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Online Petition: Block China’s UN Human Rights Council Membership

Online Petition: Block China’s UN Human Rights Council Membership
The UN election for China to an influential Human Rights Council seat takes place on November 12th, 2013. This seat would cement China’s ability to control the direction and priorities of international human rights activity.

China’s pervasive contempt for human rights is well-documented by UN monitors, human rights organizations, and the US State Department. Chinese prisons hold tens of thousands of dissidents persecuted for their faith, ethnicity, or political beliefs, including Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo. For decades, China has impeded worldwide efforts by the United States to effectively monitor or reduce human rights abuses in UN member states.

The United States cannot allow China to gain a world leadership position on human rights. By voting NO, we will be taking a stand for not just our own values, but the basic rights of millions worldwide protected by the Human Rights Council.
 
Petition Link: http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/block-chinas-un-human
 
Below is a speech Dr. Yang Jianli made in front of the UN in Geneva, calling for joint action against China’s next election to UN Human Rights Council.
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We Are Going to Win
Oct. 22, 2013
 

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I am standing in solidarity with all of you for the human rights of everyone, the Tibetans, the Uyghurs, the Mongolians, and the Chinese.

I am the Chinese citizen YANG Jianli.  I am not speaking to “interfere with China’s internal affairs.” Rather, I am voicing the concerns of a Chinese citizen, concerns which should be heard by the international community.

In the course of its affairs as a great nation, China has left large fingerprints on the canvas of human events.  With regard to human rights, these fingerprints place China at the scene of so many activities, both domestic and international, that are so outside the norm of civilized nations, that its membership in the Nations Human Rights Council defies logic, reason and common sense.                                                                                                                                           

To put it simply, a country’s qualification for UNHRC membership is based on how it treats its own people and how it helps promote the human rights of other peoples around the world.

In considering China’s record, we need look no further than these individuals, groups, events, and policies:

The Tiananmen Massacre, the Tiananmen mothers;  Liu Xiaobo and his wife Liu Xia, Wang Bingzhang, Dhondup Wangchen, Ghetret Niyaz, Hada;  Tibetans, Uyghurs, Mongolians; House Churches, Falun Gong, Forced Abortions, Forced Evictions, Forced Disappearances, Black Jails; …

Almost a quarter century has passed since the Tiananmen Massacre, yet the Chinese government has never admitted its wrongdoing, and has continually repressed any individuals and groups who have been working to expose the truth and commemorate the victims.

The government that massacred its own citizens in the heart of its capital is the very same government who today continues to routinely imprison, torture, and exile its best citizens for no other reason than exercising the right to speak freely. It is the same government who pursues cultural genocide on Tibetans, Uyghurs and Mongolians and religious purges on Christians and Falun Gong practitioners, and whose foreign policies and models of repression enable the morally bankrupt regimes of North Korea, Iran, and Syria to suck freedom and dignity from its people.  Its paranoia and insecurity drive it to extend its tyranny beyond its borders.  Its disdain for human dignity now openly challenges the very foundation of civilization itself.

Today we jointly declare it is wrong to allow the world leading human rights violator China to sit on the UN Human Rights Council, as my friend and colleague Hu Jia put it, it is “like putting the murderer on the seat of the judge.”

Surely any member of the UNHRC should, subscribe in practice as well as principle, to the rights outlined the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But China has so far failed the minimum test I proposed a few years ago. To be a member of the UN Human Rights Council, at a minimum, a country must allow the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to be distributed freely. Can I distribute its copies freely in Tiananmen Square? Can you, my dear Tibetan brothers and sisters, distribute its copies freely in Lhasa? Or, Can you, my Uyghur brothers and sisters, distribute its copies in Urumqi?

                                                            

Under current rules, any country needs 97 votes at the UN General Assembly to become a member of the UN Human Rights Council. If each and every democracy votes “No,” the chances for China are zero. Such a vote on China will test any democratic country’s commitment to democracy and human rights. Therefore, we call on all democracies not to humiliate your great country and voters, and choose to cast a “No” vote on China, in the name of humanitarian principles.

Yes, I said humiliation. It is humiliating to your great country and your great people if you fail to stop the murderer from sitting on the seat of the judge when you can. It is humiliating to your great country and your great people if you think it is okay for a country who does not even allow an important UN document be freely distributed to sit on a UN body which is meant to protect and defend the principles embodied in that document.

Dear friends, I once again call on each and every one of us to join hand in hand and raise voices on the world stage in and on behalf of human rights, in and on behalf of human dignity. We the people dare to launch our first war against the dictatorship in the history of the United Nations. And we are going to win.

Thank you.

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