China: New Supervision Law a systemic threat to human rights

Amnesty International, 20 March 2018

By Amnesty International – Responding to the news that China’s legislature today passed the Supervision Law, Amnesty International’s East Asia Regional Director Nicholas Bequelin said:

“The Supervision Law is a systemic threat to human rights in China. It places tens of millions of people at the mercy of a secretive and virtually unaccountable system that is above the law. It by-passes judicial institutions by establishing a parallel system solely run by the Chinese Communist Party with no outside checks and balances.
“The law eviscerates China’s legal system. It allows for arbitrary and prolonged incommunicado detention without any meaningful oversight and increases the risks of torture and forced ‘confessions’.
“Under the new system, supervision bodies can detain and interrogate Communist Party members or public sector personnel – virtually anyone working directly or indirectly for the government. Judges, academics and personnel of state-owned enterprises could all face up to six months detention without charge or legal process, and without guaranteed access to lawyers or their families being told.”
Background
The Liuzhi (retention in custody) system is to replace the widely-criticized and largely informal Shuanggui system, the current internal disciplinary system of the Chinese Communist Party.
The Chinese government issued the Draft Supervision Law in November 2017 for consultation. In its formal submission on the draft law, Amnesty International urged the Chinese government to withdraw the Draft Law and make amendments to ensure any new draft law would be compatible with international human rights law and standards. The main concerns still remain even with small improvements in the Supervision Law the National People’s Congress, China’s legislature, has now passed.
Days before the National People’s Congress passed the Supervision Law, it adopted an amendment to the Chinese Constitution to set up the national level Supervision Commission. According to the Constitution, the Supervision Commission is ranked higher than the Supreme People’s Court and the top prosecutor’s office.
Reported by Amnesty International
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Uyghur Teenager Dies in Custody at Political Re-Education Camp

Radio Free Asia, 16 March 2018

By Shohret Hoshur – A teenage Uyghur boy detained for traveling overseas has died of unknown causes at a political “re-education camp” in Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, according to local authorities.

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The Malaysian Government Must Uphold Provisions of International and Domestic Law

The Malaysian Bar, 15 February 2018

By George Varughese – The Malaysian Bar calls upon the Malaysian Government to adhere to principles of international law, specifically the customary international law of non-refoulement, and refrain from sending 11 Uighurs reportedly in Malaysian custody back to China.

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Weekly Brief February 9th

World Uyghur Congress, 9 February 2018

WUC Urges Malaysian Government Not to Deport 11 Uyghur Refugees to China

The World Uyghur Congress issued a press release this week expressing its deep concern about reports that the 11 Uyghurs refugees in detention in Malaysia are at significant risk of being deported to China. If returned to China, they would be at significant risk of being subjected to severe human rights violations including arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance and death, due to their ethnic identity. We strongly urge the Malaysian government to abide by international human rights standards and refrain from returning 11 innocent people to a country which would subject them to irreparable harm.

The Uyghur refugees were arrested in Pahang, Malaysia by police on 4 January 2018 after escaping from a Thai Refugee Detention Centre in November 2017. They had been held in detention in Thailand since early 2014. Twenty Uyghurs in total managed to escape the detention center, but 3 were caught by police while still in Thailand and 6 were caught in Malaysia and deported to Thailand afterwards. The remaining 11 were hiding in Malaysia until they were arrested at the beginning of January.

In response to their escape, the Chinese government has called on Thailand to “quickly bring to justice” those who escaped. This week, multiple media outlets reported that the Chinese government has been pressuring the Malaysian government to return all 11 refugees back to China.

It is unconscionable that these 11 Uyghurs have been put in this position. Not only have they had to endure arbitrary detention in Thailand for over 3 years, for trying to flee persecution and repression in China, now they may be forced to return to country from which they fled in the first place. These 11 human beings only wanted a better life for themselves and their families where they could enjoy their basic rights and freedoms. They now find their very lives at risk.

Human Rights Watch and the U.S. State Department have joined the WUC in calling on Malaysia to not deport the 11 Uyghur refugees. We appeal to the international community to join us in urging Malaysia not deport these individuals and subject them to a miserable fate.

