Archive for ‘Human rights’

12/12/2018

China issues white paper on human rights progress over 40 years of reform, opening up

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) — China on Wednesday issued a white paper on progress in human rights since its reform and opening up drive.

The white paper, titled “Progress in Human Rights over the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up in China,” said reform and opening up has helped liberate and develop social productive forces, opened up a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and ushered in a new chapter in the development of human rights.

Over the four decades, the Chinese people have worked hard as one under the strong and coherent leadership of the Communist Party of China (CPC), the white paper said. Huge changes have taken place, and living standards have significantly improved.

The CPC has always prioritized the people’s interests, ensuring that reform is conducted for the people and by the people, and that its benefits are shared by the people, it added.

China has showed respect for, protected and promoted human rights in the course of reform and opening up, blazing a trail of human rights development that conforms to the national conditions, and created new experiences and made progress in safeguarding human rights, it said.

China has summed up its historical experience, drawn on the achievements of human civilization, combined the universal principles of human rights with the realities of the country, and generated a series of innovative ideas on human rights, it said.

China has brought into being basic rights that center on the people and prioritize their rights to subsistence and development, and proposed that China should follow a path of comprehensive and coordinated human rights development under the rule of law.

The white paper said China has carried out extensive exchanges and cooperation in the field of human rights and earnestly fulfilled its international human rights obligations.

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12/12/2018

China establishes governance principle of respecting, protecting human rights: white paper

BEIJING, Dec. 12 (Xinhua) — A white paper released Wednesday by the State Council Information Office said China has firmly established a governance principle of respecting and protecting human rights.

“It is the determination and ultimate goal of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the Chinese government to respect and protect human rights,” said the document, titled “Progress in Human Rights over the 40 Years of Reform and Opening Up in China.”

Since the launch of reform and opening up in 1978, “respecting and protecting human rights” has been written into the reports to CPC National Congresses, the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, the Constitution of the CPC, and strategies and plans for national development, becoming an important principle of governance for the CPC and the Chinese government, it said.

According to the white paper, that the state respects and protects human rights has been established as an important principle of the Constitution of China.

Also, the CPC pursues human rights protection in its governance, the document said.

The white paper noted that it has become a core goal of national development to respect and protect human rights.

07/12/2018

China-U.S. dialogue on rule of law and human rights concludes in Beijing

BEIJING, Dec. 6 (Xinhua) — The eighth China-U.S. Dialogue on Rule of Law and Human Rights concluded in Beijing Wednesday.

Jiang Jianguo, deputy head of the Publicity Department of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, addressed the opening session of the three-day event.

Jiang expressed the hope that the dialogue between China and the United States in the field of human rights could comply with the trend and look at the big picture, respect differences and communicate equally, deepen cooperation and enhance mutual trust, in order to play a unique role in promoting the cause of human rights of the two countries and the healthy development of China-U.S. relations.

Huang Mengfu, chairman of China Foundation for Human Rights Development, said the dialogue, initiated in 2009, had become an important platform for non-governmental organizations of both countries to conduct exchanges on human rights, effectively enhancing mutual understanding.

“It reflects the good wishes of both sides to contribute to China-U.S. relations through people-to-people communication and exchanges,” Huang added.

Next year will mark the 40th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, said Stephen A. Orlins, president of the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Orlins said he hoped the dialogue would have a positive influence on relations between the two countries and called for confidence in the future of U.S.-China relations.

Over 50 experts and scholars from China and the United States attended the event. The American representatives visited the Supreme People’s Court and Beijing Internet Court on Wednesday.

05/12/2018

China ‘rejects German human rights delegation’s request’ to visit Xinjiang

China has denied a German human rights delegation access to the far western region of Xinjiang to investigate mass detention centres for Uygurs, according to the German foreign ministry.

German Human Rights Commissioner Bärbel Kofler said on Tuesday that the request was made as part of preparations for the annual German-Chinese Human Rights Dialogue in Lhasa on Thursday and Friday.

“I am shocked by reports of the treatment of the Turkic Uygur minority, more than one million of whom are estimated to be imprisoned in internment camps in Xinjiang,” Kofler said, adding that she would continue to ask for permission to travel to Xinjiang.

