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<-Back to WTN Archives US Reaffirms Support of UN Resolution on China Human Rights Violations (VOA)
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World Tibet Network News

Published by the Canada Tibet Committee

Friday, March 12, 2004

2. US Reaffirms Support of UN Resolution on China Human Rights Violations (VOA)

By VOA News
Mar 12, 2004

CAPITOL HILL - A senior U.S. official has reaffirmed the Bush
administration's intention to support a resolution criticizing human rights
violations in China at this year's U.N. Human Rights Commission conference.
Assistant Secretary of State for Human Rights, Lorne Craner, appeared
Wednesday at a congressional hearing where lawmakers expressed concerns
about rights violations in a number of countries.

The administration had previously made known its intention to support a
resolution, but the comments by Mr. Craner before the House International
Relations Committee reinforced what he described as U.S. disappointment in
the human rights dialogue with Beijing.

"We're heading in that direction because the fruits of our own dialogue with
the Chinese have not been very plentiful this past year, in fact not at all
plentiful," he said.

Each year, in addition to administration witnesses, the committee hears
testimony from human rights groups and individuals in its role of reviewing
the State Department's annual report on human rights observance around the

China, Belarus and Zimbabwe were highlighted in Wednesday's hearing.

"Children and youth are subjected to the same torture as adults," said
Ngawang Sangdrol, a former political prisoner from Tibet. "They are
suspended in the air with their hands tied behind their back. Torture
equipment used in the prisons includes water hoses, leather belts with heavy
leather buckles, bamboo canes and electric rods of various sizes which they
shove in the prisoner's mouth or prod their body with." Congressman Chris
Smith, a New Jersey Republican and key critic of Beijing had this response.

"We continue to see a deterioration on a multitude of fronts, and that is
probably with a great deal of emphasis and exclamation points with regards
to the Tibetans, the monks as well as the nuns," he said. "At present my
country is ruled by the last dictator of Europe," said Irina Krasovkaya, a
human rights activist from Belarus. "The [Belarus President Alexander]
Lukashenko regime violates the most basic human right - the right to live."

Zimbabwe and human rights violations there has become a focus of
congressional criticism. Gabriel Shumba, a human rights activist, described
his torture at the hands of Zimbabwean authorities.

"They hung me upside down on the wall, the wall was lined with planks. So I
was hung upside down and beaten on the soles of the feet with rubber and
wooden truncheons," he said. "I was also kicked, for nine hours this
persisted. I was then taken down and I was placed in that position and a
contraption which was black in color, resembling a telephone, was then
brought over to a small table it had copper wires dangling from it. The
wires, one was put in my mouth and the other was wrapped around my genitals
tightly." Mr. Shumba said the United States needs to strongly engage other
governments, specifically South Africa, to help increase pressure on the
Zimbabwe government. Tom Malinowski, of Human Rights Watch, urges the Bush
administration to take stronger action on a range of human rights issues,
including China, and former Soviet republics.

Noting a scheduled upcoming visit to Washington by Egyptian President Hosni
Mubarak, he says President Bush should not hesitate to press allies in the
war on terrorism for reforms.

"The real test of this policy is going to be whether the administration is
willing to press these human rights and democracy issues with the most
important, most populous country in the Arab world, Egypt, which receives
hundreds of millions of dollars in aid and is an important partner of the
United States in a range of areas," he said.

Wednesday's hearing also heard discussion of human rights issues in Laos and
Burma as well as Pakistan among other countries.

Articles in this Issue:
  1. Tibetans and Tibet Supporters Protest in The Hague, Petition Dutch Government (ICT)
  2. US Reaffirms Support of UN Resolution on China Human Rights Violations (VOA)
  3. Concert for a Free Tibet hopes to rock again Jenn Wildey Grand Valley Lanthorn

Other articles this month - WTN Index - Mail the WTN-Editors

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