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r. Thomas Weyrauch
Important Aspects on Human Rights in the People´s Republic of China
Speech at the 10th European Country of Origin Information Seminar in Budapest
(1st - 3rd December 2005)
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Since the foundation of the Communist Party of China (CCP) in 1921, human rights have been violated in an incredible dimension. According to reliable estimations, up to 25 million people had been killed through Mao Zedongs orders before he rose to power in 1949. After having settled the People´s Republic of China (PRC), Mao and his followers became responsonsible for further 35 million Chinese killed by demozides, for nearly the same number of famine victims and for 3.4 millions of war deaths. Thus the total estimated figure of victims reaches nearly 100 million.
The situation changed in 1976. Despite the fact that Deng Xiaoping was one of the radical henchmen during the fifties and sixties, the new leadership of the People´s Republic of China tried to terminate the lawless chaos. China got new institutions and the CCP-rulers re-established a legal system. So every citizen was enabled to know his rights and prohibitions.
This theoretical stipulation of granting the rule of law was doubtless a great progress in Post-Mao-China. Not only the Chinese themselves, but also foreign leaders, journalists, China-experts and even tourists were impressed by such a concept, which included the Open-Door-Policy and the transformation of economy.
Since 1976 the People´s Republic of China signed a lot of important international declarations, treaties and conventions, also concerning the matter of human rights. Those are for instance:
The Charter of the United Nations (1945). In 1971 the Republic of China had to leave the UN and give it´s seat to the People´s Republic of China. The PRC became in this way one of the five members of the UN Security Council and as a member-state of the UN she accepted the civil rights noted in the preamble of the Charter, which means the personal dignity and worth, justice as well as the commitment to international law. In the same way China is fully bound to Article 1 of the Charter in which the member states promote and encourage the respect of human rights and the fundamental freedom for all, regardless of race, gender, language or religion.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) passed by the General Assembly of the UN on Dec. 10th 1948, had been accepted by the PRC after taking the seat of the Republic of China, but till today the PRC regards this legal norm as ‘soft law’. The Chinese position about the legal character of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has been accepted by many states and experts of international law, because there is – as the term shows - just a declaratoric, but not a contractual character. That means, no subject of international law can take a legal action against a state for it´s act of having violated the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Declaration protects religious (Art. 2) and political convictions (Art. 18). It prohibits torture (Art. 5) as well as arbitrary arrest (Art. 9) and demands for independend courts (Art. 10) and the presumption of innocence (Art. 11). Furthermore there is a demand for freedom of expression, the right of assembly, the freedom to form associations and the voting right (Art. 19, 20 and 21).
Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (1984)
This convention is based on its preamble on article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966. The signatory states are obliged to take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under their jurisdiction and should not accept exceptional circumstances as a justification of torture.
Despite the fact that the PRC signed the Convention against Torture, it doesn´t recognize the competence of the Committee against Torture as provided in article 20 of the Convention. The Chinese government also doesn´t consider itself bound to the paragraph I of article 30 of the Convention, in which disputes between states must be referred to the International Court of Justice.
Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (1951)
The Geneva Convention of 1951 was signed together with the New York Protocol relating to the Status of Refuge (1967) by the PRC in 1982, but has not been ratified yet. Chinese ministries are preparing for an implementation as national law and for the ratification. After World War II the 51-Convention and the New York Protocol became worldwide the most important legal bases of recognizing and receiving foreign refugees. So China´s ratification would be an important milestone in handling the refugee problem.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (1966)
In 2000 China became a signatory state of the Covenant, accepting the right of self-determination of peoples as well as the guarantee of the state parties to protect the family, health and education. The Covenant fosters human rights and a democratic society. But the ratification of China excludes the duties of article 8, which allows the foundation of independent trade unions.
International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (1966)
This Covenant prohibits unlawful deprivation of liberty, torture or compulsory labour, and emphasizes the right of self-determination of peoples.
The PRC signed this Covenant in 1998, but not yet ratfied it. The ratification should be prepared by a Chinese working commission. China claims, that in preparation of the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights the whole Chinese legal system has to be revised. In order to reach this goal, China has sought for the cooperation and assistance of the European Union.
