The world’s largest human rights organisation, Amnesty International (AI), published its annual report on human rights issues last week, entitled “Amnesty International Report 2005, the State of the World’s Human Rights”. China is continues to violate fundamental human rights in many areas and the report states that "Political crackdowns continued on specific groups, including the Falun Gong spiritual movement." (p. 77)
AI’s Secretary General Irene Khan launched the Report at a press conference held in Central London on 25th May. The over 300-page-long report is available in Arabic, English, French and Spanish.It “documents human rights issues of concern to AI during 2004 and reflects AI’s activities during the year to promote human rights and to campaign against specific human rights abuses”, AI says.
In a section on China's Repression of spiritual and religious groups (p. 78), the report states,
"The Falun Gong spiritual movement remained a key target of repression, which reportedly included many arbitrary detentions. Most of those detained were assigned to periods of "re-education through Labour" without charge or trial, during which they were at high risk of torture or ill-treatment, particularly if they refused to renounce their beliefs. Others were held in prisons and psychiatric hospitals. According to overseas Falun Gong sources, more than 1,000 people detained in connection with the Falun Gong had died since the organisation was banned in 1999, mostly as a result of torture or ill-treatment."
In a section entitled, "China - Torture, arbitrary detention and unfair trials section" on page 79, the report also stated, "In October, Falun Gong organisations abroad publicized video footage of Wang Xia, a women who had recently been released from prison in Hohhot, Inner Mogolia where she had served two years of a seven-year sentence for distributing materials promoting Falun Gong. She appeared emaciated and her body bore several scars. She had reportedly been tied to a bed, hung up, beaten, injected with unknown substances and shocked with electric batons after going on hunger strikes to protest against her detention."
China remained the country with the highest number of reported executions. "With few effective safeguards to protect the rights of defendants, large numbers of people continued to be executed after unfair trials,” the report says. When asked about the AI’s estimated figures showing that at least 3,400 people had been executed and at least 6,000 sentenced to death by the end of 2004, Ms Khan admitted that the real figures are believed much higher because of the “hidden death penalty” such as some deaths caused by torture are reported as suicides in China. The report says, “In March, a senior member of the National People’s Congress announced that China executes around 10,000 people per year.”
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