Sophie Richardson, Human Rights Watch

Sophie Richardson

Human Rights Watch

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  • Human Rights Watch
  • Los Angeles Times
  • Newsweek
  • ChinaFile
  • Al Jazeera English
  • Fox News
  • Quartz

Past articles by Sophie:

G20 Leaders Should Publicly Challenge China’s Xi on Abuses

Most of the world leaders attending the G20 summit in Indonesia this week are expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time since he secured an unprecedented third term in power in October and the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. → Read More

UN Rights Body Should Debate Xinjiang Report

This week the credibility of the United Nations Human Rights Council is on the line over an extraordinarily modest request: to hold a debate on a recent report from the UN high commissioner for human rights on abuses in the Xinjiang region of China. → Read More

A UN Report Implicates the Chinese Government in Crimes Against Humanity. What Comes Next?

Mere minutes before the end of her four-year mandate at midnight on Aug. 31, United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet released a long-delayed and long-awaited report on the Chinese government’s human rights violations against Uyghurs and other Turkic communities in the Xinjiang region. The report’s findings confirm wide-scale evidence of mass arbitrary detentions,… → Read More

Hong Kong Delegation Faces UN Scrutiny on Rights

United Nations independent human rights experts in Geneva finished questioning Hong Kong government officials today. → Read More

UN Rights Chief – Again – Promises Xinjiang Report

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet’s statement that her office will release its long-awaited report on Chinese government human rights violations in the Xinjiang region before she steps down in August should have prompted cheers. Instead, the announcement has been received with skepticism and weariness. → Read More

Why China's 'diplomatic assurances' are not to be trusted

There is plenty of evidence that China’s “diplomatic assurances” are not to be trusted. Yet New Zealand’s Supreme Court, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Justice Minister Kris Faafoi have all concluded that the Chinese government is committed to fair trials, opposed to torture, and trustworthy with respect to its “diplomatic assurances” to Wellington in the case of Kyung Yup Kim. → Read More

How China’s Authorities Aim to Control Tibetan Reincarnation

Despite draconian controls on the flow of information between Tibet and the outside world, word recently emerged of the death of an 86-year-old lama named Tulku Dawa in Lhasa, and attempts by the Chinese government to keep it secret. → Read More

Dutch University Hit by Chinese Government Funding Scandal

The Vrije Universiteit (Free University) of Amsterdam, which describes itself as “encouraging … broader minds,” is the latest academic institution to be embarrassed over problematic funding from the Chinese government. → Read More

Chinese Authorities Double Down on Tibetan Reincarnations

Since 2007, Chinese authorities have imposed regulations limiting the recognition of reincarnate lamas, which include most of the religious leaders in Tibetan Buddhism. → Read More

UN to Release Much-Anticipated Rights Report on China

For decades, Uyghurs, Kazakhs, and others in Xinjiang have endured severe repression and discrimination, including enforced disappearances, pervasive surveillance, and constraints on practicing Islam. → Read More

Biden Needs to do More Than Raise Rights Issues at Xi Summit

The Biden administration deserves credit for calling out Chinese government crimes against humanity targeting Uyghurs; recently imposed sanctions and a business advisory on Hong Kong; and participation in joint statements at the United Nations condemning the Chinese government’s human rights violations. But it’s not clear that the Biden administration has specific human rights goals, let alone a… → Read More

Sweden Should Press China to Release Swedish Book Publisher

This week marks the sixth anniversary since Chinese authorities abducted Gui Minhai, a Swedish book publisher, from his home in Thailand in 2015. → Read More

UN Rights Chief to Report on China’s Abuses in Xinjiang

In just two sentences, the United Nations human rights chief signaled this week that time is up on the Chinese government’s attempts to evade international scrutiny for its sweeping human rights abuses. → Read More

In China, Chinese Now Tops Tibetan

The shift starkly conveys to the Tibetan public what the government has not said openly. → Read More

Is China’s Human Rights Diplomacy Backfiring?

As international support builds for an investigation into alleged crimes against humanity in the northwest region of Xinjiang, the Chinese government’s insistence that “national sovereignty” should shield it from scrutiny seems increasingly desperate. → Read More

Families of Activists Who Flee Xinjiang Pay a Heavy Price

For members of the Uyghur diaspora – people of Turkic descent who have left the Xinjiang region of China, where state repression runs deep – the decision to speak publicly about arbitrarily detained family members or to criticize human rights violations can be excruciating. Will doing so bring greater protection or greater torment to their family members effectively held hostage by Xinjiang… → Read More

Counterterrorism Police ‘Clean Up’ After Tibetan Monk’s Death

Following the January 19 death in police custody of a teenage Tibetan monk, Chinese authorities have commenced an operation to “clean up” Tibetan homes in the grassland town of Dza Wonpo, Sichuan province. → Read More

China’s ‘Slanders and Smears’ at UN Human Rights Council

The Chinese government has rejoined the United Nations Human Rights Council, and this week, diplomats opted for open hostility. → Read More

Biden Must Stand Up to China on Human Rights

Raise human rights in meetings with senior Chinese government officials. Speak publicly and clearly about abuses instead of only to diplomats behind closed doors. Put the rights of China’s 1.4 billion citizens on the agenda in all major interactions with Chinese policymakers, whether these concern trade, climate change, or anything else. → Read More

China’s “Untenable Operating Environment” for Business in Xinjiang

The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI), an independent organization that promotes sustainably grown and responsibly harvested cotton, announced last week it would cease all its activities in Xinjiang, the region of northwest China where millions of Turkic Muslims are subjected to serious human rights violations, including significant risk of forced labor. → Read More