Third General Assembly of the World Uyghur Congress to be held in Washington, DC



For immediate release

May 11, 2009, 6:20 p.m. EST

Contact:
Uyghur American Association
Tel (Washington): +1 202-349-1496
World Uyghur Congress
Tel (Munich): +49 89 5432199
Email:
contact@uyghurcongress.org
 
On behalf of the World Uyghur Congress (WUC), the Uyghur American Association would like to announce the convening of the Third General Assembly of the WUC in Washington, DC from Thursday, May 21 to Monday, May 25. Also in Washington, DC, the WUC, in conjunction with the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) and the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organisation (UNPO), will host a seminal human rights conference focused on East Turkestan entitled East Turkestan: 60 Years under Communist Chinese Rule, from Monday, May 18 to Tuesday, May 19.
 
During the week beginning Monday, May 18, officially designated by the WUC as “Uyghur Week”, WUC delegates, Uyghur human right activists, government officials, legislators and academics from the U.S. and from countries around the world will attend these two important events.
 
Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, Uyghur democracy leader and WUC president, said “Uyghur Week in Washington, DC is a milestone for the Uyghur people as they aspire for human rights, democracy and freedom in East Turkestan. The opening of the World Uyghur Congress Third General Assembly at the U.S. Capitol has profound historical significance and symbolism; Uyghurs across the world look to the United States and its representatives as leaders in the struggle against tyranny and repression. Accordingly, members of the U.S. Senate and House,as well as dignitaries, prominent human rights defenders, and leaders of the Tibetan and Chinese communities will address Uyghur congressional delegates and their supporters from around the world.”
 
East Turkestan: 60 Years under Communist Chinese Rule is being generously hosted by NED at:
1025 F Street, N.W., Suite 800,
Washington, DC 20004
Tel: +1 202-378-9700

 
The conference looks to assess the past and present Uyghur condition under Chinese Communist Party rule, and to offer solutions on the future of East Turkestan. Topics to be covered during the two-day event include discussions on autonomy, religious freedom and the “War on Terror”. Registration begins at 10 a.m. on May 18. Members of media are welcome to attend the conference.
 
On Thursday, May 21 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m., an opening ceremony will be held in advance of the WUC Third General Assembly. The venue for the opening ceremony is the United States Capitol Building, Congressional Meeting Room South. On Tuesday, May 26 from 12 noon to 3 p.m., after the conclusion of the WUC Third General Assembly, the WUC is planning to hold a press conference at the National Press Club in Washington, DC. Again members of the media are welcome to attend both events. Journalists wishing to attend the event in the United States Capitol Building can obtain clearance from the following:
 
Radio/TV
Olga Ramirez Kornacki
+1 202-226-5715
 
Print
Jerry Gallegos
+1 202-225-3945
 
Periodicals
Rob Zatkowski
+1 202-225-2941
 
Still Photography
Jeff Kent
+1 202-224-6548
 
Additionally, on Wednesday, May 20 from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Human Rights Watch is hosting a panel discussion on Ms. Rebiya Kadeer’s recently published autobiography, Dragon Fighter: One Woman’s Epic Struggle for Peace with China, and on current Uyghur human rights issues at their offices, which are located at:

1630 Connecticut Ave., N.W., # 500
Washington, DC 20009
Tel: +1 202-612-4321.

 
Dragon Fighter details Ms. Kadeer’s exceptional life as a self-made millionaire and philanthropist turned political prisoner and later exiled activist; against the backdrop of decades of tumultuous political and social changes in East Turkestan, it also chronicles the experiences of the Uyghur population under the authoritarian rule of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
 
Dragon Fighter: One Woman’s Epic Struggle for Peace with China is now available in bookstores, and may be ordered online here.






THE OFFICIAL OPENING CEREMONY

OF THE THIRD GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF

THE WORLD UYGHUR CONGRESS

 

MAY 21, 2009

TIME: 09:30 a.m. – 01:00 p.m.

