Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition News and Article Release Issue: A28-O7
Release Date: September 18, 2003
Topic: Wei Meets Craner and Calls Members to prepare for next UNHCHR in
On August 19, as I was driving to Washington, DC to participate in an
upcoming meeting with Mr. Craner the next day, I heard the news of the
explosion at the UN headquarters in Baghdad and that Mr. Sergio Vieira de
Mello was hurt. A few hours later, he died. Great sadness overwhelmed me for
the rest of my driving hours.
Only four months ago, I met him in Geneva where he served as the United
Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (see our newsletter A13-G5). The
photos we took together were the only ones of hundreds that I took this year
that did not come out quite right (the photo link: http://weijingsheng.org/pic/newsletters/newsletters2003/UN0304deMello.jpg
. The third from left is Mr. De Mello; the fourth from left is Ciping Huang).
So even a physicist had to say: "I hope it was not an omen."
It has not been easy as a human rights defender. The day I called myself as a
human rights defender was the day I realized the additional danger I had to
face. The danger comes with the path we choose, not bad luck. In our struggle
for other's freedom and peace, we are paying the price of our own freedom and
Now, after years have passed, all the struggling has made me learn that the
path is not just very difficult, but dangerous, even deadly. We have received
oral and written threats for what we have done, threats even to our lives,
even on the USA soil. Consciously, one has to bravely prepare for tragedy and
death with expectation, instead of with fear. Nevertheless, when a fellow
human rights defender falls, the sense of loss and sorrow is only greater.
That day, I had a close call of an accident myself. It made me further
realize that human life is fragile, but not the human spirit.
Hereby, I want to dedicate this issue to the lives lost during the August
19's bombing, especially to Mr. De Mello, this leader and martyr of the human
-- Ciping Huang
Wei Jingsheng Meets U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner and Calls
Coalition Members to prepare for the next UNHCHR in Geneva, Switzerland
On August 20, 2003, Mr. Wei Jingsheng met with the US Assistant Secretary of
State Lorne Craner to exchange information and discuss Chinese human rights
issues. Mr. Wei again urged the top official of the State Department in
charge of human rights to push for Chinese human rights improvements,
especially to make an effort to bring a resolution condemning the Chinese
government's human rights record to the United Nations' higher commission on
human rights (UNHCHR) in Geneva, Switzerland.
(Since he regained his freedom, Mr. Wei has been in Europe every spring
except this year, attending the annual human rights commission in Geneva and
lobbying the US and other democratic nations in an effort to bring a
resolution to condemn the Chinese government's human rights record. Although
a resolution has not been passed, we have received significant feedback from
dissidents in China reporting the positive outcome of such an effort.)
During the meeting, Mr. Craner told Mr. Wei that the US government has been
very disappointed with the Chinese government for its poor human rights
records, as well as the pledges they did not fulfill. The whole State
Department knows such a fact, and they do not like it, Mr. Craner told Wei.
Mr. Craner told us in detail that not only has the Chinese government not
realized a list of pledges they made to the US government regarding
improvement of their human rights conditions, they simply behave as if
without knowledge of such pledges which were made during a meeting that
several dozen people attended. It was exactly these promises that in part
made the Bush government not pursue a resolution against the Chinese
government this year. So presently, the US government is considering bringing
the China resolution to the table for the next year UNHCHR and is actively
seeking cooperation and co-sponsorship elsewhere.
Mr. Wei told Mr. Craner that this resolution is our goal and he will add his
effort to lobbying other organizations and other nations' governments as
well. Mr. Wei also told Mr. Craner that the very fact of the possibility of
presenting such a resolution would help the hard fighting Chinese people
inside China. The last two years have been very difficult for our fellows
inside China from the lack such a resolution. (One example illustrating the
effect of a resolution: An Jun was the founder of the China Corruption
Monitor. His writings were used as evidence of anti-state activities and he
was sentenced 4 years. An's verdict was not announced until April 19, 2000,
the day after the UN high commission on human rights failed to pass a US
sponsored resolution to condemn Chinese human rights abuses.)
Mr. Wei pointed out that such a failure of the Chinese government's pledge is
not due to personnel changes or leadership transition, it is really the
strategy of the Chinese government which had no sincerity but was just trying
to pass another year with its lies and deception. We must not to trust what
the Chinese government says but watch what it does. After all, hooligans will
not honor a gentlemen's bargain, unless they have to.
As our coalition members know, despite our effort, the last two years have
been the most disappointing and difficult years for us in Geneva, not just
due to the deterioration of human rights in China, but also due to the lack
of pressure applied to the Chinese government during the annual UNHCHR. This
failure was partially due to inadequate preparation, lack of any operation
money, but largely due to the undesirable international atmosphere especially
when other political considerations were put above human rights, even at the
UNHCHR where one would think human rights should be the first priority.
The result was that not only human rights conditions in China got worse; even
our own members were intimidated and harassed by Chinese government agents
both in Geneva during the UNHCHR session and when they returned back to
We welcome the US government's considering presenting a resolution condemning
the Chinese government's human rights record next spring. We urge our friends
and members to continue our quest and effort to reach such a goal. The more
pressure we apply to the Chinese government, the more relief our countrymen
will feel back in China.
Hereby, as the Chairman of the Overseas Chinese Democracy Coalition, Mr. Wei
Jingsheng urges the members of our coalition, especially those in Europe, to
get prepared for the upcoming UNHCHR annual meeting, contact the NGO's and
governments of your residence, collect the information about human right
abuses in China, and prepare demonstration material for our coalition meeting
next spring in Geneva.
Vieira de Mello)先生在这次事件中受伤，几个小时以后不幸身亡。后来的几小时行程中，我为此一直沉浸在沉痛和悲哀之中。