Human Rights Watch criticizes ‘dire year’ of violations by China By Reuters

(Reuters) – China had a “terrible year” for human rights in 2020, a leading advocacy group said on Wednesday, with a crackdown on dissent in Hong Kong, the crackdown on Uighur Muslims and the silencing of people who reported on the coronavirus outbreak. Last month, a Chinese court handed down a four-year prison sentence to a citizen journalist who reported from Wuhan, the epicenter of the virus before it spread across the world, while others who did the same have disappeared. “Cracking down on whistleblowers and citizen journalists at this particular time … helps to highlight to the rest of the world what the consequences of violations may be within China,” said Sophie Richardson, director of Human Rights Watch (HRW ) for China. after the publication of the group’s World Report 2021. HRW CEO Kenneth Roth told Reuters Television in Geneva that China remained the biggest threat to global human rights and that President Xi Jinping had “embarked on the most intense crackdown” in the country since Tiananmen. Cracking down on the square in 1989. China last year introduced a national security law in the former British colony of Hong Kong, under which 53 pro-democracy activists were arrested in morning raids last week, while Beijing he also faced charges, which he denies, of persecution and forced labor of Uighurs in the troubled western region of Xinjiang. Richardson, speaking at a webinar, compared the plight of the Uyghurs with that of the Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, but noted a much weaker international response. He also said it was problematic that the European Union, after a year in which China “publicly trashed” its human rights commitments, agreed to an investment pact with Beijing, which only sets vague expectations that China will consider upholding higher standards high on forced labor. and other issues. But he noted that more governments were coming together to criticize China. “Making a dent in the Chinese government’s sense of impunity for serious human rights violations is a real priority, we believe, for governments and for institutions like the UN,” he said.

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