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Human Rights Commissioner Kofler on the occasion of the German-Chinese Human Rights Dialogue

08.09.2020 - Press release

On the occasion of the German-Chinese Human Rights Dialogue on 8 September 2020, Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, issued the following statement today:

During today’s Human Rights Dialogue with China, we talked about the topics of the rule of law, civil and political rights, minority rights but also other current developments.

For some time now, I have been observing how the human rights situation in China is deteriorating dramatically and falling even further behind international obligations.

We discussed the restrictions on civil and political rights in Hong Kong as a result of the national security law, also in the aftermath of the most recent arrests at the weekend. We addressed the monitoring and persecution of minorities in China, particularly with a view to the disastrous situation of the Uighurs of whom more than a million are currently interned in re‑education camps. We focused on the suppression of freedom of opinion and assembly, as well as the persecution and poor conditions of imprisonment experienced by human rights lawyers. On all of these issues, I was extremely clear in calling for transparency, as well as demanding the respect of human rights standards and international law.

The Chinese side displayed no readiness to look in detail at concrete cases and processes. I clearly expressed this also to my Chinese interlocutors.

As in previous years, I deputised for Minister Maas in leading this dialogue which was also attended by representatives of the Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community, the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and the Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection.

Human rights do not just play a role in the Human Rights Dialogue but in all dialogue formats between Germany and China. We address human rights violations publicly and call upon China to respect its international obligations to protect human rights, most recently at Federal Minister Maas’ meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in early September.

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