Two days before the arrival of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to Venezuela, the National Assembly held a first reading of a draft law that, if passed, would criminalise the work of defenders, further shrinking the space they have to operate. States must speak up for human rights defenders and against this initiative!
In early 2019, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet addressed a letter to Foreign Minister Wang Yi identifying priority issues for implementation, including the need for China to create an enabling environment for civil society. She further encouraged China to submit a mid-term UPR report in 2021, which the government has so far disregarded.
In this context, ISHR recommends the following:
- To the Government of China: Immediately and unconditionally release all human rights defenders, lawyers and journalists; review all existing laws, regulations, policies and practices used to target HRDs and amend them in line with international human rights law; and ensure human rights lawyers can freely practice their profession;
- To recommending States: Use all available diplomatic channels with Chinese counterparts to request information on, and urge meaningful steps, for the implementation of UPR recommendations.
- To all States: Engage in meaningful consultation with Chinese HRDs, including lawyers and journalists; ensure their needs and views duly inform State positions on issues related to human rights in China, in particular ahead of China’s fourth UPR; and review all legal cooperation agreements with China and the Hong Kong SAR, with the view to ensure full respect for international human rights law, including the principle of non-refoulement.