VENUE: The Congressional Meeting Room South
The United States Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515

HOST: Mr. Alim Seytoff, WUC Executive Chairman

09:30 – 09:40 The Official Opening of the General Assembly

09:40 – 09:50 The National Anthems of East Turkestan & the USA

09:50 – 10:00 Ms. Rebiya Kadeer, WUC President

10:00 – 10:10 The Honorable Lincoln Diaz-Balart, Member of Congress

10:10 – 10:25 The Honorable Chris Smith, Member of Congress

10:25 – 10:40 The Honorable Frank Wolf, Member of Congress

10:40 – 10:55 The Honorable Bill Delahunt, Member of Congress

10:55 – 11:10 The Honorable James McGovern, Member of Congress

11:10 – 11:25 The Honorable Sherrod Brown, Member of Senate

11:25 – 11:35 Ms. Barbara Haig, NED Vice-President

11:35 – 11:50 Mr. Hans Hogrefe, Director of TLHRC

11:50 – 12:05 Ms. Kara Abramson, CECC Advocacy Director

12:05 – 12:20 Mr. Marino Busdachin, UNPO General Secretary

12:20 – 12:35 Mr. T. Kumar, Asia Director of Amnesty International USA

12:35 – 12:50 Mr. Bhuchung Tsering, Vice-President of ICT

12:50 – 01:00 Ms. Tienchi, Director of the Laogai Research Foundation


BRIEF BIOGRAPHIES OF THE SPEAKERS

MS. REBIYA KADEER, UYGHUR DEMOCRACY LEADER

Ms. Rebiya Kadeer is the democratic leader of the Uyghur people in East Turkestan (aka: Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region of China) who spent nearly six years in a Chinese prison for standing up to the authoritarian Chinese government. Ms. Kadeer, 63, is the mother of eleven children and a former laundress-turned-millionaire. Before her arrest by the Chinese government in 1999, she was one of the most prominent Uyghur businesswomen and 7th richest entrepreneur in China.

Ms. Kadeer was arrested by China’s National Security agents on August 11, 1999 while on her way to meet a U.S. Congressional Research Service delegation investigating the situation in Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region (XUAR). She was sentenced by the Chinese government to eight years in prison in a secret trial on alleged charges of leaking “state secrets” to the U.S. She was released by China to the U.S. on medical parole on March 17, 2005 due to persistent international pressure, above all from Washington.

Ms. Kadeer has been actively campaigning for the human rights of the Uyghur people since her release. She frequently meet with the State Department officials. Ms. Kadeer has testified many times before the U.S. Congress on Chinese human-rights violations in East Turkistan, such as the frequent execution of political and religious prisoners, discrimination against Uyghurs in education and employment, the forced elimination of Uyghur language and culture, the forced abortion of Uyghur children. Furthermore, she frequently visited European Union countries and briefed government officials on China’s human rights violation of the Uyghur people.

Ms. Kadeer was the founder and president of the International Uyghur Human Rights and Democracy Foundation in Washington, DC. She was also elected as the president of the Uyghur American Association in May 2006. She was elected as the president of the World Uyghur Congress in November 2006. The Uyghur people in the U.S. and around the world closely rally behind her and support her efforts to change the terrible human rights situation of the Uyghurs in East Turkestan. Despite Chinese government efforts to demonize and discredit her, she is recognized as the most prominent Uyghur leader and the mother of the Uyghur nation by all Uyghurs.


MR. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART, MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Lincoln Diaz-Balart is a senior member of the House Rules Committee and the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Legislative and Budget Process.

Mr. Diaz-Balart attended public elementary schools in South Florida and high school at the American School of Madrid, Spain. Subsequently, he received a degree in international relations from New College of Florida, in Sarasota, and obtained a diploma in British politics in Cambridge, England. He received his law degree from Cleveland, Ohio's, Case Western Reserve University.

Mr. Diaz-Balart practiced law in Miami, where he worked for "Legal Services of Greater Miami,” providing free legal services to the poor. He was subsequently an Assistant State Attorney in Miami and a partner in the law firm of Fowler, White.

