For 30 years the Chinese government has systematically repressed political dissent, jailing and even executing large numbers of persons for their political views, Amensty International charges in a report released yesterday.
The report by the human rights organization, which coincides with a highly unusual public campaign for increased rights by many Chinese, calls on the government in Peking to dismantle repressive aspects of its political system and give its people internationally recognized guarantees.
Amnesty won the 1977 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts over the years in behalf of what it calls "prisoners of conscience."
The 176-page report, entitled "Political Imprisonment in the People's Republic of China," says large numbers of Chinese have been subjected to extreme solcial and mental pressures; imprisonment, often without anything resembling due process; and even execution - all because they expressed beliefs that differed from the group in power in Peking or because of their social origina.
"The government of the People's Republic of China is, today, one of those governments which, in the last year, has executed persons convicted of political offenses," the report said.
The report on China differs from many of Amnesty's efforts on behalf of political prisoners since it did not involve on-the-scene inspections or cite a specific number of political prisoners in Chinese jails. It drew heavily on reports and documents published by the Chinese themselves and on extensive interviews with many who have fled China since the Communists came to power almost three decades ago.
Nevertheless, Chinese documents consistently call for suppression of "class enemies," according to the report. These are broadly defined as "landlords," "counter-revolutionaries," "rich peasants," "bad elements" and "rightists". These terms, in turn, have referred to different types of political offenses during varying phases of the evolution of the Communist Party's control of the mainland.
The Chinese press and public officials openly call for suppression of these "class enemies" and openly refer to punishments meted out for such "offenses."
Amnesty International, which is based in London, said it sent copies of its charges and recommendations to Chinese authories inviting their comment, but that there has been no response.
The timing of the report's release is unusual, however, in that it concides with an extraordinary campaign in Peking ostensibly in behalf of greater humaman rights and democratization of the Chinese government.
One wallposter seen recently in Peking was reported by diplomatic sources as saying, "We cannot tolerate human rights and democracy being only slogans belonging to the Western bourgeosie while the Eastern proletariat supposedly needs nothing but dictatorship."
It also has been reported in recent days that some CHinese regularly listen to international radio broadcasts over the Voice of America and the British Broadcasting Corp. Word of the Amnesty report is certain to get back to Peking by these channels. to this extent, it is likely to add to the unusual political ferment in the Chinese capital.
In addition to criticizing Peking for executing people for political differences, the Amnesty report also specifically points out several areas that it says are flagrant violations of elementary rights. These include:
Unlimited pretrial detention once a warrant is issued.
Use of "mass mobilization campaigns" to identify people who differ from official policy.
"Trials" that are nothing more than forums to announce a sentence.
Deprivation of political or civil rights because of a person's "class origin" or political background.
Amnesty called on the Peking government to abolish the death penalty, establish safeguards against torture or inhuman treatment of prisoners, repeal laws calling for punishment of persons for nonviolent expression of their beliefs and ensure quick and open trials.