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China's Official Covid Rates Are Down. But Has That Come at the Cost of Human Rights?

I imagine January has been a relatively good month for Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Covid-19 pandemic appears to be largely under control in his country, and China's is the only major economy in the world expected to report growth for…
Chinese paramilitary police wearing face masks to protect against the spread of the coronavirus stand guard near the portrait of Chinese leader Mao Zedong on Tiananmen Gate near Tiananmen Square in Beijing on Saturday, January 9, 2021. 
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Like Global Tech Companies Before It, Zoom Caved to the Chinese Government, Even When it Meant Overlooking Basic Human Rights.

On Dec. 18, prosecutors from the U.S. Justice Department charged a China-based Zoom executive with conspiring to terminate Zoom meetings this year that commemorated the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre at the Chinese government’s…
Signage at the headquarters of videoconferencing, remote work, and webinar technology company Zoom (ZM) in the Silicon Valley, San Jose, California, March 28, 2020.
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The Hong Kong government has wasted no time in using its new national security law to arrest critics and attack press freedom. Monday’s arrest of 10 Hong Kong pro-democracy figures, including 71-year-old Jimmy Lai, founder and owner of the pro-…
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On the surface, it seems that many people from China living in Canada do not shy away from voicing their political opinions. This month, at McMaster University, a Chinese student group issued a statement condemning a Uyghur activist’s speech at the…
China: One Belt, One Road, Lots of Obligations PHOTO
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  It’s not often that the leaders of democracies like Switzerland and Spain gather with the heads of repressive regimes like North Korea and Uzbekistan, but it seems no one wants to miss China’s coming-out party for its “One Belt, One Road”…
China: One Belt, One Road, Lots of Obligations PHOTO
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July 17, the Day of International Criminal Justice, is the anniversary of the Rome Statute, which paved the way for the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC). Anniversaries are often cause for celebration, but the ICC—the world’s…
The International Criminal Court premises in The Hague. © 2016 Human Rights Watch
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In an impassioned speech at the White House’s February 2015 cybersecurity summit, Apple’s chief executive Tim Cook argued that in a world where “too many people do not feel free to practice their religion or express their opinion or love who they chose,”…
china apple
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It’s been a year now since Edward Snowden’s revelations about the massive US and UK spying operations sent much of the world into a tailspin. The US has taken some modest steps toward reform. But the initial steps taken across the Atlantic only serve to…
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HRC 24th Session: Statement Delivered Under Item 4

As China’s second Universal Periodic Review approaches, the human rights situation inside the country continues to deteriorate.  One positive development since China’s previous UPR is the rise of civil society and human rights defenders.  Yet human rights…
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The Arab uprisings have been a poignant reminder of how the Internet can promote free expression and assembly, but also how governments can try abuse it. The medium used by demonstrators to organize protests and bring medical supplies to Tahrir Square,…
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The state-run media breaks its silence on the blind activist who sought asylum last week at the U.S. Embassy in Beijing

“Who is Chen Guangcheng?” That must be a question some people in China are asking today. Thanks to the country’s blanket Internet censorship, millions of ordinary Chinese are unfamiliar with Chen’s name and are just now learning the long, sad story of the…
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Oral Statement at the 17th Session of the Human Rights Council - June 3rd, 2011

  In his report on the freedom of expression, the Special Rapporteur makes three separates references to China, regarding the high number of imprisoned journalists (Para. 35), the extensive censorship of internet (Para. 29) and the imposition of…
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Beijing voices support for human rights while kidnapping dissidents

In the midst of China's worst spike in official repression in more than a decade, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao spoke out April 14 about the need for his government to "encourage people to speak truthfully." The irony of Mr. Wen's words would not be lost on…
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On March 29, 2011 China's propaganda authorities banned independent reporting of possible radioactive contamination from Japan's stricken Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The directive restricted all media coverage to carefully vetted copy from the…
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(Hong Kong) - It has taken the arrest of Ai Weiwei, one of China's best-known contemporary artists and an outspoken critic of the Chinese government, for the world to take notice that Beijing is in the midst of the largest crackdown on dissent in over a…
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The National Human Rights Action Plan wraps up after two years, but confessions extracted by torture are still accepted in Chinese courts

China's first National Human Rights Action Plan committed the Chinese government to end the practice of "extortion of confessions by torture" and put police and security forces on notice that "it is strictly forbidden to extort confessions by torture." In…
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Supporters in China of the Nobel peace prize winner Liu Xiaobo have been harassed, interrogated or detained

Last month's announcement of a Nobel peace prize for the Chinese writer Liu Xiaobo, together with the approaching award ceremony on 10 December, have driven official tolerance for peaceful dissent in China to a new low. Just ask Zhao Lianhai. On 10…