More than 100 people took part in an Amnesty International demonstration at the Schuman traffic circle in Brussels on Friday to urge EU leaders to step up their actions with China on human rights issues. The action was held at the same time as the opening of the 19th bilateral summit between the EU and China.
“We call on EU countries to condemn the gross and systematic violations of human rights in China clearly and with one voice. Human rights are at the heart of the EU’s identity and we want this to be the case in its relations with China too”, said Philippe Givron, China coordinator for Amnesty Belgium.
“While China has made progress in economic and social terms, we have seen in recent years that it has regressed in a catastrophic manner with regard to human rights. In absolute terms, China is the country that, according to a report by Reporters Without Borders, it is ranked 176th out of 180 countries for press freedom.”
“Human rights activists and their families are being harassed, persecuted and arrested, and if torture is officially prescribed, it continues to be applied in practice.” Chinese justice is not independent since the Chinese Communist Party intervenes in sensitive cases. Finally, almost 28 years after the Tiananmen Square massacre, citizens in China continue to be oppressed because they denounce what happened.