For Immediate Release: August 16, 2011
Washington, DC – As Vice President Joe Biden travels to China, Human Rights First is urging him to raise the nation’s troubling human rights abuses as part of the planned economic talks. The organization notes that China’s crackdown on human rights defenders and other human rights violations has intensified in recent months.
“The crackdown over the last few months has been widespread and brutal and should be a major part of the discussions the Vice President has with Chinese officials,” said Human Rights First’s Brian Dooley. “Vice President Biden should speak clearly and publicly about human rights activists who have been targeted in recent months, including artist and activist Ai Weiwei. He should also renew U.S. calls for the release of Nobel Peace Prize winner and renowned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.”
Dooley noted that Vice President Biden should make clear that the Chinese Government’s continuing human rights violations hinder its wider relationship with the US, including with regard to trade. Since February, dozens of lawyers and other human rights activists have been targeted by the Chinese authorities. Human Rights First notes that the United States Government needs to raise these cases repeatedly and publicly until they are resolved.