New state department report says human-rights abuses abound worldwide

The British Conservative Party Human Rights Commission report called again the attention on a brutal campaign of repression, made worse by COVID-19, writes Rosita Šorytė of ‘Bitter Winter’.

They call it epidemic prevention. In the Chinese Province

(省). A part of the administrative division of China at the highest, provincial level. China includes 22 provinces (although sometimes the government mentions 23, by adding Taiwan).

“>province of Hebei, special teams go door to door, and inspect apartments and houses, ostensibly to make sure that anti-COVID measures are implemented. But in fact, they are instructed to check books and documents, and look for dissident or religious literature. In the apartment rented by Chen Feng (not his real name), they found material of The Church of Almighty God

(全能神教會). The largest Chinese Christian new religious movement, founded in 1991. Most of its first members were part of the Shouters. Also known as Eastern Lightning, it teaches that Jesus Christ has returned to Earth in the shape of a Chinese woman, recognized as Almighty God, who teaches the fullness of truth for the purification of humankind and the advent of a Millennial Kingdom. Its phenomenal growth alarmed the CCP. It was included in the list of the xie jiao in 1995, and is currently the single most persecuted religious group in China.

“>The Church of Almighty God, a movement prohibited in China that is currently the most persecuted religious group there. Chen was promptly arrested and taken to the police station, where he received hard slaps across the face, and was shocked with electric batons. The police officers poked his ribs with an iron rod, struck his lower legs, and covered his head with a plastic bag.

This is one of the testimonies The Church of Almighty God

(全能神教會). The largest Chinese Christian new religious movement, founded in 1991. Most of its first members were part of the Shouters. Also known as Eastern Lightning, it teaches that Jesus Christ has returned to Earth in the shape of a Chinese woman, recognized as Almighty God, who teaches the fullness of truth for the purification of humankind and the advent of a Millennial Kingdom. Its phenomenal growth alarmed the CCP. It was included in the list of the xie jiao in 1995, and is currently the single most persecuted religious group in China.

“>The Church of Almighty God (CAG) offered to the team preparing the report on human rights violations in China of the British Conservative Party Human Rights

The fundamental rights of all human beings to life, freedom, justice, and safety, defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

“>Human Rights Commission, which was published on January 13. The report submitted to the Conservative Party Human Right Commission by the CAG is now available on the Commission’s Web site.

The Commission’s report itself summarizes the information it obtained on the CAG’s “brutal suppression and persecution.” The CAG told the Commission that at least 400,000 of its members were arrested since 2011, and 159 were persecuted to death. The report mentions documents by the Chinese Communist Party at the national and Provincial Level

(省級行政區). The highest level (first) of the administrative division of China, including the province (省), the autonomous region (自治區), the municipality (直轄市), and the special administrative region (特別行政區).

“>provincial level, calling for increased repression of the CAG through all legal and illegal means.

Readers of Bitter Winter frequently encounter articles about the arrest, torture, and extra-judicial killing of CAG members in China. Sometimes, we are afraid that repeated news of the persecution may be perceived as routine. As noted by psychologists who have studied reactions to protracted war and terrorism, humans have a defense mechanism that softens responses to even the most horrific information, when it repeats itself. News about the torture of CAG members, or Uyghurs

The largest part of the population (46,5 %) in Xinjiang, where Han Chinese have however grown to 39% through a government-sponsored immigration program aimed at sinicization. Uyghurs are not ethnically Chinese and speak their own Turkic Uyghur language. Many Uyghurs do not speak Chinese at all. The overwhelming majority of the Uyghurs are Sunni Muslim. They experience a severe religious persecution, and one million of them have been taken to the dreaded transformation through education camps.

“>Uyghurs or others, in China shock when we first read them. When similar news hit us every week, our minds tend to file them away as routine.

This is something the UK Conservative Party report is well aware of. It reminds us that what is happening daily in China is not simply a routine of evil. The persecution does not only repeat itself. It worsens. The CAG submission evidences three important aspects of how things are getting worse.

First, artificial intelligence is not just a slogan used by the CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP to show how advanced Chinese technology is. Each advance in technology has immediate police applications. Now each Chinese police officer is equipped with a Huawei Mate10 mobile phone that has a facial recognition function. which allows the police to scan the faces of passers-by and be immediately connected with information about them. Even in many private homes, citizens are compelled to install eavesdropping devices and cameras connected with the police, whose data are immediately analyzed. The same satellites we all use for being helped by GPS when driving a car continuously watch in China the movements of millions of citizens. These technologies improve every day, and are increasingly used to identify and arrest CAG members and other dissidents.