She said she would also raise Germany’s concerns about religious freedom, civil society, and other human rights issues in China during the meeting in Tibet.

Germany has been a vocal critic of China’s human rights record, including the interment camps in Xinjiang

China says the camps are vocational training centres and part of its anti-terrorism efforts, but critics say Uygurs are forced into centres in violation of human rights.

Former inmates and monitoring groups say people in the camps are subjected to prison-like conditions and forced to renounce their religion and cultural background.

On a trip to China last month, German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas urged Beijing to be more transparent about conditions in the camps.

Germany, along with the United States and France, called on China to close the camps during a United Nations review of China’s human rights record in Geneva last month.

Last week, Uygur woman Mihrigul Tursun told the United States Congress that she was tortured multiple times while detained in one of the centres, where a number of detainees died.

After the dialogue in Tibet, Kofler will return to Beijing to meet German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who is on a state visit.

Last year’s human rights dialogue was cancelled by China, with neither China nor Germany saying why it was called off.

07/12/2014

China to end use of prisoners’ organs for transplants next month | Reuters

China, the only country that still systematically takes organs from executed prisoners for use in transplant operations, plans to end the controversial practice from next month, a state-run newspaper said on Friday.

The government has over the last year flagged plans to end the practice, which has drawn criticism from rights groups, who have accused authorities of taking many organs without consent from prisoners or their families, a claim Beijing has denied.

The official China Daily said that human organ transplants will from Jan. 1 rely on voluntary public donations and on donations from living relatives.

“Harvesting organs from executed prisoners for transplants is controversial, despite written consent being required from donors and their relatives,” Huang Jiefu, head of the China Organ Donation Committee, was quoted as saying.

via China to end use of prisoners’ organs for transplants next month | Reuters.

05/09/2014

Chinese woman wrongfully jailed for theft given apology and payout 25 years after | South China Morning Post

Twenty-five years after she was locked up behind bars, a Guangdong woman on Thursday received more than 650,000 yuan (HK$818,000) in compensation for being wrongfully imprisoned – in the latest case of corrective measures for miscarried justice in China.

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Bai Chunrong was sentenced to eight years in prison for theft on July 28, 1989, and served time until she was released in 1996, the Guangdong province newspaper New Express reported.

Bai filed an appeal in March 1990 but the Foshan Intermediate People’s Court upheld the conviction. There were no further details about her crime given in the court announcement.

The same court reopened the case in late March and the judge declared her innocent on the grounds of insufficient evidence.

Bai received the compensation from the Foshan court judge, who apologised to Bai for the wrongful conviction.

Bai, crying while kneeling on the floor and kowtowing to the magistrate, said: “I really thank the current court and judge for helping me get vindicated.”

Last month, in a rare acquittal, a court in southeastern Fujian province overturned the death penalty against a food hawker convicted of double murder.

via Chinese woman wrongfully jailed for theft given apology and payout 25 years after | South China Morning Post.

13/06/2014

China’s Supreme Court overturns death sentences for two men who raped 11-year-old girl | South China Morning Post

The Supreme People’s Court has overturned the death sentences given to two men convicted of raping and forcing an 11-year-old girl to work in a brothel.

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The court said the high-profile case, which has received national media attention, would be retried.

Tang Hui, the victim’s mother, has campaigned for years believing death sentences should be handed out to all people who were guilty in her daughter’s case.

She has also petitioned local governments to punish officials who she said had been bribed by prostitution gangs to protect their operations.

“The ruling has dealt a heavy blow to us,” Tang told the South China Morning Post yesterday.

“My family just tries to live a normal life. As the case reopens, we’ll experience all the nightmares again. I’m especially worried about my daughter.”

Tang’s daughter has contracted herpes, an incurable sexually transmitted disease, and psychological trauma after she was raped and forced to work as a prostitute at the age 11 for two months in a brothel in Yongzhou in Hunan province in 2006.

Her daughter’s two main kidnappers were sentenced to death in June 2012, four accomplices received life sentences and one was jailed for 15 years.

