On June 4, 2011
Initiatives for China will present an
Open Letter to UN Secretary General Ban-ki Moon
regarding the Chinese government’s serious and on-going human rights violations against its own people
Open Letter to the Secretary-General of United Nations
His Excellency Ban Ki-moon
The United Nations
1 United Nations Plaza
New York, New York 10017-3515
CC: Member States of the UN Security Council, Member States of the UN Human Rights Council, and European Parliament
June 4, 2011
Dear Mr. Secretary-General:
Twenty-two years ago today, Chinese Communist dictators, responding to student-led pro-democracy protests, called out tens of thousands of troops to “crush a counter-revolutionary riot.” In a spasm of unimaginable violence, heavily armed soldiers and tanks attacked peaceful protesters. They shot at unarmed Chinese in and near Tiananmen Square, resulting in the death and maiming of thousands of their own citizens.
Young men and women vanished beneath tank tracks or lost their limbs. Others perished in a hail of gunfire from soldiers using assault rifles. Mothers lost their only sons and daughters. Children were orphaned, left to forever miss their parent’s love and warm embrace. Families were shattered. This was the single most tragic day in the history of modern China.
The criminals who authorized this evil bloodletting and the henchmen who committed it on their behalf – these killers were left unpunished. And some still occupy positions of power inside China’s present day government where they continue to abuse Chinese citizens.
In 1998, the regime engaged in mass arrests and imprisonment of democracy activists attempting to form their own political parties. In 1999, it began a campaign of harassment, imprisonment and torture of tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, many of whom died from this brutality. In 2008, the regime persecuted the signers of Charter 08 led by Liu Xiaobo to call for a constitutional reform. After anonymous calls by Chinese people for a Jasmine Revolution in February, more arrests, detentions and disappearances of dissidents and human rights defenders followed.
And it is not only political activists who face constant harassment and detention. The Chinese government has heaped additional pain and insult on the parents of children who died in the 2008 earthquake by arresting them for peacefully petitioning their government for the truth about their children’s death. The same has happened to parents of children who died from drinking tainted milk. For decades, the Chinese government has been implementing its cruel policies of forced abortions, large-scale illegal evictions, and land grabbing and acquisition without just compensation. Today, all of China’s citizens are in danger of being labeled as “a national threat”, simply for asking their own government for accountability.
We draw your attention to the empty chair at the peace prize ceremony this past December in Oslo for a June 4th protests leader, Liu Xiaobo, who is still jailed in the Chinese prison, and for his entire extended family, including his wife, being held hostage now by the Chinese regime, to alert you to an ever worsening human right situation in China.
This situation has a clear starting point – June 4th, 1989 – and all subsequent gross human rights violations are a continuation of the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Over the past 22 years, the Chinese regime has ruthlessly suppressed any individual, or ethnic, religious or civic group that stands up to defend their own rights. Every corner of China—from Lhasa to Urumqi to Beijing—is experiencing systematic human rights violations.
We can tell you that not a single day has gone by within the past 22 years without the Chinese Communist regime “cracking down” on peaceful activists and citizens defending their rights. These crackdowns serve to prove that the Chinese regime feels itself to be above international human rights norms and the expressed laws made by the regime itself in its own constitution.
The regime’s willingness to abrogate both domestic and international rules is a threat to people well beyond China’s borders. Just recently, Colonel Muammar Gaddafi justified his slaughtering of Libyan citizens by citing the Tiananmen Square Massacre in China. Gaddafi could only dare to make this type of disgraceful justification for murder because the international community had failed then, and fails now, to punish China’s Communist dictators’ past and current criminal behavior.
With respect to Libya, we wholeheartedly applaud United Nations’ Security Council Resolution Number 1970 and Resolution Number 1973 adopted this year. Yet we also believe the UN should be doing far more to address the protection of China’s civilian population from continuing violations of Chinese citizens’ human rights.
We believe that the UN Charter, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenants on Human Rights and other relevant international human rights instruments require you, the Secretary-General, to uphold the values of the UN, even at the risk of challenging Member States.