Convention on the Right of the Child (1989)
China ratified the Convention in 1992 and accepted a lot of regulations for the benefit of children. But the PRC made reservations that it would fulfil its obligations provided by article 6 of the Convention under the prerequisite that the Convention accords with the provisions of article 25 concerning family planning of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China. So the Convention shouldn´t oppose the One-Child-Policy.
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination of Women (1979)
A reservation about the One-Child-Policy was made during China´s ratification in 1980, that the PRC does not consider itself bound to the paragraph 1 of article 29 of the Convention in referring a dispute to the International Court of Justice.
Three other documents of international law on human rights of lesser importance in the view of foreign countries towards China are as follows:
International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1966)
Ratified by the PRC in 1981.
International Convention on the Suppression and Punishment of the Crime of Apartheid (1973)
Ratified by the PRC in 1983.
Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide (1948)
Ratified by the PRC in 1983.
To review China´s principles on human rights in international legal documents it reveals that the country´s representatives do not accept any control or legal judgement from other states or international organizations.
The Chinese national law also stipulates to respect human rights in the constitution, in the Criminal Law, in the Criminal Procedure Law, the Administration Procedure Law, the Lawyer Law and other related regulations.
The Criminal Law prohibits torture (art. 247, 248) and maltreatment as well as arbitrary arrests, but provides the death penalty for many offenses (art. 48 pp.). Besides other laws the death penalty is subjected to 68 criminal acts.
Another punishment can be a limited or lifelong imprisonment (art. 45 pp.). Persons incarcerated in confinement centers are classified in five major types of these serving in prisons and those serving in Centers for Re-education Trough Labour. Persons incarcerated in prisons, called Jianyu, are as follows:
1) inmates given death sentences with a two-year suspension,
2) those sentenced to lifelong imprisonment,
3) prisoners, who must serve at least 10 years in prison before being released,
4) foreign prisoners
5) female prisoners.
According to Chinese Government sources the rest of the prisoners given incarcerative sentences are held in the Reform Through Labour or Re-education Through Labour Teams.
The Re-education Through Labour system is nearly as old as the PRC and is divided into the Laodong gaizhao dui, abbreviated Laogai, for prisoners formally given a sentence by a criminal court, and the Laodong jiaoyang suo, abbreviated Laojiao, after the sentence of an administrative body called Committee for Re-education Through Labour for committing minor offenses such as petty theft, prostitution, and drug use for periods up to four years.
According to art. 46 § 2 prisoners have to work to accept education and reform through labour.
At first sight the judiciary system seems to be similar to that of other countries with lower, intermediate and higher courts.
The Lower Courts are responsible for civil disputes and misdemeanors that do not need trials in counties, cities without administrative districts, or administrative districts of cities. They also guide and supervise the work of the People's Arbitration Committees.
In prefectures, in cities directly under provinces and in districts of the municipalities directly under the central government Intermediate Courts are responsible for cases of national security, criminal cases that may involve life imprisonment or the death penalty, criminal cases committed by foreigners or cases involving Chinese citizens violating the lawful rights and interests of foreigners. They handle matters transferred or appealed from lower courts.
Higher Courts are set up in provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the central government and are responsible for criminal, civil and administrative cases that intermediate courts deem to be of a serious nature, after the Intermediate Court requested that the cases be transferred. They try criminal, civil and administrative cases of major proportions and complications under their jurisdiction, as provided by law, the first-hearing cases transferred by lower courts, cases appealing or protesting the verdicts a
d decisions made by Lower Courts. They also review first-hearing cases involving the death penalty ruled by Intermediate Courts where the accused renounces the right to appeal.
The Supreme Court located in the national capital as the main trial organ of the state is responsible for appeals, cases of national security, criminal cases that may involve life imprisonment or the death penalty, criminal cases committed by foreigners or cases involving Chinese citizens violating the lawful rights and interests of foreigners.
In reality there is not only a hierarchy of public prosecutors analogous to the hierarchy of courts, but also an influence of different levels of the Communist Party of China to the trials and decisions of the parallel court level. So the CCP-cadres of a city may manipulate cases of an intermediate court in the same matter-of-course as the Polit Bureau does in the cases of the Supreme Court.
