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Report: China Has Least Regard for Its Own Citizens

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In a recent assessment by the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI), China has been identified as the country with the least regard for the civil rights of its own citizens. This New Zealand-based project, which monitors the human rights performance of various nations, has placed China at the bottom of the global list in terms of safety from state actions and the right to assemble. This finding is a stark reminder of the challenges faced by individuals in countries where freedoms we often take for granted are severely restricted.

The HRMI’s report, which began tracking human rights since 2017, highlighted China’s particularly poor performance on several indicators. In 2022, for the first time, the initiative included freedom of religion and belief in its analysis. Here too, China scored the lowest, although the pilot study only covered nine countries. This addition underscores the expanding scope of human rights considerations and the need for continual monitoring of these fundamental freedoms worldwide.

From the Human Rights Measurement Initiative (HRMI):

One of the most alarming revelations of the report is China’s ranking on freedom from arbitrary arrest. The only country scoring worse in this category was Kazakhstan, putting China in a troublingly close second place for this negative distinction. This suggests a high likelihood of citizens in China being arrested or otherwise infringed upon by their own government, highlighting a significant breach of basic human rights.

The situation in Hong Kong, a special administrative region of China, has also deteriorated in recent years, as noted by the HRMI. The crackdown on the pro-democracy movement in 2019 and 2020 led to a rapid decline in many rights. The freedom of assembly index saw a nearly 40% decline, and the freedom of expression index dropped by 33%. Although Hong Kong’s score on the freedom from arbitrary arrest index improved, this was attributed to the effectiveness of the repressive measures, indicating a decrease in reported violations due to the suppression of dissent rather than an actual improvement in conditions.

The global health crisis caused by Covid-19 saw a decline in health scores for most countries. However, China’s health score remained steady, reflecting the relatively low number of deaths before the zero-Covid policy was abandoned in 2022.

One would have expected this, given the totalitarian nature of its government, but the measurements are still chilling.

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