I have written several articles on postings related to politics. A list of links have been provided at bottom of this article for your convenience. This article will, however address different aspects on these political events.
As we creep inexorably towards Socialism, we find that China and Russia and Cuba are some of the worse violators of human rights. Are these the models that we are aspiring to emulate? These three countries have also been elected to the United Nations Human Rights Council. Isn’t this kind of like letting the cat guard the fish bowl? However, it has become evident that the UN is nothing but a paper tiger, with little or no impact on the world theater. It seems that whatever a country wants to do to either its citizens or its neighbors, there is little recourse for the UN.
In a previous article I discussed the environmental records and violations of both Russia and China. I will include a link to this article at the bottom of this posting. So if communist countries have the worst records in regards to the environment and are the biggest violators of human rights, what the hell are we doing by following their pathway?
The Chinese government is facing a barrage of bad press for its systemic abuses against Uyghur and other Turkic Muslims in China’s western Xinjiang region. Journalists have been spotlighting links between forced labor in Xinjiang and global supply chains for everything from hair products to ketchup to solar power. The Economist devoted its cover story to the issue, calling the situation “the gravest example of a worldwide attack on human rights.” In response, China’s government has cynically tried to use the United Nations as a shield for its bad behavior.
In a letter to the editor in The Economist, a senior Chinese diplomat in London suggested that his government’s policies in Xinjiang follow “principles embodied in a number of international documents on counter-terrorism, such as the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy.” But at the risk of stating the obvious, no UN counterterrorism principle would ever countenance the surveillance, family separation, mass arbitrary detention and forcible political re-education of millions of people, as is the case in Xinjiang.
By dragging the UN into the debate, the Chinese government is racheting up its move to cast the oppression of Turkic Muslims as counterterrorism, and trying to cloak these mass crimes with the legitimacy of multilateralism. Previously, top UN officials have often been loathe to question the Chinese government’s characterization of their campaign as counterterrorism, or demand that Xinjiang’s detention camps be closed. But not everyone is willing to toe the Chinese government’s line. UN member states and UN human rights experts have increasingly been willing to challenge Beijing’s rights record. While the Chinese government has faced isolated violent attacks in Xinjiang, a responsible and rights-respecting counterterrorism response does not involve arbitrarily detaining a million people. Indeed, the UN Global Counter-Terrorism Strategy that China cited actually emphasizes the need to uphold human rights, and warns that violations of human rights and rule of law can fuel terrorism.
As the UN secretary-general reviews the UN’s counterterrorism strategy in the coming months, he should make clear that he won’t allow the UN’s principles to be taken out of context and used as a fig leaf to justify bone-chilling repression. Otherwise, unscrupulous governments like China’s will continue to use the UN’s words to justify their atrocities.
On the matter of religion in China, Beijing has made one thing perfectly clear: No religious group lies beyond the grasp of the Chinese Communist Party.
Late last month, the Jamestown Foundation reported on a new Chinese Communist Party program of collectivization and reeducation in Tibet similar to the forced labor campaign being carried out against Uighurs in Xinjiang province.
In 2020 alone, just under 600,000 rural Tibetans were subjected to this program of indoctrination and retraining for various forms of menial labor.
The military-style training program is accompanied by a labor-transfer program that redistributes workers to places other than their hometowns—often to places outside of Tibet.
Rapid collectivization separates person from place, uprooting individuals from their heritage, replacing their native language with Mandarin, and reorienting and secularizing their religious traditions to conform with the tenets and goals of the Chinese Community Party.
We have heard this story before. We will no doubt hear it again. Never does it have a happy ending.
In 2017 reports emerged that the Chinese Communist Party was collectivizing and interning Muslim Uighurs in political reeducation facilities in China. Early estimates of a couple of hundred thousand having been placed in the camps were quickly revised to reflect the true picture: camps holding approximately 1.8 million Uighurs.
The lucky few who have been released subsequently shared stories of hearing the screams of neighbors down the hall being tortured, of receiving forced injections that left them sterilized, and other horrors.
Like Tibetans, Uighurs are also subject to forced labor. Among those not yet taken to political reeducation camps, well-educated Uighurs are being forced out of their white-collar jobs and into blue-collar labor. And they, too, have been subject to systematic labor transfers.
The Chinese Communist Party’s coercive measures to restrict family size among Uighurs have raised concerns that Beijing’s ultimate goal is to significantly limit, or perhaps altogether eliminate, the next generation. Its targeted policy of forced sterilization and forced implantation of IUDs, combined with its brutal practice of forced abortions and infanticide, have already moved in that direction.
There are also reports of Uighur children being torn from their families and forced into state-run boarding schools. Coercive reproductive limits and the transfer of children from one group to another may constitute genocide or crimes against humanity.
