June 14, 2007
Human Rights in China Issues Report of States Secrets in China
From the press release:
State Secrets: China's Legal Labyrinth examines how China's complex and opaque state secrets system sweeps a vast universe of information into the state secrets net, including: incidence of people who contract any kind of occupational illness; statistics on trafficking in women and children; information on unusual deaths in prisons, re-education through labor and juvenile detention facilities; guidelines for making contact with religious organizations overseas; statistics held by the All China Federation of Trade Unions on strikes; and data on water and solid waste pollution.
The report makes available an extensive compilation of laws, regulations and official documents, many in English translation for the first time, and details how China's wholesale classification of information has a powerful chilling effect on freedom of expression and the media. China's state secrets system also has significant consequences for international media, scholars and researchers, the business community and international policymakers, including those in the health and environmental arenas—all of whom rely on the free flow of accurate, transparent and reliable data and information. The SARS crisis in 2004, and the contamination of the Songhua River in 2006, which affected millions of lives in China and Russia, serve as particularly deadly examples.
Hat tip to Chinese Law Prof Blog. [JH]
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