Congressional-Executive Commission on China: Annual Report 2006, One Hundred Ninth Congress, Second Session, September 20, 2006   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The Commission is deeply concerned that some Chinese government policies designed to address growing social unrest and bolster Communist Party authority are resulting in a period of declining human rights for China's citizens. The Commission identified limited improvements in the Chinese government's human rights practices in 2004, but backward-stepping government decisions in 2005 and 2006 are leading the Commission to reevaluate the Chinese leadership's commitment to additional human rights improvements in the near term. In its 2005 Annual Report, the Commission highlighted increased government restrictions on Chinese citizens who worship in state-controlled venues or write for state-controlled publications. These restrictions remain in place, and in some cases, the government has strengthened their enforcement. The Communist Party's concern with growing social unrest dominated its policy statements over the past year, and served as justification for increased government interference with, and intimidation and harassment of, individuals and groups that the Party believes may threaten its authority or legitimacy. The government targeted social, political, and legal activists, as well as religious believers who violated strict government limitations on religious practice. In the past year, government efforts to maintain social stability have led to a greater reliance on the coercive powers of the police to subdue potential threats to Party rule. Chinese officials have also taken additional steps in the past year to curb the growth of China's emerging civil society. New government and Party controls have been imposed on courts and judges that may further weaken the independence of the Chinese judiciary. Moreover, the Chinese government continues to use its regulatory control over the Internet and print publishing to censor political and religious expression, to imprison journalists and writers, and to prevent Chinese citizens from having access to independent news sources."

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