2013 turned into ‘Nightmare’ for Human Rights Defenders

March 6, 2014

Last year was the worst for human rights since 2008, says the 2013 annual report from Chinese Human Rights Defenders [CHRD]. The signature “Chinese Dream” of the new leadership has instead become a “nightmare,” it says. “The Chinese government’s assault on activists last year indicates just how far authorities under the rule of President Xi Jinping are willing to go to suppress an increasingly active and emboldened civil society,” said Renee Xia, the international director of CHRD. Defining new developments in 2013, CHRD points to a major crackdown on civil and human rights across the board. The assault on the New Citizens Movement targeted peaceful assemblies; new laws concerning “rumors” targeted bloggers; the widespread physical violence against human rights lawyers served to deny legal counsel to rights advocates. Dozens of human rights defenders interviewed for the report pointed out that 2013 was the worst year for human rights since the crackdowns around the Olympics in 2008. Specifically, the report states: The number of activists detained last year was greater than any since crackdowns in 1999; the number of criminal detentions of human rights defenders trebled that of 2012; over 220 activists were detained, with dozens formally arrested and tried or awaiting trial; there were over three times more enforced “disappearances” than in 2012.

Despite the highly publicized abolishment of Re-education Through Labor, CHRD identifies notes that other extrajudicial detention methods have sprung up, including increased use of “black jails”. .. Most notably, the respected law professor Xu Zhiyong was sentenced to four years of imprisonment. [see https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/01/24/xu-zhiyongs-closing-statement-to-the-court-a-remarkable-document/] The regime made it clear in a 2013 internal memo, Document No. 9, that discussion of “Western ideals,” including universal values, democracy, and human rights would not be tolerated.

via China Dream Became ‘Nightmare’ for Rights in China, Report Says » The Epoch Times.

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