TLHRC Co-Chairmen Express Concern over Recent Detention of Prominent Dissidents in China
Washington – Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission co-chairmen James McGovern (D-MA) and Frank Wolf (R-VA) expressed grave concern over the recent bout of detentions in China, ahead of the upcoming 25th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square protests. A prominent human rights lawyer, Pu Zhiqiang, was one of five activists criminally detained on the charge of “picking quarrels and provoking trouble” by holding a seminar to discuss the historic and violent crackdown on democratic protesters at Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. The other detained activists include Xu Youyu, a philosophy scholar; Hao Jian, a professor at the Beijing Film Academy; and dissidents Liu Di and Hu Shigen.
The co-chairmen are also deeply troubled by the detention of outspoken journalist Gao Yu, who has been held on the charge of leaking state secrets. Several international human rights NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, have dismissed the validity of the charges and of Gao Yu’s recorded confession. They suspect that torture was used to compel the recording. Co-Chairmen McGovern and Wolf condemn this violent pattern of suppression of free speech and dissent and call for the immediate release of Pu Zhiqiang, Xu Youyu, Hao Jian, Liu Di, Hu Shigen and Gao Yu.
The bipartisan Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission was established in the U.S. House of Representatives to educate Members of Congress on human rights issues and advocate on behalf of human rights defenders world-wide.