The release of the new Human Rights Watch report in New York coincided with the ushering in of the Chinese lunar New Year but it didn’t bring good news: it talked about the sharp crackdown on critics here in a post-Arab Spring environment and cited several cases where human rights activists were targeted.
The global rights agency’s report criticised foreign governments for not taking up human rights issues with Beijing while negotiating economic or bilateral issues.
There was no immediate reac­tion from the authorities as the government is on holiday for the New Year but it’s likely that the report would be dismissed as biased. The report assessed the human rights issues in 90 countries including India.
On China, HRW said: “triggered by the leadership’s nervousness over the Arab Spring uprisings... and by the initial phase of the leadership transition in China, these developments suggest a more hard-line response as the public increasingly demands... respect for the freedoms of association, belief, and expression.”