China: Northern Ireland's leaders must not trade away human rights during May visit

Amnesty International has responded to news of the forthcoming trip to China by Northern Ireland's First and deputy First Ministers, by calling on them to raise China's dismal human rights record while visiting the country.

Patrick Corrigan, Amnesty International's Northern Ireland programme director, said:

"Trade with China has boosted both our exports and our cultural ties to that country. But in addition to forging stronger economic links, we must take every opportunity to share our respect for human rights, and demand that the authorities in China address their horrendous human rights violations.

"China's human rights record is atrocious. It is the world's number one executioner. A minimum of 190,000 people are in 'administrative detention', many of them in forced labour camps. Human rights activists are targeted for harassment, the use of torture is endemic and the situation in Tibet is of increasing concern.

"Therefore we expect that Peter Robinson and Martin McGuinness will raise the issue of human rights when they visit the country in Autumn.

"This is a matter of values. We must not trade away human rights concerns."

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