Mo Shaoping, a notable defense attorney, critizised the situation of lawyers as extremely difficult during his speech when he visited the Yale Law School in October 2005. According to his informations 500 lawyers had been arrested for working on criminal cases. Only 30 percent of all Chinese criminal cases had a defense lawyer at court. Mo summarized the difficulties for lawyers as difficulties in meeting the litigant, in obtaining documents, in investigating and obtaining evidence, in bringing witnesses to court, to complete the case in time, of balancing the power of certain organizations and the lack of a privilege to refuse to give evidence.
Mo said: “The chief judge of China’s Supreme Court Xiao Qiang emphasized the strengthening of the CCP’s leadership over China’s legislative system and that it´s role is forever cemented.”
Hence, even the human rights stipulations of the Chinese leadership in this context seem to be tools to control the society and to deprive it from personal and human rights.
While the former capitalist class, persons with foreign contacts and non-opposition bound intellectuals are not the target of the CCP anymore, there are special groups in today´s China living in a situation of uncertainty, of discrimination and of persecution.
Members of ethnic minorities in this state, who organize themselves to
regain their stripped national independence or real autonomy face severe
punishment, even without any intimidation. Especially Tibet, Eastern Turkestan and Inner Mongolia are so-called Autonomous Regions without autonomy and stand under dominance of Han-Chinese in the matters of political force and of economic strength. On the other hand a persecution of such ethnic minorities in the meaning of a social group can´t be supposed, as long as there are members of those minorities living an accordance with the CCP and being members of the party or of state organs.
Other problematic categories are philosophic, religious or spiritual societies and groups without any organization. As long as groups are organized as religious societies and registered in the Offices on Religious Affairs under the Ministry of Public Security or in lower hierarchy levels of the Offices of Public Affairs, there is control, but not a persecution of the registred society. On the contrary, in cases of unregistered religious or spiritual groups low tolerance or persecution are the guidelines of politics. Some examples are catholics loyal to the Holy See, protestant
house-churches or Falun Gong practicing people. Their groups are regarded as
'cults' by the authorities, watched by the police, secret services and the 'Anti-Cult-Association' and threatened to have severe punishment on their followers. Also the medias have to publish reports and comments about the dangerous character of the so-called 'cults', as it happened after a self-immolation of alleged Falun Gong-practicing persons in front of Beijing´s Tian´anmen-square. Despite Western journalists had research about those people, who burned to death, and found out that they had nothing to do with Falun Gong, the Chinese media still argue that the society had to be protected against such an evel cults, which immolate own followers. While the TV-cameras could view for a longer time the alleged Falun Gong-followers burning to death, it took only one minute to arrest foreign Falun Gong practicing adherents at the same place.
Followers of such groups defined as cults in the PRC as well as in foreign country remain the target of persecution such as kidnapping, arrest and violence. Because of the intensity and the duration of persecution they could be regarded as 'social group', as defined in the Geneva Convention.
The political system of the PRC is based on the leading role of the CCP. Other tolerated smaller political organizations do not oppose the leading party. So there is no legal opposition in the state. As consequence of this matter of fact the party rejects every attempt to build up democratic structures or to found new parties, craft unions or farmers associations in opposition to the CCP and persecutes their members. Furthermore, the authorities try to destroy opposition movements by force, by infiltration and by controlling information channels. A meaningful danger to the PRC and the leading CCP is the existence of the internet, which can hardly be controlled by an army of censors. If the works of cyber-dissidents are uncovered, most of their authors are given incarcerative sentences. But the communication via phone, pager or internet can´t be interrupted easily, which is proved by many events reported to foreign countries and inside China.
Most of the results of grassroot elections on the countryside are settled by the local CCP-cadres, but meanwhile they became the reasons of violent unrests.
Inside the CCP is just a little space for dissent as well, as long as the members are not regarded as organized faction.
