News

Latest News

ICYMI: Rubio Joins Fox and Friends

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) joined Fox and Friends to discuss Mitch McConnell’s retirement announcement, mass migration, and rising crime. Watch the full interview on YouTube and Rumble. On Mitch McConnell’s retirement announcement: “I think Mitch McConnell,...

read more

Senators Urge China To Release Detained Political Prisoners

Apr 8, 2015 | Press Releases

Washington, D.C. U.S. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, Barbara Boxer (D-CA), ranking member of the subcommittee, Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today called on China to release all political prisoners detained for the peaceful exercise of their fundamental rights.

In a letter to Chinese Ambassador Cui Tiankai, the senators highlighted the cases of five women’s rights activists who were detained March 6 and 7 on charges of creating a disturbance by planning to raise public awareness about sexual harassment in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8, and urged their immediate and unconditional release. The senators also urged the release of 2010 Noble Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo and human rights attorneys Pu Zhiqiang and Xu Zhiyong.

“According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, citizens ‘enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration’ and the state ‘respects and preserves human rights,’” the senators wrote. “The ongoing detention of these female activists who have championed gender equality and women’s rights calls into question China’s commitment to these principles.”

“Therefore, we respectfully request that the Chinese government immediately and unconditionally release these five female activists and that while in detention, authorities take all measures to guarantee their welfare and security, including access to adequate medical treatment and regular and unrestricted access to their lawyers, family, and friends,’” the senators added.

A PDF of the letter is available here, and the full text is below:

April 7, 2015

His Excellency Cui Tiankai

Ambassador

Embassy of the People’s Republic of China

Washington, D.C.

Dear Ambassador Cui:

We write to express our deep concern regarding the ongoing detention of five women’s rights activists who were peacefully exercising their rights to freedom of expression and association. We request that the Chinese government act in a manner consistent with its own legal obligations and international law, and immediately and unconditionally release these individuals.

According to available news reports, Wei Tingting, Li Tingting, Wang Man, Zheng Churan, and Wu Rongrong were detained on March 6 and 7 on charges of creating a disturbance by planning to raise public awareness about sexual harassment in conjunction with International Women’s Day on March 8.

Based on information from international human rights organizations and statements from the detained women’s lawyers, the women have been held under harsh conditions, subjected to lengthy interrogations, and denied consistent access to legal representation. In addition, we understand that Wu Rongrong and Wang Man both suffer from medical conditions and have not received adequate medical care.

According to the Constitution of the People’s Republic of China, citizens “enjoy freedom of speech, of the press, of assembly, of association, of procession and of demonstration” and the state “respects and preserves human rights.” The ongoing detention of these female activists who have championed gender equality and women’s rights calls into question China’s commitment to these principles.

Therefore, we respectfully request that the Chinese government immediately and unconditionally release these five female activists and that while in detention, authorities take all measures to guarantee their welfare and security, including access to adequate medical treatment and regular and unrestricted access to their lawyers, family, and friends. We also request that your government release all political prisoners detained for the peaceful exercise of their fundamental rights, including 2010 Noble Peace Prize recipient Liu Xiaobo and human rights attorneys Pu Zhiqiang and Xu Zhiyong.

As China prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women in September, the Chinese government must clearly demonstrate its commitment to respect the universal human rights of all people including freedom of expression and association.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.

Sincerely,

Marco Rubio

Barbara Boxer 

Kelly Ayotte

Jeanne Shaheen