Lincoln Diaz-Balart was first elected to the Florida Legislature in 1986 by the largest margin of victory of any state representative in Florida and was chosen "best in debate" by colleagues during his freshman term. In 1989, Mr. Diaz-Balart successfully ran in a special election for an open seat in the Florida Senate and was reelected in 1990.

In 1992, Mr. Diaz-Balart was elected to the United States House of Representatives from Florida's 21st Congressional District. He served as a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee during his first term, and retains his seniority in that important committee.

In 1994, Lincoln Diaz-Balart became the first Hispanic in history to be named to the powerful House Rules Committee. The Rules Committee decides which legislation may reach the House Floor and what amendments may be debated.

In 1996, Lincoln Diaz-Balart drafted much of the legislation that strengthened the embargo against the Cuban dictatorship. Mr. Diaz-Balart was specifically responsible for codifying the embargo, making the lifting of sanctions contingent upon the liberation of all political prisoners and the scheduling of multiparty elections in Cuba.

In 1997, Mr. Diaz-Balart successfully carried out efforts to restore SSI, also known as "disability" benefits, and food stamps to legal immigrants who were denied aid by the Welfare Reform Law of 1996. On May 15, 1997, Mr. Diaz-Balart took to the Floor of the House and achieved the passage of his amendment to continue SSI benefits to legal immigrants by a vote of 345 to 74. Mr. Diaz-Balart was the author of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act of 1997, which granted legal residency to hundreds of thousands of immigrants in the United States.

In 1999, the respected publication, Congressional Quarterly (CQ), honored Mr. Diaz-Balart by naming him one of the "CQ 50" of effective and influential members of Congress. In 2000, a nationwide poll of Hispanic voters by the firm, Hispanic Trends, conducted for Hispanic Magazine, placed Mr. Diaz-Balart among the 10 most influential and credible Hispanics in the United States. As a member of the House Rules Committee, on September 14, 2001, Lincoln Diaz-Balart took to the floor of the House the Joint Resolution authorizing the use of the United States Armed Forces against those responsible for the attacks of September 11, 2001 against the United States. On November 13, 2002, he took to the Floor the historic legislation creating the “Department of Homeland Security.”

For his extraordinary work on behalf of Nicaraguan immigrants in the United States, Lincoln Diaz-Balart received the "Order of Ruben Dario in Great Cross Grade" medal from the President of Nicaragua on February 23, 2003. On April 13, 2004, due to his work on behalf of Colombian immigrants in the U.S., Lincoln Diaz-Balart received the highest medals awarded by the Senate and the House of Representatives of Colombia. On November 9, 2005, Lincoln Diaz-Balart was awarded the “Commander of the Ouissam Alaouite Order” of Morocco, for his efforts to help win the release of the final 404 Moroccan prisoners of war, most of whom were held for more than 20 years, by the Polisario Front in southern Algeria. For his work on behalf of Salvadoran immigrants in the United States, Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart received the highest Medal granted by El Salvador, the “Orden Nacional José Matías Delgado en Grado de Plata” from the President of El Salvador on May 3, 2008.

Congressman Diaz-Balart lives in Miami with his wife, Cristina, and their two sons, Lincoln and Daniel.

MR. CHRIS SMITH, MEMBER OF CONGRESS

As a Member of the United States House of Representatives from New Jersey, Mr. Chris Smith has championed the rights and interests of many - from children forced to toil in sweatshops to women kidnapped and sold into lives of prostitution to unborn children whose opportunity for life is threatened. Smith has dedicated his life to protecting human rights and helping the world’s most vulnerable.

Congressman Smith has represented the citizens of New Jersey's Fourth Congressional District since 1981, when he was sworn into office at the age of 27. Throughout his 28 years of service, he has established himself as one of the hardest-working, most compassionate and dedicated members of the House.

Congressman Smith - a nationally and internationally renowned leader in Congress particularly in the areas of human rights, religious freedom, veterans’ affairs and healthcare - is an equally passionate local advocate who tirelessly applies his energy toward meeting local and state challenges.

As a champion of global human rights since being elected to Congress, Congressman Smith is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Ranking Republican of the Committee's Africa and Global Health Subcommittee.

