China: Gross human rights violations continue

Grave human rights violations have continued in China in 1995. They range from the arbitrary detention of people who peacefully express their views, to gross violations of the physical integrity of the person and the right to life. Dissent and any activity perceived as a threat to the established political order continue to be repressed. Thousands of political prisoners, including members of religious and ethnic groups, are in jail, many simply for expressing their views. Torture and ill-treatment are common during arrest and in police stations, detention centres, labour camps and prisons, sometimes resulting in the death of the victims.The death penalty is widely used to instil fear into the population, particularly during crackdowns on crime. For four consecutive years from 1991, the Chinese Government has successfully used a procedural motion to block any resolution critical of its human rights record being debated by the UN Commission on Human Rights. No government should be allowed to choose the extent to which it will abide by international human rights law. No government should be allowed to manipulate human rights issues to further its political aims. To work within the UN means accepting the universality of the fundamental human rights spelled out in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights as well as the application in all countries of the laws, bodies and mechanisms which aim to protect those rights.

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