Amnesty International has documented widespread human rights violations in China. An estimated 500,000 people are currently enduring punitive detention without charge or trial, and millions are unable to access the legal system to seek redress for their grievances. Harassment, surveillance, house arrest, and imprisonment of human rights defenders are on the rise, and censorship of the Internet and other media has grown. Repression of minority groups, including Tibetans, Uighurs and Mongolians, and of Falun Gong practitioners and Christians who practice their religion outside state-sanctioned churches continues. While the recent reinstatement of Supreme People’s Court review of death penalty cases may result in lower numbers of executions, China remains the leading executioner in the world.
The authorities frequently used administrative punishments, including Re-education through Labour (RTL), to detain people without trial. According to the government, 190,000 people were held in RTL facilities, down from half a million several years ago, although the real figures were likely to be much higher. Former RTL prisoners reported that Falun Gong constituted one of the largest groups of prisoners, and political activists, petitioners and others practising their religion outside permitted bounds were common targets. The authorities used a variety of illegal forms of detention, including “black jails”, “legal education classes”, “study classes” and mental health institutions to detain thousands of people.
China continued to make extensive use of the death penalty, including for non-violent crimes. The death sentence continued to be imposed after unfair trials. Statistics on death sentences and executions remained classified as state secrets and, while executions numbered in the thousands, the government did not release actual figures.
As the internet was increasingly used to disseminate news and conduct debates, the authorities tried to control its use by restricting news reporting and shutting down publications and internet sites, including ones that “slandered the country’s political system”, “distorted the history of the Party”, “publicized Falun Gong and other evil cults”, and “incited ethnic splittism”. The government blocked access to content and recorded individuals’ activities through new filtering software such as Blue Shield.
Following the publication of Charter 08 in December 2008, a document calling for political reform and greater protection of human rights, police questioned signatories and put them under surveillance for many months.
The United Nations Human Rights Council should adopt a resolution establishing an international fact-finding mission to Xinjiang, the region of China where up to one million Turkic Muslims are being arbitrarily detained, a group of nongovernmental organizations said in a joint statement to UN member states today. During the next session of the Human Rights …
Families of up to one million predominately Muslim people from Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region detained in mass “re-education” drive demand answers.
In response to the release of concluding observations on China by the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, Amnesty International’s Deputy East Asia Director Lisa Tassi said:
BRICS nations must put human rights at the forefront of their discussions, said Amnesty International India and South Africa in a joint statement released at the commencement of the 10th BRICS Summit in Johannesburg today. All the BRICS countries face a number of human rights challenges. In Brazil, there are still no answers for the …
Dozens of celebrated writers, poets, and artists have called for the lifting of all restrictions on Chinese poet and artist Liu Xia, held under illegal house arrest without charge since October 2010. This show of literary solidarity comes following revelations about Liu Xia’s declining health, which she revealed in April during a harrowing phone conversation …
An irresponsible Chinese mining operation in Mozambique has put an entire coastal village of more than a thousand people at serious risk of being washed into the Indian Ocean, Amnesty International revealed today in a new report. Our lives mean nothing: the human cost of Chinese mining in Nagonha, Mozambique exposes how the operations of …
The Chinese authorities are demonstrating new-depths of cruelty by preventing Liu Xiaobo from leaving the country to receive urgent medical treatment for his late-stage liver cancer, Amnesty International said.
Chinese authorities must release three labor activists who were investigating labour conditions at factories that make shoes for Ivanka Trump’s label, Amnesty International said.
Any absence of human rights from the agenda of the first meeting between President Donald Trump and President Xi Jinping, due to take place in Florida on Thursday and Friday, would risk emboldening governments across the globe to pursue divisive, toxic and dehumanizing politics, Amnesty International said today.
Leaders from the tech industry gathering in Wuzhen, China, this week for the third World Internet Conference should send a clear message to the Chinese government that they are not prepared to be complicit in the widespread abuse of the rights to freedom of expression and privacy.