Human Rights Watch urges EU to stand up for human rights in China during Ashton’s visit today

April 25, 2013

(EU) High Representative Catherine Ashton should publicly raise concerns over ongoing and persistent human rights violations in China when she visits Beijing, said Human Rights Watch. “As EU’s top foreign policy official, Ashton cannot ignore the deteriorating human rights environment in China,” said Lotte Leicht, European Union advocacy director. “She needs to make it a central part of her agenda in Beijing.” Ashton should also urge top Chinese officials to stop obstructing Security Council action on Syria, including humanitarian access to all civilians in need, and referring  jurisdiction over war crimes and crimes against humanity to the International Criminal Court.HRW_logo

In recent months the EU has issued strong statements, including ones at the United Nations Human Rights Council, on China’s use of the death penalty and the crisis of self-immolations in Tibet, among other issues.

The EU also provides some support to human rights defenders in China…..Yet, the EU’s engagement on human rights in China has been extremely weak since Ashton was nominated as the EU’s first foreign policy chief. The more than thirty rounds of the official EU-China dialogue on human rights have had little discernible positive effect for those standing up for human rights in China, and at other levels of political dialogue the EU has failed to give human rights and the rule of law a degree of public attention commensurate with the importance of these issues in China…

…Although the new Chinese leadership has expressed rhetorical support for reform on some key human rights concerns, such as re-education through labor, abuses remain rampant throughout the country. The Chinese government denies people the full exercise of basic rights such as freedom of expression, association, and religion, and systematically suppresses dissidents and human rights activists…

Ashton should be prepared to tell her Chinese government interlocutors who speak of the need for reform that a good start would be freeing Liu Xiaobo and lifting the appalling and abusive house arrest imposed on Liu Xia,” said Leicht.

Even the new leadership’s commitment to robustly grappling with rampant corruption – identified as a high priority – is already being called into question. In early April, eight activists were arrested for their involvement in a grass-roots anti-corruption campaign.

China: EU Commitments Demand Tough Response | Human Rights Watch.

3 Responses to “Human Rights Watch urges EU to stand up for human rights in China during Ashton’s visit today”

  1. […] Human Rights Watch urges EU to stand up for human rights in China during Ashton’s visit today. […]

  2. Olga Brajnović Says:

    Reblogged this on Blognovic's Weblog and commented:
    A very important question

  3. […] Scholar and 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo is serving an 11-year sentence for “inciting subversion” in response to his calls for democratic reform. […] […]

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