Chinese Regime's Human Rights Report Heavily Criticized

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On Sunday, the Chinese regime released a report titled “Progress in China's Human Rights in 2009.” The regime claims it has improved human rights for the Chinese people. But China Expert James Zimmerman from Amnesty International believes the report has failed to address many issues of concern.

[James Zimmerman, China Expert, Amnesty International]:
“The report gives priority to economics, social and cultural rights, which is their approach, and only two or three sections deal with civil and political rights, and they omitted these cases which are still going on. Religious persecution of Falun Gong that is still going on, I mean it’s just an endless list of them, the situation in Xingjian and Tibet, it remains very, very grim for the people there.”

The Asia Advocacy director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson describes the report to the Associated Press as (quote) “at best, a missed opportunity and at worst a clumsy whitewash by failing to render a realistic assessment of China's human rights problems."

Zimmerman says while the report mentions issues like internet freedom, and the role of lawyers in protecting human rights, the real situation does not come through.

[James Zimmerman, China Expert, Amnesty International]:
“It does talk about lawyers, but when lawyers try to do their job, they’re like to be harassed, like Gao Zhisheng. It gives quite a bit of space about the internet, but it doesn’t mention they have 30,000 people monitoring the internet, and that they have blocked many, many sites. For examples, sites about June 4, 1989 are all still blocked. It’s just very selective.”

The Chinese regime also reports a decline in the number of petitioners—people who seek to have their legal issues resolved, after failed attempts through the judicial system. But rights advocates in China say their situation has in fact gotten worse.

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