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Human Rights

May 2021 UPDATE

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES

May 2021

 

1 Update

 

Germany's Merkel calls for human rights dialogue with China to resume

 

By: Reuters Staff

BERLIN (Reuters) -German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Wednesday for dialogue with Beijing on human rights to resume as soon as possible, in her last government consultations with China as leader of Europe’s biggest economy.

Merkel said the regular consultations had during her nearly 16 years in power improved cooperation on issues from climate change to business, and had at times covered areas of disagreement such as human rights and Hong Kong.

“It’s an exchange that covers common ground, but sometimes also different points of view,” Merkel said in a statement after a video call with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. The sixth round of consultations also included 25 government ministers.

“I would hope that we could also get the human rights dialogue going again as soon as possible,” said Merkel, who is not running in a federal election in September.

A Chinese foreign ministry statement acknowledged Beijing and Berlin have different views on some issues but did not mention human rights dialogue. It called for mutual respect of core interests and communication on the basis of non-interference.

Li said China and Germany should demonstrate “cooperation and unity” in their push for global economic recovery, according to the foreign ministry statement.

The two countries signed a range of cooperation agreements in areas from health to research and transport.

China is Germany’s most important trading partner for goods with trade volume of over 212 billion euros in 2020.

During the consultations, Joe Kaeser, head of the Asia-Pacific Committee of German Business, underlined the importance of China for German companies.

However, he also said firms had concerns about requirements for local data storage in China, restrictions on cross-border data transfer and complained that foreign firms were not treated equally in the awarding of contracts by state-owned companies.

Merkel said she hoped the government talks would continue after she leaves office.

“These will be my last government consultations. But I hope that they will not be the last government consultations between China and Germany,” said Merkel.

* Additional reporting by Yew Lun Tian in Beijing, Reporting by Madeline Chambers, editing by Timothy Heritage

 

End

 

 

 

 

January 2021 UPDATES

HUMAN RIGHTS UPDATES

January 2021

 

2 Updates

 

1. China: Statements by Delegation of the European Union to China

2. Freedoms and rights nosedive in Asian nations    

 

 

 

1. 

China: Statements by Delegation of the European Union to China

 

29th December 2020

Delegation of the European Union to China

 

China: Statement by the Spokesperson

on sentencing of journalists, lawyers and human rights defenders

 

Brussels, 29/12/2020 - 10:23,

 

The restrictions on freedom of expression, on access to information, and intimidation and surveillance of journalists, as well as detentions, trials and sentencing of human rights defenders, lawyers, and intellectuals in China, are growing and continue to be a source of great concern.

 

On 28 December 2020, Shanghai Pudong New Area People’s Court sentenced Ms Zhang Zhan to four years of imprisonment for ‘picking quarrels and stirring up trouble’. Prior to her detention, Ms Zhang Zhan had been reporting about the coronavirus pandemic in Wuhan.

 

According to credible sources, Ms Zhang has been subject to torture and ill-treatment during her detention and her health condition has seriously deteriorated. It is crucial that she receives adequate medical assistance.

 

On 13 December, the Jiangsu Higher People’s Court upheld the first instance court decision on the case of prominent human rights lawyer Yu Wensheng, confirming a sentence of four years’ imprisonment, without giving to his defence lawyers the possibility to present a defence statement in accordance with China’s Criminal Procedure Law.

 

The European Union calls for the immediate release of Ms Zhang Zhan, of Mr Yu Wensheng, and of other detained and convicted human rights defenders, including Li Yuhan, Huang Qi, Ge Jueping, Qin Yongmin, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Tashi Wangchuk, Wu Gan, Liu Feiyue, as well as all those who have engaged in reporting activities in the public interest.

 

*** *** *** *** *** ***

 

China: Statement by the Spokesperson

on the trial of 10 Hong Kongers

 

Brussels, 29/12/2020 - 14:01,

 

Ten out of the twelve individuals from Hong Kong, detained at sea by the Chinese authorities in August, went on trial in Shenzhen on 28 December.

 

The defendants were not permitted to appoint lawyers of their choice, and access to them in custody has been heavily restricted. The trial was not held in open court. Diplomatic representatives were unable to attend the court proceedings and the attendance of relatives of the detained was impeded.

 

The defendants’ rights to a fair trial and due process - in accordance with international human rights law and as provided by China's Criminal Procedure Law - have not been respected. We call on China to guarantee procedural fairness and due process of law for these individuals.

 

The European Union calls for the immediate release of these 12 individuals and their swift return to Hong Kong.

____________________________________________________________________________

 

2. 

Freedoms and rights nosedive in Asian nations

 

8th December 2020

 

UCA News - www.ucanews.com

 

Freedoms and rights nosedive in Asian nations

 

Global rights watchdog notes twice as many people are living in countries where civic freedoms are being violated in the space of a year

 

UCA News Reporter, Asia

 

Fundamental freedoms of association, peaceful assembly, and expression have plummeted significantly across the world with Asia-Pacific faring poorly in 2019, says the new report from a global rights watchdog.

 

People Power Under Attack 2019 from CIVICUS Monitor, a global research collaboration, noted that twice as many people are living in countries where civic freedoms are being violated in the space of a year.

 

CIVICUS: https://monitor.civicus.org/PeoplePowerUnderAttack2019/

 

About 40 percent of the world’s population lived in repressive countries last year compared to 19 percent in 2018, and about 3 percent of the world’s population are now living in countries where their fundamental rights are, in general, protected and respected – which was 4 percent in 2018, said the report released on Dec. 8, two days before International Human Rights Day.

 

Out of a total 196 countries, 24 were rated with closed civic space, 38 countries with repressed space, and 49 with obstructed space. Just 43 countries receive an open rating, and 42 countries are rated narrowed.

