EU-China Summit spokesperson availability: Time to put human rights at the top of the agenda and action

Ilham Tohti, professor at Central University for Nationalities in Beijing and well-known critic of China’s ethnic and religious policies in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region, was sentenced to life imprisonment in September 2014. @Rüdiger Fandler

The EU-China Summit offers a crucial opportunity to put human rights at the top of discussions, and move forwards with clear action.

Amnesty International

Media Advisory

(Brussels, 29 June 2015) As the European Union (EU) and China reach their 40th anniversary of diplomatic relations, human rights must urgently top the agenda of the strategic partners’ work. On the day of the EU-China Summit, Amnesty International has joined forces with the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), Human Rights Watch and the International Campaign for Tibet to call on the EU and China to ensure human rights lead the Summit discussions. For further information please see the joint statement.

“The European Union has committed to putting human rights at the forefront of all of its external relations. If the Union is truly to show true leadership and be a credible actor on human rights, there can be no exceptions, no special cases; this also must apply to EU-China relations,” said Katharine Derderian, Executive Officer on EU Foreign Policy at Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office. “The EU-China Summit offers a crucial opportunity to put human rights at the top of discussions, and move forwards with clear action.”

Amnesty International has documented a deterioration of the human rights situation in China. Repression of dissent and freedom of expression and association has escalated, with increasing numbers of human rights defenders harassed and detained. The government's crackdown on civil society is obstructing the legitimate and vital work of numerous NGOs, and new laws including a draft National Security Law and Anti-Terrorism Law, still contain overly broad definitions of "terrorism" and "extremism" that allow the authorities to prosecute minorities, human rights defenders, and others who dare to speak out against government policies. With 2015 marking the 40th anniversary of EU-China diplomatic relations, it is crucial that the EU and its member states adopt a pro-active, public and consistent approach regarding human rights in China.

Katharine Derderian will be available for interview on the EU-China Summit and relations, and the human rights situation in China.

For further information or to arrange an interview, please contact:

Stefanie Mair
Media & Communications Assistant
Amnesty International European Institutions Office
Email: [email protected]
Telephone:  +32 (0)2 235 13 83
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