The Chinese Communist Party has long viewed independent religious practice as a threat to its rule. While the party doesn’t seek to eliminate religion, it does seek to supplant the place religion holds in the hearts and minds of its adherents. And if it cannot supplant it, it tries to co-opt it, at the very least.
Persecution of persons of faith has intensified under Chinese President Xi Jinping’s policy of Sinicization, which aims to secularize religion to ensure that it advances the party’s goals.
The policy accomplishes this, in part, through setting up state-sanctioned religious institutions that moderate and even modify the ways in which people of all religions practice their faith.
Under Sinicization, regulation of and outright interference with religious practice have intensified. Christians have seen crosses torn down from atop churches, church buildings demolished, and pastors, like Pastor Wang Yi of Early Rain Covenant Church, imprisoned.
Chinese Catholics watched their leaders strike a deal with Beijing two years ago, giving the Chinese Communist Party a say on the appointment of bishops in China.
And just last week, it was reported that government-issued high school textbooks altered a Bible story to turn one of Jesus’ key teachings on its head: After inducing others not to cast stones at a woman who has sinned, Jesus himself stones her.
Other religious movements have fared no better. Reports abound that members of Falun Gong, a spiritual movement founded in the 1990s, were subjected to organ harvesting and extrajudicial imprisonment.
Although not persecuted as severely as the Uighur Muslims, Hui Muslims have not escaped unscathed. They, too, have seen their mosques closed and religious practices curtailed.
While the Chinese Communist Party may target each group for unique reasons, what motivates its anti-religious actions in general is the threat it believes religion poses to its authority. It thus views religious persecution as being essential to its internal stability.
Recognizing the importance the Chinese Community Party places on restricting religious practice should inform the responses of the U.S. government and the international community.
China is one of the world’s most egregious violators of internationally recognized human rights. Yet last spring it was appointed to one of the five seats on the United Nations human rights panel that selects experts who report on places like Xinjiang and Tibet. And, with that appointment, Beijing is now poised to take one of the 47 seats on the U.N. Human Rights Council.
China’s violations of religious freedom at home are completely at odds with the norms of international human rights espoused by the United Nations. Should China take the helm of the Human Rights Council, those norms could be altered beyond recognition.
No matter who wins the presidential election this November, religious freedom must continue to be a core priority of American foreign policy.
Last week, 39 countries signed a statement at the U.N. General Assembly calling out China’s abuses in Xinjiang; this was the fruit of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s work. The U.S. government must continue to lead the way in this effort and in calling for the release of all political prisoners, including those interned for their religious beliefs.
Upholding the right of all people to live out their closely held beliefs is essential to the preservation of freedom, peace, and security.
Defending religious freedom is also a critical element in countering the schemes that China and like-minded governments devise to cement and increase their power, which entail human rights violations as severe as genocide and crimes against humanity.
On Friday, April 20, 2018 the Trump administration on Friday labeled Russia and China threats to global stability, saying that their poor human rights records put the countries, the United States’ principle strategic rivals, in the same ranks as Iran and North Korea.
“The Russian government continues to quash dissent and civil society even while it invades its neighbors and undermines the sovereignty of Western nations,” the acting secretary of state, John J. Sullivan, said in brief remarks as the State Department released its annual report on global human rights in 2017.
The government report, mandated by Congress, catalogs human rights problems around the world, offering an encyclopedic accounting of government-sponsored murders, forced sterilizations and other egregious acts.
Mr. Sullivan listed a number of atrocities committed last year, including the slaughter of Syrians by the government of President Bashar al-Assad, the massacres of the Rohingya minority in Myanmar and the continued repression of North Koreans under their leader, Kim Jong-un.
“Promoting human rights and the idea that every person has inherent dignity is a core element of this administration’s foreign policy,” Mr. Sullivan said. “It also strengthens U.S. national security by fostering greater peace, stability and prosperity around the world.”
John Sifton, an advocacy director at Human Rights Watch, said the Trump administration strengthened the report’s criticisms of countries it considers rivals while muting anything directed at nations it considered friendly.
“Those kind of changes make the report seem less fair and thus less credible around the world,” Mr. Sifton said.
Russia’s human rights record continued to deteriorate, with the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly consistently restricted, in law and practice. Those attempting to exercise these rights faced reprisals, ranging from harassment to police ill-treatment, arbitrary arrest, heavy fines and in some cases criminal prosecution and imprisonment. Human rights defenders and NGOs were targeted via the laws on “foreign agents” and “undesirable organisations”. Hundreds of Jehovah’s Witnesses were persecuted for their faith. Other vulnerable minorities also faced discrimination and persecution. Counter-terrorism provisions were widely used to target dissent across the country and in Crimea. Torture remained pervasive, as did impunity for its perpetrators. Violence against women remained widespread and inadequately addressed. A draft law on domestic violence tabled at the parliament provoked heated opposition from conservative groups and threats against its proponents. Refugees were forcibly returned to destinations where they were at risk of torture.