 

The assault on civil society and fundamental freedoms has persisted in Asia-Pacific in 2019. The top five violations were censorship, restrictive laws, criminal defamation, harassment, and detention of protesters.

 

Closed civic space in Asia

 

In Asia, out of 25 countries, four have closed civic space with eight repressed and 10 obstructed. Civic space in Japan and South Korea is narrowed, leaving Taiwan as the only Asian country rated open.

 

“Our research shows that there continues to be a regression of civic space for activism across the region. The percentage of people living in Asian countries with closed, repressed or obstructed civic space is now at 95 percent” said Josef Benedict, Civic Space Researcher for CIVICUS.

 

The report expressed particular concerns over the trampling of fundamental civic rights in two Asian countries: India and Brunei.

 

India has been relegated to ‘repressed’ largely due to attacks on activists and journalists including assaults and killings for performing their duties.

 

The monitor has deplored the use of restrictive laws to stifle dissent: students, activists and academics — with extreme use of stringent laws. The Indian government has also enforced the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act (FCRA) with an aim to stop foreign funding and investigate NGOs that are critical of the regime.

 

The extremely worrying example of the crackdown on civic space was prevalent in India’s only Muslim-majority state, Kashmir.

 

In Brunei, fundamental freedoms have on the decline for years and it has been exuberated by the enactment of the revised Sharia (Islamic) penal code in April 2019.

 

It intensified restrictions further by imposing the death penalty for various offenses including defaming the Prophet Mohammed and punishments against individuals for publications against Islamic beliefs.

 

Censorship is the most common civic space violation in Asia, occurring in 20 countries.

 

China remains the worst offender as it continued to expand its censorship regime, blocking critical outlets, and social media sites. It was evident in the run-up to the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre and during the anti-government protests in Hong Kong when the government blocked domestic coverage of these events and employed numerous internet trolls to disrupt social media narratives and control public discourse.

 

Other countries of the region including Bangladesh, Thailand and Pakistan have exploited censorship.

 

Bangladesh’s government blocked news outlets and websites that were critical of the state.

 

In Thailand, censorship increased before the elections in March 2019 – international outlets were cut off and journalists were targeted.

 

Journalists were also targeted in Pakistan, many were harassed or criminalized when they attempted to report the mass mobilization of ethnic Pashtuns demanding their rights.

 

Repression for power

 

At least 18 Asian nations used restrictive laws to stifle democratic and political rights, some of them adopting China’s authoritarian tactics to hold on to power and control freedom of expression.

 

Criminal defamation laws are commonly used in this region to repress activists and opposition members. Such laws were used in Bangladesh with scores of critics and journalists prosecuted under the draconian Digital Security Act. Malaysia’s criminal defamation laws were used to stamp out online criticism of religion and the monarchy, and in the Philippines, anyone who criticizes President Duterte now faces sedition and other charges.

 

The harassment of activists and journalists in Asia occurred in 18 countries. In China, activists are routinely placed under surveillance, house arrest or detained. Vietnamese activists are also placed under strict surveillance. In Cambodia, members of the opposition Cambodian National Rescue Party are routinely threatened or attacked.

 

The CIVICUS Monitor has been seriously alarmed by the harassment and attacks of protesters in Hong Kong. Civic space is rapidly shrinking in Hong Kong since mass protests against a proposed extradition bill began in June 2019. Security forces used excessive and lethal force against protesters and torture activists in detention.

 

Despite the bleak picture, there are some positive developments in parts of Asia. The Maldives repealed an anti-defamation law; Malaysia scrapped its repressive Anti-Fake News Act and Taiwan historically voted to legalise same-sex marriage.

 

END

 

 

 

October 2020 UPDATES

June 2020 UPDATES

January 2020 UPDATES

November '19 UPDATE

July '19 UPDATE

May '19 UPDATES

March '19 UPDATES

February '19 UPDATE

November '18 UPDATE

September '18 UPDATES

MAY '18 UPDATES

DECEMBER '17 UPDATE

OCTOBER '17 UPDATE

SEPTEMBER '17 UPDATES

July '17 UPDATE

June '17 UPDATE

May '17 UPDATE

March '17 UPDATE

February '17 UPDATES

December '16 UPDATES

October '16 UPDATES

National Human Rights Plan for China (2016-2020), Full Text

http://english.cctv.com/2016/09/29/ARTIQDKA008y65W8lvkMeFtZ160929.shtml

August '16 UPDATES

July '16 UPDATE

April '16 UPDATE

February '16 UPDATE

January '16 UPDATE

December '15 UPDATE

November '15 UPDATES

October '15 UPDATE

September '15 UPDATES

August '15 UPDATES

June '15 UPDATES

April '15 UPDATES

March '15 UPDATES

January '15 UPDATE

December '14 UPDATE

October '14 UPDATE

September '14 UPDATES

May '14 UPDATES

April '14 Updates

February 2014 Updates

December 2013 Updates

November 2013 Updates

September 2013 Updates

July 2013 Updates

Early June 2013

Websites on Human Rights in China

April '13 update

Human Rights in China


 

Western perspectives on Human rights in China


 

Human Rights watch: Asia: China and Tibet

http://www.hrw.org/asia/china

 

 

 

Amnesty International UK

http://www.amnesty.org/en/region/china/report-2013

 

 

 

Human Rights in China

http://www.hrichina.org/



 

 

Chinese Perspective on Human Rights in China

 

Peking University Law School – the Research Centre for Human Rights

http://www.llm-guide.com/university/572

 

 

Amnesty International report refuted

http://files.amnesty.org/air12/air_2012_full_en.pdf

 

 

China Human Rights

http://www.chinahumanrights.org/

 

 

 

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