The following document was submitted by Human Rights in China to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons on July 28, 2000
Human Rights in China (HRIC) is pleased that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons is conducting a review of the China policy of the United Kingdom that includes a significant and necessary focus on human rights, and is happy to have the opportunity to make this submission on that topic. In addition to an overview of Chinas current rights record, we present to the Committee our analysis of bilateral dialogues on human rights with China. We believe that it is a very appropriate time to be having this discussion, since the European Union as a whole is in the process of reassessing its human rights dialogue with the Peoples Republic of China. HRICs comments will highlight our assessment of the dialogue, our concerns and recommendations and a number of questions. We hope that in its review of policy towards China, the Committee will take our information and suggestions into account and convey them to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
While China signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) in 1998 and 1997 respectively, to date it has failed to ratify either of these core instruments, and has committed blatant violations of the rights they contain. These violations include extensive use of arbitrary detention, imprisonment of political and religious dissidents, torture and ill-treatment of detainees, deprivation of the rights to freedom of expression, association and assembly, widespread failure to enforce laws protecting the rights of workers and women, suppression of religious freedom and the use of physical and psychological coercion in the implementation of the population control policy. Some of these areas of abuse are detailed below. These human rights abuses have reached such alarming proportions since late 1998 that HRIC believes that the Government of China is currently conducting the most ruthless suppression of dissent since the crackdown on the 1989 demonstrations.
The current submission includes a list of documented cases of individuals who have been detained because of the efforts to publicize and organize around their political opinions, their religious beliefs or their promotion of labor rights.
Since CDP leaders publicly announced the creation of this organization two years ago, scores of CDP members and sympathizers have been detained across the country, usually for applying to register the CDP with the authorities as a legal and independent political party at local or provincial levels. Prominent CDP leaders whose arrest signalled the launching of the repression in October 1998 are Xu Wenli, Qin Yongmin and Wang Youcai, who were sentenced to 13, 12 and 11 years respectively. All were convicted of crimes endangering state security. In August 1999, Liu Xianbin, a CDP activist in Sichuan, was sentenced to 13 years in prison for "conspiracy to endanger state security." In the same month, CDP members She Wanbao, Zha Jianguo and Gao Hongming received prison terms of 12, 9 and 8 years, respectively, also for subversion. In December 1999, Hunan University Professor Tong Shidong received a ten-year sentence, also for trying to set up a CDP section.
In the trials of these and other activists, the right to present a defense generally ignored, with defendants often being prevented from making statements, even when they had no defense lawyers; in Liu Xianbins case, for example, lawyers that his family sought to hire received threats. In addition, proper legal procedure was dispensed with, and the judges reproduced almost verbatim the prosecution indictments as their "verdict." HRIC believes that the characterization of these "crimes" and the sentences to be imposed were decided in advance by the political authorities. Family members frequently had great difficulty in attending such trials, or were even barred from attending.
The Chinese government continues to step up its fight against the Falungong spiritual movement and to prevent protests by practitioners reacting to the ongoing wave of abuses against Falungong members. Tens of thousands of followers are reported to have been arbitrarily detained, while thousands have been administratively sentenced to labor camps without trial. Some practitioners have been sent to psychiatric hospitals for education aimed at ending their belief in Falungong, while many others have been detained for long periods. Large numbers of those detained have reported brutal beatings and other forms of torture in custody, and Falungong members have reported that more than 20 have died occurred as a result of such maltreatment.
Repression against Falungong began in July 1999 when some 70 leaders were detained after the group was banned as an illegal organization. In April 1999, more than 10,000 Falungong members had staged a peaceful demonstration in Beijing to demand official recognition. Some of the sentences meted out to Falungong practitioners are the harshest known to have been handed down to people for peaceful exercise of their basic rights since the prosecution of 1989 demonstrators: 18 years in the case of Li Chang, an official in the Public Security Ministry, and 16 years in the case of Wang Zhiwen, both condemned after a secret trial held on December 26, 1999; 17 years in the case of 74-year-old Yu Changxin, tried in January 2000.
