AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL
PRESS RELEASE

9 February 2009

UN misses opportunity to push China on human rights

Amnesty International today described the UN Human Rights Council’s examination of China as an important new mechanism for the protection of human rights in China but noted that many of the countries involved in the review failed to address some of the most serious human rights issues in China.

“We didn’t hear enough about the on-going repression of the Tibetans, the Uighurs, as well as the persecution of various religious groups, including Christians and members of the Falun Gong,” said Roseann Rife, Asia-Pacific Deputy Director at Amnesty International..

Amnesty International welcomed China’s engagement with the UN’s Universal Period Review (UPR), and the recommendations presented by some country delegations, such as the need for China to reconsider its use of the death penalty, develop its judicial system, end its use of punitive administrative detention, abolish the household registration system and create conditions for the country to be able to sign the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

Amnesty International urged China to accept the recommendations on these vital human rights issues in preparation for the Human Rights Council’s report on Wednesday 11 February.

“While it is appropriate to point out the progress that China has made in some areas of respect for human rights, for the UN’s new review mechanism to be fully effective, reviewing countries must also be willing to address the most serious human rights issues,” said Roseann Rife.

“China’s engagement with the UN mechanism is positive,” said Roseann Rife “The real test on the effectiveness of the new review process will be whether China implements changes that have a real impact on the protection of human rights for people across the country.”

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