WUC Issues Press Release on 21st Anniversary of Ghulja Massacre

The World Uyghur Congress issued a press release this week to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the Ghulja Massacre in which hundreds of peaceful Uyghur protesters were killed by Chinese state security forces in early February 1997. The date remains a watershed moment in terms of the treatment of Uyghurs in East Turkestan by the Chinese government, who would use excessive force to violently break up any form of demonstration since then.

On 5 February 1997, thousands of Uyghurs gathered for a peaceful demonstration in the Ili prefecture city of Ghulja in East Turkestan in response to continued Chinese aggression and the prohibition of Uyghur social organizations, known as Mäshräp, from gathering for cultural events. The protests were immediately quashed by Chinese security forces leaving at least 100 dead and many more injured. Nearly 4000 would be arrested and of those, 200 would subsequently face the death penalty.

The response to the demonstrations would prove crucial in understanding the intentions of the Chinese government in East Turkestan for years afterwards. We continue to witness an outright disregard for human life in many of these circumstances. Freedom of assembly and association are clearly enshrined in international law to ensure that the peaceful voice of the oppressed are able to speak out to their oppressors and demand equal treatment.

Unemployed Uyghurs Forced to Take Indoctrination Classes in East Turkestan

It was reported this week that unemployed Uyghurs across East Turkestan are being forced to take indoctrination classes by the Chinese government to ensure that they ‘avoid activities that affect social stability’. These classes reportedly last for several hours a day and are focused at promoting a ‘patriotic education’. Forced indoctrination classes are becoming the norm in East Turkestan as hundreds of thousands of Uyghurs are already being detained and subjected to indoctrination by Chinese police in the numerous ‘re-education’ camps.

Facial-Recognition Glasses Increase Surveillance of Uyghurs

The Chinese government use of advanced technology to monitor and control the Uyghur population intensified this week, as it was announced that Chinese police would now be equipped with facial-recognition sunglasses. The glasses are reportedly capable of picking individual faces out of a large crowd of people. While the Chinese government claims that will be used to combat criminality and terrorism, they will likely be used to monitor, arrest and harass Uyghurs, dissidents and activists.

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Malaysia: Don’t Send 11 Detainees to China

Human Rights Watch, 9 February 2018

By HRW – The government of Malaysia should ensure that 11 detained migrants are not forcibly deported to China, Human Rights Watch said today. The migrants should have urgent access to refugee status determination proceedings by the United Nations refugee agency.


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PRESS RELEASE: WUC URGES THE MALAYSIAN GOVERNMENT NOT TO DEPORT 11 UYGHUR REFUGEES TO CHINA

Press Release – For immediate release
8 February 2018
Contact: World Uyghur Congress
 www.uyghurcongress.org
0049 (0) 89 5432 1999 or contact@uyghurcongress.org

The World Uyghur Congress is deeply concerned by reports that the 11 Uyghurs refugees in detention in Malaysia are at significant risk of being deported to China. If returned to China, they would be at significant risk of being subjected to severe human rights violations including arbitrary detention, torture, enforced disappearance and death, due to their ethnic identity. We strongly urge the Malaysian government to abide by international human rights standards and refrain from returning 11 innocent people to a country which would subject them to irreparable harm.

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Threat of Re-Education Camp Drives Uyghur Who Failed Anthem Recitation to Suicide

Radio Free Asia, 5 February 2018

By Shohret Hoshur – A Uyghur resident of Kashgar (in Chinese, Kashi) prefecture, in northwest China’s Xinjiang region, committed suicide after he was threatened with detention in a political re-education camp because he was unable to recite the national anthem in Chinese instead of his native Uyghur language, according to officials.

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What It’s Like to Live in a Surveillance State

New York Times, 2 February 2018

By James Millward – Imagine that this is your daily life: While on your way to work or on an errand, every 100 meters you pass a police blockhouse. Video cameras on street corners and lamp posts recognize your face and track your movements. At multiple checkpoints, police officers scan your ID card, your irises and the contents of your phone. At the supermarket or the bank, you are scanned again, your bags are X-rayed and an officer runs a wand over your body — at least if you are from the wrong ethnic group. Members of the main group are usually waved through.

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