According to Human Rights Watch’s annual report, China is currently facing the darkest period for human rights since the Tiananmen Square massacre.

“This has been the darkest period for human rights in China since the 1989 massacre that ended the Tiananmen Square democracy movement,” states the report on human rights abuses around the world.

The report details that since 2020, under the leadership of General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Xi Jinping, there has been a worsening of persecution directed at ethnic minorities in the Xinjiang , as well as in Inner Mongolia, Tibet ,and repression in Hong Kong.

Reporting on the CCP Virus

It also indicates that the attempts to cover up the outbreak of the CCP Virus add to the deterioration of the situation under Xi’s command, questioning the way in which the voices that tried to warn about the outbreak of the virus were silenced, such as that of the remembered Dr. Li Wenliang or  journalist Zhang Zhan, sentenced to 4 years in prison for denouncing the CCP’s mishandling of the outbreak.

“The Chinese government’s authoritarianism was on full display in 2020 as it grappled with the deadly coronavirus outbreak first reported in Wuhan,” notes the report, which added, “Beijing’s repression, insisting on political loyalty to the Chinese Communist Party, deepened throughout the country.”

In Xinjiang and Tibet

“In Xinjiang, Turkic Muslims continue to be arbitrarily detained on the basis of their identity, while others are subjected to forced labor, mass surveillance, and political indoctrination. In Inner Mongolia, protests broke out in September when education authorities decided to replace Mongolian with Mandarin Chinese in a number of classes in the region’s schools,” the report continued.

Meanwhile in Tibet, authorities continued to “to severely restrict religious freedom, speech, movement, and assembly, and fail to redress popular concerns about mining and land grabs by local officials, which often involve intimidation and unlawful use of force by security forces,” as reported by The Guardian.

The report also details that since June, nearly 90 people have been arrested after the CCP imposed the controversial national security law, which has eroded Hong Kong’s autonomy and prosecutes those who commit crimes of secession, sedition, or foreign collusion.

Internet censorship, mass surveillance, and efforts to “sinicize” the region have also deepened, according to the report. Well-known critics, human rights defenders, and journalists have ended up in jail, disappeared, or forced into exile after being accused of “inciting subversion” or “picking quarrels and provoking trouble.”

It should be noted that during 2020 the repression orchestrated by the Chinese communist regime against supporters of the millennial spiritual discipline Falun Gong, did not cease.

Persecution of Falun Gong continues 

According to the Minghui website, which has documented the brutal persecution of the ancient Chinese spiritual discipline since its inception in 1992, at least 83 practitioners died at the hands of the Chinese regime in 2020.

The report details that 21 of them died while in custody, others as a result of prolonged torture in prisons, others died after being denied medical parole, even though they were in critical condition, while others died as a result of savage beatings in police stations.

Human Rights Watch researcher Yaqiu Wang said that since Xi came to power, “repression has gotten worse and worse overall, in every aspect of Chinese society you can see how the Party is becoming more intolerant of any kind of independent activity.”

To a large extent, the 386-page report focused on China as a result of the international response to the worsening repression in the territory; according to HRW, the world has become confident in criticizing the CCP while previously avoiding retaliation.