8 Examples of Human Rights That Aren’t Universal—But Should Be

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Freedom of speech

In China, government censors monitor phones, internet, email, and other forms of communication to ensure that unpopular views are suppressed, Heather Smith-Cannoy, PhD, associate professor of political science at Arizona State University and editor of Emerging Threats to Human Rights: Resources, Violence, and Deprivation of Citizenship, says.

While limitations on these rights apply widely to everyone in China, minority groups that the state targets, including Tibetans and Uyghurs, among others, are especially prone to imprisonment.

“The United States Congressional-Executive Commission on China maintains a Political Prisoner Database which has kept track of cases of political prisoners in China between 1981 and 2018. During those years, the Chinese government has arrested 9,116 political prisoners,” Smith-Cannoy says.

“Those that do publicly speak out against the government can be subject to imprisonment or capital punishment.”

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