Second, the COVID-19 pandemic also made the situation considerably worse. On the one hand, it offered a handy pretext for increased surveillance and for door-to-door visits to all Chinese households. There are documents specifically asking “epidemic prevention teams” to look for CAG materials, and teaching team members how to recognize them. Also, the COVID-19 pandemic had effects on Chinese and international economy, and increased the demands for slave labor.  CAG members, as it happened to Uyghurs

The largest part of the population (46,5 %) in Xinjiang, where Han Chinese have however grown to 39% through a government-sponsored immigration program aimed at sinicization. Uyghurs are not ethnically Chinese and speak their own Turkic Uyghur language. Many Uyghurs do not speak Chinese at all. The overwhelming majority of the Uyghurs are Sunni Muslim. They experience a severe religious persecution, and one million of them have been taken to the dreaded transformation through education camps.

“>Uyghurs, Tibetans, and others, were increasingly sent, with or without a court trial, to unpaid, back-breaking slave labor, for 15 to 20 hours a day.

A female CAG member called Xiao Yun testified to the UK commission that she was forced to work at least 13 hours every day in a workshop, sewing sweaters. “The air was full of dust and dark smoke as well as a noxious odor of fabric dye. She was abused and beaten by prison guards over a long period of time,” until she developed tuberculosis. Yet, she had to keep working. In 2019 when Xiao Yun was finally released, “she had already sustained damage to her left lung, which had essentially lost its capacity to breathe; she was no longer able to perform any physical work.”

Third, COVID-19 determined a renewed CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP effort at international propaganda, as it had both to deny any responsibility for the pandemic and claim that the anti-COVID effort in China was the most effective in the world. As part of this so-called “wolf warrior diplomacy,” Chinese embassies throughout the world aggressively confronted CAG and other refugees abroad, distributing propaganda material that denied the persecution, and trying to persuade the authorities in democratic countries that asylum should not be granted and refugees should be deported back to China—where they will be arrested, or worse.

Part of this propaganda, which will surely be reiterated after the UK Conservative Party report, argues that, after all, we know that the CAG is persecuted in China only through CAG’s own statements, studies by scholars somewhat sympathetic to the CAG, and documents by governments and NGOs in countries such as the US and the UK, which are accused of having an anti-China political bias. Academic presses publishing the scholars’ findings and governments issuing reports on Human Rights

The fundamental rights of all human beings to life, freedom, justice, and safety, defined by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.

“>human rights normally have serious procedures to double-check what they publish, but this is not even the main answer to such objections.

What those who claim that the persecution of the CAG is “not proved” overlook is that a rich information about how many CAG members are arrested, sentenced, and detained, not for having committed any crime but simply for attending religious gatherings, evangelizing their relatives or co-workers, or keeping at home CAG literature, is offered every week by CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP sources. Not only decisions sentencing CAG members to long years in Jail

(監獄). A facility where inmates are sent after, and in consequence of, a court decision. Not to be confused with a Detention Center or a Detention House, where the police can send prisoners without a court decision.
 

“>jail are regularly published in CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP media. China, as I and some colleagues reported in a study of hundreds of such cases, maintains the largest data base of court decisions in the world. This data base, while admittedly not complete, publishes every year decisions sending to Jail

(監獄). A facility where inmates are sent after, and in consequence of, a court decision. Not to be confused with a Detention Center or a Detention House, where the police can send prisoners without a court decision.
 

“>jail hundreds of CAG members, sentenced just for the normal practice of their religion. Who tells the world that CAG members are persecuted? Primarily, it is not Bitter Winter, the UK Conservative Party, or the US Department of State. It is the CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP itself, and why should we doubt the CCP

It stands for Chinese Communist Party, which from 1949 controls all social and political life in China. Members of CCP should in principle be self-proclaimed atheists. The ultimate goal of CCP is suppression of religion. However, how this goal is achieved has varied during time, and after Chairman Mao’s death the CCP has acknowledged that, notwithstanding its efforts, religions may survive in China for a long time.

“>CCP’s own documents?


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