London, July 15: US President Barack Obama has been urged through a petition, sent to the White House, to cancel the upcoming visit from Chinese President Xi Jinping, to protest against the arrest of human rights lawyers and campaigners in a a government-led campaign.
According to reports, over 145 human rights lawyers and campaigners have been detained in China as part of a government-led campaign against civil society.
The petition reportedly claimed that China’s human rights record had worsened since President Xi came to power.It also urged the US to suspend all official exchanges with the Chinese government until this matter was resolved.
Wen Yunchao, a prominent pro-democracy blogger, said the US and the West had a moral responsibility to react against China’s crackdown, adding it was the only power in the world that could counterbalance China.
The petition, which has garnered almost 1,500 of the 100,000 signatures required to receive an official response, was filed after Chinese security officials began what activists have called an ‘unprecedented’ crackdown against human rights lawyers, dozens of whom have been taken into custody in less than a week.
Those arrested include some of China’s most respected rights lawyers.
The detentions, which form the latest episode in an already severe crackdown on perceived Communist party foes that followed Xi’s rise to power in 2012, has drawn international condemnation.
(With Agency Inputs)