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Human Rights Watch: US: Obama Should Meet With Activists From China

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Human Rights Watch
September 9, 2015

Recognition Before Xi Summit Could Stem Repression

(New York) — United States President Barack Obama should meet with activists from China in advance of the September 24-25, 2015 summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping, a group of 9 human rights organizations said today in a letter to President Obama.

China's President Xi Jinping and U.S. President Barack
Obama speak during a joint news conference in Beijing, China
on November 12, 2014. © 2014 Reuters
The groups noted the extraordinary assault on independent voices in China in the past year, and said that these activists are key to the kinds of long-term, positive change the US seeks in China. The groups pointed out that President Obama himself has considerable common ground in his own background with many of those who have been under assault in China: community organizers, law professors, members of religious communities, and peaceful activists for positive change.

“If President Obama is committed to standing with civil society globally, as he has said, it’s the representatives of this community from China that he needs to invite into the White House—not just the President of China, whose government is persecuting them,” said Sophie Richardson, China director at Human Rights Watch.

The signatories include Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, China Aid, Freedom House, Human Rights in China, Initiatives for China, International Campaign for Tibet, Reporters Without Borders, and the Uyghur Human Rights Project.

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