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ES metinė ataskaita apie žmogaus teises ir demokratiją pasaulyje 2019 m. - Kinija (anglų k.)

Sukurta 2020.06.22 / Atnaujinta 2020.06.22 11:50
    ES metinė ataskaita apie žmogaus teises ir demokratiją pasaulyje 2019 m. - Kinija (anglų k.)

    "People's Republic of China

    1. Overview of the human rights and democracy situation: During 2019, the human rights situation in China continued to be of significant concern. While there has been progress in economic and social rights, civil and political rights continue to be severely challenged. China promoted its vision of human rights, affirming that human rights should take in consideration national characteristics, the degree of development of the country, and the ‘development path’ chosen, thus defying the principles of universality and indivisibility of human rights. This position was expressed in international fora, as well as in official ‘white papers’.

    Numerous violations were reported in particular in the areas of: freedom of expression, freedom of religion or belief, freedoms of association and assembly, as well as on arbitrary detention and the right to due process of law. The space for civil society continued to shrink, with NGOs, social organisations, religious organisations and academia able to function only under strict supervision by government structures.

    Regarding freedom of religion or belief in particular, a large number of Protestant churches were shut down and many of their leaders and followers were detained. Protestant Pastor Wang Yi was sentenced to nine years in prison in December 2019 for activities linked to his advocacy for freedom of religion. Several Christian, Buddhist and Islamic religious buildings and religious sites were defaced or destroyed. The religious organisations approved by the authorities continued to have the obligation to act in accordance with Chinese Communist Party ideology. Reports about the ‘sinicisation’ of religions continued, with a particular focus on Xinjiang (‘de-arabisation’, i.e. removal of Arabic inscriptions from mosques and minarets) and Tibet (inclusion of Communist Party representatives in the management of monasteries).

    Several human rights activists and lawyers were detained or tried without observing due process, and without access to defence lawyers of their choice. Numerous instances of secret detention and trial; physical and non-physical torture; denial of medical aid to detainees in terminal conditions; forced medication and other forms of violence; and harassment of the family members of the detained activists were reported throughout 2019. The EU continued to express concern about the detention of EU citizen, Gui Minhai and asked for his immediate release.

    On media freedom, foreign news sites were blocked; foreign correspondents have reported harassment and administrative obstacles to their work. The use of social media was also strictly monitored and limited. There have been reports of visas of foreign correspondents being delayed, refused, not extended or extended only for very short periods.

    The situation in Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region remained a major concern. In November 2019, Twelve UN Special Procedures Mandate Holders assessed that the application of the counter-terrorism law in Xinjiang raised serious concerns regarding arbitrary detention, enforced disappearance, absence of judicial oversight, restrictions on the freedom of expression, of thought, of conscience and religion, of the right to education and the freedom of movement for persons belonging to minorities. Although no unsupervised access to Xinjiang was possible for foreign diplomats, journalists and experts (including UN and independent observers), reliable reports indicate that a wide network of political re-education camps is still operating and intrusive surveillance is still widespread. Allegations on the use of forced labour in Xinjiang were also made and harassment of members of the Uighurs diaspora reported.

    In the Tibetan Autonomous Region and the Tibetan inhabited territories, the year was marked by more detentions of monks and human rights activists, restrictions to religious activities, destruction of religious sites, most notably at Yachen Gar Tibetan Buddhist Centre, and another self-immolation (bringing the number to 156 since 2009). Aside from few strictly controlled visits, Tibet remained inaccessible for foreign diplomats, journalists and experts.

    2. EU action - key focus areas: The EU continued to pursue its commitments to promote the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights based on the UN Charter and standards, highlighting the need to give equal weight to political and civil rights (as compared to economic and social rights), and to improve the human rights situation in China.

    The EU's main priorities regarding the human rights situation in China were supporting freedom of expression; providing support to civil society, human rights defenders and persons belonging to ethnic and religious minorities; promoting the rule of law; supporting freedom of religion or belief; and raising concerns related to the death penalty and gender equality in China. The EU continued to call on China to fulfil its obligations under the UN Charter and international law, which are also reflected in China's Constitution. The EU also urged China to mark the 21st anniversary of the signature of the international covenant on civil and political rights by ratifying it. The EU continued working with the Chinese government on improving the living standards of China's citizens, gradually improving access to basic social services such as healthcare and education, and eradicating poverty.

    3. EU bilateral political engagement: The 37th round of the EU-China human rights dialogue was held in Brussels on 1-2 April 2019. The two-day programme covered a wide range of human rights issues, and discussions of possible future cooperation on issues related to gender rights, rights of the child, business and human rights, and rights of persons with disabilities. While acknowledging China's progress on economic and social rights, the EU emphasised the universality, indivisibility and interdependence of human rights. The EU also conveyed its concerns related to the deteriorating situation of civil and political rights in China. The EU submitted to the Chinese side a list of more than 500 individual cases.

    The EU, the EU Member States, and China continued to conduct technical exchanges on human rights issues, such as business and human rights and the rights of vulnerable groups. During the UN Human Rights Council sessions and the UNGA Third Committee, the EU and its Member States raised their concern about China's human rights situation, including on Xinjiang, Tibet and arbitrary detentions.

    During 2019, the EU issued several statements, including: an HR/VP statement on the anniversary of the Tianamen Square event (in June), a statement by the HR/VP Spokesperson on the anniversary of the 907 crackdown on Human Rights Defenders (in July), as well as an HR/VP Spokesperson statement on the trial of Human Rights Defender Yu Wensheng (in May). The European Parliament discussed the situation of ethnic minorities in China in April and the situation of Uighurs in December.

    4. EU financial engagement: The EU has, in line with its global human rights priorities, worked to improve China's human rights situation through official government cooperation, using the EIDHR, and through grassroots support. A special focus of the cooperation was the rule of law, which is in line with China's own priorities. Other topics the EU has supported were women's and children's rights, and rights of vulnerable groups. On the occasion of international days throughout the year, the EU delegation in China and the EU Member States organised and supported a number of public diplomacy activities by marking the most significant human rights anniversaries.

    5. Multilateral context: The EU referred to the human rights situation in China in its item 4 statements issued during the March, June and September sessions of the UN Human Rights Council (HRC), as well as during the October UN General Assembly Third Committee. While acknowledging the progress made on a number of areas of social and economic rights in China, the EU raised its concerns about the detention of a number of human rights defenders including EU national Gui Minhai, Wang Quanzhang, Li Yuhan, Huang Qi, Yu Wensheng, Wu Gan, Gao Zhisheng, Ilham Tohti, Qin Yongmin and Tashi Wangchuk. It also called on China to abide by its international obligations, ratify the international covenant on civil and political rights, and respect freedom of religion or belief and freedom of expression, as well as the rights of persons belonging to ethnic minorities.

    The EU also expressed concerns related to Xinjiang, referring particularly to the existence of re-education camps, widespread surveillance and restrictions on freedom of religion or belief."

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