Der er kommet to nye – og nedslående – rapporter om Kina. Den ene handler om menneskerettighederne generelt, og den anden om pressefriheden.
Den første kommer fra Human Rights Watch, der netop er kommet med deres årlige rapport, hvor du kan finde kapitlet om Kina her.
Alt i alt er det ikke opløftende læsning. Den autoritære et-partistat Kina fortsætter med aktivt at begrænse ytrings-, forsamlings- og religionsfrihed og modarbejder pressen. Staten afviser en uafhængig og dømmende magt og bruger ulovlige metoder til at slå ned på forkæmpere for menneskerettigheder og organisationer.
Det er kort sagt business as usual og konklusionen fortsætter med at være, at sikkerhedsapparatet har fået stadigt større magt og indflydelse siden De Olympiske Lege i 2008.
Men kineserne bliver også stadigt mere bevidste om deres rettigheder. Og er parate til at udfordre staten i for eksempel spørgsmål om korrupte kadrer og konfiskering af landjord. Samtidig forsøger internetbrugere og mange medier at skubbe grænserne for censuren.
Du kan selv læse hele rapporten. Men her er nogle udpluk.
The police dominate the criminal justice system, which relies disproportionately on defendants’ confessions. Weak courts and tight limits on the rights of the defense mean that forced confessions under torture remain prevalent and miscarriages of justice frequent. In August 2011, in an effort to reduce such cases and improve the administration of justice, the government published new rules to eliminate unlawfully obtained evidence and strengthened the procedural rights of the defense in its draft revisions to the Criminal Procedure Law. It is likely it will be adopted in March 2012.
However, the draft revisions also introduced an alarming provision that would effectively legalize enforced disappearances by allowing police to secretly detain suspects for up to six months at a location of their choice in “state security, terrorism and major corruption cases.” The measure would put suspects at great risk of torture while giving the government justification for the “disappearance” of dissidents and activists in the future. Adoption of this measure—which is hotly criticized in Chinese media by human rights lawyers, activists, and part of the legal community—would significantly deviate from China’s previous stance of gradual convergence with international norms on administering justice, such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in 1997 but has yet to ratify.
The government continued in 2011 to violate domestic and international legal guarantees of freedom of press and expression by restricting bloggers, journalists, and an estimated more than 500 million internet users. The government requires internet search firms and state media to censor issues deemed officially “sensitive,” and blocks access to foreign websites including Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. However, the rise of Chinese online social networks—in particularly Sina’s Weibo, which has 200 million users—has created a new platform for citizens to express opinions and to challenge official limitations on freedom of speech despite intense scrutiny by China’s censors.
Women’s reproductive rights remain severely curtailed in 2011 under China’s family planning regulations. Administrative sanctions, fines, and forced abortions continue to be imposed, if somewhat erratically, on rural women, including when they become migrant laborers in urban or manufacturing areas, and are increasingly extended to ethnic minority areas such as Tibet and Xinjiang. These policies contribute to an increasing gender-imbalance (118.08 males for every 100 females according to the 2010 census), which in turn fuels trafficking and prostitution.
Der er også kommet rapport fra en ny organisation, der hedder International Federation of Journalists (IFJ). Den konkluderer kort sagt det, som vi ved i forvejen – det bliver værre.
The report also outlines various cases where news stories were suppressed by Chinese authorities, as investigative journalists and media outlets were targeted for reporting perceived to be “negative” by China’s censors. At least 16 mainland journalists were forced out of their work place, through sackings or organisational restructuring under pressure from Chinese authorities in 2011. Police also used state secrecy laws to harass and threaten a Chinese journalist investigating the arrest of a civil servant in Luoyang, in eastern China.
The IFJ was also buoyed by the response of China’s General Administration of Press and Publication (GAPP) to concerns raised by an IFJ report that the government was allowing the creation of media blacklists by government departments or institutions. The GAPP publicly pledged that it would not allow the development of such blacklists.
However, the IFJ noted authorities in China began to use more sophisticated methods to monitor and control the media in 2011. Authorities are now disseminating censorship directives verbally, rather than in the written form, in order to avoid external scrutiny. A new body, the State Internet Information Office, was also established by the State Council to oversee the online media environment.