Tony Blair's visit to China, Mon 21 – Fri 25 July: Amnesty International's major concerns

Amnesty International is very concerned about the continuing and extremely serious violations of human rights being committed in China, and hopes that the Prime Minister will put these at the centre of his discussions with the Chinese authorities. Further statistics and case studies are available documenting these concerns:

Death Penalty

In 2002 Amnesty International recorded 1,060 executions by shooting or lethal injection in China – more than in the rest of the countries of the world put together – and the true figure is believed to be much higher.

There is concern that a 'strike hard' anti-crime campaign has led to unfair trials and the use of the death penalty for non-violent crimes such as tax fraud.


Systematic and widespread use of kicking, beating, electric shocks, suspension by the arms, food and sleep deprivation; allegations are rarely investigated; many have died as a result.

Repression of Dissent

Political activists, members of spiritual and religious groups and internet users are regularly arrested and imprisoned for exercising their basic right to freedom of expression.

Tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners (a spiritual movement) are in prison, many in 're-education through labour centres', and are at risk of torture and ill-treatment if they fail to renounce their beliefs.

Social Unrest

Low wages, mass lay-offs and corrupt management practices have led to a wave of labour disputes in China which have been met by the authorities with intimidation, arrests and long prison sentences.


Freedom of expression, religion and association continue to be severely restricted in Tibet. Hundreds of prisoners of conscience, including many monks and nuns, remain in prison, and reports persist of deaths in custody, torture and ill-treatment.


Amnesty International is very concerned about the treatment of those who campaign for better treatment of people who are HIV-positive or who have AIDS.

It is believed that up to a million people may have been infected with the AIDS virus after selling their blood to government-sanctioned blood-collecting stations in the 1990s. The stations were unsafe. Amnesty International has received reports of arrests and detentions of people who have been involved in demonstrations calling for better healthcare. More information...

Hong Kong

While Amnesty International was pleased to see the authorities defer recent plans for 'anti-subversion' legislation in Hong Kong, we are monitoring the situation and do not wish to see the introduction of any new laws which restrict fundamental freedoms.

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