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Advancing a peaceful transition to democracy in China through truth, understanding, citizen power, & cooperative action

Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Posted on Nov 12, 2017 in No Category | Comments Off on Declaration of Unity – Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016 Dharamsala, India We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions. First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society. Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of Indian participants, we express our utmost respect for the historical moral leadership of Mahatma Gandhi. On the one hand, his example of non-violent Satyagraha is extremely relevant for all our causes. At the same time, we appreciate his demonstration that the struggle for freedom is a natural and inherent part of Asian cultures, based on truly universal principles. We also take this opportunity to express our hope for ever-greater solidarity from Indian friends and partners to uphold these principles across Asia. Third, in order to be ready to peacefully resolve differences between ethnic, faith, linguistic, and cultural groups when the CCP regime collapses, we must redouble our efforts to strengthen mutual understanding and solidarity. Therefore, we take away with us the following recommendations for joint actions or heightened solidarity: — Extend mutual support for preservation of historical memory of human rights violations, through museums, education programs, etc. For example, we may promote the inclusion of the Tiananmen Massacre or/and the Tibetan Uprising in the UNESCO “Memory of the World” register as these events approach their 30th and 60th anniversaries, respectively. We should work together to seek the truth about the two Tiananmen tankmen. — Share experiences of recent social movements, especially youth movements, such as the Sunflower Movement in Taiwan and the Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong. — Support legal actions against perpetrators from the CCP regime, following the model begun by Falun Gong lawsuits against Jiang Zemin in all provinces of China and 28 countries. We will consider how to target more CCP officials for a broader range of crimes against humanity. — Support efforts by both civil society and governments to monitor and expose CCP activities abroad, including Confucius Institutes, investments and other commercial relations with the international media, and influence over researchers and opinion leaders. — Support enactment of laws and related policies such as the so-called “Global Magnitsky Act” currently under consideration by the US Congress, that would restrict the entry or activities, including economic and financial activities, of CCP officials who have committed human rights violations. — Uphold the rights of self-determination for all peoples, as set forth in common Article 1 of the International Covenant for Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant for Economic and Social Rights. — Call attention to the concerted efforts of the CCP regime to eradicate cultural, linguistic, and religious diversity within the territory under its control. We are concerned that such efforts are accelerating in recent years, notably including: λ Tightened restrictions on Tibetan Buddhism, Christianity, Islam, and Falun Gong λ Development policies that destroy the nomadic way of life, such as the forced relocation of 1.2 million Tibetan nomads between 2003-2010, and the restriction of herding in Southern Mongolia. λ Limited opportunities for Tibetan, Uyghur and Mongolian language education λ Downgrading of the status of the Cantonese language in Hong Kong education (we note that Cantonese, Hokkien, Hakka, and other Chinese languages are not dialects, but the true mother tongues of their respective peoples) λ Destruction of cultural heritage such as the recent demolition of the old city of Kashgar — Raise the awareness of violations of economic and social rights by the CCP regime, especially but by no means only in non-Han areas, including the right to movement and the rights to food, water, housing, health, employment. — Recognize that the environmental degradation throughout the PRC is a threat not only to the health and livelihoods of local residents, but indeed to the whole world. Of particular concern are the climate change on the Tibetan Plateau and desertification in East Turkestan and Southern Mongolia. — Express our concern at recent crackdown on civil society within China, notably the crackdown on human rights lawyers that began on July 9, 2015, we condemn the “Foreign NGO Management Law” adopted on April 28, which expressly aims at disrupting international cooperation on human rights. — Recognizing the huge numbers of prisoners of conscience in China today, raise particular awareness for some highly salient cases, including: λ The 29 human rights lawyers still under detention after the July 9 crackdown, who are at high risk of torture and long prison sentences. λ Tibetan writer Shokjang λ Human rights defender Guo Feixiong, currently at high health risk λ Southern Mongolian activist Hada, currently at high health risk, and his family λ The six activists within China who have been imprisoned for their expression of solidarity with the Hong Kong Umbrella movement λ Uyghur scholar Ilham Tohti. —Pay attention to the issue of transparency around enforced disappearances, within the Uyghur and Tibetan communities in particular. At the beginning of April, the mother of a young Uyghur man who was disappeared by the state back in July 2009 (among many others), was put on trial after she spoke to RFA about the case (Patigul Ghulam), yet her case has not been made public and very few details have been released. Although this is a single case, it is representative of the state’s response to those looking for answers about their missing relatives and will likely act to put a chill on others looking for similar answers. — Support restrictions on international organ tourism to China. Finally, we call on the new government taking office in Taiwan to adopt a refugee law that fulfils international human rights standards, so that political refugees from China, Tibet, or other countries may be able to seek necessary protection in Taiwan.

