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Dear United Nations, please here is what you should ask China on human rights, says CHRD

ICC Note:

The Chinese Human Rights Defenders, a pro-rights group, has issued a list of questions they believe the United Nations should pose to China when they examine the country’s human rights record next week.


2/6/09 China (AsiaNews) A United Nations commission will examine China’s human rights record on 9-11 February in Geneva (Switzerland) and should ask a few simple questions, this according to Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD), a pro-rights group which has published a list of questions that need answers covering every aspects of Chinese life.

Personal freedom. The CHRD notes the broad power of administrative detention held by the Chinese state and the existence of re-education-through-labour camps (i.e. forced labour camps) where people can be sent for up to two years without trial, the benefit of a defence lawyer or the right to appeal; a system used against dissidents, pro-rights activists, and petition organisers.

Administration of justice and the rule of law. According to the CHRD, Articles 306 of China’s Criminal Law and 37 of the Lawyers Law allow the state to jail lawyers for defending their clients in criminal cases.

Freedom of speech and information. The group points out that many people have been condemned for expressing their opinions or simply exercising freedom of speech after being charged with “inciting subversion of state power”.

Freedom of religion, freedom of association and peaceful assembly. The list of questions slams China for persecuting anyone who practices a religion outside state-sanctioned limits, for banning meetings of a religious nature, and for denying believers the right to organise themselves as they sit fit.

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