A representative from the Supreme People’s Court said in an interview with the People’s Daily that the death sentences had been overturned because the crimes were not serious enough to warrant capital punishment.

“The circumstances of the crime had not reached the degree of being extremely serious,” the spokesman said.

Forcing a large number of victims into prostitution, or performing torture on victims that resulted in death or permanent injury might have warranted the death sentence, the official added.

Lu Miaoqing , a lawyer in Guangzhou, said the Supreme People’s Court ruling was understandable as judges tended to avoid capital punishment unless a crime had caused deaths.

via China’s Supreme Court overturns death sentences for two men who raped 11-year-old girl | South China Morning Post.

07/05/2014

In China’s Xinjiang, economic divide seen fuelling ethnic unrest | Reuters

Hundreds of migrant workers from distant corners of China pour daily into the Urumqi South railway station, their first waypoint on a journey carrying them to lucrative work in other parts of the far western Xinjiang region.

Uighur women stand next to a street to wait for a bus in downtown Urumqi, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region May 1, 2014. REUTERS-Petar Kujundzic

Like the columns of police toting rifles and metal riot spears that weave between migrants resting on their luggage, the workers are a fixture at the station, which last week was targeted by a bomb and knife attack the government has blamed on religious extremists.

“We come this far because the wages are good,” Shi Hongjiang, 26, from the southwestern metropolis of Chongqing, told Reuters outside the station. “Also, the Uighur population is small. There aren’t enough of them to do the work.”

Shi’s is a common refrain from migrant workers, whose experience finding low-skilled work is very different to that of the Muslim Uighur minority.

Employment discrimination, experts say, along with a demographic shift that many Uighurs feel is diluting their culture, is fuelling resentment that spills over into violent attacks directed at Han Chinese, China’s majority ethnic group.

The apparent suicide attack on the station, which killed one bystander, was the latest violence to hit Xinjiang, despite a pledge from China’s President Xi Jinping to rain “crushing blows against violent terrorist forces”.

via In China’s Xinjiang, economic divide seen fuelling ethnic unrest | Reuters.

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07/05/2014

China detains five activists before 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown | Reuters

China on Tuesday detained five rights activists, three lawyers and a rights group said, after they attended a weekend meeting that called for a probe into the suppression of pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in 1989.

Chinese lawyer Pu Zhiqiang (R) speaks to journalists outside a courthouse in Chongqing municipality, December 28, 2012. REUTERS/Stringer

Among those held was Pu Zhiqiang, a prominent free-speech lawyer, who has represented many dissidents, including artist Ai Weiwei and an activist of the “New Citizens’ Movement”, a group that urges Chinese leaders to disclose their assets. He was detained on a charge of “causing a disturbance”, two lawyers said.

He has also opposed the system of forced labor camps, which the government has abolished, and featured prominently in state media for that campaign – unusual for a government critic.

Also detained were dissident Liu Di and Xu Youyu, a professor with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, a government think-tank, rights lawyer Shang Baojun said, citing conversations he had with family members of Liu and Xu.

Shang said he did not know what charge Liu and Xu would face as the families have not received their detention notices.

Dissident Hu Shigen and Hao Jian, who teaches at the Beijing Film Academy, were also detained, according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a China-based rights advocacy group.

The detentions raised the stakes in a crackdown on dissent and underscored the sensitivity of Chinese leaders to criticism ahead of the 25th anniversary of the crushing of demonstrations around Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 4, 1989.

via China detains five activists before 25th anniversary of Tiananmen crackdown | Reuters.

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12/03/2014

Police: Rebels kill 18 soldiers in central India – Businessweek

Police say Maoist rebels have killed 18 paramilitary soldiers in an ambush in central India.

Mukesh Gupta said rebels ambushed a paramilitary camp on Tuesday in a remote and dense forest in Chattisgarh state.

The police said the rebels surrounded the camp and opened fire, killing 18 instantly. Several others were injured in the attack in the Jiram Ghati area in southern Chattisgarh.

The rebels, who say they are inspired by Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong, have been fighting for more than three decades in several Indian states, demanding land and jobs for agricultural laborers and the poor.

via Police: Rebels kill 18 soldiers in central India – Businessweek.

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