The freedom of property is limited since the communist state has been founded. Nowadays citizens of the PRC are able and allowed to become billioneers, but thousands of owners of tiny houses were expropriated or dispossessed by authorities order and club beating mobsters to dislodge the dwellers, only because there was announcement of phantastic investment by a real estates company earlier. In big cities as well as on the countryside forced dislocations are not unusual. Well known examples are dislocations for the Olympic Games in the capital city and in the region of the Three-Gorges-Dam.
Couples have to apply for a permission to have children. Only in some wealthy cities, such as in the Guandong Province, or on the countryside couples are exceptionally allowed to have two children. In case of a contravention the One-Child-Policy discriminates parents and their children.
Being held responsible for unauthorized pregnancies parents can be punished
by fines of local authorities or even loose their job, house or futher property. The provinces Anhui, Hebei, Heilongjiang, Hubei, Hunan, Jilin, and Ningxia require the termination of pregnancy if the pregnancy violates the family-planning law. The regulations of Fujian, Guizhou, Guangdong, Gansu, Jiangxi, Qinghai, Sichuan, Shanxi, Shaanxi, and Yunnan have other punishments for the contraventions. It is very common not only to terminate out-of-plan pregnancies, but also to sterilize one of the parents.
The freedom of movement increased after the old hukou-system, that means the system of registration of all familiy members, has been relaxed after having a more mobile labour force. It is a fact that about 150 Million people are migrants within the boarders of the country, nevertheless any people are still obliged to have the permission of their working unit or the local authorities to change the residence.
As some decades ago police, militia and secret services violate the constitutional freedom of assembly and association by using force against demonstraters and critical groups. While protests numbered a few thousands per year in the Ninethieth, the number increased to 58,000 in the year 2003. The protests rose to 74,000 in 2004 with a death-toll of 1,740 people. This figure shows that the situation seems to be much worse than on the eve of the year 1989. Therefore the country cannot regarded as a stable one.
As long as speakers in private discussions did not show opinions of the opposition in public, the freedom of expression continued to expand. But such controversial discussions remain under surveillance by authorities. On the one hand critizing the political system can be tolerated, on the other hand the reason for harsh persecution.
The methods of human rights violations are various. China has got an interesting legislation on human rights with a lot of prohibitions, but the reality is very often the opposite. In many cases of human rights violations it could be proved that the state and it´s political system was the cause of human rights violations, such as the persecution of Falun Gong or the disappearance of dissidents.
Several times a year, regularly at spring festival and in autumn around the first of October, campaigns against crime are also targeted against opponents. Arrested persons have difficulties to convince the authorities of their innocence and to get in contact to lawyers. This problem carries on in the denial of fair public trial, that often occurs. Despite legal prohibitions of the penal code and the criminal procedure law many arrested people are victims of torture and maltreatment. Alone in one campaign against crime like "
Yanda" or "Strike hard" 4,000 people were executed after summary trials. The total number of executions is estimated of 15,000 per year. Extrajudicial killings in custody due to the practice of torture by the police have been reported, but no statistics are available. Arbitrary deprivation of freedom is still very common and only very seldom a matter of investigation.
According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at the King´s College in London there were 1,548,498 sentenced prisoners in December 2003 in the PRC. In comparison to the Chinese population 118 per 100,000 citizens were incarcerated. China argues that this number was far lower than the US-incercerated of 701 per 100,000 population. But human rights observers doubt the truth of this figure. Th
y believe that the actual number of Chinese being incarcerated was much higher, because of persons, who are not in prisons but in Re-education Through Labour Centers.
The Re-education Through Labour has been critized since a long time as a violation against article 9 (4.) of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which provides that "Anyone who is deprived of his liberty by arrest or detention shall be entitled to take proceedings before a court, in order that the court may decide without delay on the lawfulness of his detention..." But please remember: China did not ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights!
Furthermore critics say, the re-education process was arbitrary. It removes the presumption of innocence, involves no judicial officer, provides for no public trial, and makes no provision for defense against the charges.
According to governmental sources China has a total of 746 compulsory rehabilitation centers, 168 treatment and re-education-through-labor centers. Those centers officially care about criminals being mentally ill or drug addicted. Additionally there were 20 centers for the psychiatric treatment of prisoners. One famous inmate of such a psychiatric treatment center was the dissident Wang Wanxin, who has been released a few weeks ago and lives in Germany. Without insanity he was given psychopharma for the time between 1989 until 2005. Others belong to Falun Gong, which is labeled by the Chinese propaganda as a reason of mental illness.
