Tuesday, June 26, 2018

China: Country-specific developments

By any measure, the Chinese government is not living up to the commitments to protect and promote human rights inherent in its Human Rights Council membership. Since the twelve-country joint statement on the human rights situation in China in March 2016, there has been no concerted effort to use the Council space creatively to call for accountability and transparency related to violations in China. This, despite the fact that in July 2017, Chinese security authorities presided over the death in custody of Liu Xiaobo, the first Nobel Peace Prize winner to die in detention since Carl von Ossietzky died in Nazi Germany in 1938.

ISHR calls on States to take joint and individual actions at the 38th session. Such action is warranted based on the above criteria and should take into account the dangerous environment in the country for human rights and those who defend them, and should serve to hold China accountable to the standards to which the government has committed. Specifically, we urge States to:

Condemn China’s refusal to allow Liu Xia, a poet and activist and the wife of Liu Xiaobo, to travel and communicate freely. She has been under de facto house arrest, and occasionally held incommunicado in an unknown location, since October 2010. Her physical and psychological health has deteriorated significantly, especially since Liu Xiaobo’s death in custody in July 2017.

Demand full access for independent observers, including possibly UN experts, to Xinjiang in order to verify the facts related to the reports of large-scale detentions of Uyghurs and restrictions on fundamental freedoms, including freedom of religious belief.

Continue to call for the release of individuals arbitrarily detained and/or held incommunicado, including Wang Quanzhang, Gui Minhai, Tashi Wangchuk, Lee Ming-che, and Yu Wensheng.

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