Congressman Smith also serves as a Ranking Member of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe (also known as the United States Helsinki Commission), which works to promote and foster democracy, human rights, and stability in Eastern and Central Europe, and on the Congressional-Executive Commission on China which monitors human rights and the development of the rule of law in China.

MR. FRANK WOLF, MEMBER OF CONGRESS
 
Congressman Frank Wolf, the most senior of the 11 members of the House of Representatives from Virginia, is serving in his 15th term in Congress. He represents the 10th District of Virginia, which stretches from McLean to Winchester. Congressman Wolf sits on the powerful House Appropriations Committee, where he is the lead Republican on the Commerce-Justice-Science subcommittee. He also serves on the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development subcommittee. In addition, he is the co-chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, a bipartisan organization made up of more than 200 Members of Congress who work together to raise awareness about international human rights issues.

MR. BILL DELAHUNT, MEMBER OF CONGRESS

William D. Delahunt represents the Tenth Congressional District of Massachusetts – which includes Cape Cod, the Islands of Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket, as well as
Boston's economically diverse South Shore. He came to Congress in 1997 with a distinguished career in public service and law enforcement and has since been reelected five times.

He serves as a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and as Chairman of the Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight

His committee conducts oversight of key aspects of the each Administration’s foreign policy. Its jurisdiction includes oversight of the State Department, foreign aid and export assistance programs, arms control, democracy promotion and policies towards the United Nations and its affiliated organizations. The panel also has jurisdiction over policies that promote human rights and international cooperation.

Delahunt is also a member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere. On this panel, Delahunt has worked to improve diplomatic
relations throughout Latin America and to reverse the declining image of the United States in the region.

A 1963 graduate of Middlebury College in Vermont, Mr. Delahunt later went on to earn a law degree from Boston College in 1967. He served from 1963 to 1971 in the Coast Guard Reserve. The Congressman is the son of the late Ruth and Bill Delahunt Sr., a sales manager. He is a lifelong resident of Quincy, and the exceedingly proud father of
Kirstin and Kara.
 
MR. JAMES MCGOVERN, MEMBER OF CONGRESS

Currently serving his seventh term in Congress, Jim McGovern was first sworn in as U.S. Representative for Massachusetts' 3rd Congressional District on January 7, 1997. McGovern is the Vice Chairman of the powerful House Rules Committee, which sets the terms for debate and amendments on most legislation, and a member of the House Budget Committee. McGovern is also co-chair of both the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the House Hunger Caucus.

Before his election to Congress, the 49 year old McGovern spent fourteen years working as a senior aide for the late U.S. Representative John Joseph Moakley (D-South Boston), former dean of the Massachusetts delegation and Chairman of the House Rules Committee.

During those years, McGovern earned a strong reputation as a champion of human rights. In 1989, McGovern was chosen by Congressman Moakley to lead a congressional investigation into the murders of six Jesuit priests and two lay women in El Salvador.

In Congress, McGovern has championed several education initiatives, including a bill to increase grant assistance for college students and their families; he has led the fight to provide adequate health care, including home health care; he has worked to increase funding for the Land and Water Conservation Fund; he has fought to preserve and strengthen Social Security; and he has secured millions of dollars in federal assistance to Central and Southeastern Massachusetts.
 
MR. SHERROD BROWN, MEMBER OF SENATE
 
Since voters in Ohio’s 13th Congressional District first sent him to Congress in 1992, Sherrod Brown has become one of Congress’ most respected voices on health care, trade policy, job creation, the environment, and other issues important to his Northeast Ohio district.

Brown is the ranking member on the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee. He also serves on the Subcommittees on Energy and Air Quality and Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection. Brown’s other assignments include the House International Relations Committee and its Asia and the Pacific Subcommittee.

As the Health Subcommittee’s leading Democrat, Brown has achieved national acclaim fighting to give Americans access to affordable prescription drugs. He led the effort in the House to close legal loopholes used by brand-name drug companies to prevent price competition. Seniors groups in Ohio have honored Brown for sponsoring bus trips to Canada that allow consumers to get prescriptions drugs for up to 80% less than the price in the U.S.

