Freedom House to Censure China and Cuba at UN Human Rights Commission

Geneva

In its appearance before the 56th annual United Nations Commission on Human Rights, Freedom House will directly address China's, Sudan's, and Cuba's brutal human rights records, and will push specifically for a UN resolution condemning the Chinese government.

Citing supporting evidence, Freedom House will address Chinese governmental persecution of religious believers, Falun Gong practitioners, and democratic activists. The issue of China's continuing suppression of the people of Tibet will also be raised. In separate meetings and briefings, Freedom House will highlight the lack of improvement in political rights and civil liberties in Cuba despite last year's resolution condemning Fidel Castro's regime. Special attention will be paid to the worsening repression of Cuban democratic activists. Freedom House is also scheduled to address the pressing issues of religious persecution in Sudan and Egypt.

As China is courted by western nations wishing to cement stronger trade links with the world's most populous nation, the spotlight has been cast on China's failure to live up to its international obligations to protect the basic rights and freedoms of its people, an issue of transcendent importance. Even as Chinese inclusion within the global economic community progresses, Freedom House will work to ensure that repression, dictatorship, and persecution in China ultimately give way to pluralism, democratic practices, and the rule of law. Toward this end, Freedom House will lend its support for a UN resolution condemning China's human rights record and last year's pattern of mounting persecution.

A panel discussion, moderated by Freedom House board member and former ambassador Mark Palmer, will take place on Wednesday, March 29th at 2:00 PM in room 27. Included in the Freedom House delegation are experts on, and eyewitnesses to, China's human rights violations, including Harry Wu of the Laogai Research Foundation, members of the Falun Gong movement, participants of the China Democracy Party, and former political prisoners.

On Tuesday, April 4 Freedom House will host a meeting to address the intensifying crackdown in Cuba. Participating in the briefing will be a panel of experts, among them democratic activists from Eastern and Central Europe. Freedom House board member Otto Reich will moderate the discussion.

For additional background information, Freedom House will make available for distribution two of it's publications: The Most Repressive Regimes in the World, 2000, and China and Tibet, a Report on Repression.

Freedom House Delegation:

Ambassador Mark Palmer
Ambassador Otto Reich
Jim Denton, Executive Director of Freedom House
Lisa Davis, Director of RIGHTS Program at Freedom House
Joseph Assad, Center for Religious Freedom, Freedom House


China:

Gail Rachlin, Falun Gong contact
Erping Zhang, Falun Gong
Alan Adler, Falun Gong
Feng Yuan, Falun Gong
Wang Xizhe, Dissident; General Secretary of China Democracy Party
Shendge Lian, Free China Movement
Xie Wanjun, Co-founder China Democracy Party
Wang Dan, Dissident
Harry Wu, Laogai Research Foundation
Yael Fuchs, Laogai Research Foundation

Cuba:

Jesus Permuy, Center for Human Rights, Miami
Father Loredo, Center for Human Rights, Miami
Maria Dominguez, Executive Director of St. Thomas University Human Rights Institute
Dr. Mircea Toma, Romanian journalist Members of Hungarian-based Democracy After Communism
Members of Polish-based Foundation for the Defense of Human Rights.

Freedom House is an independent watchdog organization that supports democratic change, monitors the status of freedom around the world, and advocates for democracy and human rights.

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