EU Concerns about the Human Rights situation in China (29/01/2016)

While we note the release of Mr. Peter Dahlin, the European Union and its Member States continue to be worried about the ongoing detention of human rights lawyers and activists who have worked peacefully to protect rights guaranteed under the Chinese Constitution and Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This was the subject of EU statements on 16 July and 22 October 2015. China should ensure full transparency and respect due process, in line with the recommendations it received in December 2015 from the UN Committee against Torture. Detained individuals should also be allowed access to legal counsel and visits from their relatives.

We are also extremely concerned about the continued detention by the Chinese authorities of a number of EU nationals, and on 7 January 2016 published a statement on the disappearance of individuals associated with the Mighty Current publishing house in Hong Kong. The EU urges the Chinese authorities to clarify their status and whereabouts.

These cases are part of a worrying trend and call into question China's respect for the rule of law and for its international human rights obligations, not least freedom of speech.

The European Union expects that the Chinese authorities will observe their international human rights commitments and ensure fair and transparent legal proceedings. The public broadcasting of so-called "confessions" by Chinese and EU citizens is unacceptable.