Torture and other ill-treatment in places of detention remained pervasive, and impunity for the perpetrators near-total. Countless allegations of torture were reported across Russia. In December, the charitable foundation Nuzhna Pomosch obtained statistics on torture in places of detention from the Investigative Committee. According to the committee, from 2015 to 2018, between 1,590 and 1,881 complaints of “abuse of authority” by penitentiary officers were registered annually. Of these, only 1.7 – 3.2% were investigated.
Several high-profile cases were emblematic of violence against women, and particularly domestic violence. Pickets and flash mobs were held throughout the summer in Moscow and elsewhere in support of sisters Angelina, Krestina and Maria Khachaturyan. Arrested in July 2018, and aged 17, 18 and 19 at the time, they admitted killing their father following years of systematic physical, sexual and psychological abuse. To campaigners they epitomized countless other survivors and the state’s response: lack of protection and harsh prosecution for acts of desperation. In June, the initial charges were replaced with more serious ones (premeditated killing by a group) which carries up to 20 years’ imprisonment.
As I have shown in this article, communist countries and in essence totalitarian forms of governments are guilty of the greatest violations against human rights. The problem with governments like this, the masses have little protection and recourse to fight violations. They have few rights. While no country is perfect and every country in the world has a checkered past, so it does not do any good to point fingers. All we can do is push on and try to learn from our mistakes and correct them. That is how free societies work. There is no incentive for the ruling parties to change in these authoritarian governments, because they like the status quo. That is what President Trump tried to do, he tried to change the status quo. Unfortunately, it appears that it was just a too herculean task to accomplish. It shows how strong the resistance was, because they were able to carry a senile candidate to victory. Not only is he senile, he is crooked as all get out. So our future is not too bright right now.
nypost.com, “China and Russia win seats on UN human rights council,” By Associated Press; nytimes.com, ” U.S. Human Rights Report Labels Russia and China Threats to Global Stability,” By Gardiner Harris; hrw.org, “Chinese Diplomats Try Using UN as Shield for Xinjiang Crimes; World Body Should Reject Beijing’s False Narrative,” By Akshaya Kumar; dailysignal.com, “Religious Persecution in China Must Be Called Out,” By Olivia Enos; independent.co.uk, “Amnesty International reveals the 10 worst attacks on human rights across the world last year,” By Adam Withnall; borgenproject.org, “10 ASTOUNDING FACTS ABOUT HUMAN RIGHTS VIOLATIONS IN CHINA,” By Diane Adame; amnesty.org, ” Everything you need to know about human rights in Russia;
10 worst attacks on human rights
Here is a summary of what the report found for each of the 10 countries identified in the gallery above:
“A massive nationwide crackdown against human rights lawyers; new laws with a national security focus that present grave dangers to human rights; authorities stepped up their controls over the internet, mass media and academia; Televised “confessions” of critics detained for investigation multiplied; Freedom of religion continued to be systematically stifled; The government maintained extensive controls over Tibetan Buddhist monasteries.”
“Executions were carried out following grossly unfair trials; Detainees faced torture and other illtreatment; Women and members of religious minorities were subject to discrimination and inadequately protected against violence; The authorities arbitrarily restricted the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, enacted a draconian new antiterrorism law, and arrested and imprisoned government critics and political opposition leaders and activists, subjecting some to enforced disappearance.”
“Constructed fences along its southern borders, criminalized irregular entry to its territory and expedited the return of asylum-seekers and refugees to Serbia, effectively transforming Hungary into a refugee protection-free zone. Roma continued to be at risk of forced eviction and inadequately protected against hate crimes.”
“Unlawful killings of Palestinian civilians, including children, and thousands of Palestinians detained who protested against or otherwise opposed Israel’s continuing military occupation, holding hundreds in administrative detention; Torture and other ill-treatment remained rife and were committed with impunity; Israeli settlers in the West Bank attacked Palestinians and their property with virtual impunity.”
“The December 2014 attempted coup led to arrests and further human rights violations. The authorities continued to repress dissent and display a lack of willingness to cooperate with the UN and regional human rights mechanisms or comply with their recommendations.”
“Continued attacks in Kenya carried out by al-Shabaab, the Somali-based armed group, led Kenya to step up its counter-terrorism operations, which resulted in an increase of extrajudicial executions, enforced disappearances and other human rights violations. Human rights organizations reporting on violations by security agencies during these operations were increasingly harassed. Some civil society organizations were shut down or threatened with closure through judicial or administrative measures.”
