***PRESS RELEASE*** Reps. Rohrabacher, Delahunt Introduce Resolution Condemning Chinese Repression of Uighurs
Washington, Jul 10, 2009 - Today, Reps. William Delahunt (D-MA) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee, introduced H. Res. 624 condemning all violent repressions by the Communist Chinese government of peaceful Uighur protests. According to reports, over 150 people have been killed and over 1400 imprisoned since the protests began last week.
Excerpts from Rep. Rohrabacher’s remarks at today’s press conference:
“I am proud to be standing with the brave people who are struggling to free their own brothers and sisters in a distant homeland. We lost a tremendous opportunity to make it a better world when we stood back and said nothing when the democratic movement in China was slaughtered in Tiananmen square. We should never let that happen again. Today, there is another slaughter taking place. We are asking for nothing more than the freedoms that we as Americans hold as the right of everyone person on this planet as a gift from God…
“One of the problems we have faced is that the Executive Branch under both Republican and Democratic administrations seems to be unable to aggressively articulate a condemnation of the brutality of the government in Beijing. “Congress needs to step up and that’s what this resolution is about…
“What’s going on in East Turkestan with the slaughter and suppression of the Uighurs’ efforts to gain their own freedom, is not just the business of the Uighur people, but the business of free people everywhere, and it’s especially the business of the people of the United States who should be in alliance with those people everywhere who are struggling to make this a more peaceful and democratic world…
“We need to speak up and if our Executive Branch won’t do it, then Chairman Delahunt and I are introducing this legislation today to forcibly put Congress on record as supporting these great people halfway around the world for seeking liberty and justice.”
“It is my honor to stand here with you today, and my Chairman, united as Americans,” said Mr. Rohrabacher to World Uighur Congress President and activist, Ms. Rebiya Kadeer.
Ms. Kadeer, a Nobel Peace prize nominee on three occasions, has been falsely accused by the Chinese government as the inciter of the Uighur protests in East Turkistan.
In addition to Ms. Kadeer, Reps. Rohrabacher and Delahunt were joined by a group of local Uighurs residing in the U.S. and Uighur detainee attorney, Susan Baker Manning.
Earlier this week, Rohrabacher sent a letter to President Obama and a joint letter with subcommittee Chairman, William Delahunt, to Secretary of State Clinton asking for strong condemnation of the Communist Chinese government’s violent actions and investigation into who is responsible for ordering the attacks.
The House International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight Subcommittee recently held a series of hearings on the persecution of Uighurs in China and the wrongful detention of twenty two Uighurs at Guantanamo Bay. During testimony, the subcommittee learned Chinese intelligence officers were granted permission by the U.S. to interrogate Uighur detainees during a week-long visit to Guantanamo Bay, despite the fact that China has been engaged in systematic oppression and violence against the Uighurs in their native Xinjiang province. Chairman Delahunt indicted today, his intention to call additional hearings to further investigate these allegations and the recent violent crackdown by Beijing.