• 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
Two dead in Swiss army helicopter crash
The crash happened near the hospice on the Gotthard pass. File photo: swiss-image.ch/Heinz Schwab

Two people died and one other was injured when a helicopter crashed on the Gotthard pass in the Swiss alps on Wednesday.

Bern wants Swiss women to work longer
File photo: Candida Performa

The lower house of parliament has voted to extend women's retirement age by one year to 65.

11 things the Swiss get tired of hearing abroad
The Swiss - don't make them wait in the cold. Photo: Lara de Salis

Swiss student Lara de Salis, currently studying in the UK, explains why she’s sick of hearing foreigners spouting these old clichés.

Switzerland still world’s ‘most competitive’ nation
Switzerland: still enjoying the view from the top. File photo: Robert Boesch

Switzerland has topped the World Economic Forum’s annual competitiveness ranking for the eighth consecutive year.

Swiss hunting season claims human lives
The hunting season started ten days ago. File photo: Umberto Nicoletti

Several hunters have died in accidents over the past few days.

Sacked Fifa executive hits back in Zurich court
Kattner was sacked in May. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP

Fifa's disgraced former secretary general Markus Kattner has begun legal action to challenge his "unjustified" sacking.

Switzerland edges towards nationwide burqa ban
The burqa is already banned in the canton of Ticino. File photo: Antoine Taveneaux

The Swiss lower house of parliament has narrowly approved the idea.

WHO calls for action against air pollution
File photo: Issouf Sarego/AFP

Nine out of 10 people globally are breathing poor quality air, the World Health Organization has said.

Two arrested in police raid on Basel mosque
File photo: Michele Limini/AFP

Police in Basel raided a controversial mosque in the city and arrested two people on Tuesday morning, Swiss media reported.

Families slapped with hefty rise in health costs
File photo: Marcel Grieder

Health insurance premiums will rise by on average 4.5 percent for adults and 6.6 percent for children in 2017.

Sponsored Article
7 tips for learning Swiss French
Photo: AFP
National
Geneva airport bomb hoaxer faces 90,000-franc bill
Photo: Schaffhausen police
National
Mother leaves toddler son alone in car to go clubbing
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
Swiss populist attacked by knife-wielding pensioner
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
Photo: File
Politics
Bern argues over passports for 3rd generation foreigners
Photo: Broad Bean Media
Education
Muslim pupils must shake hands – ‘no ifs and buts’
Photo: AFP
Society
Swiss ‘slave children’ to finally get compensation
Photo: Jan Geerk/Swiss-image.ch
Lifestyle
Zurich named ‘greenest’ city on the planet
Photo: Swiss
National
Brawl over seats forces Swiss to abort flight
Photo: Daniel Stockhammer
Culture
Research shows typical Swiss chalets ‘not actually Swiss’
Photo: AFP
National
Switzerland to get nationwide disaster alert system
Photo: S3
National
Swiss space firm boss left badly injured in violent attack
Photo: ETH Zurich
Education
ETH Zurich crowned best uni in continental Europe – again
File photo: Martin Abegglen
National
Report: Swiss citizenship rules leave some stateless
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
National
Fatal crash: pilot told to fly below safe altitude
Photo: Peter Linke
Business & Money
Elderly Italian on benefits stashed €1m in Swiss bank
Photo: Stuart Richards
Society
Court sides with chickens in dispute over noisy henhouse
Photo: SAC
Lifestyle
Hiking: 7 incredible Swiss Alpine Club cabins
Photo: David Abercrombie
National
Swiss politician arrested over illegal entry of migrants
Photo: Coiffure X
National
Chewbacca stolen in ‘terrorist attack’ on Swiss hair salon
Photo: AFP
National
Foreigners in Switzerland surpass 2 million mark
Photo: AFP
National
Expert predicts major quake for Switzerland by 2040
Photo: The Local
National
Geneva runs out of permits for non-EU workers
Photo:C Carlstead
National
Geneva advises teachers on religion in school
4,407
jobs available