The year was marked by harsh crackdowns on human rights defenders and people perceived to be dissidents, as well as the systematic repression of ethnic minorities. The beginning of the year saw the start of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, which killed more than 4,600 people in China. People demanded freedom of expression and transparency after authorities reprimanded health professionals for warning about the virus. At the UN, China was strongly criticized and urged to allow immediate, meaningful and unfettered access to Xinjiang. Stringent restrictions on freedom of expression continued unabated. Foreign journalists faced detention and expulsion, as well as systematic delays to and refusals of visa renewals. Chinese and other tech firms operating outside China blocked what the government deemed politically sensitive content, extending its censorship standards internationally. China enacted its first Civil Code, which received thousands of submissions by the public calling for legalization of same-sex marriage. Hong Kong’s National Security Law led to a clampdown on freedom of expression.
Death penalty status
Retains the death penalty in law
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