Eleventh Interfaith/Interethnic Leadership Conference Declaration of Unity April 30, 2016   Dharamsala, India   We — representatives of a wide diversity of nationalities, ethnic groups, faith groups, and human rights activists — gathered for a closed-door discussion of “Strengthening Our Alliance to Advance the Peoples’ Dreams: Freedom, Justice, Equality and Peace.” After a rich sharing of our experiences, we have reached some initial reflections and suggestions for future actions.   First, from our stay in Dharamsala, we have directly felt the tremendous significance of the ongoing moral leadership of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama for all of humanity. Furthermore, we express our strong appreciation for determination of the whole Tibetan community, despite the great difficulties in exile, to develop democratic institutions and civil society.   Second, from our stay in India, and our interactions with a wide variety of...

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IFC/CP Statement on Liu Xiaobo’s Condition

Posted on Jun 26, 2017 in House Arrest of Liu Xia, Liu Xiaobo's Case, News, No Category, Prisoners of Conscience, Publications | Comments Off on IFC/CP Statement on Liu Xiaobo’s Condition

We are shocked and saddened to learn that China’s only Nobel Peace laureate Liu Xiaobo has recently been diagnosed with advanced liver cancer. We are relieved that he has been released from prison for medical treatment. However, we are seriously concerned that the Chinese regime will continue to deny Liu Xiaobo freedom, restrict his movement, and prevent him from receiving adequate medical care. The transfer from prison to hospital does not guarantee that his friends or family will be able to visit. We therefore strongly urge the Chinese authorities to let Liu Xiaobo free, ensure he received effective access to his family, allow him to choose where and how he wants to be treated. If Liu Xiaobo and his family choose to seek medical treatment overseas, IFC/CP will provide full assistance. We believe that the Chinese Communist regime is...

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Staff suspended at Voice of America after interview with fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui

Posted on May 4, 2017 in International Relations, News, No Category, Rule of Law in China | Comments Off on Staff suspended at Voice of America after interview with fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui

SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST Staff suspended at Voice of America after interview with fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui   Broadcaster says decision based on journalistic principles – not pressure from the US or China PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 May, 2017, 9:05pm UPDATED : Wednesday, 03 May, 2017, 5:48pm Source: http://www.scmp.com/news/china/policies-politics/article/2092376/staff-suspended-voice-america-after-interview-fugitive A group of journalists at US ­government-funded broadcaster Voice of America (VOA) had been suspended after they were involved in an interview with ­Chinese fugitive tycoon Guo Wengui last month, one of the ­reporters said on Tuesday. Mandarin service host Dong Fang said on Twitter that the ­measure against him was part of an unspecified investigation. In a written reply to the South China Morning Post, the broadcaster confirmed the suspension of VOA Mandarin service chief ­Sasha Gong Xiaoxia and four ­other Mandarin service employees over the interview, but denied it had...

