(Berlin—April 25, 2018) A ChinaAid delegation met with members of the German Parliament and human-rights focused non-government organizations for meetings on April 19 and 20 to discuss the human rights situation in China.
ChinaAid founder and president, Bob Fu, was joined by two family members of important Chinese dissidents for the meetings. The first was Dr. Wang Bingwu, the brother of democracy advocate Dr. Wang Bingzhang, now 70-years old, who was sentenced to life in prison in 2003 for his work. The second was Li Chingyu, wife of Taiwanese democracy advocate Li Mingche, who was sentenced to five years in prison on subversion charges in November 2017.
The trip was meant to highlight the worsening situation of human rights beneath Chinese President Xi Jinping, and the similarities between the abuses perpetrated against today’s dissidents and the abuses of the Chinese Cultural Revolution under Chairman Mao Zedong.
These human rights violations are evident in the treatment of religious practitioners such as Chinese Christians, Catholics, and Tibetan Buddhists, but most especially in the case of Uyghur and Kazakh Muslims in the western Xinjiang region, where minority citizens of these Muslim backgrounds are locked up in re-education camps known as “political training centers.”
Additionally, this initiative is meant to raise awareness for issues such as the criminalization of religious participation for children and the continued persecution and arrests of human rights lawyers such as Wang Quangzhang, Gao Zhisheng, Zhang Kai, and many others who were kidnapped during the notorious “709 incident” in July 2015. Some of these lawyers have still not been heard from to this day.
On April 19, the group met with the Chairman of the German chapter of the World League for Freedom and Democracy (WLFD), Axel Fischer, as well as the former Chairman/current Vice Chairman of the Human Rights Rights Committee of the German Parliament, Michael Brand.
Later in the evening, a Taiwan forum highlighted the case of Li Mingche, with Tankred Schipanski, a member of the German Parliament, as well as dissident author Liao Yiwu, who published God is Red: The Secret Story Story of How Christianity Survived and Flourished in Communist China.
The advocacy initiative continued the next day, April 20, with a morning meeting with Thomas Wimmer, a senior official at the German Foreign Ministry, and an afternoon meeting with the former Chair of the German Bar Association, Raun Schellernberg.
“I am encouraged to hear from German government officials at today’s meetings that the cases of prisoners of conscience will be raised prominently,” Fu said of the initiative. “Dr. Wang Bingzhang has already served 16 years of his life sentence for his democracy work. Li Mingche and other jailed lawyers deserve their freedom!”
Fu also thanked Dr. Yang Sen-Hong of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights and Bärbel Kofler, the Commissioner for Human Rights Policy of the German Federal Foreign Office for their partnership in the proceedings.
ChinaAid conducts advocacy initiatives with the family members of prisoners of conscience, such as Wang Bingwu and Li Chingyu, in order to highlight the cases of advocates, dissidents, and victims of human rights abuse and work with officials in governments across the world to confront these issues and effect change.