As a United Nations member state, the People’s Republic of China is bound to uphold the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. China is additionally a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and has ratified the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment; and several other U.N. human rights conventions. The Constitution of the People’s Republic of China declares that the State respects and protects the human rights of its citizens; however, a pattern of systematic gross abuses of human rights exists in minority nationalities areas, and human rights violations are pervasive throughout the People’s Republic of China. Most violations are committed directly by the Chinese government and its officials. In reaction to Charter 08 of December 8, 2008, and other direct challenges by the citizens of the People’s Republic of China to the government’s disregard and contempt for human rights, both the number and severity of the government’s assaults on human rights have increased incrementally. Hence, it is necessary and urgent to present the facts of the Chinese government’s human rights record to the United Nations and its Human Rights Council.
In 2006 the UN Human Rights Commission was replaced by the UN Human Rights Council, an entity which was given stronger regulatory powers to monitor and investigate human rights violations. The UN General Assembly elected member states to the Human Rights Council each May, every member to serve for a three-year term. A recent change in UN regulations now accounts for elections to be held at the end of the year, in December instead of May. As a result China, as a two-term member of the Council, will complete its second term in December 2012, having served from May 2006 through December 2012, a period of more than 6 years. After serving two consecutive terms, member states are not eligible for re-election for a period of one year. After China leaves the Council in December 2012, its membership will be suspended for a one-year period. China will become eligible for re-election for the January 2014 cycle.
China’s re-election bid will doubtless start months before the elections for the 2014 slots are officially opened. As such, we will urge the United Nations and the Human Rights Council to examine the egregious human rights record of China most carefully and to question (a) the Chinese government’s qualifications as a current member of Human Rights Council, and (b) its re-election bid for the 2014 Council.
Let us examine China’s record as a member of the Council. China is the one country that imprisons a Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Liu Xiabo, a writer, professor and human rights activist. Forced disappearances of Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian so-called ‘splittists’, human rights defenders and dissidents, forced abortions under the ‘one-child policy’, forced demolitions of citizens’ legal properties and homes, Tibetan and Mongolian nomad settlement, illegal detentions, black jails, violence and torture by police, guilt by association, targeted persecutions of religious groups, oppression of minority nationalities, including elements of cultural genocide – all take place according to policies and practices of the Chinese Communist Party-State. Furthermore, Chinese courts, to which the people look for justice and redress of their grievances, are neither independent nor righteous. Instead, they imprison and sentence many prisoners of conscience in order to please the ruling authorities.
Considering such a morally corrupt and inept system of governance and justice, China is unqualified to be a member of the UN Human Rights Council, as eligibility “takes into account the candidate State’s contribution to the promotion and protection of human rights.” Rather, the UN General Assembly should most strongly urge the People’s Republic of China to improve its human rights policies and practices before it embarks upon a re-election bid to regain a seat on the Human Rights Council.
The fundamental change in China that could lead to real human rights progress requires the empowerment of Chinese citizens through the indefatigable support of the international community. Therefore, we will present to the international community a truthful statement of grievances against China in a ‘Petitioners’ Survey’. The Survey will create an authentic link between victims of human rights abuses in China and the UN Human Rights Council, a connection that is otherwise blocked or perverted by Chinese censorship and official propaganda. The Survey uses Word document (click here). We ask that the citizens of China and/or their relatives who have experienced human rights violations please fill out the Survey, and send it to the following email address (email@example.com). International rights groups may also fill out the Survey on behalf of their clients or colleagues. We will translate and organize responses, and submit them to Navi Pillay, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and individual member states of the UN Human Rights Council. Let us work together to achieve dignity, justice and a full measure of human rights for all members of the human family. Thank you.