• Switzerland's news in English
 
app_header_v3
China rejects UN rights chief's concerns over arrests
UN rights chief Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein. Photo: UNHRC

China rejects UN rights chief's concerns over arrests

AFP · 17 Feb 2016, 13:48

Published: 17 Feb 2016 13:48 GMT+01:00

Zeid on Tuesday raised concerns about the arrest of an estimated 250 lawyers and activists in a crackdown since July, warning that China appeared to be locking up government critics regardless of whether they had committed a crime.
   
But China said in a statement that "all those cases raised (by Zeid) involve illegal and criminal activities, and has nothing to do with
restrictions of the rights and freedoms".
   
"The High Commissioner made irresponsible comments in disregard of facts," added the statement from Beijing's mission to the UN in Geneva.
   
Zeid made specific reference to the arrests of two prominent rights lawyers, Li Heping and Wang Yu, who were among a group of 15 lawyers arrested in July.
   
The Chinese statement said Wang and other "so-called 'lawyers'" were using a Beijing law firm as a front to organize criminal activity.
   
Regarding the prosecutions against employees of Hong Kong publishing house Mighty Current, which releases works critical of Beijing, China insisted all the cases were consistent with the country's criminal law.
   
Beijing also defended the arrest and subsequent expulsion of Swedish national Peter Dahlin, who had been held on charges of "endangering state security".
   
Responding to Zeid's criticism of the Dahlin case, the statement said the Swede was distributing misleading and distorted information about China's rights record to the international community.
   
"China is ruled by law and everyone is equal before the law," the statement said, charging that the UN rights chief had a "biased, subjective and selective" view of the country.

For more news from Switzerland, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Muslim school kids must swim to be Swiss
Swimming lessons are compulsory in Basel's education system. Photo: Daniel Orth

Two Muslim teenage girls were denied a Swiss passport because they refused to participate in school swimming lessons on religious grounds.

Opinion
Brexit voters ‘misinformed’ on Swiss relations with EU
The Swiss president meets with European leaders on the first Gotthard train. Photo: Ruben Sprich/AFP

Leave campaigners calling for Britain to be like Switzerland did not truly understand Switzerland’s relationship with the EU, one commentator tells The Local.

France demands Swiss bank UBS face fraud trial
File photo: Martin Abegglen

The bank is accused of orchestrating a vast system of tax fraud in France.

Wimbledon
Federer wins uninspired Wimbledon opener
File photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Roger Federer was well short of his best as he advanced to the second round.

Nestlé’s birthday bash ruffles festival feathers
Lausanne's Festival de la Cité has not received the same special dispensation as Nestle, despite asking. Photo: Régis Colombo/Lausanne tourism

Is Nestlé getting special treatment from local authorities?

Germans avoid plunge off Swiss mountain pass
Photo: Graubunden cantonal police

Two holidaymakers had a lucky escape when their brakes failed coming down a mountain pass.

Brexit
Swiss-EU talks ‘must’ resume this summer
Scheider-Ammann will seek talks with European Commission President Juncker. File photo: Emmanuel Dunand

Switzerland will insist it is heard in Brussels and not cast aside by last week’s Brexit vote, the Swiss president has said.

Euro 2016
Unlucky Swiss crash out of Euros on penalties
The Swiss hit the bar and forced the Polish goalkeeper into numerous saves as the match wore on but just couldn't convert a chance. Photo: AFP

Poland beat Switzerland 5-4 in a penalty shootout in the first Euro 2016 last 16 clash on Saturday with new Arsenal star Granit Xhaka missing a crucial kick for the Swiss.

Swiss-based IT worker at Panama Papers firm released
The identity of the man who worked at the Geneva offices of Mossack Fonseca has been withheld. Photo: AFP

A Swiss-based IT worker arrested earlier this month on suspicion of stealing documents from the law firm at the centre of the Panama Papers scandal was released from custody on Friday, his lawyer said.

Six authors who found inspiration in Switzerland
Chillon as it was in Byron's time. Photo: www.mymontreux.ch

It's 200 years since English poet Lord Byron visited Lake Geneva, putting it firmly on the literary map. But he's not the only one to have found inspiration in the country's hills and glaciers...

Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
File photo: Kochtopf
National
Anger as Swiss council plans non-pork school lunches
File photo: Jen/Flickr
Society
Geneva to get 'café fellatio' by end of year
Features
How Switzerland's scenery inspired some of the world's greatest authors
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
A guaranteed basic income: why did the Swiss say no?
Photo: Andreas Gerth/Swiss-Image.ch
Features
Switzerland’s breathtaking Unesco World Heritage sites
Photo: Nestle
Culture
Nestlé celebrates 150 years with museum openings
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
National
Report: Swiss are officially ‘good’ for the planet
Sponsored Article
Why Swiss hospitality graduates are in demand
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
World agog at bizarre Gotthard Base Tunnel opening
Photo: Coop
Swiss supermarkets look to scrap free plastic bags
Photo: IMD
Business & Money
Report: Swiss economy more competitive than US
Photo: Aargau police
National
Murderer escapes from Swiss psych hospital
Photo: Grande-Dixence SA/essencedesign.com
Features
8 fantastic reasons to visit French-speaking Switzerland
Photo: Terroir Fribourg
Lifestyle
Swiss village to make world’s biggest meringue
Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
Photo: Swiss Tourism
Features
10 unspoken rules for fitting in with the Swiss
Photo: Alp Transit Gotthard
National
Gotthard base tunnel: what you need to know
Photo: Caroline Bishop
Sport
Swiss cantons team up to vie for winter Olympic games
Photo: Broad Bean Media
National
Basel: Muslim schoolboys must shake hands or face fine
Photo: Emmanual Dunand/AFP
Sport
Brother of Belgian bomber wins gold in Switzerland
Photo: Gstaad Tourism
National
Snow puts end to hottest weekend of year so far
File photo: Abhishek Jacob
Lifestyle
Swiss court vetoes wedding of couple with 50-year age gap
Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP
Culture
Dog day afternoon: Swiss saint meets Pope in Rome
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Business & Money
Pink diamond sold for record-breaking $31m in Geneva
File photo: Candida Performa
Lifestyle
Revealed: living in Switzerland could prolong your life
4,573
jobs available