Political Prisoners in Hong Kong, China, Venezuela, Iran and Cambodia
Hosted by the Global Committee for the Rule of Law and the Italian Senate
By Dr. Jianli Yang
Thank you, Laura.
Mr. Senator Malan, Thank you for putting together this important conference.
Under Xi Jinping’s rule, human rights violations have drastically escalated in China in recent years, including the persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, lawyers, journalists, human rights defenders, and private entrepreneurs. The Chinese government has increasingly utilized imprisonment in silencing dissent. The facts of millions of Uyghur Muslims are detained in 21st century concentration camps have been well documented. The routine methods of controlling and persecuting in the inland can be roughly summarized as follows.
- Preventative, comprehensive surveillance nips in the bud human rights activists and their activities. There is a comprehensive grid-based video and digital surveillance across the country.
- Citizen surveillance is graded, with year-round monitoring of key human rights activists and technical monitoring of all means of communication. Human rights activists who resist illegal surveillance will be jailed on false charges.
- The concept of human rights is diluted by propaganda against universal values. Political and civil rights are denied, and only economic and social rights of individuals are recognized, though this is only on paper and there is no legal guarantee.
- Authorities deprive political prisoners or suspects of political crimes of their rights under the law, and even persecute innocent family members in order to exert pressure on them, without complying with the laws protecting citizens’ rights.
- In political cases, suspects are denied procedures stipulated in the Criminal Law and the Criminal Procedure Law. Suspects and their families are denied access to lawyers, and suspects are denied legal documents, including verdicts. There are secret trials, with confessions extracted through torture.
- There is a covering up human rights abuses and isolation of critical opinions by promoting nationalism.
- There is criminalization of online dissent with the fabrication of various charges.
- Torture is normalized. The less attention is paid to the case, the worse the torture is.
Thank you again for your concerns. I would like to have some individual cases heard here in the Senate and adopted by Italian society which may focus their attention and advocacy on the cases of prisoners of conscience it adopts for their freedom.