Human Rights Watch Assails Abuses In Russia, China, Criticizes Trump

Daniel Fowler
January 15, 2020

The report's release comes after HRW executive director Kenneth Roth said he was denied entry to Hong Kong - with no reason given by immigration authorities.

Noting that the SAR government is ready to provide diversified services and suitable support for the elderly to enjoy their golden years in face of an aging population, Lam suggested to combine the Normal Old Age Living Allowance Scheme (OALA) with Higher OALA, so that qualified elderly people aged 65 or above would receive a standard payment rate of 3,585 Hong Kong dollars (491 US dollars) per month.

"Coupled with the Belt and Road Initiative, the Greater Bay Area development will ensure long-term prospects for Hong Kong's economy", she said, adding that through the two national policies, Hong Kong will enhance its role as a business bridge between the Chinese mainland and the rest of the world.

In a section on Hong Kong, the HRW report said Hong Kong police used "excessive force" to disperse protesters, including by "beating those subdued on the ground".

It criticised Hong Kong's pro-Beijing leader Carrie Lam for refusing to launch an independent investigation into police abuses.

The HRW reportcited a slew of violations ranging from the mass detention of Uyghur Muslims in the far-western autonomous region of Xinjiang, to increased censorship, to the use of technologies for mass surveillance and social control.

According to the International Monetary Fund, Hong Kong's economy contracted by 1.9% in 2019.

"Beijing has long suppressed domestic critics", Roth said.

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The group's annual report accuses Chinese President Xi Jinping's government of overseeing 'the most brutal and pervasive oppression that China has seen for decades - allegation that have sparked a furious response from a Chinese official. Other estimates put the number at two million.

It insists that its vast camps in the province are centers for "vocational training", and "de-radicalization", where people learn job skills and are then free to leave.

The trade deal between the United States and China, which suffered significant setbacks throughout the year, and yet remains to be signed, also didn't help the city's economic prospects.

The report also urged governments and worldwide financial institutions to offer "compelling, rights-respecting alternatives to China's "no strings" loans and development aid", which has been slammed by critics as a form of "debt-trap" diplomacy.

"(US President Donald) Trump has lost credibility because he so often embraces friendly autocrats, rather than defend the human rights standards that they flout", Roth said.

It also singled out the European Union for a failure to adopt a "strong common voice" on human rights, both in China and around the world, and noted that it was instead distracted by Brexit, nationalism and migration. He added that Beijing rejected the report's content, and that HRW failed to mention that China has lifted 700 million people out of poverty.

Asked about Mr Roth's case on Monday, China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters it was China's "sovereign right" to decide who should be granted entry and who should be denied.

He warned that if human rights aren't defended, the world could face "a dystopian future in which no one is beyond the reach of Chinese censors" and a global rights system so weakened that it can no longer serve "as a check on government repression".

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