DPA: EU Rebukes China on Human Rights

BRUSSELS, Mar 12, 2002 -- (dpa) European Union governments Monday rebuked China on its human rights record but said they would not table a special resolution criticizing Beijing at the United Nations Human Rights Commission starting this month in Geneva.

A statement by EU foreign ministers issued on Monday said the bloc remained deeply concerned at "serious violations of human rights in China and lack of progress in a number of areas."

While EU governments accepted Beijing's concerns over alleged acts of terrorism inside China, "the fight against terrorism should be pursued with full respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms," ministers cautioned.

The EU statement chided China on its treatment of pro-democracy activists, proponents of free trade unions and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Governments were deeply concerned also at "restrictions against unofficial churches and religious groups as well as deprivation of religious and cultural rights in Tibet and Xinjiang," the statement added.

But ministers said the EU was not going to table its own anti- China resolution at the Geneva Human Rights Commission.

EU countries would however vote in favour of any such resolution tabled by other states and vote against China's time-honored - and successful – effort to stop the resolution through a "no-action motion," they said.

Source: http://www.europeaninternet.com/support/article.php3?id=1539332

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