EU Statement at the 32th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council
Item 4 – Human Rights situation that require the Council’s attention
22 June 2016
In China, the on-going detention and harassment of human rights defenders, lawyers, journalists and labour rights defenders and their families remains a major concern. Individuals detained for seeking to protect the rights of others and for the peaceful exercise of their freedom of expression, including Guo Feixiong, Liu Xiaobo, Ilham Tohti, Xu Zhiyong and Wang Yu, should be released. The EU also reiterates concerns about the treatment of five Hong Kong booksellers following the testimony from one about his detention and forced confession. The recent adoption of a national security package, including the counter-terrorism law, further raises serious questions about China’s respect for its international human rights obligations and international standards, as well as for its own constitutional safeguards and stated commitment to upholding the rule of law. In view of that, the EU calls for full and faithful implementation by China of accepted UPR recommendations, including in relation to ensuring a safe and enabling environment for civil society, including foreign NGOs. The EU also urges China to respect cultural diversity and freedom of religion or belief of the members of different ethnic groups, especially in Tibet and Xinjiang, and foster dialogue with the said ethnic groups.