A leader on children’s health issues, Brown was the chief Democratic sponsor of the bipartisan Children’s Health Act of 2000, which established a new Pediatric Research Initiative within the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and expanded research projects on autism, birth defects, and other child-related illnesses and diseases. His efforts earned him the "Friend of Children and Children’s Hospitals" award from the National Association of Children’s Hospitals.

The American Public Health Association, the nation’s largest public health organization with 50,000 members, recognized Congressman Brown with its Distinguished Public Health Legislator of the Year Award for 2002. In addition to health-related achievements, Brown has fought trade agreements that threaten American jobs, undermine environmental safeguards, and eliminate workplace safety protections. He believes international trade agreements should include protections for workers in America and across the globe, including fair wages, decent working conditions, and the right to unionize. As a fierce critic of the North American Free Trade Agreement, he played a key role in efforts to defeat "fast track" trade negotiating authority in Congress. Brown also spoke against granting China increased trade privileges until its leaders adhere to internationally accepted human rights practices.

A member of the House International Relations Committee, Brown has brought the global tuberculosis threat to the policy forefront. He led a five-year effort that increased funding for international anti-TB programs from zero to the current $75 million. In addition to TB, Brown worked against the pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to restrict African countries’ access to life-saving prescription drugs for HIV/AIDS. He is also a founding member of the Congressional Caucuses for Taiwan and India.

As a long-standing member of the U.S. House and Senate Great Lakes Task Force, Brown has worked to preserve the economic and environmental vitality of Lake Erie and all the Great Lakes. He has led the charge to halt attempts by private companies to buy and sell Great Lakes water.

Born and raised in Mansfield, Ohio, Brown achieved the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts of America. He graduated from Yale University with a degree in Russian studies and later earned master’s degrees in education and public administration from Ohio State University. He served two terms as Ohio’s Secretary of State and four terms in the Ohio House of Representatives.

Brown is married to Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Connie Schultz, a Pulitzer-prize finalist and winner of the 2003 RFK Memorial Journalism Award for Social Justice Reporting. He is the father of two daughters, Emily, a union organizer for the Service Employees International Union, and Elizabeth, an AmeriCorps graduate and student at Columbia University. Stepdaughter Caitlin is a high school student in Ohio. Stepson Andrew Gard is a doctoral student at Ohio State University.

Brown’s first book, Congress from the Inside: Observations from the Majority and the Minority, is in its third edition, and his latest book, Myths of Free Trade, was published in September, 2004.
 
MS. BARBARA HAIG, NED VICE-PRESIDENT

Ms. Barbara Haig is Vice President for Program, Planning and Evaluation at the National Endowment for Democracy, where she has worked since 1985. The staff which she oversees is responsible for the programmatic development, monitoring and evaluation of the Endowment's international grants program, which covers six regions of the world. In recent years, she has overseen a vast expansion of the Endowment's program in the Arab Middle East, especially Iraq, and Afghanistan. During the late 1980s and early 1990s, she oversaw the development and implementation of several large and complex democracy programs funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in South Africa, Nicaragua and Central and Eastern Europe. From 1981 to 1985, Ms. Haig was Special Assistant to the Associate Director of Programs, and then to the Director, of the United States Information Agency. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and has studied or worked in Latin America, Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and Africa.
 
MS. LOUISA GREVE, NED EAST ASIA DIRECTOR

Ms. Louisa Greve is Program Director for East Asia at the National Endowment for Democracy (http://www.ned.org), which makes grants to pro-democracy and human rights organizations in more than 80 countries. She has studied, worked, and traveled in China since 1980 and has testified before Congressional committees on human rights in China and democracy promotion in Asia. She was a member of the Taiwan Policy Working Group (2007) and the Council on Foreign Relations Roundtable on U.S. National Security--New Threats in a Changing World (2002). She served as a member of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA (1993-1998), and was a volunteer China and Mongolia specialist for Amnesty from 1990 to 1999. She is currently a member of the Virginia Advisory Council of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.
 