A Falun Gong practicing lady, Ms. Xiong Wei, who lives now in Germany after she was held in different Chinese detention centers told me about her custody conditions. Having been beaten and threatened in the imprisonment on remand she was transferred to a women detention center, where she had to work under pressure from early morning till late after midnight and got only two meals per day and corporal punishments. She was also maltreated in so-called re-education sessions outside the prison. She wasn´t allowed to drink and to go to the toilet for longer times. During her menses she couldn´t get sanitary pads, so her trousers were blood-stained. In the night she had to sleep on a wooden board together with other female prisoners and did not have space to move or to turn over. A special corporal punishment was to stay on a painful position for several hours or to practice a large number of knees bending.
Instead of punishing such officers responsible for torture and maltreatment, they got the priviliges of impunity and rewards.
Voller Text veröffentlicht auf der Website des United Nations High Commissioner for Human rights http://www.unhcr.org7cgi-bin/texis/vtx/home/opendoc.pdf?tbl=RSDCOI&id=441d8c64
Dr. Thomas Weyrauch/Germany
Religious Persecution in the People´s Republic of China
Speech to the “Conference on Religious Intolerance in China”
in the European Parliament
sponsored by Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of EP and
Mr. Simon Coveney, Human Rights spokesman of EPP
November 28th, 2006
Mr. Vice President McMillan-Scott, Mr. Coveney, distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
China has a long-standing concept of human rights which is rooted in ideas of famous philosophers and religions. (1)
This tradition is still a part of the Chinese culture and should be expressed by legal means. The Chinese government declares that religious adherents can take part in various religious activities in temples, mosques, churches and individual residences. There should be 85,000 places of worship across the country, 300,000 clergymen, over 3,000 religious organizations, and 74 religious seminaries run by those organizations to train clergymen. (2)
In terms of international law the People´s Republic of China (PRC) actually regards religious freedom only by accepting the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (3) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (4). China has not yet ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (59, which would bind the Chinese authorities on religious tolerance as a hard law. Therefore the PRC is able to claim itself to be merely a signatory state of soft laws concerning religious freedom. That means in all cases of critizism on the human rights situation in China, the country has no international duties on contractual character to fulfill. In this way China will never be in the position of a defendant. (6)
The preamble of the Chinese constitution declares the Communist Party of China (CCP) to be the leading factor of the Chinese state. Although the Chinese state is dependent in this way on the atheistic CCP, the constitution and other laws stipulate religious freedom. (7)
To enjoy religious freedom, the believers have to join organizations, which are to be registered and controlled by a special authority, the State Administration for Religious Affairs. This body officially protects the five beliefs of Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, Daoism and Islam, as long as they are organized under state control within the China Buddhist Association, the Chinese Catholic Patriotic Association, the protestant Three-Self Patriotic Movement of China and the Protestant Christian Council, the Chinese Daoist Association and the Islamic Association of China. But even the protection of a minimum of religious practice at home doesn’t really exist. (8)
China’s government replies in harsh words to American critics on this matter as follows: “The US report talked nonsense about 30 million Chinese people carrying out their mass at ‘home churches’. In fact, there are no ‘house churches’ in China. Christians usually organize religious rituals in families, which is only called a house meeting. Christians who take part in the house meeting also join congregations in churches, except for those who are too old or weak. House meetings were just a supplement to church meetings.” End of the quotation. The Chinese government finished the reply by stating that it respects those house meetings and would never intervene. (9)
Ladies and Gentlemen, the opposite of that Chinese governmental eulogy is the truth:
Since many years house churches are forcibly closed and their members detained. If their application to register their community as religious organization is rejected, they do not have legal protection. The same happens to those believers who refuse to apply for registration. (10)
In connection with alleged religious freedom it seems contradictory and even ridiculous that the frame conditions for religious activities are prescribed by an atheistic state under an atheistic leadership of an atheistic party. Furthermore this leadership even defines the character of a legal religion as well as the character of heresy. Religious or spiritual groups excluded from the privilege to be recognized by the state are labeled as ‘xiéjiào’, which means “evil cults”. In order to hinder such societies, the Chinese Anti Cult-Association was founded under the supervision of the Beijing-based Institute of Science and Technology. (11)
