‘Ferocity’ of China crackdown ‘unseen in recent years’

China is violating human rights at an intensity that is unprecedented in its recent history, a top watchdog group said Thursday.

The ruling Communist Party has “unleashed an extraordinary assault on basic human rights and their defenders with a ferocity unseen in recent years”, the New York-based group Human Rights Watch said in its annual report.

The group added that recent developments in China are “an alarming sign given that the current leadership will likely remain in power through 2023”.

Since taking office as Communist chief in 2012, China’s President Xi Jinping has overseen a campaign against government critics with hundreds detained or jailed.

“China remains an authoritarian state, one that systematically curbs fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, association, assembly, and religion, when their exercise is perceived to threaten one-party rule,” Human Rights Watch said.

Xi’s much-publicised anti-corruption campaign, the group said, “has been conducted in ways that further undermine the rule of law, with accused officials held in an unlawful detention system, deprived of basic legal protections, and often coerced to confess”.

Activists and other rights defenders in China increasingly face retaliation, Human Rights Watch said, citing a number of cases including that of dissident Cao Shunli, who died in detention last year.

Cao had been detained in 2013 shortly before she was due to travel to Geneva to attend a UN session on China’s rights record.

From Yahoo News –