China’s human rights environment continues to deteriorate as Chinese President Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump prepare to meet at a summit on April 6-7, 2017, at Mar-a-Lago in Florida, according to Human Rights Watch.
“Torture, disappearances, imprisoning peaceful advocates, destroying religious communities, internet censorship – President Xi has plenty to answer for on these subjects,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch. “But will he be asked – and asked to change course?”
The Chinese government aggressively stepped up its campaign against civil society activists and online speech in the past year. Many peaceful critics of the government remained locked away, including Nobel Peace Laureate Liu Xiaobo and Uighur economist Ilham Tohti. Eight of the human rights lawyers and supporters among the 300 detained during a nationwide raid in July 2015 are still facing trial, while another six have been sentenced.