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Expressing Support For Chinese Human Rights Activists Huang Qi And Tan Zuoren

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Location: Washington, DC

Expressing Support For Chinese Human Rights Activists Huang Qi And Tan Zuoren

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I rise in support of this resolution, which addresses the unjust incarceration of two Chinese human rights advocates whose only crime was to seek answers and justice for the parents of children killed in the collapse of a schoolhouse during a major earthquake last year. Any parent would understand this resolution.

This is about dead school children. This is about accountability. These courageous individuals sought such accountability from a government which allowed the construction of substandard buildings for school children, buildings which could not withstand the aftershocks of a major quake.

It has been widely assumed in China that the building materials used for these schools were substandard due to the corruption involving those officials who authorized the construction. Grieving parents have a right to know why their children died after being buried in rubble, but their efforts for legal redress were summarily dismissed. These two brave men sought answers for the grieving parents, but their efforts led to their own imprisonment on trumped-up charges followed by trials in kangaroo courts.

How can anyone call the Chinese regime a responsible stakeholder when it uses its massive police force and its court system to engage in a major cover-up of corruption which led to the deaths of innocent children? And how can America be silent to such blatant defiance of not only the rule of law but also what is considered decent and moral?

This resolution is more than just about two human rights activists, heroic victims of injustice though they are. This is about a totalitarian system which is so afraid of its own population that it resorts to harsh and brutal measures to conceal the truth about the deaths of innocent school children.

This is about the massive human rights abuses such as the continued persecutions of tens of thousands of Falun Gong petitioners, an issue addressed in a resolution which I introduced with wide bipartisan support months ago but which has yet to reach the floor of this Chamber. This is about the continued repression of the Tibetan and Uyghur people and the need to engage in truth-telling with their leaders, the Dalai Lama and Ms. Kadeer, not only in Beijing, but in the White House here in Washington, D.C.

This is about speaking truth to power. It is about President Obama during his upcoming summit in China putting human rights and religious freedom issues squarely on the table, instead of just agreeing to disagree.

Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from California, my good friend, Mr. Lewis, the ranking member on the Committee on Appropriations.

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