Lars Normann Jogensen 丹麦大赦国际秘书长
Parliament (Folketinget) and Government Copenhagen
20th march 2000 (Translated from Danish)
The Human Rights situation in China has markedly deteriorated during the latest two years. The suppression of the Chinese people has during the last year been the worst since the crack down of the student demonstrations at the Tian An Men square in 1989. Not the least the persecution of the adherents of the Falun Gong movement has been very conspicuous, since the Chinese authorities banned the movement in July 1999. Amnesty International has documented a number of cases about the mistreatment of the arrested adherents of the movement, here under about a 42 year old woman that was beaten to death in the prison. The Chinese rulers also has began to employ the very rigid measures pertaining to the national security in the revised Criminal Law to suppress persons, which also are making use of the all elementary freedom of expression and freedom of organization.
A week ago the Amnesty International received information that a known and active business woman, Rebiya Kadeer, on March 9 this year received a sentence of eight years of prison during a secret procedure. She was arrested on August 11, 1999 on her way to a meeting with a delegation from US Congressional Research Service. Thereupon she was accused of delivering state secrets to foreigners. Her health condition is very poor because of the detainment in the Liudaowan prison, known for torture and mistreatment of detained. Amnesty regards her as prison of conscience, and demands her released immediately and without conditions.
The suppression affects also much broader parts of the Chinese society, as today it not only affects the political opposition, together with religious circles and ethnic minorities, but also citizens, which takes hands of working conditions, environments and social problems.
The latest years there has also been a strike down on presumed Uighur nationalists and autonomy Muslim leaders in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomy Region (XUAR). The ethnic stir and thereby also the suppression is expected to increase because of the wear down of the economical and cultural rights in XUAR, hereby there is also arised great unemployment.
From Tibet there are continuos reports of torture and death in prisons among prisoners of conscience, together with continuos patriotic "education", which also comprises Tibetan monasteries. Sometimes monasteries are closed down and "unpatriotic" monks and nuns are expelled. Also Christian groups are persecuted.
The latest two-tree years development in China is questioning the seriousness of the Chinese governments signing of the two major UN conventions on social, economical and cultural rights in 1997 and the citizens and political rights in 1998. Apart from the issue of serious violations of human rights, this development is also affecting the EU dialog, and the other dialog processes with the Chinese authorities, very hard. The Chinese authorities has obviously calculated, that the international criticism has been framed securely and thereupon reverted to massive suppression of anybody peacefully and non-violent working on changes of society.
At the beginning of 1999 the Chinese government also reverted to its rhetoric insisting that the criticism of the human rights situation in China was a misplaced interference in the internal affairs of China. A statement in clear conflict with the principles oft human rights conventions. Already in 1999 the Amnesty International requested the EU to reconsider its dialog behind closed doors. Amnesty supports dialog with China. But dialog and pressure must go hand in hand, if improvements of conditions shall be obtained. The now failed dialog with among others the EU and the Chinese government was signified by absence of clear goals and transparency, a very closed circle of participants, unconvincing seriousness and not surprising, absence of concrete progress for human rights in China.
The improvements called on in 1998 as argument for not proposing a resolution according to that in 1997, all appeared futile.
Therefore the Danish government ought to resume the active criticism, that characterized the contribution at the UN human rights commission in 1997. At that time Denmark was a member of the human rights commission. So is not Denmark today. But the expectations to the Danish government in connection with the 56th assembly of the human rights commission 20th march 28th April 2000 must be that:
the Danish government gives a clear expression in public for its support of a resolution on China.
the Danish government actively is working for an EU decision to support a resolution, i.e. make contact with and co-operates with the other EU governments that supports a resolution.
the Danish government makes use of its influence on third countries, which are members of the commission to gain support of the resolution.
the Danish government makes requirements that a continued dialog with the Chinese government must have clear and known purposes, a time schedule, a more open reporting on the contents, broader participation from both sides, together with better co-ordinating with the other dialogs with China (USA, Canada and Australia).
As of this letter we shall request the parties of the Danish parliament (Folketinget) to express their support of a resolution on the human rights situation in China and notify to the government the expectation that it actively back up upon the motion of such a resolution.
Lars Normann Jogensen
General Secretary of AI in Denmark