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.
In response to the appointment of China's Vice Minister of Public Security, Meng Hongwei, to head global police agency Interpol, Nicholas Bequelin, East Asia Director at Amnesty International commented: "The appointment of Meng Hongwei is alarming given China's long-standing practice of trying to use Interpol to arrest dissidents and refugees abroad. It seems at odds …
Kenyan authorities must not deport five Taiwanese nationals to China, where they face a real risk of human rights violations, said Amnesty International today.
The Chinese authorities must end their relentless suppression of human rights lawyers and activists, Amnesty International said today, after a prominent lawyer became the latest to be convicted after an unfair trial.
The Hong Kong authorities’ prosecution of three pro-democracy student leaders sends a chilling warning for freedom of expression and peaceful assembly in the city, Amnesty International said today, after Joshua Wong, Alex Chow and Nathan Law were found guilty for their roles in events that triggered 2014’s Umbrella Movement.
Chinese authorities must end their ruthless assault against human rights lawyers and activists, Amnesty International said ahead of the first anniversary of the start of an unprecedented crackdown.
The Chinese government must scrap a new law aimed at further smothering civil society, Amnesty International said today.
The Chinese authorities must call off their manhunt against those it believes are behind the publication of a letter calling on President Xi Jinping to resign, Amnesty International said, after it was revealed close family members of a prominent dissident are the latest to have been detained.
Messages from Edward Snowden, Ai Weiwei and Pussy Riot will be broadcast across the internet by AdBlock and Amnesty International on the World Day against Cyber Censorship, 12 March 2016.
On the launch of its 2015 State of the World report, Amnesty International USA urged President Obama to use his last year in office to bring U.S. laws and policies in line with international human rights standards.
International protection of human rights is in danger of unravelling as short-term national self-interest and draconian security crackdowns have led to a wholesale assault on basic freedoms and rights, warned Amnesty International as it launched its annual assessment of human rights around the world. “Your rights are in jeopardy: they are being treated with utter contempt by many governments around the world,” said Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International.