“Executions resumed; newly established military courts were authorized to try all those accused of terrorism-related offences, including civilians; Religious minorities continued to face discrimination, persecution and targeted attacks; Human rights activists experienced harassment and abuse.”
“Freedoms of expression and peaceful assembly remained severely restricted; the authorities dominated the print and broadcast media, and further extended their control over the internet; growing numbers of individuals were arrested and criminally charged for criticizing state policy and publicly displaying or possessing materials deemed extremist or otherwise unlawful under vague national security legislation; refugees faced numerous obstacles in accessing international protection; serious human rights violations continued in the North Caucasus, and human rights defenders reporting from the region faced harassment.”
“The government continued to severely restrict freedoms of expression, association and assembly. The authorities arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned human rights defenders and government critics, often after unfair trials; torture and other ill-treatment of detainees remained common; women faced discrimination in law and in practice and were inadequately protected against sexual and other violence; the authorities used the death penalty extensively and carried out more than 150 executions.”
“Government forces and non-state armed groups committed war crimes, other violations of international humanitarian law and gross human rights abuses with impunity in the internal armed conflict.”
10 Facts About Human Rights Violations in China
- Authorities control citizens’ internet use by blocking social media sites and restricting news publications. Any news reporting that “slanders the country’s political system” is typically shut down. The government also adopted Blue Shield filtering software to document websites visited by users. A Cybersecurity Law was implemented in June 2017, requiring all internet companies working in China to regulate content for Chinese citizens.
- The government only allows five officially recognized religions in approved religious sites. In February 2018, a revised Regulations on Religious Affairs was established. The revision invests all control over religious activities to the government, including finances, personnel appointments and publications. The law also states a goal of restraining “infiltration and extremism” which could enforce a limitation on religious freedom for Tibetan Buddhists and Uighur Muslims.
- Although labor laws allow trade union organization and elections of trade union committees, the government still controls these rights. Workers cannot vote for trade unions while the right to strike usually goes unacknowledged. According to various human rights groups, China violates workers’ freedom of association. This is due to China’s prohibition of independent union organizing and Trade Union Law. This law requires the All-China Federation of Trade Unions to maintain communist leadership.
- In 2017, China ranked 100 among 144 countries for gender parity for the ninth year in a row. According to The Party Congress, there is a substantial absence of women in chief political positions. Females in China are more likely to experience domestic violence, sexual assault and harassment and workplace discrimination which can increase their chances of becoming impoverished. However, it is difficult for women to overcome such barriers since the government does not favor women’s rights activism.
- Uighurs, Tibet and Tibetan-populated areas endure higher poverty rates, displacement, discrimination and crucial human rights issues. According to the U.N. Special Rapporteur, the situations of Tibetans and Uighurs is deeply problematic. Similar to most Chinese citizens, ethnic minorities do not have the right to freedom of religion, expression and peaceful assembly. Over 150 Tibetans have and continue to protest repressive laws by self-immolation.
- Authorities continue to conduct politically motivated prosecutions. After a national crackdown in July 2015, over 250 human rights protesters were detained, nine of which were convicted of “subverting state power.” Some detainees admit to being tortured or forced to confess. Though many have since been released, they continue to be isolated and monitored. Lawyers of protestors are often harassed and intimidated by authorities.
- About 500,000 individuals are currently detained without trial, charge or access to legal aid. The government uses Re-education through Labor (RTL) to arrest individuals without a trial. Usual targets of RTL include petitioners, protestors and those practicing an unrecognized religion. “Black jails” and mental health institutions are types of illegal detention that are utilized by authorities.
- China is currently the leading executioner in the world. For decades, China imposed the death penalty for nonviolent crimes and unfair trials. In March 2017, the President of the Supreme People’s Court said that capital punishment was only applied “to an extremely small number of criminals for extremely severe offenses.” However, China’s statistics on death penalties remains classified and authorities fail to release numerical data.
- China is accepting help from the U.N. in addressing human rights issues. In 2016, the government formed the policy paper, New Progress in the Judicial Protection of Human Rights in China. The policy paper addresses the country’s human rights issues and suggests potential developments. After inviting the U.N. to support the initiative, the U.N. agreed and made visits to China.
- Human Rights in China (HRIC) works to promote human rights and hold the government accountable. HRIC is an NGO that uses advocacy and policy engagement to give citizens voices and improve human rights protection. Its advocacy program aids individual casework and long-term reforms. By advocating both domestically and globally, HRIC promotes international NGOs, the business community, multi-stakeholder groups and results-oriented government engagements.
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