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.

Senator Byron Dorgan, Chairman and Representative Sander Levin, Cochairman of the Commission, stated: “We are deeply concerned, as the findings of this Annual Report make clear, that human rights conditions in China over the last year have deteriorated.”

The Report documents new trends in political imprisonment over the last year in China, including an increasingly harsh crackdown on lawyers and those who have a track record of human rights advocacy, particularly those who make use of the Internet or who are from parts of the country the government deems to be politically sensitive, such as Tibetan areas and Xinjiang. It also finds that the “nexus between human rights and commercial rule of law has become more evident particularly in connection with laws on state secrets, the Internet, and worker rights.”

“The threat of political imprisonment affects the work of people and organizations who are engaged in human rights advocacy or who are involved in commercial activity in China, including U.S. citizens,” Dorgan and Levin said. “The chilling effects of political imprisonment result in lost opportunities for the Chinese government to make progress on, and for Chinese citizens to enjoy, the development of human rights and the rule of law.”

“We understand that China today is significantly changed from the China of several decades ago, and that the challenges facing its people and leaders are complex,” Dorgan and Levin said. “As the Annual Report notes, ‘[t]he Chinese people have achieved success on many fronts, for example in health and education, and in improved living standards for large segments of the population, and they justifiably are proud of their many successes. But the Chinese government now must lead in protecting fundamental freedoms and human rights, including worker rights, and in defending the integrity of China’s legal institutions with no less skill and commitment than it displayed in implementing economic reforms that allowed the industriousness of the Chinese people to lift millions out of poverty.'”

“The work of this Commission, including the publication of this Annual Report, is not a matter of one country meddling in the affairs of another. All nations, including our own, have both the responsibility and a legitimate interest in ensuring compliance with international commitments.”

The full report can be downloaded here.