U.S. House of Representatives Passes Resolution H. Res. 530 Urging International Censure of China for Human Rights Abuses
WASHINGTON, D.C.: The House of Representatives today passed by a wide margin a resolution H. Res. 530 urging the international community to sternly rebuke the People's Republic of China for a litany of human rights abuses. The final vote was 402-2.
H. Res. 530 urges the Bush Administration to sponsor and aggressively pursue a resolution condemning China for its human rights abuses at the annual meeting of the United Nation's Commission on Human Rights, which will meet later this month.
The excerpt of the resolution is as below:
"Whereas the annual meeting of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, Switzerland, is the most important international forum for discussing human rights and expressing international support for improved human rights performance;
Whereas according to the Department of State, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, and international human rights organizations, the Government of the People's Republic of China continues to commit well-documented human rights abuses against the Chinese people;
Whereas the People's Republic of China has yet to demonstrate its willingness to abide by internationally accepted norms of freedom of belief, expression, and association by repealing or amending laws and decrees that restrict those freedoms;
Whereas the Government of People's Republic of China continues to ban and criminalize groups it labels as cults or heretical organizations;
Whereas the Government of the People's Republic of China has repressed unregistered religious groups and spiritual movements and persists in persecuting persons on the basis of unauthorized religious activities using such measures as harassment, surveillance, job discrimination, exorbitant fines, prolonged detention, physical abuse, incarceration, and closure or destruction of places of worship;
Whereas international human rights organizations have documented that torture, maltreatment, the use of confessions extracted through torture, and other abuses while in detention are rampant in the Chinese legal system;
Whereas the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has been particularly harsh;
Whereas the Government of the People's Republic of China launched a brutal campaign to eradicate Falun Gong from their country;
Whereas since this time large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, subjected to harsh reeducation efforts, and some have even been tortured to death;
Whereas Falun Gong practitioners continue to report harassment and acts of violence at the hands of foreign nationals which have occurred against them during peaceful protests in the United States and other countries;
Whereas the Federal Bureau of Investigation is currently investigating the possibility of links between attacks against Falun Gong practitioners in the United States and the Government of the People's Republic of China."
The actions that the resolution urged the administration take include:
- the United States Government should continue to insist that the People's Republic of China adhere to fundamental human rights principles and allow its citizens the full enjoyment of those rights;
- at the 60th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva, Switzerland, the appropriate representative of the United States should introduce a resolution calling upon the People's Republic of China to end its human rights violations in China and meet internationally recognized standards for human rights;
- the United States Government should take the lead in organizing multilateral support to obtain passage by the Commission of such a resolution and should draft the resolution in such a way as to highlight specific human rights abuses;
- all countries with representatives at the 60th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission should support passage of such a resolution and resist efforts by representatives of the People's Republic of China to oppose the consideration or passage of such a resolution; and
- United States Government officials and officials from other governments should continue to speak out in international forums and elsewhere against Chinese repression of religious and political freedom, persecution [...]
The actions that the resolution urges the Government of the People's Republic of China take include:
- to take the necessary measures to stop the persecution of all religious practitioners and to safeguard fundamental human rights;
- to release from detention all prisoners of conscience, persons held because of their religious activities, and persons of humanitarian concern;
- to allow the Chinese people to practice freely and openly their religious beliefs;
- to adhere to the provisions and guidelines of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Forms of Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, and the 1951 Convention Relating to Refugees and its 1967 Protocol.
Congressman Chris Smith said in a press release, "On the religious front, there is ongoing aggressive repression of those who want to practice their faith. We see Falun Gong practitioners who are routinely rounded up and beaten and abused; and hundreds have been tortured to death while held in captivity. This oppression is extended to Catholics, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighur Muslims, and others who face similar oppression."
"Already, the PRC is trying to generate favorable public opinion by claiming it will protect human rights and private property rights; but as we have learned over the years, China cannot be trusted to keep its word on human rights. We have a moral duty and obligation to aggressively raise this issue on behalf of the numerous victims who cannot speak for themselves," Smith added.
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