China: Annual Meeting of the National People's Congress in Beijing
Xi Jinping's term limit was lifted one year ago – Human rights violations in China are increasing significantly (Press Release)
On the occasion of the beginning of the National People's Congress in China, the Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) criticizes the fact that President Xi Jinping was given more power. One year ago, the congress had lifted Xi's term limit – and the number of human rights violations in China has increased significantly, the STP stated. "Apparently, Xi Jinping does not feel bound by Chinese laws any more – and he will do just about anything to secure his power," stated Ulrich Delius, the STP's director, in Göttingen on Monday, emphasizing that Xi also established a reign of terror within the Communist Party (CP), reminiscent of the arbitrariness of the Cultural Revolution (1966-76).
The Communist Party has been trying to put more pressure on the members of the CP to force them into line – with apps that promote the official ideology, but also with a Social Credit System and massive restrictions on the freedom of education. In order to secure its power, China's government won't hesitate to break the law. In January 2019, for example, it had distribute forced "confessions" by four imprisoned student leaders – and numerous Uyghurs were forced to make confessions in front of a camera as well.
Since the lifting of Xi Jinping's term limit, a total number of 879 lawyers and human rights advocates have been prosecuted – and 545 of them have been convicted. There are 334 ongoing proceedings against lawyers and human rights activists.
In China, more than 3.4 million people are currently persecuted for their faith, including around one million Christians. This number has more than tripled since 2017. There are more than 10,000 priests among those who are being harassed – in comparison to around 1,900 in 2017 – and the number of imprisoned church representatives has gone up by 35 percent (more than 5,000 people). More than 500 Christians were sentenced to prison for their beliefs, which is an increase of more than 40 percent compared to the previous year.
"The members of the Muslim nationalities in Xinjiang are suffering even more. The Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and Kyrgyz are complaining that about 1.1 million people are currently kept detained in re-education camps, and 2.3 million are forced to undergo re-education measures," Delius stated. Further, there are increasing measures of repression in Tibet – such as systematic attempts to break the peaceful resistance of the Tibetans by means of absolute control and by putting pressure on families of activists with collective punishment.
Header image: Schedler/STP (2018)