Wei Jingsheng: West Should Stop Selling Out Human Rights for Trade with China
China's human rights situation has been rapidly deteriorating
Speaking to the European parliament, the great dissident and hero of freedom accuses Western powers of shortsightedness vis-à-vis the Asian juggernaut. "China's human rights situation has been rapidly deteriorating" and "Shortsighted policies of the Western democratic countries" are contributing to the trend.
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (AsiaNews) - The human rights situation in China "has been rapidly deteriorating" because, among other things, "the United States and European countries reduced pressure against the Chinese government." This will "bring an even more extensive disaster than the human rights affairs alone," said the great Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng who on Wednesday spoke before the European parliament about the current situation in China.
According to Wei, winner of the Sakharov Prize, "six aspects illustrate" how the situation is getting out of hand. If the West continues to sell out human rights for economic benefits, we will "rapidly enter an era similar to Nazi Germany". Below is the transcript of Mr Wei's testimony.
In recent years, especially since last year, China's human rights situation has been rapidly deteriorating. This deterioration is associated with the United States and European countries reduced pressure against the Chinese government. The deterioration is reflected mainly in the following aspects.
The first is the strict control over the media. The censorship over the traditional media has always existed, but the degree of punishment is rapidly increasing. In recent years, more and more editors and reporters were removed from their positions. The cleansing and reorganization of the media even starts from the editor-in-chief and the president.
It includes punishing the Western media as well. Regarding the major issues, all Chinese media must be in accordance with the command of the Communist Party's propaganda department, in choosing what is to be reported or must not be reported. In addition to general entertainment, the status of news and opinion in these media has returned to the status in the Cultural Revolution of the 1970s.
The second is the Internet war. In addition to the Internet control through filtering words, the Chinese government employs hundreds of thousands of Internet police to remove non-communist points of view and to advance the propaganda of the Communist Party including spreading rumors. The censorship has increased in recent months to the degree that even the websites of different factions of the Communist Party were closed. In addition, the cyber warfare department initiates cyber attacks against opposition websites and individuals, even to the degree of attacking the websites of Western countries and private e-mail boxes.
The third is the strengthening of repression of ordinary citizens by the Chinese government under the so-called "maintaining stability" excuse. The Communist Party has employed a large number of non-professional thugs to cooperate with the police, using violence to suppress protests and the redress of grievances by individual and collective activities. Several million cases of such crackdowns are occurring each year, resulting in the expenditure for "maintaining stability" being more than military spending.
The fourth is the repression of the rights defending workers and lawyers. Lawyers often get their licenses revoked and are even put into prison, because they took cases that an official or officers do not like. Just like other rights defending workers, lawyers are not only pressured by the officials, but also receive pressure and violation from thugs from the Chinese Mafia or pretend to be the Mafia.
The fifth is the Mafia style of the law enforcement agencies in China. In the past two decades, the judiciary under the control of the Communist Party more and more has used illegal means to handle cases. Torture for confessions and fabrication of evidence has been a common phenomenon. The Attorney Li Zhuang case in Chongqing from three years ago is a typical case. In a common language used by judicial officers, it was called "using the technical means". Especially in dealing with political cases, using illegal means of the Mafia has become the practice of the judiciary. The recent questionable death of Li Wangyang also proves the general view of the mafia style of the judiciary.
The sixth is the legalization of illegal means. In order to increase the efficiency of repression and maintenance of stability, many illegal means have been legalized. Take the example I mentioned in my testimony to the U.S. Congress on May 15, 2012. In 1994, illegal detention could only be approved within the police department, and was not recognized by the prosecutors and courts in China. But this kind of illegal detention has been extended gradually nationwide in the past a decade or more. Recently, the National People's Congress in its new Code of Criminal Procedure has recognized this illegal detention as legitimate. This declared legitimacy indicates that the means of gangs and Fascism are legalized step by step.
In summary, the retrogression in these six aspects illustrates that the human rights situation in China has reached a critical stage. The Mafialization of the judiciary is bound to make the whole Chinese society rapidly enter an era similar to Nazi Germany or the Cultural Revolution. Shortsighted policies of the Western democratic countries, as well as the policy of using other people's human rights for financial gain, will, just as history has illustrated, bring an even more extensive disaster than the human rights affairs alone.
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