Jan 152015
 

China maintains very firm control over its population. Human rights advocates claim the abuses of this communist nation are many. Chinese authorities quickly arrest any person they consider subversive or who openly disagrees with state policy. Arrestees are often held for long periods of time without due process. It is estimated there are more than 500,000 people currently in custody who have not been charged or tried. China’s infamous “re-education through labor” camps still operate, allowing police to imprison people for as long as four years without a trial or judicial review. These camps have increasingly been used by police to silence ordinary Chinese citizens petitioning to redress grievances against local officials. China’s human rights defenders are often harassed and placed under house arrest. Increased censorship of the Internet and other media greatly restricts free speech. China’s critics claim that international pressure, including the withholding of trade, is the only way to stop these abuses. Beijing supporters counter that the revocation of trade is a double-edged sword. Recently, China’s new administration has decided to ease its one-child policy for city-dwelling couples. This change allows couples to have two children if either the husband or wife is an only child. Among this and other reforms, it has also said it will abolish penal colonies for political prisoners.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.491 – Global Online Freedom Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current China human rights policy and wish to pass H.R.491

I support promoting the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information and ideas through any media; using all appropriate instruments of U.S. influence to support the free flow of information without interference or discrimination; deterring U.S. businesses from cooperating with Internet-restricting countries in effecting online censorship, and wish to pass H.R.491

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to impose trade sanctions on China for violating the human rights of its citizens

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

The government of Saudi Arabia, led by its royal family, has often been criticized for its treatment of religious and political minorities, guest workers, homosexuals and women. In 2011, it proposed to criminalize basic human rights such as freedom of expression, assembly, and association. Advocates say thousands of people have been secretly arrested, detained and tortured while others have been killed in uncertain circumstances. Saudi authorities continue to suppress the rights of 9 million Saudi women and 8 million foreign workers. At the start of 2013, it was estimated that about 45 maids from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and India were awaiting execution in Saudi Arabia. Human rights groups say that migrants are at high risk of being victims of bogus charges. Maids often work for months without pay and are physically abused. They say a domestic worker facing abuse or exploitation from her employer might run away and then be accused of theft. Victims of rape and sexual assault are at risk of being accused of adultery and fornication. The Philippines government recently signed an ‘historic’ agreement that gives Filipino workers more rights. Human rights advocates also say Saudi women enjoy few freedoms their foreign-born counterparts do. Saudi Arabia’s male guardianship system forbids women from traveling, driving, conducting official business or undergoing certain medical procedures without permission from their husbands, fathers and in some cases their own sons.

Pending Legislation: None

I oppose reforming current Saudi Arabia human rights policy

I support identifying a legislator who will sponsor a bill to impose trade sanctions on Saudi Arabia for violating the human rights of its citizens and guest workers

 Posted by at 12:00 am
Jan 152015
 

In 2011, after decades of civil war, South Sudan won its independence from Sudan. However, this conflict still rages on over key issues related to oil, territory and borders. Sudan lost most of its oil fields, located in South Sudan, when this country was divided. However, South Sudan’s oil can only be exported through pipelines that run through Sudan. During this civil war, massive human rights violations were committed by government and militia groups including mass rape, torture, killings and the bombing of villages by government aircraft. More than 2 million people were also displaced. Human rights advocates say that enslavement still exists in Sudan and is encouraged by its government. Sudanese troops have reportedly attacked villages, killing the men and enslaving the women and children. Sudan has also has one of the worst child soldier problems in the world. It is estimated that at least 17,000 children have fought on both sides of this war. In the beginning of 2014, a conflict between South Sudanese troops loyal to its president and those loyal to his deputy recently escalated into ethnic violence, taking the lives of thousands. Months of fighting have prevented farmers from planting or harvesting crops, causing nationwide food shortages. The UN has called South Sudan’s food crisis the worst in the world, saying some four million people could be affected, and 50,000 children may die of hunger unless international help is increased. Human rights advocates say the humanitarian response in this region has traditionally focused on providing food, medical care and shelter while placing less emphasis on the safety and security of those affected by a complex humanitarian crisis. They say few well-coordinated efforts exist to prevent and respond to violence against women and children when they are refugees or internally displaced persons.

Pending Legislation:

H.R.1692: Sudan Peace, Security, and Accountability Act of 2013

I oppose reforming current Sudanese human rights policy and wish to defeat H.R.1692

I support developing a comprehensive strategy to end serious human rights violations in Sudan and to promote comprehensive peace and democratic reform; including an interagency plan along with a description of the resources and additional personnel required for the diplomatic, economic, intelligence, and military activities to be undertaken to address and end human rights violations; placing sanctions against Sudan or Sudanese individuals; mandating increased collection of intelligence information on Sudanese targets of sanctions, and wish to pass H.R.1692

 Posted by at 12:00 am