BEIJING – Several international NGOs criticized the European Union on Monday for not condemning China for human rights abuses.
The criticism came three days ahead of a fresh round of talks between China and the EU regarding the matter.
“On three occasions over three weeks, the EU demonstrated no intention, compassion, or strategic vision to stem the tide of human rights abuses in China,” the China Director of Human Rights Watch, Sophie Richardson, said in a statement.
“The EU should not further harm its credibility, but rather redirect its efforts toward bringing meaningful change,” she added.
According to the nonprofit, the human rights talks between China and the EU, scheduled to take place on June 22, had been marred since their inception due to the lack of clearly articulated benchmarks and the exclusion of independent Chinese voices.
HRW urged the EU to suspend the meeting instead of continuing with a “meaningless low-level exercise” and fight for the release of those individuals detained, imprisoned or forcibly disappeared by the Chinese government.
Richardson rued that on June 4, the EU did not mark the 28th anniversary of the Tiananmen massacre, in which several hundred Chinese students were killed during pro-democracy protests, or even denounce the Chinese government for its crackdown on its critics.
The head of Amnesty International’s European Institutions Office, Iverna McGowan, also criticized the EU, claiming it had stopped talking about human rights violations by the Chinese government.
“The EU’s failure to speak out on Beijing’s rights violations is a body blow to independent activists across China and a betrayal of the EU’s proclaimed human rights commitments,” she said.