The Three Evils are defined by the Chinese government as "terrorism, separatism and religious extremism". The phrase is frequently used when referring to counter-terrorism operations undertaken by China, the Central Asian republics, and Russia.
Human Rights Watch has criticized counter-terrorism cooperation by members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in targeting the three evils, accusing the members' governments of violating international laws regarding human rights.
Holly Cartner, Europe and Central Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said, "For many years SCO governments have been criticized for their poor human rights records. The SCO's policies could worsen human rights conditions and seek to justify abuse. It's therefore imperative that the European Union and the United States place even greater emphasis on human rights issues in the region."
- Country Reports on Human Rights Practices - 2005 Released by the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor March 8, 2006
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