Cina/Diritti Umani: Avvocato trattenuto per tentativo di incontrare Obama

Il 18 novembre 2009, poco dopo la testimonianza prima di una riunione di una giuria congressuale Usa sugli abusi riguardo i diritti umani in Cina che includeva i temi dell’aborto forzato e delle sterilizzazioni forzate, l’avvocato attivista per i diritti umani Jing Tianyong è stato trattenuto e interrogato dalla polizia cinese per aver tentato di incontrare il Presidente Obama.

Segue l’articolo

On November 18th, shortly after testifying before a U.S. congressional panel on human rights abuses in China, including the issue of forced abortions and sterilizations, lawyer was held and interrogated by Chinese police for attempting to meet with President Obama.

In an emergency press conference yesterday, Rep. Chris Smith called on President Obama to break his silence on China’s human rights issues and “to personally intervene with your close friend and strategic partner, [Chinese President] Hu Jintao and ask him to cease persecuting Jiang Tianyong.”

Jiang and four other lawyers had contacted the U.S. Embassy in an attempt to establish a meeting with President Obama to discuss human rights.  Shortly after they had received a negative response, the state police seized two of the lawyers and interrogated them for an hour, informing them that “you are not allowed to meet with President Obama.  We will hold you until he leaves Beijing.”

The two lawyers were held under surveillance until Obama left later in the day.

That was not the end of Jiang’s troubles, however.

The next day, when Jiang Tianyong and his wife were attempting to take their 7-year old daughter to school, Public Security Bureau police allegedly grabbed Tianyong and forced him into a police car; one officer threw his wife to the ground and began beating her.

When Jiang questioned the legality of his detention, the police told him that he was being held for “attacking the police.”

“I was holding my daughter’s hand with my left hand and her school bag with my right hand; how could I have beaten up a policeman?” Jiang asked Human Rights in China (HRIC). “And there were at least four of them.”

Police also scared his seven-year old daughter by questioning her for two hours at school while he was in detention, asking her about how her dad allegedly beat police.

Jiang was held in detention for over 13 hours before being released, although he was told before his release that, “You have not seen the last of this yet.”

Such treatment was not unexpected.  After Jiang and others had testified at the congressional Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission earlier this month, Rep. Frank R. Wolf, called their testimony “some of the most courageous testimony that I’ve ever heard in my time here in Congress.”

“If any of them are arrested or harassed when they get back,” he continued, “I will do everything I can to create as big a problem as possible for the Obama Administration and for the Chinese government.”

In his testimony on October 29 and November 10, Jiang had described the persecution of religious groups in China and the forced abortions and sterilizations that occur beneath China’s one-child policy.

Speaking of how the Falun Gong, one religious group, are repressed, Jiang described how they “often face torture and there are special funds, special locations, special people and special tools in torturing Falun Gong practitioners.”

He continued: “When Huang Cheng from Jinzhou, Liaoning province was tried in court, everybody could see the scars on his body; Chen Xinye from Shenyang, Liaoning province suffered a bone fracture in the beatings; they poured mustard water into the nostril of Li Zhigang from Harbin, Heilongjiang province; Zhou Huimin from Chengdu, Sichuan province was beaten to death.”

He described similarly horrific incidents, such as forced abortions, pertaining to China’s one-child policy.  His testimony moved 30 members of Congress to write a letter to President Obama urging him to “make human rights a top priority in your meetings with Chinese leaders and in your public statements while you are in China.”

According to Rep. Chris Smith, President Obama failed miserably in doing so.

“On his recent trip to China, President Obama had ample time to take a photo op stroll on the Great Wall and meet with Chinese students hand-picked by the Communist government,” he said, “but had no time whatsoever – and apparently no inclination as well – to meet in Beijing with some of the best, brightest, and bravest human rights defenders in the world.”

He continued: “The President’s myopic and indefensible retreat on human rights in China begs the question: did President Obama even know, or care, that several leading dissidents were rounded up, harassed, punched, beaten, threatened, and detained immediately prior to, during and after the President’s visit while others languish in Laogai concentration camps?”

“Did the President know, or care, that they suffered precisely because of his visit?”

posted on lifesite, November 24, 2009

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