These show trials and the stringent punishments imposed are the inevitable product of a Decision passed by the National Peoples Congress (NPC) Standing Committee on October 30, 1999. The resolution did not create any new legal standards to pursue the governments anti-Falungong campaign, but called for a political campaign reminiscent of the methods of the past using the tools already available in the Criminal Codes provisions allowing for the prosecution of those who use secret societies and heretical religious groups to disturb social order. The NPC Decision was a political order to the countrys entire law enforcement apparatus to give priority to smashing the Falungong and other heretical organizations.
This NPC Decision demonstrates how the agenda of Chinas judiciary continues to be set by the political priorities of the ruling Party, rather than the exigencies of the law or of social reality, a fact that HRIC believes calls into question the direction of legal reform. The campaign against Falungong is part of a wider effort to restrict freedom of association by ensuring that all legal groups are strictly monitored to make sure their activities conform with the leaderships objectives and concerns and by ruthlessly suppressing any efforts to organize independently, whether around issues of religion, politics, human rights, or protecting workers. For more information about the 1998 regulations affecting freedom of association, passed in the same month as China signed the ICCPR, see HRICs report: China: Freedom of Association Regulated Away.
HRIC has documented the use of the Criminal Law, particularly laws on state security and secrets, to imprison people who have merely engaged in peaceful exercise of their basic rights. HRIC believes that the Chinese governments suppression of dissent has borne out concerns we and others have previously expressed about how incorporating the term state security into Chinese law actually served to broaden the states capacity to curtail fundamental rights. On this issue, see the joint HRIC/HRW report: Whose Security? State Security in Chinas New Criminal Code. The way this legal reform has been used in the past few years to justify violations of basic rights, including peaceful acts of freedom of expression, association and assembly, is very clear.
The system of administrative detention, which is totally outside the realm of judicial supervision, remains prevalent in China. Under this system, detainees are deprived of their freedom and of their right to due process, including a fair trial. We also believe that the lack of safeguards for persons in administrative detention creates conditions in which torture and ill-treatment are virtually endemic.
Reeducation through Labor (RTL) is still being widely used despite the recommendations of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Committee Against Torture that it be abolished and the long campaign by Chinese legal scholars and human rights groups to eliminate it. According to Chinas official figures, a yearly total of over 200,000 people are currently held under RTL, as compared to around 150,000 in the early 1990s. RTL is applied by the public security departments alone, without any judicial review, to people who have committed acts too minor to merit formal prosecution. Those sentenced to RTL are deprived of their rights to counsel, to a fair hearing and to have the lawfulness of their detention reviewed by a judicial authority. Although its maximum duration is three years, it can be renewed for up to one more year if the detainee is considered to have performed badly in his or her reform. It is requently used to detain people who have peacefully exercised their rights to freedom of thought, religion, expression and association, and around 50 such people are known to have been sent to labor camps in this way during the past year.
Another lesser known administrative measure is Custody and Repatriation (C&R). C&R allows for the arbitrary detention of people considered undesirable by urban authorities whose household registration is not located in the city where they are living or working. Targets include beggars, the homeless, street children, prostitutes and the mentally ill, as well as migrant workers in low status occupations. C&R affects upwards of two million people annually, with some five to 20 percent of these being children, most of whom are detained together with adults. Although generally imposed for up to ten days, C&R essentially allows the police to detain anyone for any reason virtually indefinitely. HRIC is concerned about the lack of due process in this system of detention, which is frequently used by police as a way of avoiding the procedural safeguards recently incorporated into the criminal law. For more information about C&R, HRIC refers the Committee to its report: Not Welcome at the Party: Behind the Clean-up of Chinas Cities: Administrative Detention under Custody and Repatriation.
Torture remains a systemic problem in China that potentially affects all individuals deprived of their liberty, from common criminal suspects to political prisoners and street children. According to HRICs in-depth analysis of the legal framework and of individual cases, torture and ill-treatment have not declined despite various revisions made to the relevant laws and regulations. A number of factors account for the persistence of the practice of torture in China: in spite of the 1996 revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law, defendants and suspects continue to be deprived of their right to due process, including access to legal counsel, the right to remain silent and the right against self-incrimination; and coerced statements and evidence are still not excluded from admission at trial. Despite the repeated efforts of Chinese legal scholars to suggest further revisions to the law to better combat torture and ill-treatment, the Chinese government has consistently ignored their recommendations. For more information, see Impunity for Torturers Continues despite Changes in the Law, a report by HRIC which was submitted to the UN Committee Against Torture in May 2000.
