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Amnesty International Report 2007 – China (1)

Posted by Author on May 23, 2007

Amnesty International, May 23, 2007-

CHINA

PEOPLE’S REPUBLIC OF CHINA

Head of state: Hu Jintao
Head of government: Wen Jiabao
Death penalty: retentionist
International Criminal Court: not ratified

An increased number of lawyers and journalists were harassed, detained, and jailed. Thousands of people who pursued their faith outside officially sanctioned churches were subjected to harassment and many to detention and imprisonment. Thousands of people were sentenced to death or executed. Migrants from rural areas were deprived of basic rights. Severe repression of Uighurs in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region continued, and freedom of expression and religion continued to be severely restricted in Tibet and among Tibetans elsewhere.

International community

Before China’s election to the new UN Human Rights Council, it made a number of human rights-related pledges, including ratification of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and active co-operation with the UN on human rights. Chinese companies continued to export arms to countries where they were likely to be used for serious human rights abuses, including Sudan and Myanmar.

Human rights defenders

The government crackdown on lawyers and housing rights activists intensified. Many human rights defenders were subjected to lengthy periods of arbitrary detention without charge, as well as harassment by the police or by local gangs apparently condoned by the police. Many lived under near constant surveillance or house arrest and members of their families were increasingly targeted. New regulations restricted the ability of lawyers to represent groups of victims and to participate in collective petitions.

• Gao Zhisheng, an outspoken human rights lawyer, had his law practice suspended in November 2005. He was detained in August 2006 and remained in incommunicado detention at an unknown location until his trial in December 2006. In October he was formally arrested on charges of “inciting subversion”, and in December he was sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, suspended for five years.

Journalists and Internet users

The government’s crackdown on journalists, writers, and Internet users intensified. Numerous popular newspapers and journals were shut down. Hundreds of international websites remained blocked and thousands of Chinese websites were shut down. Dozens of journalists were detained for reporting on sensitive issues.

The government strengthened systems for blocking, filtering, and monitoring the flow of information. New regulations came into effect requiring foreign news agencies to gain approval from China’s official news agency in order to publish any news. Many foreign journalists were detained for short periods. (to be cont’d…)

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original from Amnesty International

 

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