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Statement of CECC Chair, Senator Sherrod Brown and Cochair, Representative Christopher Smith on the 24th Anniversary of the Tiananmen Crackdown

Congressional-Executive Commission on China

June 4, 2013

(Washington, DC)¡ªOn the 24th anniversary of the crackdown on demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and across China, the chairs of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China expressed solidarity with the victims of that tragedy and urged the Chinese government to take concrete steps on human rights and the rule of law.

"For too long, China has denied its citizens the basic freedoms they sought 24 years ago at Tiananmen Square. Chinese President Xi Jinping says he is for reform, the rule of law, and an end to corruption. But time and again, these words have proven empty," said Senator Sherrod Brown, CECC chair. "For China to be taken seriously as a responsible nation, President Xi must take concrete steps to end the repression of workers, Uyghurs, Tibetans, consumer rights advocates, political activists, house churches, Falun Gong practitioners, and journalists, and provide China's citizens with an honest and open accounting of the tragic events of 24 years ago."

"The Chinese government not only continues to inflict unspeakable pain and suffering on its own people, but the coverup of the Tiananmen massacre is without precedent in modern history. Even though journalists and live television and radio documented the massacre, the Chinese Communist Party line continues to deny, obfuscate and threaten," said Representative Chris Smith, CECC cochair. "I urge President Xi Jinping to reverse course and put China on a clear path toward respect of human rights and the rule of law and to deal with the legacy of the Tiananmen crackdown with transparency and justice."

The Commission has extensively documented China's compliance and noncompliance with international human rights standards and the rule of law. China has not ratified the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which it signed in 1998, and continues to deny its citizens the basic freedoms of expression, religion, and assembly found in the ICCPR. In recent years, the Commission has documented China's noncompliance with the rule of law in violating its World Trade Organization obligations and in its handling of the case of the blind activist Chen Guangcheng. Recently, the Commission has examined the prospects of reforming China's reeducation through labor system and how the denial of basic rights impacts Chinese citizens' ability to respond to food safety, public health, and environmental threats.

According to the Commission's political prisoner database and based on information that is publicly available, there are currently 1,295 Chinese citizens known or believed to be detained or imprisoned for exercising his or her human rights under international law. These include Nurmemet Yasin, the Uyghur writer imprisoned for a short story; Chen Kegui, the jailed nephew of Chen Guangcheng who is reportedly not receiving proper medical treatment for his acute appendicitis; Wang Zhiwen, the Falun Gong practitioner jailed for peaceful protest; Dondrub Wangchen, the Tibetan filmmaker detained after completing a documentary on the plight of Tibetans; Liu Xiaobo, the jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner; Zhu Yufu, the democracy advocate who is reportedly suffering ill-treatment in prison and whose family members have been harassed; and Peng Ming, the imprisoned democracy activist whose health has reportedly deteriorated.

For more information, please visit the Commission's Web site at


Source: -See Summary (2013-06-04 ) | Posted on: 2013-06-04  
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