In its current form, the dialogue on human rights between the European Union and China includes three aspects: a political dialogue once during each EU presidency; technical seminars between experts; and cooperation and training programs, about which virtually no information has been made public. We refer the members of the Committee to HRICs report, From Principle to Pragmatism: can Dialogue improve Chinas Human Rights Situation? Although this report does not contain a specific chapter on the United Kingdom, it does include a section on Sweden which, like the United Kingdom, has had its own human rights dialogue with China, parallel to that of the EU. We consider that the analysis and conclusions contained in our report remain valid and hope that the Committee will address some of the most pressing issues and recommendations.
Human Rights in China (HRIC) is not opposed to bilateral dialogue on human rights, or to cooperation or aid programs aimed at achieving improvements in human rights through such measures as funding legal aid programs and legal education, or providing human rights training to officials involved in law enforcement. It is clear that ending abuses of human rights in China and creating effective protections for rights requires addressing the fact that ignorance and lack of capacity are among the causes of such abuses.
However, exclusive reliance on such approaches fails to acknowledge the fact that another major cause of abuses is intentional deprivation of rights, including officially-sanctioned, legally-mandated restrictions on internationally-recognized rights and freedoms. In addition to our reservations concerning the dialogue process in itself - in particular its lack of transparency - HRIC questions the wisdom of ignoring this reality, as is evidenced by the complete substitution of quiet diplomacy for multilateral and public pressure since the concentration on dialogue began. We believe different approaches to promoting human rights should be mutually enhancing rather than exclusive.
In addition, the dialogue entirely excludes many of those most actively engaged in promoting human rights inside China. Achieving respect for human rights in the PRC depends on the long-term process of heightening awareness of human rights among the general population and the development of the domestic human rights movement. We believe that public pressure, through multilateral mechanisms in particular, provides crucial moral support for those struggling to develop such a movement in very difficult circumstances.
Human Rights in Chinas recommendations regarding the form and substance of the dialogue and its relation to the broader objectives of improving the human rights situation in the PRC can be summarized under six main areas, which are outlined below.
- A clear, substantive agenda
A clear agenda for substantive discussions should be prepared in advance of each dialogue event, in consultation with NGOs and experts involved in monitoring the human rights situation in China. The agenda should thus be determined in part by recent events in the PRC, and should be a way of highlighting specific human rights abuses and seeking action to end them. The focus should be on achieving specific objectives, such as pushing for medical parole for dissidents with serious health problems, raising concern about the use of state security as a rationale for suppressing dissent, emphasizing that the widespread use of administrative detention is not in conformity with international human rights standards, improving prison conditions, getting China to ratify U.N. treaties and gaining full access to China for U.N. human rights working groups and special rapporteurs and the International Committee of the Red Cross
In terms of objectives, dialogue should concentrate on achieving tangible results, such as gaining the release of human rights activists and other prisoners of conscience, further revisions of the criminal law to bring it into conformity with human rights norms and the abolition of Reeducation Through Labor and other forms of administrative detention. Another focus should be persuading Beijing to accede quickly to treaties to which China is still not a party, particularly those which are included in the International Bill of Human Rights, without entering any reservations. Primary focus should be placed on implementing the provisions of these, and of the treaties China has already ratified.
- Transparent and accountable process
Transparency and accountability should be fundamental principles for all participants in dialogue and cooperation programs. The United Kingdom should be encouraged to make public the schedule and content of the dialogue ahead of each session, and report regularly on the achievements of the dialogue.
In particular: all programs associated with the dialogue should be established on a basis of transparency and accountability, with cooperation programs carefully designed so that they address the real causes of human rights violations. Training and cooperation programs should be publicly and thoroughly described: goals and means, stage of implementation, budget, participants, timeframe and results; regular, independent evaluation of programs should be undertaken based on established benchmarks, so as to ensure that they continue to work towards such objectives.
In addition, the United Kingdom should make public the content of its political and technical exchanges with the PRC. The virtually complete blackout on reporting back regarding responses (if any) to individual cases and situations raised in the political dialogue means that there is no possibility of follow-up on such matters, and thus raising them becomes a singularly pointless exercise.
