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Human Rights Abuse in China and Joint First Ministers' meeting

12 April 2012

Human Rights Abuse in China and Joint First Ministers' meeting
Statement by TUV Leader Jim Allister:
"Today the Joint First Ministers meet a top member of the Chinese politburo. China has an abymsmal record of human rights abuse*, both against dissenting political activists and those wishing to exercise religious freedom.
"Will the Joint First Ministers, as they ought, raise such issues, or, would that be too embarrassing for McGuinness, given his record as a leader of an organisation that excelled in denying the most basic human right of all, the right to life.


"Moreover, will the embarrassment of Northern Ireland's legislature itself not being permitted an Official Opposition curb any rebuke for China from McGuinness and Robinson."


* Examples of specific victims of Beijing's human rights abuses include the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. Liu is serving an 11-year prison term for "inciting subversion" over his role in drafting Charter 08, an online petition advocating peaceful political change in China and respect for rights and freedoms embodied in the country's constitution. Efforts to silence him extend to his wife, Liu Xia, who is believed to be under house arrest to prevent her from campaigning on her husband's behalf. 

In December 2011 the writers Chen Xi and Chen Wei were imprisoned on spurious "subversion" charges. Chen Wei was sentenced to nine years in prison on December 23, on charges of "inciting subversion of state power" for online criticism of the government. Three days later, a Guiyang court handed down a 10-year sentence on the same charge to Chen Xi - for similar on-line criticism of China's one-party rule.


Members of underground Protestant "house churches" are frequently detained in violation of their rights. Members of these and other religious groups have been detained in labour camps, prisons and psychiatric hospitals.

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