The United States and 11 other countries have slammed China for its human rights records. They demanded the immediate release of all its detained activists and lawyers. They also said that its “extraterritorial actions are unacceptable.”
Keith Harper, the US ambassador to UN Human Rights Council in Geneva said, “We are concerned about China’s deteriorating human rights record, notably the arrests and ongoing detention of rights activists, civil society leaders and lawyers.”
Harper also said that in many cases these detainees have not been given the access to legal counsel much more allowed to meet their family members. Harper on behalf of the 12 countries urged China to release all rights activists, civil society leaders and lawyers, reported Mail Online.
The 11 other countries aside from the US are Australia, Britain, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Japan, Norway, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
The call at Human Rights Council has come after the recent disappearance of five Hong Kong residents associated with a publisher of books banned in China. The five booksellers’ letter appeared on the State TV. According to the letter, they are confessing and admitting that they had been smuggling illicit books to the country.
There was also a temporary detention of a Swedish man who allegedly trained unlicensed lawyers, reported Asian Correspondents. The Swedish man, reportedly, disappeared from his holiday home in Thailand and later seen appearing on Chinese State TV and confessing that he surrendered over a 12-year-old fatal drunk driving case.
Harper voiced his concern for these TV appearance and confessions aired on state TV which is before any indictment or judicial process. He also reiterated that China’s actions violate international conventions as well as Chinese law.
UN Human Rights Chief Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, last month, raised concerns about the arrest of around 250 lawyers and activists since 2015.
Just recently, China punished 300,000 officials in the country. Some observers saw the move as a way to control the officials who are becoming influential.