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24 NGOs Urge U.N. Rights Chief to Attend Oslo Nobel Ceremony

24 NGOs Urge U.N. Rights Chief to Attend Oslo Nobel Ceremony and Show Support for Chinese Dissident

GENEVA, December 9, 2010 - An international coalition of 24 human rights and non-governmental organizations appealed today to U.N. rights chief Navi Pillay to reverse her decision to skip Friday's Nobel award ceremony for imprisoned Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

"We urge the High Commissioner to go to Oslo, attend the award ceremony, and convene a press conference that will spotlight the plight of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens who are systematically denied the basic guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said the statement.

Led by the Geneva-based rights group UN Watch, the signatories include the World Movement for Democracy from the U.S., SOS Racisme of France, and activist organizations from India, Venezuela and Liberia.

"The world spotlight in Oslo tomorrow will be exceptional -- it's a golden opportunity that the U.N. should not squander," said UN Watch executive director Hillel Neuer.

UN Watch has worked closely with Yang Jianli, the exiled Chinese dissident representing Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo's family, whose open letter yesterday strongly criticized the U.N.'s absence. Yang was a keynote speaker in April at the Geneva Summit on Human Rights and Democracy , organized by UN Watch and 25 other human rights NGOs. In July, UN Watch worked with Yang's Sparrow Initiative to demand justice for the forced evictees of the Shanghai World Expo.

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The full NGO appeal follows below

9 December 2010

The undersigned human rights and non-governmental organizations pay tribute to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo on his being selected to receive the Nobel Peace Prize award.

We regret that, as claimed by China, 18 nations are supporting its boycott of the award ceremony tomorrow in Oslo. We fully reject China’s attempt to describe this courageous champion of human rights as "subversive and criminal," and its denunciation of the award as an "obscenity". On the contrary, no award could be more fitting on international Human Rights Day.

We further regret to learn that the Norwegian Nobel Committee confirmed that U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has also declined to attend, as reported <
by Radio Australia.

We urge the High Commissioner to go to Oslo, attend the award ceremony, and convene a press conference that will spotlight the plight of the 1.3 billion Chinese citizens who are systematically denied the basic guarantees of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Sincerely,

Hillel C. Neuer
Executive Director
United Nations Watch
Switzerland

Art Kaufman
Director
World Movement for Democracy
United States

Tashi Albertini
President
Associazone TicinoTibet
Switzerland

Abdurashid Abdulle Abikar
Chairman
Center for Youth and Democracy
Somalia

Nguyên Lê Nhân Quyên
Vietnamese League for Human Rights in Switzerland

Ted Brooks
Executive Director
Committee for Peace and Development Advocacy
Liberia

Benjamin Abtan
SOS Racisme

Bernard Schalscha
Secrétaire général
Collectif Urgence Darfour

Ulrich Delius
Asia Desk
Society for Threatened Peoples
Germany

Shomik Chaudhuri
Vice President
Institute of International Social Development
India

Carlos E. Tinoco
Consorcio Desarrollo y Justicia, A.C.
Venezuela

Peter Hesse
Director, Fondation Peter Hesse (www.solidarity.org)
Germany

Logan Maurer
Regional manager
International Christian Concern (www.persecution.org)
United States

Dr. Theodor Rathgeber
Forum Human Rights
Germany

Rene Wadlow
Representative to the UN, Geneva
Association of World Citizens
Switzerland

Natalia Taubina
Director
Public Verdict Foundation
Russia

Sylvia G. Iriondo
President
Mothers and Women against Repression (MAR por Cuba)

Nataliya Gourjii
Executive Director
Charitable Foundation ROKADA
Ukraine

Elena Bevilacqua
Director of Headquarters
International Union of Notaries (U.I.N.L.)

John Suarez
International Secretary
Directorio Democratico Cubano

Omar Lopez
Human Rights Director
The Cuban American National Foundation
United States

Klaus Netter
Main Representative, UN Office in Geneva
Coordinating Board of Jewish Organizations
Switzerland

Volodymyr Yavorskyy
Executive Director
Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

Jean Stoner
NGO Representative
Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur
United States

ENDS


ENDS

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