MR. HANS HOGREFE, TLHRC DIRECTOR
 
Mr. Hogrefe was appointed to the Democratic staff of the House International Relations Committee in April of 2003. His area of responsibility for the Committee is global human rights. In addition, Mr. Hogrefe serves as Democratic Staff Director of the newly created Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission (H. Res. 1451, 110th Congress), the successor entity in the House of Representatives of the former Congressional Human Rights Caucus.

Mr. Hogrefe serves as Democratic Staff Director to Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission Co-Chair James P. McGovern (D-MA). In this capacity, Mr. Hogrefe oversees the full implementation of H. Res. 1451, including the thematic advocacy of human rights and the administrative institutionalization of the Commission.

Prior to this appointment, Mr. Hogrefe served as Executive Director of the Congressional Human Rights Caucus from April 30, 1996. Founded in 1983, the Congressional Human Rights Caucus is a bi-partisan working group on human rights of over 225 Members in the U.S. House of Representatives, which was co-chaired by Rep. Tom Lantos (D-CA) and Rep. Frank R. Wolf (R-VA). In his capacity as Director, Mr. Hogrefe identified, researched and brought to Congress' attention human rights violations throughout the world.

In 1995, Mr. Hogrefe was chosen as a Congressional Fellow of the American Political Science Association (APSA). APSA selects three international political scientists each year to work in a congressional office as a legislative fellow, as part of their U.S. program to provide the United States Congress with about 60 experts from the political science, defense, foreign affairs and health field.

Born in Herne, Germany, Mr. Hogrefe holds a Masters degree in English, Political Science and History from the University of Muenster, Germany.
 
MS. KARA ABRAMSON, CECC ADVOCACY DIRECTOR
 
Ms. Abramson is Advocacy Director for the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, where she also focuses on ethnic minority rights and religious freedom in China. She holds a JD from Harvard Law School, where she focused on international human rights law. In addition she has studied law and researched the Chinese legal system as a Fulbright fellow to the Sichuan University Law School. She has published on topics including the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region and Chinese legal education.
 
MR. MARINO BUSDACHIN, UNPO GENERAL SECRETARY
 
Mr. Marino Busdachin was born in Umago (Istria, Croatia) in 1956. He arrived as a refugee in Italy in 1961. Education: Law University in Trieste.

During the 70’s he campaigned for civil rights in Italy mainly focusing on the rights to conscientious objection, divorce and reproductive rights. He was an active participant, well known in the political Italian scene. In 1974 he was elected for the first time, member of the Federal Council of the Radical Party. Between 1978 and 1982 he was elected member of the City Council of Trieste.

During the 80’s he was one of the most active promoters of international campaigns in support of the respect of human, civil and political rights in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. He was arrested in Bulgaria (1982) and in the Soviet Union (1989). He led and coordinated the Transnational Radical Party (TRP) activities in the former Yugoslavia (1991-1993) and in the Soviet Union (1989-1993).

As of 1993 he worked in the United States on international campaigns for the establishment of the ad hoc tribunals on war crimes in the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda and on the campaign for a moratorium on the death penalty at the United Nations. He was the coordinator for TRP activities in the United States from 1993 until 1998. In 1995 he led the initiative of the TRP to be recognized by the UN as an NGO on first category.

He was the founder and General Secretary of the NGO “Non c’e’ Pace Senza Giustizia” in Italy (1994-1999) as well as founder and President of No Peace Without Justice USA (1995-2000). Both of the organizations were considered more effective NGOs, campaigning for the establishment of an International Criminal Court. At the United Nations Diplomatic Conference on ICC in 1998, Rome, he was invited to take the floor representing Civil Society.

From 1995 until 2000 he was UN representative in Geneva, New York and Vienna.

Mr. Busdachin was a member of the Extraordinary Executive Board of TRP (2000-2002). Currently he is member of the General Council of the Transnational Radical Party.

As of 1 July 2003 he was appointed Executive Director of the Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization, to help revive the Organization. On 14 November 2003 Mr. Busdachin was appointed UNPO Ad Interim General Secretary, and on 26 June 2006 he was elected UNPO General Secretary.
 