Transparency should also be the rule in financial matters. We believe in particular that funding of independent human rights organizations working on China should not be discarded in the name of preserving the dialogue with China. If this were the case, effectively the UK would be excluding funding for human rights monitoring and advocacy from its China program. Thus HRIC particularly welcomes the approval by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Human Rights Project Fund of its grant proposal for research and advocacy on internal migration. Additionally, we encourage the Committee to conduct an investigation into how the budget earmarked for the dialogue in the UK is spent, and to compare this amount with that given in grants to international NGOs working on Chinas human rights situation.
- Independent participation
A more pluralistic dialogue, which involves actors independent of governments, would better serve the cause of human rights. Truly constructive dialogue can only occur when China allows for the participation of independent social groups, scholars and lawyers and other individuals. As well as inviting independent international human rights organizations to participate in the dialogue, the United Kingdom should encourage the Chinese government to engage in dialogue domestically, rather than only internationally.
For the first time ever in the history of the EU-China dialogue, at the May 1998 round, when the United Kingdom held the EU presidency, NGOs were involved. Amnesty International and the Council of Churches for Great Britain and Ireland participated in the meeting with the Chinese delegates. The Free Tibet Campaign and the June Fourth Support Group were on the NGO list submitted by the British government to the Chinese delegation, who refused to meet representatives of these two groups. The meeting was not public, and none of the participants have disclosed any information about it. Other NGOs were subsequently involved in the October 1998 dialogue session. Since then, most of them have decided, for their own reasons, to drop out of this process. Nevertheless, the question remains open. Participation of international, independent human rights organizations obviously gives rise to a problem of legitimacy: in the absence of independent human rights NGOs in China, who would be their counterparts? The United Kingdom, and the EU as a whole, should draw more systematically on the expertise that could be provided by China scholars and human rights organizations.
- Coordination between dialogue partners
The profusion of existing bilateral dialogues, including in Europe alone, has considerably weakened the multilateral approach, such as addressing Chinas egregious violations of human rights at the UN Commission on Human Rights (CHR). International coordination is therefore essential. Countries that are engaging in human rights dialogues with China should coordinate among themselves, so as to use the opportunities most effectively and to prevent duplication and waste of resources. It is particularly urgent that coordination improve between Chinas dialogue partners within the European Union, so as to prevent the dialogue being used to split countries seeking improvements in Chinas human rights practices, as has been the case for the European Union in 1997 in regard to action at the CHR. The United Kingdom should also join efforts with Eastern European countries as, most recently, Hungary also initiated its own bilateral dialogue on human rights with China. Wherever possible, countries should seek to use multilateral approaches to dealing with human rights violations in China. The United Kingdom should make it one of its priorities to coordinate with Chinas other dialogue partners, and with the European Union. In this respect, it would be useful to know how countries are coordinating and sharing information regarding dialogues at national level and the EU dialogue as well.
- Cooperation with UN human rights mechanisms
The United Nations and its human rights mechanisms have a global mandate to monitor and promote human rights, and have a unique legitimacy in doing so. The prestige of the United Nations in China remains high. Cooperating with the UN human rights mechanisms is crucial so that all countries engaged in a human rights dialogue with China build on and reinforce positive results generated by the work of UN procedures. For example, in May 2000, the UN Committee Against Torture (CAT) recommended that China eliminate all forms of administrative detention. This is a recommendation that should be taken up in every dialogue.
However, Chinas dialogue partners should not confuse pro forma and genuine cooperation. Both the 1997 visit of the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and Chinas invitation to the Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nigel Rodley, have been much touted as achievements of the bilateral human rights dialogues in pushing the Chinese government towards cooperation with the UN human rights machinery. Although the former went ahead, it only did so under such circumstances as to make the utility of the trip highly questionable, while because Rodley has refused to be treated in a similar way, the Chinese authorities have stalled preparations for his visit.
At the last EU-China dialogue session in February, Chinese representatives told their European counterparts that Rodleys visit would take place in June 2000. Yet during the Commission on Human Rights in April, Rodley announced that the visit would have to be postponed indefinitely. The obstacle was the Chinese governments refusal to accept the UN human rights experts terms of reference for fact-finding missions, which Rodley insisted should provide the guidelines for his mission. These guidelines, which have been officially adopted after discussion among UN experts, are designed to ensure the independence, impartiality and safety of visits by UN special rapporteurs and representatives to the field. They are based on the ICRCs methods of work, and include freedom of movement, access to all prisons and places of detention, the confidentiality of interviews with detainees and the assurance by the Government that no persons, official or private individuals, who have been in contact with the Special Rapporteur/Representative in relation to the mandate will for this reason suffer threats, harassment or punishment or be subjected to judicial proceedings.