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The Story of a Uyghur Freedom Fighter in a Journalistic Career

Posted on Nov 10, 2016 in News, No Category, Op Ed, Uyghur | Comments Off on The Story of a Uyghur Freedom Fighter in a Journalistic Career

by Ayesha   Dear everyone, I would like to share with you a simple but impressive story of a Uyghur lady in exile, who has been fighting with a dragon, the Chinese government, using her broadcasting profession as a weapon. Her name is Gulchehra Abduqeyum Hoja and her people used to call her Gul, which means flower. She is very well known to the Uyghurs because of her unique style in TV programs back home as well as in the Radio Free Asia (RFA) based in Washington, DC, USA. Let’s get to know her a little bit more through her past.   Gul was born in Urumchi, the regional capital of East Turkistan, which is currently called Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, to the family of a recognized Uyghur intellectual. She was a precious gift to this family because her...

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Times Wang: When Trudeau visits China, spare a thought for my father

Posted on Aug 29, 2016 in No Category | Comments Off on Times Wang: When Trudeau visits China, spare a thought for my father

The Global and Mail When Trudeau visits China, spare a thought for my father Times Wang Published Friday, Aug. 26, 2016 6:00AM EDT   Times Wang of Montreal is a lawyer based in Washington, D.C. His family’s website provides details about his father’s case. When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau visits China next week, my family and I will be watching very closely. We are Canadian Chinese, but our particular interest in his visit stems not from heritage, but from heartache. My father is Chinese political prisoner Wang Bingzhang, whose experience of Canadian democracy led him to devote his life to democracy activism. After obtaining his PhD from McGill University, he started several opposition parties, including in China, from which he was exiled and expelled.  Fourteen years ago, he was kidnapped in Vietnam and taken to China, where he was held incommunicado for...

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Liu Xiaodong, Pregnant Wife of China’s Prominent Dissident Zhao Changqing’s, and Their 4 Year Old Boy Escape to America

Posted on Jul 20, 2016 in No Category | Comments Off on Liu Xiaodong, Pregnant Wife of China’s Prominent Dissident Zhao Changqing’s, and Their 4 Year Old Boy Escape to America

Initiatives for China/Citizen Power for China July 19, 2016 Washington, D.C. On the afternoon of July 19, Liu Xiaodong, the pregnant wife of China’s prominent dissident Zhao Changqing’s, along with their 4 year old son, Zhao Yaokun, arrived at San Francisco International Airport from Bangkok, Thailand. She was, escorted by Dr.Yang Jianli, president of Initiatives for China/ Citizen Power for China (IFC/CPFC).   Her husband, Zhao Changqing has been one of China’s leading human rights and democracy defender since the 1989 Tiananmen Students Movement. As a former student leader in Tiananmen Square and a prominent political “prisoner of conscience,” he has been imprisoned five times in 27 years. Released just a week ago, he is living in China under heavy surveillance.   Escaping China’s “persecution by association,” of prisoners’ relatives, Zhao’s wife and son left China this May and went to Bangkok, Thailand, with...

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Statement on Nomination of the Tank Man Images and Video Footage for the UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Posted on Jun 1, 2016 in Highlights, News, No Category, Op Ed, Publications, Tiananmen Massacre to Memory of the World Register, Two Tank Men | Comments Off on Statement on Nomination of the Tank Man Images and Video Footage for the UNESCO Memory of the World Register

Statement by Initiatives for China on  Nomination of the Tank Man Images and Video Footage  for the UNESCO Memory of the World Register June 1, 2016   Initiatives for China is pleased to announce that along with the Newseum and world-renowned photographer Charlie Cole, it has nominated the Tank Man images and video footage captured by international journalists during the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests in Beijing as documentary heritage for inscription into UNESCO Memory of the World (MoW) Register. The nomination submitted on the eve of the 27th anniversary of the early-morning June 4 massacre serves as an appropriate commemoration of the hundreds, even thousands of victims. The nomination includes the selected images and video footage from five photojournalists and two cameramen who risked their lives to record the heroic act of the “Tank Man”, a still-unidentified young Chinese man,...

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