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China rights experts refute Amnesty International report

Source: Xinhua | 04-09-2008 11:39

Special Report:   3.14 Tibet Riots

BEIJING, April 9 (Xinhua) -- The Amnesty International report issued after the unrest in Lhasa and ahead of the Olympics to assail China's human rights record was to "create hurdles for China's peaceful development", human rights experts said here on Tuesday.

Chen Shiqiu, the China Society for Human Rights Studies vice-chairman, said some Western countries "always observe China through tainted glasses, and they are unwilling and uncomfortable to see the country's rapid development".

Speaking at a seminar, Chen said the report echoed the Dalai Clique and Tibetan separatists outside China so as to sabotage the Olympics.

"They always oppose China so they don't want the country to successfully host the Games." He added the report was to slander and attack China under the pretense of human rights so as to damage the nation's peace and stability as well as ethnic unity and social progress.

The London-based Amnesty International issued a report on March31 that assailed China's human rights record, criticized its handling of the Lhasa unrest and urged the International Olympic Committee and world leaders to pressure the country.

Xiong Lei, director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, a non-governmental organization, said Amnesty International should learn some basic human rights knowledge.

The report held China "cracked down on Tibetan protestors" but in fact, the so-called protestors were criminals that involved in assaults, vandalism, looting and arson, she said. "They were human rights destroyers instead of human rights fighters."

"Likewise, those separatists have nothing to do with human rights. Any government that protects human rights is entitled to exercising legal sanctions over criminals. That's a real protection of human rights."

Liu Hainian, a research fellow of the Institute of Law under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said Amnesty International claimed human rights on the one hand but turned a blind eye to the violence in Lhasa.

"The double standards they applied would draw antipathy of all the kindhearted," said Liu, adding linking the Olympics to the human rights issue was not in accord with the Olympic spirit of peace and friendliness and would hurt the 1.3-billion Chinese people.

As for China's death penalty issue mentioned by the group in the report, Liu said, the death penalty stipulated in China's law was in line with the United Nations conventions in principle.

In reality, he said countries including the United States, like China, did not abolish capital punishment, and the practice of cautiously exercising death sentences and reducing their number rests with the current situation in China.

According to Liu's studies, since the Supreme People's Court took back the power of reviewing death penalties in 2007, the country's number of capital punishments has dropped, with half of the cases changed to a reprieve in the end.

About 99 percent of the death penalty with a two-year reprieve was ultimately not executed, said Liu.

Yang Chengming, professor of the Beijing Institute of Technology and director of the China Society for Human Rights Studies, said the Amnesty International report, similar with those issued by other foreign rights organizations, had "evident logical errors".

The report claimed that China could improve its human rights record only after imposed pressure, but in fact the choice of respecting and protecting human rights was made by the Chinese themselves and was the principle of the Constitution and the governing concept of the Communist Party, Yang said.

He added that the report, which took the improvement of human rights as a mark of a successful Games, was not in line with the Olympic spirit.

Yang also rebutted the report's accusation that China would implement registration measures over more than 20,000 overseas reporters covering the Games.

"It distorts the fact. Measures about journalists to be adopted in the Beijing Olympics fully comply with the practice set by the International Olympic Committee," he said.

Luo Yanhua, professor of the School of International Studies of Beijing University, said human rights development of any countries was "spontaneous and gradual", but not "imposed by foreign forces or quickly made".

"If some western rights groups really want to help some countries in improving their human rights situation, they should carefully study what they need and offer some practical help," Luo said.


Editor:Zhang Ning

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