A new report on the state of human rights in 10 Asian Nations by the Asian Human Rights Commission argues that the absence of the rule of law in Asia “in varying degrees obstructs the realisation of human rights”. The report focuses only on Asian states that have ratified the UN International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and therefore does not deliver a detailed analysis of China, which still refuses to incorporate the Covenant into its national law.

However, the report does raise specific questions about the rule of law in China, stating that “there are hardly any effective means of redress for people who feel that their rights have been violated. China does not recognise a separation of powers between the institutions of the state, and therefore, the independence of the judiciary from the executive does not exist,” and argues that this contradiction must be resolved if China is to make progress in genuinely implementing the rule of law.

The Asian Human Rights Commission also draws links between a lack of rule of law in China and the recent statement by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture that the use of torture remains widespread in China, including Tibet:

“…police and other institutions, such as prisons and rehabilitation centres and the like that are operating outside of the basic framework of the rule of law, will remain sources of torture and other violations of human rights?The wide use of the death penalty is only a reflection of executive action to resolve perceived problems in an arbitrary manner”

Read the full report at www.ahrchk.net