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Tuesday, 28 May, 2002, 14:02 GMT 15:02 UK
Amnesty reports on Asia-Pacific abuses
Chinese arrest Falun Gong protesters in March 2002
China's treatment of Falun Gong members was criticised
The annual review by the international human rights group Amnesty International has highlighted increased abuses in many countries in the Asia-Pacific region.

The group criticised the enactment of harsh security legislation in Singapore and Malaysia and accused the Chinese Government of using the war against terrorism to justify action against ethnic Uighur separatists, claiming they are linked to the al-Qaeda network.


There can be no trade-off between human rights and security

Amnesty International
Amnesty also highlighted human rights abuses in the Indonesian provinces of Aceh and Papua, where it said hundreds of civilians disappeared and houses were destroyed as a punishment for separatist attacks against government forces.

China

Amnesty said a campaign against crime in China led to a massive increase in executions - even for crimes such as bribery, tax fraud and selling harmful foods - and "a new wave of executions of people labelled as 'separatists' or 'terrorists'" in the wake of 11 September.


Torture and ill-treatment remained widespread and appeared to increase against certain groups

Report on China
The group also said around 200 members of the banned Falun gong group allegedly died in custody as a result of torture over the past year.

Amnesty criticised Beijing for sending back hundreds or even thousands of North Koreans from north east China, and denying them access to refugee procedures enshrined in the 1951 UN refugee convention.

Indonesia

Indonesia increased its repression of independence movements in Aceh and Papua, the report said, although some of those independence activists were harassing local rights monitors in turn.

Human rights defenders in the territories were also subject to execution, unlawful arrest and torture by the Indonesian authorities, the report noted.

Malaysia

Amnesty said that since April 2001 when Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that Malaysia would depart from international norms in order to preserve national stability, Malaysia has made increased use of its Internal Security Act (ISA) which allows for detention of up to two years without trial, renewable indefinitely.

Amnesty said ISA detainees reported that they were subjected to intense psychological pressure, intimidation, at times amounting to torture.

Burma

The rights group welcomed the release of pro-democracy leader Aung San Suu Kyi from 19 months of house arrest, but stressed that extrajudicial killings, political imprisonment and forced labour continued in the military-run state.


Death from exhaustion and lack of medical care continued to be reported

Report on Burma

The report said some 1,600 political prisoners remained in prison by the end of 2001 and forced labour continued to be reported in ethnic minority camps.

Those sent to labour camps continued to face death from fatigue and lack of medical care.

South Korea

The report noted that more than 1,600 conscientious objectors to military service, mostly Jehovah's Witnesses, were serving three-year prison sentences at the end of 2001.

The conditions they were held in were often freezing, overcrowded, and the prisoners often were dealt harsh and arbitrary punishments, the report said.

North Korea

The review said that North Koreans fleeing to China reported public executions and that most of the crimes which North Korea said were punishable by death were vaguely worded political offences.

See also:

23 May 02 | Asia-Pacific
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