We strongly urge you to bring to the attention of the UN Security Council the past and current atrocities committed by China’s Communist dictators, which have imposed a serious and growing threat to international peace and security. It is imperative that the Security Council openly and publicly address China’s inhumane treatment of its own people by passing a resolution requiring that all Member States:
demand an immediate end to the gross and systematic violation of human rights in China;
take necessary measures to prevent the entry into or transit through their territories of individuals who are responsible for the Tiananmen Square Massacre, or for other gross and systematic violations of human rights in China;
freeze all funds, other financial assets and economic resources which are on their territories, which are owned or controlled, directly or indirectly, by the individuals responsible for the Tiananmen Square Massacre or for other gross and systematic violations of human rights in China;
refer the Tiananmen Square Massacre, and the recent crimes against the Chinese citizens, to the Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court; the Council shall provide information regarding these crimes against humanity to the Prosecutor to initiate investigations proprio motu.
Should China use its UN prerogatives to prevent the UN Security Council from adopting a well-defined resolution, we strongly urge UN Members to call an emergency special session of the General Assembly to adopt a resolution (including the above-mentioned provisions) to hold China accountable for its gross human rights violations and for its failure to abide by its international treaty obligations.
Additionally, the General Assembly resolution must call on the Chinese government to fully respect its human rights obligations and allow credible and independent investigations of all allegations of human rights violations, including the Tiananmen Square Massacre. It must also request the Secretary-General to submit an interim report assessing the situation of China’s human rights abuses to the Human Rights Council at its next session and to encourage the UN Human Rights Council to establish a special monitoring and reporting mechanism on China’s inhumane treatment of its people.
Failure to act now against the Chinese regime will not only encourage that dictatorship to continue its crimes against the Chinese people, but also bolster the remaining handful of dictators in the world who shield themselves behind the “Chinese model” to justify continual repression and slaughter of their own people. Inaction on the regime only makes a laughingstock out of the UN human rights proclamations, and presents a dire threat to international peace and security.
Place of Residence:
SIGN ON – Submit your signature at letterUN2011@gmail.com
What kind of government systematically jails, tortures, disappears and harasses large numbers of its own people who dare to speak out in favor of democracy, justice and truth?
JUNE 4, 2011 marks the 22nd anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre. Unarmed Chinese university students who had gathered in the Square to peacefully demonstrate and show their support for democracy were overrun and mercilessly gunned down by heavily armed soldiers and armored tanks. Despite the outcry of world outrage, those political governmental leaders who authorized the slaughter are still in power today. Their policies of brutal persecution continue.
1989-Students at Tiananmen Square-Killed, jailed, detained, harassed
1998-Founders of the Chinese Democracy Party-Jailed, detained, disappeared, harassed
2008-Signers of Charter 08-Jailed, detained, disappeared, harassed
2010-Nobel Peace Prize Laureate-In solitary confinement, not allowed to receive visitors, not allowed to receive the Peace Prize, wife under house arrest; colleagues jailed, detained, disappeared & harassed
2011-Participants in peaceful Jasmine Revolution demonstrations-Jailed, detained, disappeared, harassed, homes searched and property confiscated
In addition to the above very specific examples, China’s on-going policies of repression extend over an extremely wide range:
- Persecution and harassment of religious faiths
- Diluting and degrading of ethnic cultures
- Forced abortions – Families with more than their ‘quota’ of children are forced to undergo abortions to comply with China’s One Child Policy
- Forced evictions – Homes demolished and property confiscated to make way for real estate development or events such as the Beijing Olympics, Shanghai Expo, and Disneyland projects
- Families of victims of disasters such as the 2008 Sichuan earthquake and the poisoned milk episodes are harassed, imprisoned, and humiliated when they seek justice for the loss of their children.
These and countless untold human rights violations occur every day in China. They are unspeakable acts of violence committed by a government against its own people.
And it is getting worse. While paying lip service to western countries, China is forging close relationships with world dictators which serve to strengthen and reinforce its current conduct rather than discourage it.
Initiatives for China’s open letter to the Secretary-General will call attention to this situation, and urge the U.N. to act now with all the administrative and diplomatic tools at its disposal. A series of steps outlined in the letter provide a suggested framework for such necessary and vital action. YOUR SIGNATURE IS RESPECTFULLY REQUESTED. Please add your signature to the letter and speak out in favor of democracy and justice for those who voices cannot be heard. Sign on to show the U.N. Secretariat that the world is watching and waiting for their response. letterUN2011@gmail.com
Dr.YANG Jianli President Initiatives for China
Dr.HAN Lianchao Vice President Initiatives for China
Laura Butera Director of International Programs Initiatives for China