1-30-2012By Alison Searle
Human Rights Defenders
In anticipation of an upcoming diplomatic visit by Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping, Human Rights First calls on the U.S. government to make clear that China’s record on human rights remains a serious obstacle to US-China relations. Xi, likely to succeed President Hu Jintao, is slated to visit Washington, D.C. in the coming months.
As the human rights situation in China continues to deteriorate, the U.S. decision to host the visit seems like a reward for bad behavior. Liu Anjun, a Beijing-based rights lawyer, reported this week that Chinese authorities are ramping up the crackdown so far in 2012. This week, capital defenders were detained in Beijing for petitioning for the release of fellow activists locked up in unofficial detention centers at Tiananmen Square. The use of these facilities, known locally as “black jails,” is becoming de rigeur as government repression continues unabated.
According to Liu, activists are responding to the crackdown with increased organization and protest: “Now they are protesting for their rights collectively, and they are very united right now.” The U.S. government should take notice.
For more information on human rights defenders in China, click here.