April 4, 2019
Joint Press Release by Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, International Federation for Human Rights, International Campaign for Tibet, and the International Service for Human Rights
(Brussels, April 4, 2019) – European Union leaders should press their Chinese counterparts on the deteriorating human rights situation in the country during the EU-China Summit in Brussels on April 9, 2019, five human rights groups said today. They should amplify concerns raised during the EU-China human rights dialogue on April 1-2 and call on Chinese authorities to close “political education” camps in Xinjiang and free imprisoned dissidents.
In the weeks leading up to the summit, the EU and leaders of member states have had multiple opportunities to raise human rights concerns in meetings with their Chinese counterparts. Yet EU High Representative Federica Mogherini, and later French President Emmanuel Macron, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, all failed to publicly reference or call for an end to growing human rights violations in China.
“The EU and its member states have publicly pledged to ‘throw their full weight’ behind human rights advocates, and that promise is being tested amid the ruthless crackdown and rapidly deteriorating human rights environment in China,” said Lotte Leicht, EU advocacy director at Human Rights Watch. “The EU-China Summit is an important opportunity for the EU to send strong public messages on rights to the Chinese leadership.”