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EU-China Summit: As the partnership matures, violations continue
"In the light of the serious human rights abuses outlined in this new report, Amnesty International calls on EU leaders to seize the opportunity of their first-ever summit with Chinese President Hu Jintao to fundamentally rethink their approach on human rights with China. Delivery on human rights protection must now be an imperative of a more mature relationship between the EU and China," Dick Oosting, Director of Amnesty International's EU Office in Brussels said.
"Until now, the European Union has been held hostage to China's insistence on mutual respect and non-confrontation on human rights issues, locked in a formal 'human rights dialogue' that has produced no relief for the victims of human rights abuses in China," he said. "But in a mature relationship, all parties recognize that the relationship has to achieve results."
"The EU should not just upgrade its human rights dialogue with China but start exerting political pressure on China to achieve concrete improvements, in particular, on the issues raised in this latest Amnesty report," he said.
The Amnesty International report states that hundreds of thousands of people continue to be detained across China, in violation of their fundamental human rights. Death sentences and executions continue to be imposed after unfair trials, torture and ill-treatment remain widespread and systemic, and freedom of expression and information continue to be severely curtailed.
"In particular, official reports in China praising the adoption of lethal injections as a method of execution, and hailing the introduction of 'mobile execution chambers' for their 'cost-effectiveness and efficiency' should send alarm bells ringing in the corridors of the EU. Despite six years of dialogue on this issue, China is still responsible for more than 80 percent of the world's known executions," Dick Oosting said.
"Legal reforms in the commercial sphere may be occurring in China but unfortunately, we do not see the same level of attention being paid to reform of criminal justice, which is vital for the protection of human rights and as such an essential element for the country's stability and sustainable development," he said.
Amnesty International's key human rights concerns on China include:
· The continued use of the death penalty during the ongoing "strike hard" campaign resulting in high numbers of executions, often after unfair or summary trials;
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