China denounces UN rights report as biased, 'incorrect'

11 Dec 2015 / 17:17 H.

    BEIJING: China rejected a United Nations watchdog's criticisms of its human rights record Thursday, with a spokeswoman calling it biased and "incorrect".
    The UN Committee Against Torture report, released Wednesday, urged China to end the rampant use of torture in its prisons, close all "black jails" and halt a large-scale crackdown on lawyers and activists.
    The report was not based on an "objective and fair view" of China and some contents were "based on incorrect information", said foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying.
    "Our position on opposing torture is firm and consistent and we believe that we will make greater efforts in this regard," she told a regular briefing in Beijing.
    The UN report said more than 200 lawyers and activists had been rounded up in an "unprecedented" crackdown since July, with 25 more reportedly under residential surveillance, and four allegedly unaccounted for.
    China's rebuttal came on International Human Rights Day, which saw both the US ambassador to China and the German embassy issue statements strongly condemning China's human rights behaviour.
    "Throughout the past year, too many Chinese citizens were jailed merely for peacefully expressing their views," said US ambassador Max Baucus in a statement on the embassy website.
    The statement cited several cases, including detained rights lawyer Pu Zhiqiang and Uighur economics professor Ilham Tohti who was last year convicted of separatism and jailed for life.
    The German embassy statement — which also named Pu and Tohti among several other examples — said that "serious problems persist with regard to freedom of opinion".
    The embassy urged China to "adhere to its international obligations for the protection of human rights".
    Hua said that accusations of human rights abuses represented "political prejudice" and a "lopsided" point of view.
    "It seems that some people always choose to play up these individual cases, and they intentionally ignore the general situation of human rights in China," she said.
    The United States and Germany "should not interfere in China's judicial sovereignty" when it comes to Chinese citizens and "should focus on their own domestic situations", she added.
    "We have found a development path that suits China's national conditions and China's human rights conditions," she said.
    The UN report said that "the practice of torture and ill-treatment is still deeply entrenched in the criminal justice system" in China, and voiced alarm over a recent law change that legitimised secret detentions.
    A report by Amnesty International last month detailed how suspects received electric shocks, were punched, kicked, hit with shoes or bottles filled with water, denied sleep and locked in iron chairs, forcing them into painful postures for hours on end. — AFP

    thesundaily_my Sentifi Top 10 talked about stocks