FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE SEPTEMBER 23, 2015 * * MEDIA ADVISORY * *
Groups Rally During Xi’s Visit to Promote Human Rights
Urge Obama to Defend Human Rights in China Instead of Toasting Xi with Champagne
WASHINGTON D.C. – As President Obama prepares to honor Chinese President Xi Jinping at a star-studded State dinner, the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation today announced its participation in a rally near the White House to urge the President to publicly support the rights of Chinese dissidents and other victims of the Communist regime.
Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, issued the following statement: “Instead of toasting this totalitarian leader of the most powerful Communist nation in the world with a 21-gun salute and fine champagne in the White House, the President should be meeting with the protestors outside the gates whose family members and friends have been imprisoned and arrested by the Chinese Communist Party. Not only does the regime continue to deny facts about the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, they continue to commit grave human right abuses against their own people.”
Smith noted that next month the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) will issue its annual report revealing that Beijing’s record of silencing dissent, suppressing human rights advocacy, and controlling civil society is at its worst level in more than a decade. Chinese authorities have targeted for arrest and harassment human rights defenders; media outlets and journalists; human rights lawyers; Tibetans and Uyghurs; religious groups; nongovernmental organizations (NGOs); intellectuals and democracy advocates; and supporters of “universal suffrage” in Hong Kong. The CECC Political Prisoner Database notes that more than 1,300 political and religious prisoners are currently believed to be detained or imprisoned in China.
What: Rally Urging President Obama to Raise Human Rights with Chinese President Xi Jinping
Who: A coalition of human rights organization (#ChinaRightsNow), including:
- Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation
- International Campaign for Tibet
- Initiatives for China
- Amnesty international
- China Aid
- Formosan Association for Pubic Affairs
- Uyghur American Association
Where: Near the White House – Lafayette Park 16th St. & Pennsylvania Ave. NW
When: Friday, September 25, 2015 from 11:00 to 1:00 pm
The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation is a Washington-based, non-profit educational and human rights organization devoted to commemorating the more than 100 million victims of communism around the world and to the freedom of those still living under totalitarian regimes. Recently VOC has announced its efforts to break ground on an international museum on communism in Washington in 2017.
For more information or to schedule a press interview please contact Ayla Ybarra at [email protected] or (202) 629-9500.