Protection of human rights in China has been on a “downward trajectory, by virtually every measure” since President Xi Jinping assumed power in 2012, a U.S. congressional study concluded Wednesday.
The report by the bipartisan Congressional-Executive Commission on China accused Beijing of embarking on the “unprecedented” repression of ethnic minorities, saying that such abuses “may constitute crimes against humanity,” notes VOA.
“Of particular concern is the mass, arbitrary internment of as many as one million or more Uighurs and other Muslim ethnic minorities in ‘political reeducation’ camps in western China,” said the commission’s leaders, Florida Senator Marco Rubio and New Jersey Congressman Chris Smith.
The two lawmakers contended that the Communist Party “unflinchingly continues to preserve its monopoly on domestic political power through state-sponsored repression, surveillance, indoctrination and brutality.”
Lawmakers of the bipartisan Commission said that they intend to nominate an imprisoned Uyghur academic for the Nobel Peace Prize, Quartz adds:
Ilham Tohti, once an economics professor in Beijing, worked over two decades to foster dialogue between Uyghurs and Han Chinese in his home region of Xinjiang. After deadly clashes broke out in 2009 between the two sides, he was repeatedly placed into detention and house arrest for publicizing cases of Uyghurs who were killed or went missing in the crackdown that followed. In 2014 he was detained again—for five months his family had no idea where he was—and then sentenced to life imprisonment on charges of separatism. His niece and students have also reportedly been imprisoned.
The 2018 Annual Report also highlights Beijing’s sharp power, notably the elevated role of the United Front Work Department, a Party institution used to counter and neutralize challenges to its ideological and policy agenda.
The plight of Chinese dissidents featured in a recent panel discussion – Power of the Powerless in China – at Bohemian National Hall, New York (above). Panelists: Liao Yiwu, winner of 2018 Disturbing the Peace, Award for a Courageous Writer at Risk, writer, musician, poet; Liu Xia, Disturbing the Peace nominee, artist; Andrew Nathan, Professor of Political Science at Columbia University. Moderated by Carl Gershman, President of the National Endowment for Democracy.