Friday, 24 August 2007

Amnesty International Up the Pressure on Beijing

I had an e-mail today from Amnesty International highlighting their campaign to improve the human rights situation in China. Put simply, their campaign intends to hold the Beijing regime to the promises that were made in 2001.

Amnesty have published a twelve point plan which can be downloaded here.

The highlights of this plan are:

1. Putting in place measures to significantly reduce the use of the
death penalty as steps towards full abolition of the death
penalty in China (I think similar pressure should be brought to bear on the United States as well).

2. Take concrete steps to bring all forms of detention in China
into line with international human rights law and standards,
including measures to uphold the rights to fair trial and
prevent torture.

3. Ensure that human rights defenders are free to carry out their
peaceful activities in line with the UN Declaration on Human

4. End all censorship of the Internet in China which constitutes a
violation of the fundamental human rights to freedom of
expression and information.

There is also a more detailed report on human rights in China which can be downloaded here.

I have to admit to myself (at the risk of becoming VERY unpopular in my own home) that unless things start to improve over there on the human rights front I'm going to have to start agreeing with those who would call for a boycott of the Games. I would then lobby our leadership and front-bench to back similar calls.

I don't want to go down that road but given the propaganda misuse that is being made of the Games by the Chinese Communist Party and their clear failure to honour the commmitments on human rights that were made in 2001 I'm getting closer to that tripping point. It's up to the Communists to start realising that they now live in a global village and metaphorical "wife beating" isn't acceptable anymore. There is already enough anger over their conduct regarding Sudan. The treatment of their own people is far from acceptable as well.

Beijing can make a positive start by releasing all Prisoners of Conscience including:

  • Bu Dongwei

  • Ye Guozhu

  • Chen Guangcheng

  • Huang Jinqiu

  • Shi Tao

  • Yang Tongyan

I wish that my Liberal Democrat friends would start taking the human rights in China issue more seriously. It should discomfort us all as Liberals that a huge number of our fellow citizens in the world are daily denied basic human rights. This should be seen as an affront to our international vision of human rights for all.

1 comment:

The Wilted Rose said...

Excellent post highlighting human rights abuses in China. I had honestly believed that, with the 2008 Olympics, China would make some progress on human rights. It has moved on in terms of entrepreneurship and so on, but treating people properly is even more vital.