Democracy and Human Rights

2015 Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy

In Feburary 2015, IFC/CPFC co-hosted the 7th Geneva Summit for Human Rights and Democracy. IFC/CPFC has brought Hong Kong Umbrella Movement student leaders Alex Chow & Lester Shum to the Summit. Chow and Shum, shared their story and experience of the Umbrella Movement, and they were greeted by ambassadors of democracies to the United Nations.

 

2014 Embargoed: China: Human Rights 365 = Human Rights for All

On Global Human Rights Day, Dec. 10, 2014, a statement of solidarty from a Tibetan, Uyghur, South Mongolian, and Chinese activitist is published. This is drafted by Tenzin Dorjee from Student for a Free Tibet, Yang Jianli & Teng Biao from IFC/CPFC, Enghebatu Togochog from Southern Mongolian Human Rights Information Center, and Rebiya Kadeer from World Uyghur Congress. The statement can be read at: http://www.initiativesforchina.org/ ?p=1869.  This is one of many examples of fruitful outcomes over 15 years of Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference.

 

2014 Peace Hong Kong Initiative

During Hong Kong’s Umbrella Movement, which occupied the last quarter of 2014, IFC/CPFC formed and led “Peace Hong Kong Initiative” with a goal of protecting the Hong Kong protestors from being brutally abused by military police, and ultimately support Hong Kong people’s voting rights and democracy. Peace Hong Kong Initiative is joined by 33 global NGOs (Citizen Power for China/Initiatives for China, Funding Organization, ChinaAid, Federation for a Democratic China, Chinese Democratic Education Foundation, Beijing Spring, Students for Free Tibet, Southern Mongolia Human Rights Information Center, Uygur American Association, Global Support for Democratization in China and Asia, Alliance for a Democratic China, Chinese Republican Party, China Social Democratic Party, Alliance of the Guard of Canadian Value, China Democracy Party United Headquarter, Sydney Democracy Platform, Chinese Alliance for Democracy, The Qi’s Cultural Foundation, China Green Party, Taiwan Association for China Human Rights, Taiwan Labour Front, Formoshark, Taiwan Youth Anti-Communist National Salvation Corps, Taiwan friends of Uyghur, Taiwan Independence Reformation, Peacetime Foundation of Taiwan, Youth for Human Rights of the Republic of China, Hong Kong Federation for a Democratic China, Roar for Chinese, New Hope Foundation), whch many are associated with Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference. One of the specific goals is to have the White House stand behind the Hong Kong people, IFC/CPFC started “We the People” petition on whitehouse.gov. It is required to collected 100,000 petitioner signatures within 30 days for the White House to give out an official response. We reached 197000 by September 30th, and the White House issued an official response, in support of the Hong Kong’s voting rights. The petition and response can be seen at: http://wh.gov/lhJ2E. One day after the official response, the White House speaker for the first time, addressed their firm position on Hong Kong’s human rights struggle.

 

2014 Oslo Freedom Forum

Dr. Yang helped HK Parliament Member Mr. Albert Ho and student leader Mr. Joshua Wong to deliver their video messages on the Hong Kong Umbrella Movement to international community (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jMdSSt6CTQk  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NkaHp- NJlzY).  In the mean while, Dr. Yang Jianli has brought Joshua Wong’s video to 6th Oslo Freedom Forum and shared with global human right NGO leaders.

2013 Challenge China’s Membership to UN Human Rights Council
YANG initiated a three year long battle against China’s election to UNHRC in Nov, 2013. This campaign was in three online petition forms:  Avaaz.org (focused on Tibet Issue) with over 1 million petitioner, Citizen Power for China’s petition with over 12,000 petitioner, and Moveon.org (for American Citizen and Residents) with 1,269 petitioner.

 

2013 Geneva Human Rights Summit

 

Jasmine Revolution Rescue 2011
The Jasmine Revolution began in China in February, after domino effects of Middle East protests.  The actual Chinese Jasmine Revolution takes the form of simply walking at designated gathering locations, in a peaceful and non-violent manner, which does not violate any Chinese law.  However, the Chinese government, nervous and alarmed, took swift and serious action against the people participating, as well as against dissidents and lawyers who defend human rights. This wave of arrests has become the biggest since 1998. On March 10-11, 2011, Initiatives for China, led by YANG met with U.S. Department of State officials and members of Congress to discuss the situation and present them with a list of names of Chinese citizens who have been arrested, detained or disappeared in this wave of crackdowns.

