Release human rights activists, pay them compensation: UN to China

WION Web Team
New York, NY, United StatesUpdated: Oct 20, 2017, 06:55 AM IST

The report from the UN?s human rights council says the trio had their rights violated and calls China?s laws incompatible with international norms Photograph:(Reuters)

The United Nations has demanded that China immediatly release prominant human rights activists from its custody and pay them compensation as per a document which is yet to be made public.

According to a report in The Guardian, which has accessed the unreleased document, Christian church leader Hu Shigen and lawyers Zhou Shifeng and Xie Yang were detained and tried as part of an unprecedented nationwide crackdown on human rights attorneys and activists that began in July 2015. The operation saw nearly 250 people detained and questioned by police.   

The report, which is yet to be released according to The Guardian, from the UN’s human rights council says the trio had their rights violated and calls China’s laws incompatible with international norms.

Hu was jailed for seven-and-a-half years while Zhou was sentenced to seven years on subversion charges, while Xie is awaiting a verdict.

Asking China to act within six months, the report added “The appropriate remedy would be to release Hu Shigen, Zhou Shifeng and Xie Yang immediately, and accord them an enforceable right to compensation and other reparations.” 

The UN’s working group on arbitrary detention, which reviewed the case, rejected Chinese government claims the three men voluntarily confessed to their crimes at their trials and said their detentions were “made in total or partial non-observance of the international norms relating to the right to a fair trial,” according to the report.

The group comprises a panel of five experts that falls under the UN’s human rights council, of which China is a member. While its judgements are not legally binding, it investigates claims of rights violations and suggests remedies.