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Isn't it just plain ridiculous to appeal to a war criminal to "spotlight" human rights issue such as " the misuse of the war against terrorism "??? a skeptical supporter of HRW Emir ================= HRW News: Blair Must Raise Rights on China Tour (London, July 15, 2003) -- British Prime Minister Tony Blair should spotlight human rights and civil liberties on his upcoming visit to China, Human Rights Watch said today. Mr. Blair is scheduled to visit China and Hong Kong from July 22-25. In an open letter to the prime minister, Human Rights Watch noted sharp increases in rights violations in China in 2003, including: internet censorship and arrests, renewed crackdowns on Tibetans, intolerance of peaceful labor protests, and police violence against citizens protesting the government's handling of the AIDS crisis. "China has been acting as if the world isn't watching human rights in the country deteriorate," said Brad Adams, Asia director at Human Rights Watch. "This is an important moment for Mr. Blair to loudly express his government's concerns." In its letter, Human Rights Watch called on the prime minister to raise with the Chinese government: - the misuse of the war against terrorism as a cover for human rights abuses in Xinjiang province and elsewhere in China; - escalating arrests and police violence against HIV-positive protestors in Henan province; - restrictions on the right to freedom of association for workers nationwide; - the ongoing campaign against Tibetans who question restrictions on their rights to freedom of religion, expression, and association; - forced repatriation of North Korean refugees living in China; and - denial of the right to free expression on the Internet. Among its recommendations, Human Rights Watch urged Mr. Blair to call on Chinese leaders to abide by their promise to invite U.N. monitors on torture and arbitrary detention. Human Rights Watch also called for an independent investigation of the Henan blood scandal that resulted in the transmission of HIV to hundreds of thousands of provincial residents, and for prompt disciplinary measures for security officials responsible for attacks on villagers in the province. Human Rights Watch recommended amendment of all laws and regulations prohibiting workers from organizing independently and the cancellation of regulations permitting interference by the government in religious affairs. It also urged amending Internet regulations, which are in violation of international standards of free expression. During the Hong Kong leg of his trip, the prime minister should strongly press the Hong Kong government to amend the National Security Legislative Provisions Bill to bring it into conformity with internationals standards. Prime Minister Blair should also urge Hong Kong officials to move quickly to implement universal suffrage for election to the legislative and executive branches. To view the open letter, please see: http://hrw.org/press/2003/07/china071503- ltr.htm _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk