Originally posted on Reuters.com on January 20, 2015—
“U.S. advocacy group Human Rights Watch on Tuesday urged China to revise draft legislation aimed at combating terrorism, saying it was little more than “a license to commit human rights abuses”.
The law, which was made public for consultation last November, would establish a new counter-terrorism body that would have the power to designate organizations and members as terrorists without any protections of due process.
The draft’s definition of terrorism includes “thought, speech, or behavior” that attempt to “subvert state power”, “incite ethnic hatred” or “split the state”. Subversion and splittism are catch-all charges that have been used against dissidents.
Human Rights Watch China director Sophie Richardson called for the draft law to be brought in line with international standards, saying that “in its present form this law is little more than a license to commit human rights abuses”.
“The Chinese government needs to respect rights, not build a new architecture of surveillance,” Richardson said in a statement.”
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