After more than a decade of EU-China human rights dialogue, it is time to add up the results and draw conclusions, said a panel of NGOs at a press conference in Brussels in the run-up to the next round of EU-China dialogue in Berlin.
For over 57 years, hundreds of millions of Chinese people have been victims of the Chinese communist regime because they disagreed with the Communist ideology (democracy advocates, labor unionists, human rights defenders, and so on,) or because they resisted the official atheist propaganda and kept practicing their beliefs: Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics, Protestants, and especially Falun Gong practitioners during recent years.
Deprived of the protection of the rule of law and of their basic freedoms, these hundreds of millions have been brutally persecuted and subjected to inhuman treatment.
The international community offered to let China to host the 2008 Olympics with the expectation that China would improve its human rights record, which China publicly promised to do. In reality, as documented by Amnesty International, the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games have been used by the regime to further oppress people in China. rather than improving their individual and collective rights.
In the wake of the EU-China human rights dialogue, several human rights organizations and victims of persecution by the regime have formed a European committee to urge the German Presidency of the EU to condemn ongoing human right violations by the Chinese regime and to take effective actions on the lack of progress made by the regime.
"In view of the forthcoming human rights dialogue between China and the EU, we would like to express our deep concern about the effectiveness of continuing these talks in any meaningful way", stated a representative of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
Amnesty International stated in their most recent press release that there is little evidence of improvement in human rights, particularly relating to the Olympic Games, and that there has been increasing repression of human rights activism and domestic journalism. In fact 'the Olympics have been used by China as a catalyst to extend the use of detention without trial.'
The Canadian government was referred to as an example: "Canadian officials state that "the dialogue was created as a cornerstone of Ottawa's policy of engagement with China on human rights, but today there is 'pervasive cynicism' and 'dialogue fatigue' among most officials. The overriding view of many participants in annual bilateral talks with China is that, although talks have been intended to provide genuine dialogue, they have always descended into a rehearsed propaganda exercise."
Willy Fautré of Human Rights Without Frontiers, as a moderator of the event, highlighted the domestic persecution inside China as well as the export of this policy, such as in Central-Asia where the PRC uses it's influence to have Uyghur activists arrested and repatriated to China for imprisonment or worse.
Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament pointed out that "the European Parliament firmly believes in human rights" and stressed that he "is aware that many individuals and organizations are collecting evidence about the ongoing persecutions in China ," and he firmly believes that "one day there will be a trial in the International Criminal Court.
"The one thing no system can do, is defeat faith", Mr. McMillan-Scott concluded.