Chinese human rights hero Yang Jianli praises UN Watch appeal against Shanghai World Expo evictions

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Chinese nationals protest forced evictions

By Michelle Phillips

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Three Chinese nationals are seeking to overturn their forced evictions from their homes by appealing directly to officials and citizens in New York and Beijing.

Hu Yan, Chen Xuxing and Xu Xiaoqi, the daughter of one of the founders of China’s Communist Party, say they hope to raise international awareness of their and others’ plight, and to pressure Beijing — via the U.N. and the United States — to alter its eviction policy.

The trio is working with the Sparrow Initiative, a project to help the victims of forced evictions, to spread the word about how they are being forced from their homes in China.

In New York, Ms. Hu and Mr. Chen said they shared their stories with hundreds of passersby, aided by the activities of about 100 supporters.

In Beijing, Ms. Xu marched to a government office in Beijing to petition for an audience, in spite of police warnings that she was just making trouble for herself.

“The silence on this is deafening,” said Jim Geheran, director of Initiatives for China, an organization that promotes a peaceful transition to democracy.

As part of the effort, Yang Haihan, a naturalized U.S. citizen, stood with 20 friends outside the Chinese consulate in Los Angeles to send a statement to China and passersby about forced evictions.

Mr. Yang said he chose the consulate so “the people leaving would have to see us and what we were saying.”

The United Nations Watch, a human rights watchdog, is putting together a joint appeal on the forced evictions of the Shanghai World Expo, which Initiatives for China President Yang Jianli said will give the Sparrow Initiative “new momentum to push forward.”

© Copyright 2010 The Washington Times, LLC.

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