 

Empty Seat at Nobel Peace Prize 2010
After being asked by LIU Xia to work with Nobel Committee to prepare for 2010’s Nobel Peace Prize ceremony, YANG and Oslo’s Nobel Peace Committee has planned to use empty chair on the ceremony to send a message that is more powerful than any speech or slogan to the world about Liu Xiaobo’s imprisonment.

 

2010 International Hunger Strike
Outraged by the arrest of popular Chinese intellectual Liu Xianbin, democracy activists in major cities around the world will hold hunger strikes on Tuesday, August 24 in a show of solidarity with Liu and to appeal to the conscience of the world about the Chinese government’s crackdown on China’s intellectual community. Under the mantra of “I am Liu Xianbin” dissidents will hold hunger strikes in front of Chinese consulates in Berlin, Sydney, Melbourne, Toronto, Berlin, Bangkok, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, Paris, and Washington, D.C.  Similar hunger strikes will be held in undisclosed cities in Mainland China.

 

I am Liu Xianbin
Immediately after Liu Xianbin’s 3rd arrest, YANG announced the I Am Liu Xianbin campaign.  The campaign is aimed at personalizing the ongoing tragedy of imprisonment and intimidation of China’s best and brightest citizens by the Chinese government.

 

Sparrow Initiative
The Sparrow Initiative is a band of Chinese citizens and their supporters who have been victimized by forced evictions and land grabbing.  Sparrow Initiative groups have  formed in virtually every province of China to counter the widespread practice of local governments collaborating with developers to grab land for special projects or private development.  With no independent judiciary in China, victims of forced evictions have virtually no means for redress of their grievances.

 

Tokyo Airlift 2009
Tokyo Airlift comes after the 5th Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference, where one of the conference delegate, FENG Zhenghu, is rejected from returning China. Feng was forced to return to Tokyo’s Narita International Airport, where he was strangled for months while struggled to return his home in China. YANG Jianli immediately called support for FENG Zhenghu, and started Tokyo Airlift. The event sends activists (many are FENG’s fellow conference delegates) around the world to fly to Tokyo Narita Airport with food and medical supplies. The trips are planned each week. YANG flew there on December 25 of 2009, accompanied Feng for Christmas. After the months long struggle and negotiations with the Chinese diplomats, FENG finally returned China in February 12, 2010.

 

Liu Xiaobo’s Case 2009
Even YANG was not the first 300 signors of Charter 08, the signature collecting and publication work was done secretly inside YANG’s house in Boston. One of the writer of Charter 08, later 2010 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate LIU Xiaobo, was arrested for drafting  Charter 08. Ever since his arrest, YANG has advocating for his release. After he was awarded the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, LIU’s wife, Liuxia, asked YANG to help her to work with Nobel Committee for the ceremony.

 

Interethnic Interfaith Leadership Conference
The Annual Conference enjoys a long tradition of building trust, understanding and cooperation between cultural, religious, ethnic and regional groups directly involved with China. The conference objective is to advance mutual understanding and cooperation between these diverse groups – which include Han Chinese, Mongolians, Tibetans, Uyghurs, house Christians, Han Buddhists, and Falun Gong practitioners, and people from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau – to explore universal values which provide common ground in our struggle for justice, and forge a democratic change in China for all.

Gong Min Walk 2008
Within a year after YANG’return to United States from his 5 Year Imprisonment in China, Yang initiated Gong Min (Citizen) Walk. Gong Min Walk also marks the establishment of Initiatives for China (Gong Min Li Liang, Citizen’s Power). Gong Min walk started from Boston in early May of 2008, and after walking 500 miles, the walk was accomplished by reaching Washington D.C. on June 4th, 2008, commemorating the 19th Anniversary of Tiananmen Square Massacre. The significance behind Gong Min Walk is 1) call for general awareness on China’s human rights status, and 2) Spread the idea of: practice the basic rights by walking. Because any type of demonstrations (except government organized anti-Japan demonstrations) in China will be banned and participants will be persecuted, YANG initiated Gong Min Walk to use walking as a media to deliver the message that other wise would only be delivered in a demonstration. Later in 2010, during Shanghai EXPO, an activist used Gong Min Walk 2010 to express opposition against force eviction and demolition for the purpose of building Shanghai EXPO Showrooms.