Amnesty International sets sites on China’s abysmal human rights record

Finally, it appears that China’s approach to human rights (i.e., jailing, beating and oppressing those who believe in freedom) is up for some serious scrutiny:

Amnesty International urged the European Union on Tuesday to rethink its China policy ahead of a high-level visit to Beijing, saying the Asian country’s economic success overshadows a justice system plagued with human rights abuses.

Amnesty released a report detailing alleged human rights violations, including the frequent use of the death penalty, forced labor camps, arbitrary detention and torture of AIDS patients and an ongoing crackdown on the Falun Gong spiritual movement.


China executes some 15,000 prisoners a year, Amnesty said, though the government’s own annual official tally barely exceeds 1,000.

“Official reports in China … hailing the introduction of ‘mobile execution chambers’ for their ‘cost-effectiveness and efficiency’ should send alarm bells ringing in the corridors of the EU,” said Dick Oosting, head of the human rights group’s EU office.

The Amnesty report dwells at length on the fate of AIDS patients as the object of abuse. AIDS reporting in the official Chinese media tends to highlight intravenous drug use and unprotected sex.

“A less well-publicized factor has been the operation of blood-collecting stations in many parts of China during the late 1980s and 1990s (set up to meet) a highly profitable global demand for blood plasma,” said the Amnesty report.

The centers, however, allegedly ignore safety checks, causing HIV infections to soar.

The Amnesty report also scolds China for labor camps that “re-educate” more than 300,000 people, including Falun Gong practitioners, journalists, AIDS activists and “cyber-dissidents” who post “subversive” messages on Internet chat rooms.

I realize there are those who, hellbent on tapping into China’s “1.3 billion consumers,” would rather sweep such irritating facts under the carpet, but there has to be a day of reckoning.

Amnesty International is to be congratulated for its courage and tenacity.

The Discussion: 3 Comments

Not a fan of AI – actually, quite dislike them – but interesting post.

October 29, 2003 @ 12:19 am | Comment

Why don’t you like AI? They may not always be right, but their track record is generally good, and the world is certainly a better place with groups like them.

October 29, 2003 @ 4:49 am | Comment

This is not a comment directed at Jeremy, about whom I know nothing, but I do know that some right-wingers loath AI because it manifests a stubborn failure to understand the regrettable but necessary measures (as they would say) taken by the U.S and its allies the War on Terrorism, etc., etc. These wingers also falsely claim that it’s soft on Cuba and other repressive countries that the ‘left’ supposedly idolises.

October 29, 2003 @ 10:26 am | Comment

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