral discussions, the costs to U.S.-China relations and to the Chinese public’s confidence in government institutions that occur when the Chinese government restricts political debate, advocacy for democracy or human rights, and other forms of peaceful political expression.
Congress and the Administration should work together to better implement existing laws that restrict visa access for individuals responsible for severe human rights violations and ensure that U.S. consular officials know how to apply such laws consistently
Urge Chinese officials to end unlawful detention and official harassment of Chinese activists, lawyers, and journalists subject to reprisal for exercising their right to freedom of expression. Call on officials to end the illegal home confinement of individuals such as Liu Xia; and release or confirm the release of individuals detained or imprisoned for exercising freedom of expression, such as Liu Xiaobo, Zhang Haitao, Drukar Gyal (Shogjang), Gao Zhisheng, Xie Wenfei, and Wang Mo.
Call on the Chinese government to guarantee to all citizens freedom of religion in accordance with China’s international human rights obligations. Stress to Chinese authorities that freedom of religion includes the right to freely adopt beliefs and practice religious activities without government interference, particularly interference based on political goals.
Stress to the Chinese government that the right to freedom of religion includes, but is not limited to: the right of Buddhists and Taoists to carry out activities in temples and select monastic teachers independent of state controls over religion; the right of Catholics to recognize the authority of the Holy See in matters relating to the practice of their faith, including to make bishop appointments; the right of Falun Gong practitioners to freely practice Falun Gong inside China.
Read full report here
The inquiry focused on the arrests, detention and continuing harassment of lawyers in China; the abduction and detention of booksellers from Hong Kong and exiled Chinese activists from Thailand and other locations; the continued detention of dissidents, bloggers and journalists in China; the increased repression of the media; the proposed new legislation governing the conduct of NGOs in China; the use of televised forced confessions; the use of torture; organ harvesting; the arrest and deportation of foreign activists; the destruction of Christian crosses in Zhejiang province and the wider implications for freedom of religion or belief; the ongoing repression in Tibet and Xinjiang; and the deteriorating political situation in Hong Kong.
This report concentrates on those areas which were the focus of our hearings and written submissions, namely:
Intimidation, abductions, televised confessions, a propaganda war and a climate of fear
Crackdown on lawyers and human rights defenders
Freedom of expression
Freedom of religion or belief
Torture is a consistent theme running through almost all the sections of the report and therefore we have not devoted a separate, specific section to torture.
According to most sources, torture continues to be widely used. Amnesty International told the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission that “torture and other ill treatment remain widespread in detention and interrogation”. Prisoners in poor health have been, according to Amnesty International, “either denied or unable to access adequate medical treatment”. The UN Committee against Torture reviewed China’s implementation of its treaty obligations under the Convention against Torture in 2015, and expressed multiple concerns.
Read full report here
|Last Updated on Wednesday, 12 October 2016 19:59|