White House Protest Scheduled in Support of Human Rights


September 1, 2005

For Immediate Release

(Washington, D.C.)--Amnesty International has asked President Bush to use his upcoming meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao to call for immediate human rights reform in China, including releasing political prisoners; putting an end to unfair trials and executions; allowing political and religious freedom; and abolishing torture and ill-treatment. The requests were included in a 2-page letter to President Bush. Additionally, the organization will voice its concerns the day of the meeting during a rally in front of the White House from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Wednesday, September 7, in Lafayette Park.

"The scale of China's human rights violations is staggering," Amnesty International USA Executive Director Dr. William F. Schulz wrote in the letter to President Bush. "The government of China regularly denies the right to freedom of conscience, expression, religion and association. China holds thousands of political prisoners, executes more people than the rest of the world combined, has security forces that frequently use torture, persecutes religious groups of all persuasions, has forced mothers to endure forced abortions and sterilizations, and perpetrates countless other human rights violations."

Although the Chinese government has made some efforts to bring its policies in line with international humanitarian standards, none have significantly curbed the country's serious and widespread human rights violations. Tibetans, Uighurs, "unofficial" church members, Falun Gong practitioners, democracy activists and political dissidents remain frequent targets of abuse and terror. Other targeted groups include trade union organizers, advocates of reform and "cyber-dissidents," those using the Internet to disseminate "politically sensitive" information. North Korean asylum-seekers also have faced an intense crackdown in China leading to large-scale forced repatriation to North Korea.

"President Bush should use this opportunity to secure a timetable with specific benchmarks for human rights improvements in China in the run-up to the Olympics in Beijing in 2005," said T. Kumar, Amnesty International USA Advocacy Director for Asia and the Pacific. "Failure to do so would send the Chinese government the message that the mistreatment of its citizens is acceptable to the United States."

Amnesty International USA's letter also called on the Chinese government to stop mandatory abortion and sterilization for Chinese women, ban all harvesting of organs from executed prisoners without their free and informed consent[...].

For more information on China and human rights visit: http://www.amnestyusa.org/countries/china/index.do