MR. T. KUMAR, AMNESTY USA ASIA DIRECTOR

T. Kumar is the Advocacy Director for Asia & Pacific at Amnesty International USA. In this capacity he has worked on numerous initiatives to influence US foreign policy, including US–UN relations. He also frequently holds meetings with senior officials in the White House, Department of State and Department of Defense.

Kumar has worked in several Asian and African countries and served as a human rights monitor throughout Asia as well as in Bosnia, Haiti, Guatemala, and South Africa. He has also served as director of several refugee ships and refugee camps. He was invited by the US military for a fact finding mission of military- run refugee camps in Guantanamo and Panama that held Cuban refugees.

Kumar frequently lectures at the Foreign Service Institute where U.S. diplomats are trained and he often testifies as an expert witness before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He has also given numerous interviews to CNN, BBC and other news outlets. He is a Professor at Washington College of Law’s Academy on Human Rights and Humanitarian Law. He holds an advanced degree in law from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Kumar has served as the United Nations Representative for Peace Brigades International and was a consultant to the Quaker United Nations Office. He also monitored several elections around the world with the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and with former President Carter. He assisted the Washington Board of Elections in running US presidential elections. He also served as a Judge of Elections in Philadelphia.

MR. BHUCHUNG TSERING, ICT VICE-PRESIDENT

Mr. Bhuchung K. Tsering was born in Tibet. His family fled to India in 1960 in the wake of Chinese Communist invasion. He studied in India receiving his B.A. in English literature from the University of Delhi in 1982. He worked as a reporter for the Indian daily, Indian Express, in New Delhi, thereafter joining the Tibetan Government-in-Exile in Dharamsala, India, in January 1984. He has worked as the editor of Tibetan Bulletin, the official journal of the Tibetan Government.

He joined the International Campaign for Tibet in Washington, D.C. in 1995 and is currently the Vice President for Special Program, overseeing Chinese Outreach and Tibetan empowerment programs. He has spoken on Tibet in different colleges as well as Amnesty International-organized events. He has contributed articles on Tibet to Indian, Nepalese, Tibetan, Swiss and American journals.

MS. TIENCHI LIAO, LAOGAI RESEARCH FOUND. DIRECTOR
 
Ms. Tienchi Liao was born in China and grew up in Taiwan. After finishing her BA studies on English literature in the Taiwan National University, Taipei, she first spent half a year in Kyoto and Tokyo and arrived in Germany in the early seventies.

She started to work in the academic fields at the think tank Institute for Asian Affairs in Hamburg, she worked in a team and chief edited the German-Chinese dictionary Deutsch-Chinesischer Wortschatz, Politik und Wirtschaft (German-Chinese Vocabulary of Politics and Economy, published at Langenscheidt, Berlin 1977), as well as the seven volumes of Mao Zedong’s Collected Works (published at Hanser Verlag, Munich 1976-1980).

She began a MA study at the Ruhr University Bochum between 1980-1982 and completed the study with a MS thesis: Women’s Education in Ancient China .

As lecturer at the Ruhr-University Bochum, she taught Chinese language and literature from 1985 to 1991. She became the head of the Richard-Wilhelm Research Center for Translation in 1992 and created consequently a library of translation. She was also the editor-in-chief of the (Chinese-German literature translation) series ARCUS-CHINATEXTE. Till she left for US in 2000, the series has published 20 volumes.

The human rights advocate Mr. Harry Wu has persuaded her in 2000 to leave her academic career in Germany and join his human rights work in the Laogai Research Foundation (LRF). She served as the director of LRF from 2001 till present. In 2002 the affiliated China Information Center was founded and she was assigned as Mr. Wu’s deputy in the new institute parallel to her duty in LRF.

She is responsible for all the publications in the two institutes, which include the every two years updated Laogai Handbook, the “Black Series”, autobiographies of Chinese political prisoners and other books of special human rights topics. She writes regularly analytical articles and commentaries about political, social and cultural issues in China.

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