Chinese Regime Touts Human Rights Record, Says US Report

24 October, 2011 at 22:01 | Posted in China, Gao Zhisheng, human rights, persecution | Leave a comment
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Communist China Touts Its Human Rights Record, Says US Government Report

By Gary Feuerberg
Epoch Times Staff

WASHINGTON—In a new twist, according to a newly released U.S. government report, this year China not only continues to disregard basic human rights and international law and standards, but audaciously claims to be a champion of human rights and the rule of law. No longer on the defensive, China’s leaders now confidently assert China has been making remarkable progress on human rights and the rule of law.

Chinese officials abuse criminal law by charging people they don’t like with “subversion,” “splittism,” and “disrupting social order.” Using these provisions in the law, they imprison “labor advocates, writers, Internet essayists, democracy advocates, and Tibetan and Uyghur writers, and journalists who engaged in peaceful expression and assembly,” says the report.

Disappearances

During the past year, not only has China’s human rights record not improved, says the CECC report, but in some areas, it is worsening. The commission noted that Chinese officials ignore the laws in place to protect against arbitrary detention and have been strengthening laws to use as an instrument of repression.

During the 2011 reporting year, numerous cases were reported of “missing” or “disappeared” persons. They had been taken into custody but little or no information was given out about their whereabouts or potential charges against them. In the first half of 2011, many lawyers and rights activists known for advocating on behalf of sensitive causes and groups were subjected to enforced disappearance. The situation drew criticism in April from the U.N. Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances (UNWGEID).

The CECC report cites a Chinese Human Rights Defenders report that asserts, “At least 22 prominent Chinese rights advocates—including well known artist and public advocate Ai Weiwei, petitioner Zhou Li, and writer Gu Chuan—had been subjected to enforced disappearances.”

In the case of Ai Weiwei, authorities refused to notify his family of the charges against him or his whereabouts and kept him at a secret location. Ai was kept in a cell without windows and was accompanied by two guards during the 81 days held in custody. Authorities only released Ai on bail in June on the condition that he not give interviews or use Twitter.

In defiance of international standards, the regime has drafted a revision to its criminal procedure law that would legalize disappearances.

Population Planning Campaigns

During the 2011 reporting year, the commission noted reports of official population planning enforcement campaigns “in which officials used violent methods to coerce citizens to undergo sterilizations or abortions or pay heavy fines for having out-of-plan children.”

One such campaign began in Yangchun, Guandong Province in March 2011. This campaign’s primary goals were the sterilization of mothers with two daughters and “the implementation of ‘remedial measures’ for out-of-plan pregnancies,” in other words, involuntary abortions.

In Shandong Province, September 2010, local family planning officials reportedly forced a woman to undergo an abortion when she was six months pregnant. The reason: her husband had been three months younger than the legal marriage age at the time the child was conceived.

In Fujian Province, October 2010, local family planning officials reportedly abducted a woman who was eight months pregnant. They forcibly injected her with a substance that aborted the fetus.

In at least eight provincial-level jurisdictions, local governments ratcheted up the rhetoric—“spare no efforts”—to implement coercive population planning measures this year, including intrauterine device (IUD) inspections, IUD implants, pregnancy inspections, and even late-term abortions and sterilizations.

According to several reports that appeared in May 2011, the CECC said the official implementation of population planning policies resulted in the illegal abduction and sale of children by local officials.

“From 2000 to 2005 in Hunan Province, family planning officials reportedly took at least 16 children—allegedly born in violation of population planning policies—from their families and sold them to local orphanages. In many of the reported cases, officials took the children because their families could not pay the steep fines levied against them for violating population planning regulations,” says the report.

The blind, self-trained legal advocate, Chen Guangcheng, was released in September 2010 after a four-year, three-month sentence for exposing population planning abuses of forced abortions and sterilizations. But freedom for Chen and his wife has meant an onerous, extralegal house arrest, violent house raids, and beatings.

Other activists have been detained and abused “with little or no basis in Chinese law.” Hu Jia, a human rights and environmental advocate; and Hada, a Mongol rights advocate, faced house arrest, with their families, after completion of their prison sentences.

Repressing Speech and Belief

“The 2011 [CECC] report notes that China’s leaders have tightened their grip on Chinese society and grown more aggressive in disregarding the very laws and international standards that they claim to uphold,” Smith said.

Authorities reacted defensively amid calls for nonviolent, ‘‘Jasmine’’ protests in various cities in China. Beginning in mid-February after the protests in the Middle East and North Africa, calls for peaceful ‘‘Jasmine’’ protests in China to take place each Sunday appeared online. An anonymous statement circulated in China, urging Chinese citizens to demonstrate for democratic reforms and against corruption in China.

A few days after the appearance of the first online call for protests, Chinese communist leader Hu Jintao required that leaders strengthen “social management” and safeguard social harmony and stability.

Read more: Chinese Regime Touts Human Rights Record, Says US Report | World | Epoch Times

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