An article by Jason Lee Steorts in the NRO today demonstrates what is surely an abysmal - and instructive - lapse for the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. Christians in China have been persecuted for their faith for many years. I'm talking about the old-fashioned definition of persecution, not the current American one. That is, they are being arrested, jailed, tortured, or killed, not being disagreed with, made fun of, or ignored. But Bob Fu, the president of the China Aid Association, got a taste of UNCHR-style persecution when he gave a presentation at their 61st session in Geneva. Mr. Steorts writes:
One of the Chinese police's favorite torture devices, and one that has probably been used repeatedly on Cai Zhuohua is a kind of electric baton. Bob Fu owns such a baton, smuggled out of a Chinese prison. He took it to Geneva after obtaining permission from the secretary of the UNCHR to conduct a demonstration of it during his testimony. This demonstration consisted of Fu's holding it in the air over his head and turning it on for six seconds.According to a news release on the China Aid website, the Chinese delegation was "insulted". Well, there are worse things. Like the things that hoppened to Bob Fu, for example. From a press release on China Aid, in which Mr. Fu describes the incident, and addresses the chairman of the UNCHR:
Predictably, the Chinese delegation went berserk, its members claiming that the demonstration made them feel threatened. (One is left to wonder how they would feel if the baton were actually used against them.) They then demanded that Fu be booted from the proceedings. The commission's chairman, obliging chap that he is, agreed. Fu was escorted from the building and stripped of his U.N. badge. His baton was also seized, and has not been returned.
[Cai Zhuohua is a pastor jailed for printing Bibles without Chinese government permission.]
Mr. Chairman, as a former Chinese Christian prisoner, I have held great respect and high expectations upon the UNCHR which is supposedly the highest authority and institution on this earth with the stated mission "to protect and promote human rights for all". However, given what I have experienced and testified, I think that certain countries with the poorest of human rights records and worst violators have managed to seize control of and cripple the functionality of the UN Commission on Human Rights and its Secretariat. The issue of reform of various UN bodies is being discussed in the U.S. and internationally. The time is ripe to consider fundamental reforms to restore the focus of this Commission to its original purpose and to remove control of the Commission from the worst violators.In all my life, I've never heard a 'thank-you' that has reverberated with more irony than that one.
Mr. Chairman, about nine years ago, I was forced into a police car and taken from my home to prison by the Chinese Public Security Bureau in Beijing for alleged "illegal religious activities." Sadly, this is the second time I have been put into a police car and it was done by UN security guards. The only reason I was treated like that was because of a complaint filed by representatives of torturers. That very torture device is being widely used even today, at this moment, against hundreds of thousands of victims of conscience. As the device is described in its specifications it is an "an ideal tool for the Chinese law enforcement officials."
Human rights violations, including torture against those prisoners of conscience and religious beliefs in China, should be stopped immediately. Before we can accomplish that, we must first reform the very institution designed to protect human rights for all. An institution that even now is intolerant of demonstrating the torturers' cruel device.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.