U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF): 2011 Annual Report

United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, 28 April 2011

USCIRF — The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its 2011 Annual Report and recommended that the Secretary of State name the following nations “countries of particular concern” or CPCs:  Burma, China, Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. CPCs are nations whose conduct marks them as the world’s worst religious freedom violators and human rights abusers.

The 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) requires that the United States designate annually as CPCs countries whose governments have engaged in or tolerated systematic and egregious violations of the universal right to freedom of religion or belief.  USCIRF’s Annual Report assesses conditions in these and other nations and provides policy prescriptions tailored to each CPC.

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FREEDOM ON THE NET 2011: A Global Assessment of Internet and Digital Media

Freedom House, 18 April 2011

Freedom House — In order to illuminate the emerging threats to internet freedom and identify areas of opportunity, Freedom House created a unique methodology to assess the full range of elements that comprise digital media freedom.

This report examines internet freedom in 37 countries around the globe. The study’s findings indicate that the threats to internet freedom are growing and have become more diverse. Cyber attacks, politically-motivated censorship, and government control over internet infrastructure have emerged as especially prominent threats.

The chapter on China is available here.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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CECC: Xinjiang Authorities Target Religious and Political Publications in Censorship Campaigns

Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 31 March 2011

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CECC — Local governments in the far western region of Xinjiang carried out a series of censorship campaigns in 2010 and early 2011. The work follows a national campaign to “Sweep Away Pornography and Strike Down Illegal Publications,” but with special emphasis on religious and political publications, along with “reactionary materials” connected to groups perceived to threaten Xinjiang’s stability.

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CECC: Job Discrimination Against Ethnic Minorities Continues in East Turkestan

Congressional-Executive Commission on China, 31 March 2011

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CECC — Hiring practices that discriminate against Uyghurs and other groups by reserving positions exclusively for Han Chinese have continued in Xinjiang in the past year. The Congressional-Executive Commission on China found recent job recruiting announcements that reserved some or all positions for Han, in contravention of provisions in Chinese law.

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Compromise of Human Rights Under Cover of Counter-Terrorism – Human Rights in China Releases a Whitepaper on the Shanghai Cooperation Organization

Human Rights in China, 1 March 2011

HRIC — Throughout the world, terrorism continues to pose major threats to peace, security, and stability. Since September 11, 2001, intensified counter-terrorism debates and responses, including national, multilateral, and regional approaches, have been marked by trends posing complex challenges to the protection of international human rights and fundamental freedoms. The current normative international framework and consensus clearly recognize that respect for human rights is not only the legal and moral obligation of states, but an essential pillar in the promotion of sustainable and effective counter-terrorism approaches. Yet, human rights violations related to and resulting from counter-terrorism measures continue; at the same time, there is push-back in the international community against those measures that violate human rights, such as extraordinary rendition, secret detentions, and torture and other inhumane treatment and abuses prohibited by jus cogens norms.

The report can be downloaded here.

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Reporters without Borders: “Internet Enemies 2010″

Reporters without Borders, 12 March 2011

Reporters without Borders — Paris-based press freedom group Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has released a new report on Internet censorship and clampdowns on advocates of free speech in twenty-two countries around the world. RSF has singled out the world’s twelve biggest “Internet enemies”- countries where the national authorities have imposed particularly aggressive measures on web censorship and dissident Internet writers.

Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Tunisia, Burma, China, Cuba, Iran, North Korea, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam, are the top countries that allegedly practice the most extensive Internet censorship in the world, earning RSF’s title “Internet enemies.”

The chapter on China is available here.

The full report can be downloaded here.

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CHRD: Annual Report on the Situation of Human Rights Defenders in China 2010

Chinese Human Rights Defenders, 3 March 2011

Chinese Human Rights Defenders — The ongoing crackdown on activists following an online call for “Jasmine Revolution” protests is a chilling reminder that defending human rights is a perilous occupation in China. The general environment for China’s human rights defenders (HRDs) deteriorated in 2010. Through reviewing CHRD’s reporting over the past year and surveys conducted with defenders around the country, CHRD finds that activists continued to face severe restrictions on freedoms of expression, assembly, and association as well as the right to an effective remedy. They were routinely subjected to arbitrary detention—CHRD documented a total of 3,544 new incidences of individuals arbitrary detained for exercising or defending their own or others’ human rights in 2010—as well as tortured, disappeared and harassed.

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CECC: Draft of Intangible Cultural Heritage Law Limits Research Activities; Xinjiang Case Study Shows Politicization of Heritage (Updated)

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 16 February 2011

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CECC — A recently revised draft law on protecting intangible cultural heritage—such as traditional songs, craftmaking, storytelling, and sports—requires that foreign groups collaborate with a Chinese cultural heritage organization and that foreign individuals receive approval from cultural heritage agencies to carry out survey work in China.

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