China, the world’s most populous country, which is referred to as a superpower has been the source of many innovations, scientific discoveries, and inventions. Coincidentally it is also the country whose citizens are denied their basic human rights. The absence of an independent judiciary and effective fair trial guarantees such recurrent violations and for a country as powerful and large as China, this is probably the biggest violation towards humanity.
The Chinese government continues to disavow the basic human rights of the residents of China. Their breach of human rights had formed a long list which includes freedom of expression, freedom of press, labor rights, religious liberty, right to health, and a lot more. Apart from the denial of these basic rights other inequities include lack of land rights, one-child policy, dearth of internet and media freedom, the death penalty, persecution of people for religious beliefs, harassment of activists and dissidents. Moreover, the Chinese government is barbaric towards ethnic groups and there is valid evidence supporting this statement.
Grievous and extensive suppression of ethnic minorities continued unabated under the trickery of ‘anti-separatism’, ‘anti-extremism’ and ‘counter-terrorism’ in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (Xinjiang) and the Tibet Autonomous Region (Tibet). Movement to and from Tibet remains highly cramped, conspicuously for journalists, academics, and human rights organisations, making it exceedingly difficult to investigate and document the human rights affairs in the region. Foreign journalists face incarceration and expulsion, as well as systematic delays to and refusals of visa renewals. Chinese and other tech firms operating outside China blocked what the government adjudged politically delicate content, augmenting its censorship standards internationally.
In Inner Mongolia, protests burst when education authorities decided to outplace Mongolian with Mandarin Chinese in several classes in the zonal schools. Tibet met a similar fate when authorities continued to brutally restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly and failed to reparate popular consternation about mining and seizing of land by local officials, which often involve intimidation and unlawful use of force by security forces.
Jingyuan Qian (a Ph.D. student) and others assert that historical disputes between the Han Chinese and Muslims like the Northwest, Hui Rebellion have been used by some Han Chinese to legitimize and fuel anti-Muslim beliefs and prejudices in contemporary China.
China has detained Uighurs (the Uighurs are a mostly Muslim Turkic minority group that number about 11 million in Xinjiang in north-western China) at camps in the north-west region of Xinjiang, where allegations of torment, forced labor, and molestation have emerged. China has denied the imputations of abuse, claiming the camps are “re-education” facilities used to combat terrorism. Women in China’s “re-education” camps for Uighurs have been consistently raped, sexually abused, and tortured, according to detailed new accounts obtained by the BBC. First-hand accounts from inside the internment camps are sporadic, but several former detainees and guards have told the BBC they experienced or saw evidence of an organized system of mass rape, sexual abuse, and torture.
Human Rights groups say the Chinese government has gradually denuded the religious and other freedoms of the Uighurs, culminating in an oppressive system of mass surveillance, detention, indoctrination, and even forced sterilization. It alleges that Uighur women and other ethnic minorities are threatened in the camps for repudiating to abort pregnancies that exceed birth quotas meanwhile China denies these allegations, calling them “baseless“.
But UK Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab said the treatment of Uighurs amounted to “appalling violations of the most basic human rights“.
Various countries have contributed their share of criticisms, though weakly. The US accuses the Chinese government of ‘genocide‘ against Uighurs. Human Rights groups believe that China detained up to a million Uighurs over the past few years in what the state designated as “re-education camps“. In recent weeks, Japan has taken a stronger stance against the Chinese government’s human rights abuses. Japan has also been modestly responsive to the Chinese government’s groundless detention of more than a million Turkic Muslims.
Amnesty International says that there are more executions in China than the rest of the world amalgamated. There are no officially published statistics but activists are convinced that thousands are executed and sentenced to death in China annually.
“The candle burns not for us, but for all those whom we failed to rescue from prison, who were shot on the way to prison, who were tortured, who were kidnapped, who ‘disappeared’. That’s what the candle is for.”— Peter Benenson
Mudabbira Rehman is a student pursuing English Literature from Jamia Millia Islamia.
Edited by: Reda Aamna
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the author. They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of The Jamia Review or its members.