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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Committee to Protect Journalists: Attacks on the Press in 2010

Committee to Protect Journalists, 15 February 2011

Committee to Protect Journalists — Chinese authorities severely restricted the Internet in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region until May, 10 months after authorities clamped down on information concerning the deadly 2009 riots between Han Chinese and ethnic Uighurs. A complete block on Internet access in the region was partially lifted in December 2009, but only to allow access to state-run news sites and sites with content specially adapted for the region.

Uighur journalists faced intense repression. At least seven Uighur journalists, all but one of whom worked online, were imprisoned on charges of endangering state security when CPJ conducted its 2010 census. In one case, an Urumqi court sentenced Gheyret Niyaz, a former state newspaper journalist who edited the Chinese-language Uighur affairs website Uighurbiz, to 15 years in prison in July. He had posted articles and given interviews to overseas media about the 2009 riots in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, according to international news reports. In August, website administrator Gulmire Imin was sentenced to life in prison after she was accused of fomenting violence through online posts. No other journalist in China is known to be serving a penalty so harsh.

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HRW Report on China “Promises Unfulfilled” — An Assessment of China’s National Human Rights Action Plan

Human Rights Watch, 11 January 2011

Human Rights Watch — This 67-page report details how despite the Chinese government’s progress in protection of some economic and social rights, it has undermined many of the key goals of the National Human Rights Action Plan (NHRAP) by tightening restrictions on rights of expression, association, and assembly over the past two years. The report highlights how that rollback of key civil and political rights enabled rather than reduced a host of human rights abuses specifically addressed in the NHRAP.

The report can be downloaded here.

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Xinjiang Authorities Target Beards, Veils in Campaigns To Tighten Control Over Religion

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 18 October 2010

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CECC — Authorities in the far western region of Xinjiang have carried out campaigns in 2010 and previous years targeting Muslim men who wear large beards and women who wear veils (singling out face veiling in a number of cases), tying the practices in the Muslim-majority region to “religious extremism” and “backwardness.” The campaigns against beards and veils come as Xinjiang authorities continue to tighten controls over religion in the region.

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CECC: 2010 Annual Report on Human Rights and the Rule of Law in China

Congressional Executive Commission on China, 10 October 2010

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CECC — The Congressional-Executive Commission on China has released its 2010 Annual Report on human rights and the rule of law in China, along with a list of over 1,450 political prisoners currently detained or imprisoned in China, compiled from the Commission’s Political Prisoner Database. The Annual Report provides a comprehensive, public examination of human rights and the rule of law in China that is intended to inform Members of the Congress, Administration officials and the general public.

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