Amnesty International Releases 2012 Human Rights Report
On Thursday, Amnesty International released its 2012 annual report. It says that in 2011, the human rights situation deteriorated in China with more onslaughts of persecution across the Mainland… making it arguably one of the worst years since the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests.
The report focused on violations of freedom of speech, the persecution of activists and illegal land grabs and demolitions. It also referenced human rights violations in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang and Tibet. It says this year was especially bad due to the Arab Spring movement in the Middle East and North Africa back in February. The Chinese Communist Party, or CCP, was fearful that those protests would spread to China and challenge its rule. Harassment, intimidation, arbitrary and illegal detention, and enforced disappearances towards dissent intensified.
In the report, Amnesty says that ethnic minority regions were under heightened security in China. The authorities increased ongoing efforts to bring all religious practices under state control… including harsh persecution of individual religious practitioners. One of the persecuted groups mentioned was the Falun Gong meditation practice, which has been targeted for elimination by the CCP since 1999. The report referenced a transformation campaign by Chinese authorities, aimed at making Falun Gong practitioners give up their faith through brainwashing, as well as mental and physical torture.
It detailed the story of Falun Gong practitioner Wang Xiaodong, who was arrested in his home in Hebei Province in March. He was previously detained for nine years, being subjected to torture and forced labor. When he was arrested this year, authorities didn’t allow representation from any lawyer. As a result, 2,500 residents from his hometown signed a petition demanding his release.
Dissents Gao Zhisheng, Hu Jia, Gu Quan and Chen Guangcheng were severely persecuted by the CCP. Gao, a human rights lawyer known for defending China’s most vulnerable, has been missing since 2010. Rights lawyer Chen Guangcheng remained under house arrest, but has recently moved to the US, where he will study law at New York University.