U.S. Intervention at the Adoption of the UPR Working Group Report for China
25th Session of the Human Rights Council
As Delivered by Paula SchrieferDeputy Assistant Secretary of State for International Organization Affairs
March 19, 2014
The United States welcomes the return of the delegation from the People’s Republic of China to the Council and appreciates the opportunity to comment on the final Working Group report form China’s Universal Periodic Review.
We welcome China’s acceptance of recommendations related to the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights. We urge China to ratify this important human rights convention. We note that China has announced the abolition of the Reeducation Through Labor system, and we urge China to end all forms of arbitrary detention.
We note that China accepted recommendations calling for the protection of the rights of members of ethnic minority groups. We are deeply concerned, however, by government policies in ethnic Uighur, Tibetan, and Mongolian areas of China that have contributed to unrest as well as the ongoing detention of activists Ilham Tohti, Dhondup Wangchen, and Hada.
We are disappointed that China did not accept UPR recommendations related to protecting the freedoms of peaceful assembly, association, and expression including on the Internet. We remain very concerned by the detention of activist Xu Zhiyong, lawyer Gao Zhisheng, Nobel Laureate Liu Xiaobo, as well as the house arrest of his wife Liu Xia.
Finally, we are concerned that China refuses to cooperate with – and in some cases, impedes – civil society in the UPR process. We note with profound sadness the recent death of Cao Shunli, a civil society leader who sought to engage the Chinese government on these issues and was detained for her efforts. Thank you.