UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Presses China to Release Zhao Ming

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DPA:UN Rights Chief Worried by New Abuses in China

BEIJING, Nov 9, 2001 -- (dpa) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson on Friday said she was worried by reports of new abuses in China, including worsening treatment of criminal suspects, ethnic separatists and members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.


Chinese leaders appeared committed to cooperating with the UN in reviewing its "re-education through labor" system, under which people can be sentenced to up to three years at a labor camp without trial, she said.

But there was "much less progress in individual cases", she said.

"Indeed it's not all in the right direction ... particularly in the case of Falun Gong."

China's fight against Falun Gong "has probably retarded progress in some areas of freedom of expression and freedom of association", she said.

She raised allegations that detained Falun Gong members are "suffering widespread violations of their human rights", including the alleged exposure of women members to sexual abuse.

Exiled Falun Gong leaders claim some 300 members have died in Chinese police

Robinson pressed China to release ailing democracy activist Xu Wenli and Zhao Ming, a jailed Falun Gong member whose sentence was extended by 10 months ..

Reports of growing torture of criminal suspects, because of pressure to secure quick convictions under China's Strike Hard anti-crime drive, are another "very worrying sign", Robinson said.

Amnesty International recorded 1,781 executions in just three months of the Strike Hard campaign.


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