World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Democracies Rally to Defense of Daughter of Jailed Leader

Clash at UN: China Tries to Stop Testimony by Daughter of Jailed Democracy Leader Wang Bingzhang; Democracies Rally to Her Defense

GENEVA, March 18, 2014 - China today interrupted testimony at the United Nations Human Rights Council by the daughter one of its most well-known political prisoners, prompting a high-profile international clash in the plenary, as the U.S., Britain, France, Germany, Ireland, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic squared off against China, Cuba, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela on whether she could be allowed to continue her remarks.

Speaking today on behalf of the non-governmental human rights group UN Watch, Ti-Anna Wang, the 24-year-old Canadian daughter of jailed Chinese democracy leader Dr. Wang Bingzhang, took the floor at the 47-nation council one day before it is set to adopt a major report on China's human rights record.

Only one minute after Ms. Wang began her testimony, the Chinese delegate, supported by successive interventions by four other authoritarian regimes, objected that Ms. Wang was only permitted to address abstract "situations of human rights," but not specific cases such as her father's imprisonment.

The U.S. delegate, the first to defend UN Watch, said that "accredited NGOs must be permitted to speak in the council," adding that "it is essential that civil society voices be heard here in an atmosphere of open expression."

In a rare chorus of voices defending NGOs' right to speak, Britain, France, Ireland, Hungary, Switzerland and the Czech Republic each took the floor to likewise defend UN Watch's right to speak.

In the end, Human Rights Council president Baudelaire Ndong Ella ruled that UN Watch had the right to address specific examples, and he gave the floor back to Ms. Wang, allowing her to complete her statement.

"While it is scandalous that China and other dictatorships were just elected as members to the UN Human Rights Council, today this forum also managed to be a platform for the voices of the victims, not only the perpetrators," said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

Ti-Anna Wang was born and raised in Montreal, Canada, and is a graduate of McGill University. She has dedicated the past 12 years of her life to trying to free her father, the founder of China's overseas democracy movement, who has been serving a life sentence in China since 2002.

Ms. Wang's personal story inspired the heroine in the recent novel Nine Days, written by Washington Post editor Fred Hiatt.

Her first name commemorates the victims of the 1989 Tiananmen Square Massacre in Beijing, led by students seeking democracy and human rights. The 25th anniversary of the massacre will be marked

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

'Very Concerned' After Court Ruling: UNHRC On Transfer Of 267 People From Australia To Nauru

Most of these people were reportedly brought to Australia from Nauru to receive medical treatment and are in a fragile physical and mental state. The group includes more than 12 women and at least one child who have allegedly suffered sexual assault or harassment while in Nauru. The group also includes 37 children born in Australia. More>>

ALSO:

Sanctions To Be Lifted: NZ Welcomes Implementation Of Iran Nuclear Deal

Duty Minister Nikki Kaye has welcomed the next stage in the historic nuclear deal between Iran, the Five Permanent (P5) members of the United Nations Security Council, and Germany... “New Zealand has now started the domestic process for removing the UN sanctions." More>>

ALSO:

Pre-Davos Reports: 62 People Own Same Wealth As Half The World

Runaway inequality has created a world where 62 people own as much wealth as the poorest half of the world’s population – a figure that has fallen from 388 just five years ago, according to an Oxfam report published today ahead of the annual gathering of the world’s financial and political elites in Davos.. More>>

ALSO:

Jakarta: UN Secretary-General On Attacks

The Secretary-General condemns the bombings and gun attacks in Jakarta today... there is absolutely no justification for such acts of terrorism. He hopes the perpetrators of today's attacks will be swiftly brought to justice. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf: America, The Gated

How, in a global metropolis like New York, do you write about immigration as a problem to be solved? And yet immigration is a hot button issue among those fighting to break away from the unruly clump of starters in the race for Republican nominee. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news