Relaymedia

HRW Prompts Germany to Advocate Human Rights in China

A U.S. based human rights organization is urging the newly elected German office to take a "stronger position" against human rights in countries such as China.
( [email protected] ) Oct 27, 2005 10:32 PM EDT

A U.S. based human rights organization is urging the newly elected German office to take a "stronger position" against human rights in countries such as China.

Human Rights Watch (HRW) has recently opened an office in Berlin where they will encourage the government to expand its role as an advocate for human rights for four particular countries—Russia, China, Uzbekistan, and Sudan.

"Germany has a special role to play in defending human rights all over the world," Germany Director of Human Rights Watch Marianne Heuwagen said in a statement released on Wed.

A suggestion that was made by Heuwagen is for Germany to promote human rights backed by their relationship with Russia.

In a visit in mid-Nov., China's President Hu Jintao is expected to meet with Germany's President Horst Koehler.

HRW wants Germany to urge China to establish a "free press" where corruption and epidemics such as SARS, HIV/AIDS, and avian flu can be tackled, as well as freedom of religion and expression, in particular the internet.

"The German government should convey the message that economic progress and respect for human rights and the rule of law go hand in hand," HRW said.

A Commission that was founded in Oct. 2000, to monitor human rights and the development of the rule of law in China, released their 2005 Congressional Executive Commission on China (CECC) report at the beginning of Oct., saying that they found "no improvement overall in human rights conditions in China over the past year."

From the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Spokesperson Kong Quan was asked to respond to the 2005 CECC report.

Quan said, "China has maintained sustained, rapid and healthy economic development and people of all ethnic groups enjoyed their full legal rights and basic freedoms," according to a statement released on Oct. 12.

"The U.S. should stop the wrong actions of interfering in China's internal affairs and take effective measures to eliminate the negative impact of the report," Quan added.

The CECC released the report to the President and Congress, along with their recommendations on what China needs to change in regards to religious freedom and human rights.

President Bush is expected to visit China in mid-Nov. to continue their talks, that started back in Sept., on strengthening U.S.-China relations.

In Sept., the President said prior to the meeting with Hu, "I will bring up human rights. Most importantly, I view this...as an opportunity to continue a dialogue in dealing with a very important relationship with the United States and the world."