Canada Holds Chinese Regime to Task for Abuses
By Matthew Little, Epoch Times
February 11, 2009
Human rights groups charge the ruling communist regime in China white-washed its human rights abuses at a recent United Nation review. Canada is among the nations holding the regime to task for such abuses.
China’s recent response to its first review by the United Nations Human Rights Council was to deny Chinese citizens were ever abused and to declare people there were free to voice their opinions in the media. The regime also says it opposes torture.
Human rights groups around the world consistently name the Chinese regime as one of the worst rights abusers in the world.
Canada was noteworthy among the countries that spoke out against the regime’s rights infractions.
“Canada is deeply concerned about reports of arbitrary detention of ethnic minorities members, including Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongols, as well as religious believers, including Falun Gong practitioners, without information about their charges, their location and wellbeing,” said Louis-Martin Aumais, Canada's representative at the hearings.
He said the regime should speed up judicial reforms relating to the death penalty and administrative detention whereby Chinese citizens are detained without trial.
“Canada recommends China abolish all forms of administrative detention, including ‘Re-Education Through Labour.’ Canada recommends China eliminate abuse of psychiatric committal,” he said.
However, the regime did have some countries defend its human rights record: Iran, Burma, Zimbabwe and Sudan, each of which is also criticized by rights groups for severe abuses in their own countries.
This latest review before the U.N. follows on the heels of a review by the organization’s Committee on Torture last December.
In what observers described as a rare move, the torture committee told the regime to arrange for an investigation into the organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners and for the prosecution of those responsible for deaths associated with the gruesome business of illicit organ transplants.
A report by two highly-regarded Canadian human rights lawyers, former MP and Secretary of State for Asia Pacific David Kilgour, and sometimes U.N. delegate and recipient of the Order of Canada David Matas, concluded that as many as 40,000 detained Falun Gong adherents had been killed for their organs. Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual discipline that emphasizes cultivating truthfulness, compassion and tolerance and includes a meditation practice.
The torture committee demanded the regime answer questions about their re-education-through-labour system, the widespread use of torture, harassment of defense lawyers, harassment and violence against human rights defenders and petitioners, etc.
In this latest review before a U.N. body, the regime has again raised the ire of human rights groups. Many human rights advocates were incredulous that the regime outright denied abuses that are common knowledge around the world.
“China’s government report omits reference to the on-going crisis in Tibet, the severe crackdown on Uyghurs in China’s Western Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and the on-going persecution of various religious practitioners, including Falun Gong members,” says a statement from Amnesty International.
Amnesty noted that the regime’s self-assessment completely omitted mention of widespread administrative detention, in which up to several hundred thousand individuals may be incarcerated without trial or access to a lawyer.
The rights group urged the U.N. to push the regime to abolish this world’s largest system of administrative detention.
“China’s “re-education through labor” system violates the rights of citizens, especially those relating to protection from arbitrary deprivation of personal freedom and a fair trial,” the group said.
It added that torture and other “cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment” is also used in the labour camps.