HRW warned that a new Xi Jinping term would bode badly for human rights

Xi Jinping. REUTERS/Jason Lee/File Photo

The NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) warned today that if the next Congress of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) approves a new mandate for the country’s current leader, Xi Jinping, “precedents will be broken and it will bode badly for human rights in China and around the world.”

The organization’s researcher Yaqiu Wang called in a statement for governments around the world to “Put pressure” on Beijing to respect human rights “inside and outside of China” if Xi is elected for an unprecedented third term among his latest predecessors.

The 20th CPC Congress will begin in Beijing next Sunday, October 16, and during the conclave “Xi is expected to further consolidate power and secure a historic third term”, collects HRW.

“The space for civil society activism has been shrinking in China, making it imperative that the international community take consistent action to limit Xi’s abuses,” he says.

Among these abuses, HRW cites the restrictions due to covid, “which have led to repeated and unpredictable quarantines for hundreds of millions of people following an abusive policy.”

China Dabancheng prison detention center
Urumqi No. 3 Detention Center in Dabancheng, west China’s Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, 23 April 2021. Urumqi No. 3, China’s largest detention center, has twice the the size of Vatican City and has room for at least 10,000 inmates. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) (Mark Schiefelbein/)

”These draconian measures have impeded people’s access to health care, food and other basic necessities. An unknown number of people have dead after being denied medical treatment for illnesses unrelated to covid. And the closures have also caused economic damage, forcing businesses to downsize or close, cutting jobs and wages”, denounces the NGO.

The statement also assures that since Xi came to power -at the end of 2012-, “the authorities have decimated Chinese civil society, imprisoned numerous critics of the Government, severely restricted freedom of expression and deployed technology of mass surveillance to control citizens”.

“The cultural persecution, the arbitrary detention of one million Uyghurs and other abuses committed since 2017 constitute Crimes against humanity”, accuses the NGO.

HRW also expresses its concern about the impact of covid on the economic and social rights of those who were already in precarious situations, given that “they are more exposed to crises due to inequalities and discrimination.”

”Many migrant workers are already in dire need. Lack of employment often means they have no income if they are not enrolled in social security programs.

China accused the UN human rights office of being
China accused the UN human rights office of being “accomplice” of the United States and said that the report on the violation of the rights of Uyghurs in the Xinjiang region is a “political tool”. (LILLIAN DING/)

According to the NGO, economic problems are causing “a worsening of civil and political rightswhich were already severely restricted, as authorities respond to complaints with more censorship, arbitrary arrests, and repression.”

“The abusive and widely unpopular policy of ‘zero covid’ and its impact on the economy shows that political and economic rights are deeply intertwined,” says the HRW researcher, who adds that “a leader with unlimited power who does not pay accounts and that denies rights to citizens is dangerous, not only for China, but for the world.”

This Sunday, the XIX Central Committee of the PCCh inaugurated its seventh plenary session to “pave the way and achieve a successful XX Congress and present the roadmaps for the next five years”, collects the state agency Xinhua.

In the context of the “zero covid” policy, it is foreseeable that the authorities will take the necessary measures to shield Beijing from the imminent celebration of the Congress, which Xinhua describes as “crucial to evaluate the work carried out in the last five years” or “review in depth” the situation both nationally and internationally.

(with information from EFE)


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