China’s Long List Of Political Prisoners.
China remains a one-party authoritarian state that systemically curbs fundamental rights. Since President Xi Jinping assumed power in 2013, the government has arbitrarily detained and prosecuted hundreds of activists and human rights lawyers and defenders. It has tightened control over nongovernmental organisations, activists, media, and the internet through a slew of new laws that cast activism and peaceful criticism as state security threats. In 2016, the government abducted and forcibly disappeared several critics in Hong Kong and other countries. The government’s highly repressive rule in the ethnic minority regions of Xinjiang and Tibet persists. Despite legislation to protect against custodial torture, the practice remains widespread, including of Communist Party members accused of corruption. Authorities also moved to further limit freedom of expression. In November, the government passed a Cybersecurity Law, which will strangle online freedom and anonymity, and further clamped down on media outlets for reporting that departs from the party line. Authorities also issued multiple directives to tighten control over the internet, which has long been a beacon of hope as a relatively free public space, despite online censorship and surveillance. The Chinese government continues to lead the world in the number of people executed, with 46 crimes eligible for the death penalty. Scholars in China claimed in September that executions had “fallen about 60 percent” to “a few thousands” in 2005, but official statistics remain state secrets.
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