Congressman Franks; Lantos; Wolf; Pitts and 32 Members of Congress Call on China to Respect Human Rights

China Aid Association
Congressman Franks; Lantos; Wolf; Pitts and 32 Members of Congress Call on China to Respect Human Rights
Urge the Release of Pro-Life Advocate Chen Guangcheng

CAA forwarded News from Washington DC
October 3, 2007 — On September 19th, Congressman Trent Franks sent a letter to President Hu, cosigned by 33 other members of Congress, calling for the release of Chen Guangcheng and drawing attention to China’s destructive family planning policy.
Congressman Franks stated, “The right to life is the most essential of all human rights, and prosecuting Chen for peacefully defending this right reflects the low value the Chinese government places on human dignity.  The inability for citizens such as Chen to dissent indicates the lack of respect for other essential freedoms in China as well.”

“Despite numerous congressional attempts, this communist regime refuses to address the flagrant human rights abuses committed against its people.  China should no longer be treated as an equal partner in world politics, in particular as they prepare to host the 2008 Olympics in Beijing next summer, unless they begin to demonstrate their respect for their international human rights obligations.” 

Chen was sentenced to four years and three months in prison in August 2006 on charges of “instigating others to obstruct traffic.”  Chen, a blind human rights advocate, was targeted for his tireless advocacy on behalf of the victims of forced abortion and sterilization perpetrated by local authorities under China’s family planning policy.
Chen’s case adds to a growing list of human rights and religious freedom advocates that the Chinese government has attempted to silence as they prepare for the Olympics.  Since this letter was sent, China imprisoned Mr. Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee.  Gao was arrested on September 22, following a press conference in which he released a letter to the U.S. Congress expressing his deep concerns over the worsening deterioration of human rights in China ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.  There are also reports that friends of Gao have been targeted by the secret police, tortured and threatened to remain silent.
Having worked to protect the sanctity of human life in the United States for over twenty-five years, Congressman Franks has followed with similar concern the serious human rights abuses perpetuated by this communist regime upon innocent women, the unborn, disabled, and religious minorities. Over the past year, Congressman Franks has also raised concerns over the imprisonment of Pastor Zhang Rongliang and the family of Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, a prominent Uyghur human rights advocate, as well as China’s treatment of North Korean refugees.
Congressman Franks is serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, and is a member of the Committee on Armed Services, Strategic Forces Subcommittee, Readiness Subcommittee, Committee on the Judiciary, and is Ranking Member on the Constitution Subcommittee


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