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Candid joke: UN human rights award to China?
NEW YORK – The irony seemed stark on World Human Rights Day, this Dec. 10, when a Chinese man received one of the six awards for Human Rights. Mr. Deng Pofang, son of the former Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping, was given an award for his contribution in protecting the rights of the handicapped.
Mr. Liu Qing, Chair of Human Rights in China, and a human rights expert, indicated that this act might mislead public opinion and make them forget the serious human rights problems in China.
Liu said, “Propaganda created by the Chinese Communist Party itself make people think that human rights violations are not serious anymore in China. When the United Nations issued this award, it should have seen that China has even more serious problems (than the human rights of the handicapped). Shouldn’t the United Nations. issue the award to those who have made more sacrifices and gone through more suffering and difficulties so as to solve those more serious problems? In addition, when giving the award, the United Nations should let the public know that many human rights problems still exist in China. Otherwise, this award misleads the public and provides China an opportunity to gloss over its human rights problem.”
The irony of this award is clear when reading the 2001 Annual Human Rights Report from the United States State Department, which condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) not only for suppressing political dissenters, Falun Gong, religious groups, but also for its hard line on refusing independence to Xinjiang and Tibet. The annual report points out that the CCP’s human rights record is still very poor. The government is involved in many severe cases of human rights abuse, has had less respect for religious freedom, and continues to suppress all underground churches. The government also continues to suppress freedom of press and the freedom to gather publicly. Cases of illegal arrests and detainment are a constant occurrence. In addition, the afore-mentioned issues have not improved or have even worsened in 2003.
In addition, this year, President Bush proclaimed Dec. 10 to be United States Human Rights Day. He said that he hopes that every country can have democracy and freedom. The entanglement of the international human rights issue with the international anti-terrorism issue makes it hard to stop some countries’ severe violations of human rights. In this way, activities that advocate the improvement of human rights stay at the level of public opinion.
On Dec. 10, 1948, President Roosevelt and more than 80% of the United Nation’s members signed and passed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
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