Of course, the local authorities may tolerate some practices of folk religions, such as prophecy or palmistry, while other popular practices are forbidden as ‘evil cults’. (12)
It is the spiritual movement Falun Gong, a method of self-cultivating based on Buddhist and Daoist elements, which was first fostered by the Chinese state in the Nineties and then labeled as “sect” and “evil cult” in 1999. Practicing and promoting Falun Gong or other cultivation methods became an illegal act. Without having a legal basis of the constitution or of other laws a department of the Central Committee of the CCP was founded, the Bureau 610. If I now mention that the Bureau 610 is enabled to give directives to police authorities and offices of public affairs, I just want to emphasize that it is an office of the leadership of the party. The only task of the Bureau is to persecute peaceful Falun Gong adherents. (13)
In 2004 the government announced a shift of paradigm by limiting control over religion. In fact, the new so called ‘Regulation on Religious Affairs’ did not afford greater religious freedom. What kind of greater religious freedom do the Chinese people enjoy now? According to the regulation the Party’s United Front Work Department still influences the work of the Administration of Religious Affairs of different levels. Still the faithfuls have to apply for a registration of their group and to meet all the political conditions. Not the religious society itself is responsible for the appointment of the religious personnel like priests, monks, nuns etc., but the administration of townships, counties, provinces or of the Central Government influenced by the CCP. In cases of violations the regulations also provide administrative punishments like fines or detention. (14)
In the same year 2004 a new office, the ‘Central Bureau for the Work on Religious Affairs’, was established. It published documents, which forbade members of the CCP to join religious groups secretly. The document reports it was a matter of fact that religious people were working and gaining power within the party, the state administration and the jurisdiction. Such an infiltration was provoking protest movements. (15) Another document of this office prohibits religious activities and ceremonies in universities. Teachers and students, who are member of the CCP and of a religious society as well, will be expelled from the party. This means a threat for their career. (16)
The legal conditions for the religious life in the People´s Republic of China infringe the international respected human rights standards. The reality of millions of believers is even more serious. While officers of an atheistic state became representatives of religious bodies, who tell stories about religious freedom in China, the daily activities of banned religious and spiritual groups have to be carried out in underground. One example: What must Christians experience when they assemble secretly in house churches? Reports show that participants of underground masses were surrounded by policemen, who beat and arrested non-violent members of those churches. During their detention many of the Christians were tortured. (17)
To take another example of the Islamic people in Western China: According to the ‘Regulation on Religious Affairs’ Muslims will be fined, if they have a Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca without the government’s authorization. (18)
The Falun Gong practitioners presently have to suffer much more than other adherents of persecuted groups in China. Foreign journalists, like Philip Pan of the Washington Post or Ian Johnson of Wall Street Journal, could prove allegations of torture and killings of Falun Gong practitioners since 1999. It is reported that more than 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed after being atrociously tortured. (19)
Allegations of organ harvesting from the body of killed Falun Gong adherents seem to be true. (20)
The religious persecution is very often combined with sexual violence like raping or maltreating the genitals with electric shockers on detained female Christians of house churches, Tibetan nuns and Falun Gong practitioners. (21)
Those methods of persecution have been checked by Manfred Nowak of the United Nations´ Human Rights Commission, the special investigator on torture, who visited China last year and found that torture, though officially declared illegal since 1996, remains widely in use across China. (22)
In summary, one can say that the People´s Republic of China can be legally distinguished from countries like Myanmar (Burma) or the Democratic People´s Republic of Korea (North-Korea) by the factor that there is legislation on religion, but on the other hand China has a poor human rights record including a very limited freedom of religion. Until today religious activities are not protected. Socalled ‘cults’ are outlawed. Their adherents face brutal persecution. Therefore I want to point out that the situation of the believers in the People´s Republic of China is far from being satisfactory and indeed no indication for religious freedom.