The visit to China by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention in October 1997 was a textbook example of why such guidelines are needed. Although it generated some constructive recommendations-the Working Group recommended that the Chinese government define the crime of endangering national security in precise terms, for example-it also set worrying precedents: the Working Group stopped considering all cases of alleged arbitrary detention involving people in the PRC submitted to it for a year and a half prior to the visit. Thus, a fundamental part of the Group's mandate was effectively halted was a quid pro quo for the visit. Despite such a major concession and a preparatory trip, the Working Groups program in China was entirely set by Beijing. Under such conditions, the Working Groups much-praised permission to conduct unsupervised interviews with detainees in some of the facilities it visited was rendered virtually meaningless. Additionally, inmates in Drapchi Prison in Lhasa who had staged a demonstration during the visit had their sentences extended for doing so.
Another much cited achievement has been Chinas signing of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights . This is of course a welcome and long-overdue step. However, China has given no timetable for ratification of the covenants, and has continued to engage in egregious violations of the standards they contain.
And the visit of High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson to Beijing in September 1998 has failed to yield any substantive program of cooperation. Following the signing of a Memorandum of Intent regarding a program of cooperation between her office and the Chinese government at that time, in March 1999 a UN Needs Assessment Mission went to China. As a result of their discussions with Chinese government agencies, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was drawn up. Robinsons second visit to Beijing in early March for the Asia-Pacific Workshop for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights was supposed to be an opportunity to finalize any details and sign the MOU. But she left empty-handed with no indication of when such an agreement could be reached.
In addition, in recent years China has submitted reports to various UN treaty bodies that monitor instruments to which it is a party, including the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women in February and the Committee Against Torture in May 2000. Useful as these hearings were, it is disappointing to note that no NGOs from inside mainland China were allowed to attend the hearings, let alone present shadow reports, and the domestic media remained entirely silent on the fact that the governments reports were under review at the United Nations. There were no reports on the comments and recommendations of the committees, and the Chinese translations of these documents have not been circulated, even to people directly involved in organizations and work related to these two areas.
Thus in practice, Chinas much-vaunted cooperation with the U.N. human rights mechanisms is all too often more words than substance. Of course, the precedent set by such cooperation is part of an important shift towards Beijing slowly acknowledging the legitimacy of international monitoring of its human rights practices. In reality the methodology and effects of such interventions leave much to be desired. A great deal is made of the fact that they happened at all, but there is little attention to what, if any, results were achieved in terms of improving the human rights situation.
HRIC recommends that, in the context of its dialogue with China, the United Kingdom continues to promote cooperation between the Chinese government and the UN human rights system, while also taking into account the real nature of that cooperation.
- An integrated strategy: No compromises on human rights standards
Human rights should remain a core element of foreign policy relating to the PRC, with dialogue forming part of an integrated strategy. Dialogue should be among a package of measures, and must be backed up with significant pressure, such as raising rights violations in the UN Commission on Human Rights and speaking out on specific instances of rights abuse. Dialogue without pressure is nothing but appeasement and will merely serve to degrade the authority of international human rights standards.
Policies on the human rights situation in China should be part of a consistent, impartial approach in which all countries are subject to the same international human rights standards, regardless of such factors as their status in the United Nations or their potential as markets. Dialogue should not be continued at all costs. Both Sir Leon Brittan and Chris Patten have recently made statements endorsing such a view. We believe that if there is no progress in eliminating the root causes of human rights abuses and establishing protections for rights, dialogues should be suspended. If there is no means of addressing a particular human rights issue through the dialogue process, other avenues, such as multilateral action and public pressure, should be pursued.
