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11 Congressmen Express Concern to Secretary Clinton Regarding Suppression of Rights Defense Attorneys

by Staff
August 6, 2009
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WASHINGTON, ( -- On July 31, eleven Congressmen issued a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing concern over the recent crackdown on human rights attorneys in China. In the letter, they also listed the names of 18 attorneys who are banned from practicing law, and urged Secretary Clinton to:

Raise the plight of these lawyers by name and press the Chinese government to permit these individuals to once again practice law;

Instruct senior U.S. diplomats in the Department of State and the U.S. Embassy in Beijing to regularly meet with and support these human rights defenders both inside and outside China, and

Instruct U.S. diplomats to consistently raise human rights and rule of law concerns with their Chinese counterparts as a central tenant of U.S. foreign policy.

The 11 Congressmen who signed the letter were: James P. McGovern (D-MA), Frank R. Wolf (R-VA), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL), Bob Inglis (R-SC), Donna F. Edwards (D-MD), W. Todd Akin (R-MO), Thaddeus G. McCotter (R-MI), Christopher H. Smith (R-NJ), Walt Minnick (D-ID), Daniel E. Lungren (R-CA) and Joseph R. Pitts (R-PA).

ChinaAid is very concerned about the recent continued suppression of organizations that are working to help citizens in China, including the Gongmeng Law Research Center and the Yirenping Center, and many rights defense activists including Dr. Xu Zhiyong. On July 10, Bob Fu, president of ChinaAid, spoke in Washington, D.C. at a roundtable hosted by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China regarding the recent crackdown on human rights attorneys in China. During the trip, he met with Congressmen from both the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Bob Fu stated, "These incidents show that human rights and the rule of law in China are rapidly deteriorating. ChinaAid and many in the international community who love truth and justice will continue to support all the efforts that aim at promoting religious freedom, human rights and rule of law in China."

ChinaAid stands with the Congressmen in urging Secretary Clinton to raise the plight of these lawyers and press the Chinese government to allow them to practice law. Contact the Chinese embassy to express concern regarding the government's crackdown on human rights attorneys.

Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
3505 International Place, NW, Washington, D.C. 20008
Tel: (202) 495-2000
Fax: (202) 588-9760

NOTE: If you are a citizen of another country, please click here to find the contact information of the Chinese embassy in your own nation

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