1 For an extensive explanation see e.g. chapter “Menschenrechte in der chinesischen Philosophie” (Human rights in Chinese philosophy) in my book “Gepeinigter Drache – Chinas Menschenrechte im Spätstadium der KP-Herrschaft” (Anguished Dragon – China´s Human Rights in the Late Stage of CCP-Rule). 2nd Edition Heuchelheim/Germany (Longtai) 2006, pp. 10.
2 Embassy of the People´s Republic of China in the United States of America, http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/zjxy/t36496.htm.
3 Article 2 and 18. General Assembly resolution of Dec. 10th, 1948.
4 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, http://www.ohchr.org/english/countries/ratification/3.htm.
5 Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, http://www.ohchr.org/english/countries/ratification/4.htm. China has established a working commission to revise the constitution and other laws for conformity with the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The PRC has asked the European Union for support and cooperation, see Xinhua Nov. 20th, 2000; http://mail.fsfeurope.org/pipermail/wsis-euc/2006-January/000686.html; www.cnn.com/2000/ASIANOW/east/11/21/rights.china; Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights: 4. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, http://www.ohchr.org/english/countries/ratification/4_1.htm.
6 That legal position is disputed.
7 Constitution, art. 36; Regional Ethnic Autonomy Law, art. 11; Education Law, art. 9; Criminal Law, art. 251 (infringement to the freedom of religious belief).
8 Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2006, Washington 2006, pp. 79, 80.
9 Embassy of the People´s Republic of China in the United States of America, http://www.china-embassy.org/eng/zt/zjxy/t36496.htm-
10 Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2006, Washington 2006, pp. 79, 80.
11 Kupfer, Kristin: „Geheimgesellschaften“ in der VR China: Spirituell-religiöse Bewegungen seit 1978 – Entstehung, Entwicklung und Interaktion mit dem Staat, www.chinafokus.de/wissenschaft/bruehlertagung/3kupfer/fussnoten.php; Website of the Anti-Cult Association, www.anticult.org.
12 China aktuell, July 2002, p. 734.
13 World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, Investigation Report, p. 47 ff.
14 Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2006, Washington 2006, pp. 79, 80.
15 Malek, Roman: Marxismus und Atheismus versus Religionsfreiheit, In: China heute XXIII (China-Zentrum: St. Augustin/Germany 2004), No. 6 (136), pp. 195.
16 Malek, Marxismus und Atheismus versus Religionsfreiheit, p. 197.
17 One example is the persecution of members of the Church of Southern China, see China aktuell, October 2002, p. 1120. Their priest Gong Shengliang has been tortured in his prison in Jingzhou City in Hubei Province. His death sentence has been revised. Amnesty International, Urgent Action June 11th, 2003; Spiegel Online August 16th, 2005, http://www.spiegel.de/panorama/0,1518,369287,00.html.
18 Regulation on Religious Affairs, Art. 51 Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2006, Washington 2006, p. 82.
19 Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group: The Falun Gong Report 2003, pp. 91; Falun Dafa: A Witness to History.p. 31 f.
20 Matas, David/Kilgour, David: Investigation Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China, July 6th, 2006, http://www.david-kilgour.com/2006/Kilgour-Matas-organ-harvesting-rpt-July6-eng.pdf.
21 Tibetfocus, http://www.tibetfocus.com/zerstoerung/verhaftung&folter.htm, The Falun Gong Report 2003; Blume, Georg: Endstation Bambus-Gulag, In: Die Zeit Nr. 16/2001, http://www.zeit.de/2001/16/politik/200116_falun.html; www.faluninfo.de/144.0html; www.de.clearharmony.net/articles/200403/15811.html; http://www.chinaintern.de/article/-Menschenrechte/1092590040.html.
22 United Nations Press Release, Dec. 2nd, 2005, http://www.unhchr.ch/huricane/huricane.nsf/view01/677C1943FAA14D67C12570CB0034966D; BBC News, Dec. 2nd, 2005, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/4491026.stm.
Thomas Weyrauch: China - Who Rules the Rule of Law?
Speech at the Second International Conference
for Global Support of Democratization in China and Asia
European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium, May 14 - 16, 2007