We were particularly disappointed by the attitude of the United Kingdom and the European Union at the last session of the Commission on Human Rights. In 1998-99, Chinas human rights situation clearly deteriorated, to an extent that made support for a resolution a crucial necessity. Although we welcomed the critical statements on the human rights situation in China issued by the European Union before and during the session, what will be remembered is the EUs decision not to support the resolution on China. The draft and the strategy of the United States may not have been the most helpful in terms of achieving passage of the resolution. But the EU failed to propose changes to the resolution or present its own draft as an alternative. The EU should have returned to its pre-1997 position and become the prime sponsor of the resolution on China. Such action was all the more justified since, this year, as public pressure has died down, China did not even bother to make any of the positive signs often seen around this time in the past, such as the release of prominent prisoners. On the contrary, Rebiya Kadeer was sentenced to eight years imprisonment two weeks before the session and in early March the Chinese government failed to sign a MOU with the Office of the High Commissioner.
This attitude demonstrates that, despite official statements to the contrary, there is a clear conditionality between public monitoring of Chinas rights situation and the quiet diplomacy associated with dialogue. It also shows that, for Beijing, the dialogue is an end in itself, a way to escape scrutiny of its human rights situation. HRIC is disturbed to note that all Chinas dialogue partners consistently adopt such self-censorship. Thus, by engaging in dialogues with more and more countries, China reinforces its immunity against multilateral, concerted monitoring.
A common argument against the tabling of a resolution is the claim that attempting to hold China accountable at the Commission has been an ineffective exercise. In fact, it has never actually been tried, since sponsors have failed to work together in a concerted lobbying effort to get such a measure passed. And even though the resolution has never been adopted, it has provided a key focus for debate about the status of human rights in the PRC and has also been an important form of pressure on the Chinese authorities. The experience of the last several years demonstrates the Chinese governments extraordinary sensitivity to the prospect of a debate on its human rights record in the U.N.s highest human rights forum, since, among other things, it would mandate some specific monitoring of Chinas human rights situation. The record shows that the kind of pressure resulting from the tabling of a resolution on China has generally been a successful tactic for achieving concessions from Beijing, such as occasional releases of prisoners, promises to sign U.N. treaties, or steps toward legal reform. By the same token, when the prospect of a resolution was abandoned, these concessions dwindled.
When announcing the renewal of its dialogue with China, the European Union justified its move by listing a number of similar concessions, presented as indications that Beijing was making progress in the field of human rights. In fact, after China made these few gestures of good will, it rid itself of public and multilateral pressure. Without such pressure, these gestures might not have become bargaining chips in the first place. Now that pressure from the European Union members has disappeared altogether, dialogue alone does not seem to give China enough incentive to continue with even such symbolic concessions, let alone follow through with concrete actions.
Since both sides insist that the dialogue is not bound by any conditions, this approach to human rights should not be an alternative to promoting public scrutiny through the Commission on Human Rights, which is mandated to examine the human rights situation in every part of the world.
Dialogue partners should not accept any preconditions which compromise human rights principles or weaken the effectiveness of international human rights mechanisms. Dialogue should be based on respect for the existing international human rights standards and monitoring system. Dialogue and cooperation programs must not be used to undermine other approaches to achieving improvements in human rights conditions in China.
International human rights norms apply to all countries equally, all are responsible for their fair and impartial enforcement and none should be immune from scrutiny. As a member of the United Nations bound by its Charter and as a party to a series of human rights treaties, China has voluntarily accepted the responsibility of being accountable to the international community on human rights. Thus it cannot claim special privileges or legitimately denounce international monitoring as interference in its internal affairs.
HRIC welcomes the House of Commons decision to conduct a review of its policy towards China and hopes that the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House of Commons will find this submission useful. In concluding, we recommend that, in the course of its review process, the government of the United Kingdom takes our analysis of Chinas human rights situation into account in order to address the issues we underline, both in its bilateral and multilateral dealings with the Peoples Republic of China. In particular, HRIC urges the government of the United Kingdom to step up its efforts to call on the Chinese government to a) ratify the ICESCR and the ICCPR without reservations and to implement their provisions; and b) release unconditionally all prisoners of conscience and to allow all Chinese citizens to enjoy fully their rights to freedom of expression, assembly and association. Furthermore, we call on the government to give consideration to our recommendations concerning the dialogue process that are included in this written statement.
Finally, HRIC calls on the members of the Committee to convey its concerns and recommendations to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and to make public the results of its review process.
We remain at your disposal for further information.