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Focus on China at the U.N. Commission on human rights

February 23, 2000

Human Rights in China (HRIC) will send a delegation to Geneva for the Commission on Human Rights from March 28 to April 14. HRIC Director Xiao Qiang and U.N. Liaison B?trice Laroche will be available for interviews to discuss the human rights situation in China. They can be reached at: Hotel Mon Repos, tel: (41 22) 732 80 10 – fax: (41 22) 732 85 95.

During the session, HRIC will circulate its human rights materials, including the latest report: "Not Welcome at the Party: Behind the ‘Clean-Up’ of China’s cities," (See "Report" session at our website) which exposes a nationwide system of administrative detention under "Custody and Repatriation." Custody and Repatriation involves the arbitrary detention of China’s most marginalized people, including migrants, the homeless, street children and the mentally ill.

BRIEFING

On April 5, from 1:00 to 3:00 pm, HRIC delegates will speak at a briefing on China’s human rights situation organized by FIDH, F??ation Internationale des Ligues des Droits de l’Homme, in Room XXII of the Palais des Nations.

Wang Dan, the former student leader in the 1989 movement, will present an update of the human rights situation in China. Wang Dan spent almost seven years in detention for his involvement in human rights activities until his release in April 1998.

Liu Qing, HRIC President, will discuss the plight of prisoners of conscience and the importance of international scrutiny. Liu Qing spent close to ten years in prison after participating in the Democracy Wall Movement of the late 70s.

Xiao Qiang, HRIC Executive Director, will examine China’s compliance with the international human rights regime and give an assessment on how the Commission of Human Rights and its mechanisms can play a role in improving China’s human rights situation.

FIDH has also invited Law Yuk-kai, the Director of Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor, to address the current situation in Hong Kong.

An interview of Bao Tong will be shown on video. A former aide to ousted Party leader Zhao Ziyang, Bao Tong was the highest official to be sentenced to prison for opposing the Chinese government’s use of force to suppress the 1989 demonstrations. Bao Tong spent seven years behind bars and a further year under house arrest in a state dormitory. Bao Tong currently lives in Beijing, under extremely strict surveillance.

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