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Newseum Freedom Week: Fighting for Free Expression Around the World

The Newseum Institute presents a series of programs and special events at the Newseum Sept. 21 to 26, 2015, covering a range of international issues from religious persecution to the wrongful imprisonment of journalists. Dubbed “Freedom Week,” the week highlights the Newseum and the Newseum Institute’s ongoing efforts, along with those of a number of international organizations, to call the world’s attention to threats faced by journalists, human rights activists and others who work to bring information and freedom to those living under repressive governments.
Throughout the week, daily public programs in the Knight TV Studio and in various Newseum galleries will feature experts on a range of topics related to free expression, journalism and human rights. Coinciding with the upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Washington, D.C., the Newseum will host a program exploring U.S.-China relations featuring a panel that includes Winston Lord, the former U.S. Ambassador to China.
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On September 23, Yang Jianli, president of Initiatives for China spoke on “fight for free expression around world” program of the Freedom Week. Jim Hoagland of the Washington Post, for Reports without Borders, Kody Kness, Vice President of China Aid, Elyse Bauer Anderson from Congressional-Executive Commission on China also spoke on this program.
Upcoming Event

What: Rally Urging President Obama to Raise Human Rights with Chinese President Xi Jinping
When: September 25, 2015 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Where: Lafayette Park, behind the White House
Remarks at the Newseum
Sept. 23, 2015
YANG Jianli
Good morning, everyone.
Gene, thank you again for the Freedom Week.
Yesterday, Xi Jinping set his feet on American soil beginning his first state visit to the US. To prepare for the visit, the Chinese propaganda apparatus, as usual, has attempted to portray a China that is not only a far cry from reality but in many ways the opposite of what’s true. But unfortunately for Xi Jinping, he is visiting a free country beyond the control of his communist mouthpiece media. The Newseum is exhibiting on the facade of its building the photos and stories of jailed journalists, human rights defenders and dissidents of China, which disclosing a China any people should not turn their eyes away from.
Yesterday, we put forward “64 Questions for Xi Jinping.” These questions, concerning Xi Jinping, China and its international relations, might well be also considered by others worldwide, especially American officials, journalists, scholars and citizens who are blinded by Beijing’s propaganda.
Jim (Hoagland), thank you for your powerful message. I am glad you mentioned in your remarks the Tankman.  Our Question 31 is: Where is the Tankman?
You can find these 64 questions on our website ( It is our hope that people from different areas and with different  particular concerns will find their questions articulated here and will directly or indirectly ask Xi Jinping to respond.
Xi Jinping wants the people of China and the rest of world to forget the infamous Tiananman Massacre. I was there, Jim, you were there,  and we cannot forget.  Xi Jinping wants us to forget Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiabo, who, as we speak, is languishing in China’s prison,  I was in Oslo when there was an empty chair and cannot forget.  The thousands of other brave men and women who have been imprisoned, tortured, made missing because they spoke up and sought a better China. Xi Jinping wants us to forget them. They are my brothers and sisters and I know their bravery and cannot forget. We cannot and should not forget. Freedom-loving people around the world will not forget.
The Newseum will not forget. When you leave, please see the  photos of those jailed on the front of the building.
I agree with the Members of US Congress who find it hard to understand why President Obama and Secretary Kerry seem to share that amnesia and are prepared to honor Xi with a State Dinner later this week. That is the highest honor the America confers on a foreign leader. When you view the photos and explanations outside the Newseum, ask yourself if you think Xi should be honored with a State Dinner.
But you can take some comfort in knowing that on Friday morning the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of U.S. Congress will host a “Stateless Breakfast” instead of a State Dinner. It will honor those who really should be honored. The representatives of American people and that of civil society of China, will honor the members of persecuted ethnic, faith and social groups and the other advocates for civil liberties in China, the lawyers, reporters, bloggers, dissidents who have stood up for them and were imprisoned as reward for their courage.
Dear Friends, I want to thank you,  American people, for this stateless breakfast, for standing up at this moment in solidarity with my brothers and sisters back in China.
At last, I would like to remind  you that there is no neutral position when it comes to human rights violations in China and indeed anywhere on earth.
Thank you.
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