The outlawed China Democracy Party (CDP) has appealed to US president-elect George W. Bush to pressure China into improving its dismal human rights record, a Hong Kong rights group said Wednesday.
Ten members of the preparatory committee of the banned party also called on the incoming Bush government to seek the immediate release of CDP leaders Xu Wenli, Wang Yongcai and Qin Yongmin, the Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said.
"Since China signed the UN Convention on Civil and Political Rights the human rights situation in China has not improved, but has deteriorated," the CDP said in an open letter to Bush.
China began jailing members of the CDP in late 1998 after the group publicly announced its establishment days after Beijing signed the convention.
So far up to 30 members have been given jail sentences of up to 18 years for "subversion", the center said.
"China becoming a democratic country will form an important element for maintaining world peace, so it is erroneous for any country to turn their eyes from China's human rights record in order to reap commercial profits," the letter said.
Director of the information center Lu Siqing had planned to hand over the letter to the Chinese leadership during ceremonies marking the first anniversary of the handover of Macau to China in Macau earlier Wednesday.
However, Lu was not allowed into the former Portuguese colony and was forced to return to Hong Kong. Chinese President Jiang Zemin attended the ceremonies -- BEIJING (AFP)
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