Text: H.Res.608 — 110th Congress (2007-2008)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (08/02/2007)


110th CONGRESS
1st Session
H. RES. 608

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Government of the People’s Republic of China stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens.


IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
August 2, 2007

Mr. Rohrabacher (for himself, Mr. Pitts, and Mr. Shimkus) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


RESOLUTION

Expressing the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Government of the People’s Republic of China stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens.

Whereas the Games of the XI Olympiad in Berlin in 1936 showed that the integrity of the host country is of the utmost importance so as not to stain the participating athletes or the character of the Games;

Whereas the Government of the People’s Republic of China regularly denies the right to freedom of conscience, expression, religion, and association;

Whereas Chinese Government also holds thousands of political prisoners without charge or trial, including democracy activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, trade unionists, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighurs, “unofficial” church members, Falun Gong practitioners, and political dissidents;

Whereas the Chinese Government has long-standing economic and military ties with Sudan and continues to strengthen these ties, including providing military assistance, in spite of the ongoing human rights abuses amounting to genocide in Dafur, Sudan;

Whereas the Chinese Government has long-standing political, economic, and military ties with Burma and continues to strengthen these ties in spite of serious human rights abuses and house arrest of Noble Peace Price winner Daw Aung Saan Suu Kyi;

Whereas China also vetoed a United Nations Security Council resolution on human rights in Burma;

Whereas according to Amnesty International, China holds more than a quarter of a million people under the “Re-Education through Labor” detention system in labor camps, without benefit of charge or trial;

Whereas local police officers in China are empowered to imprison people under this detention system;

Whereas in the face of a serious food shortage and political repression, thousands of North Koreans have fled across the border to China;

Whereas hundreds, possibly thousands, of North Koreans have been detained by the Chinese authorities and forcibly returned across the border where they face arbitrary detention, torture, and even summary execution;

Whereas China continues to hold the 11th Panchen Lama, who was selected by the Dalai Lama;

Whereas the Panchen Lama was only 6 years old when the he was taken away by the Chinese authorities and is held in a secret location;

Whereas according to Amnesty International, China continues to execute political prisoners and nonviolent offenders, and accounts for over 80 percent of all executions documented in the world, and China also harvests organs from executed prisoners, frequently without consent;

Whereas China continues to allow forced abortion and sterilization to enforce its “One Child” policy, as per family population control measures;

Whereas according to United States Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, the Chinese Government’s birth planning policies retain harshly coercive elements in law and practice;

Whereas the laws restrict the rights of families to choose the number of children they have and the period of time between births;

Whereas the penalties for violating these laws are strict, leaving some women little choice but to abort pregnancies;

Whereas in addition, the implementation of these laws by local officials has resulted in serious violations of human rights;

Whereas reports of forced sterilization and abortions, in violation of the national law, continue to be documented in rural areas;

Whereas in 2007, officials in Chongqing municipality and in Fujian Province reportedly forcibly sterilized women;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, the Chinese Government consistently blocked access to Internet sites it deemed controversial, such as sites discussing Tibetan independence, underground religious and spiritual organizations, democracy activists, and the 1989 Tiananmen massacre;

Whereas the Chinese Government at times blocked access to selected Internet sites operated by major foreign news outlets, health organizations, and educational institutions;

Whereas China’s Internet control system reportedly employs tens of thousands of persons;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, sexual and physical abuse and extortion were reported in some detention centers;

Whereas Falun Gong activists reported that police raped female practitioners, including an incident in November 2005 at the Dongchengfang police station in Tunzhou City, Hebei Province, in which two women were raped while in detention;

Whereas according to Amnesty International, China executes political prisoners from the Uighur ethnic minority in the Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region;

Whereas there are concerns that abuses committed against Uighur ethnic minority could amount to genocide;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, the Chinese Government has not provided a comprehensive, credible account of all those killed, missing, or detained in connection with the violent suppression of the 1989 Tiananmen demonstrations;

Whereas there are nongovernmental organization reports of hundreds, if not thousands, who died during the crackdown against the Tiananmen demonstrations;

Whereas according the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, since the crackdown on Falun Gong began in 1999, estimates of the numbers of Falun Gong adherents who have died in custody because of torture, abuse, and neglect range from several hundred to a few thousand;

Whereas in March 2006, United Nations Special Rapporteur Manfred Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in custody by the Chinese Government;

Whereas according to the Department of State’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2006, regulations for committing a person into the psychiatric facility at Ankang, China, were not clear;

Whereas credible reports indicate that a number of political and trade union activists, underground religious believers, persons who repeatedly petitioned the Chinese Government, members of the banned China Democratic Party, and Falun Gong adherents were incarcerated in such psychiatric facilities during 2006;

Whereas China is preparing to host the Summer Olympic Games in August 2008, the most honorable, venerated, and prestigious international sporting event, and China has selected “One World, One Dream” as a slogan for those games;

Whereas China should act consistently with the Olympic standard of preserving human dignity for its citizens and for the people of the Dafur region of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea;

Whereas the spirit of the Olympics, which is to bring together nations and people from all over the world in peace, is incompatible with Chinese actions; and

Whereas China continues to seriously abuse the rights of its citizens and continues to assist Sudan, Burma, and North Korea in committing human rights abuses against their citizens: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That—

(1) it is the duty and responsibility of the United States to take effective steps to stop serious human rights abuses by the Government of the People’s Republic of China against its citizens and to stop the Chinese Government from supporting serious human rights abuses by Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens; and

(2) it is the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Chinese Government stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens.