News Item, Tibet

Oh Harry! What Have You Done?

Harry Wu Internationally Respected Champion Of Human Rights For China


Our colleagues who run @tibettruth recently launched an open appeal to the highly respected Chinese dissident, Mr Harry Wu and his organization the Laogai Museum, which is the leading research and campaign body on the issue of China’s slave labor camps. Having arranged last week an important  meeting on the human rights situation within Tibet, it was thought that due exposure would be given to China’s forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. After all this internationally known campaigner had previously spoken out on the subject of Chinese women suffering China’s coercive birth control program,  See Here so there was a hope for solidarity in exposing what is a major violation  of women’s rights in occupied Tibet.

On Friday June 8th @tibettruth contacted Harry Wu and his Institute via Twitter, here’s the record of their appeal:

“@TheHarryWu We wish your Laogai Conference Every Success & Applaud Your Remarkable Courage & Integrity, However We Do Have Some Concerns >> relating to the troubling issue of China’s forced sterilizations, a subject you have spoken out upon. >> likely-hood that once again a major human rights forum on China’s tyranny will do wonderful work YET give no exposure or >> or detail to the reality that Tibetan women are also being forcibly sterilized. We naturally are troubled by such a silence >> more so when one of your main panelists, the International Campaign For Tibet, has kept shamefully silent on the fact Tibetan >> women are subject to the horrifying atrocities of China’s population control program. We shall be posting further on this >>  We Have Challenged Your Guest Speaker Mary Beth Markey of the ICT to Address this question HERE >> As a main organizer & host for the conference on human rights violations in Tibet we call upon you & your organization to >> speak out on China’s forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. Continuing evasion and silence on this major human rights >> will completely undermine the credibility of orgs such as ICT while removing any moral integrity for them to speak >> on the issue of human rights in Tibet. We sincerely hope you may help us to ensure this subject is not ignored at your >> important conference. To that end we submit our report for your attention

For whatever reason this request was entirely ignored until on the last day of his Conference our colleagues received a private message in response to their tweets of June 12 “@LaogaiMuseum Our appeal was openly tweeted to @TheHarryWu on Friday June 8 Sadly No response >> We sincerely hope that your conference on human rights/Tibet did not ignore our appeal?” The message in reply stated:

“We apologize that we are unaware of your appeal. Please forward it to, and we will ensure it gets to the appropriate people”

It was a disappointment to receive such a reply, as one of our many friends on Twitter  noted “all too little too late and evading entirely the appeal made by @tibettruth”.
Reading the Conference Statement
issued by Harry Wu and participants of his event there is not a single word on the atrocities being forced upon Tibetan women by China’s population control program, as anticipated by our Twitter colleagues. Once more evasion and silence has greeted this subject from those who gathered to discuss examine and condemn human rights violations in occupied Tibet. As another follower of @tibettruth stated “It’s very sad and I simply do not understand it”. Many will share that feeling at how and why such an eminent campaigner for human rights in China and a number of leading Tibetan organizations chose to ignore the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women. It is very troubling indeed and raises some key questions for Harry Wu a man of supreme integrity and amazing courage, yet whose decision to avoid this issue has invited scrutiny, as @tibettruth have since asked:

“We are asking publicly @Laogai Museum & @The HarryWu To Clarify If They Believe China’s Lie That Tibetan Women Are Not Forcibly Sterilized?” (Tweet Sent June 13)

We understand that this question continues to be ignored.

6 thoughts on “Oh Harry! What Have You Done?

  1. Where does Harry Wu stand on recognizing ethnic Tibetans as a majority population in occupied Tibetan territories, rather than a “minority” in a united China? If the latter is his social context, then perhaps the genocidal issue is one he’s not prepared to tackle if the issue he’s focusing on is forced sterilization overall.

    1. Hello. That’s a question best directed towards Harry Wu. What we can say is that there are no ethnic Tibetans, only a Tibetan people whose land and independence has been stolen by China’s military and illegal occupation. As to Harry’s unfortunate and puzzling silence on the forcible sterilization of Tibetan women, while being so outspoken concerning the same issue as affecting Han Chinese women, there is no justification, or explanation that can in any way mitigate his position on this. As he knows very well human rights are not selective according to ethnology, nation or culture, he speaks against abuses against Chinese women, the he should open his mouth in opposition of China terrorizing Tibetan women also.

    1. Well his sentiments for freedom for Tibet and its people are of course welcome, however it is the subject of China’s forcible sterilization of Tibetan women, and Harry Wu’s silence and refusal to feature the matter at his recent conference that is the concern here.

  2. Do you not think its possible that they merely didn’t see your tweet, as he stated? I would imagine that as a prominent campaigner, Mr Wu gets an awful lot of tweets; maybe some get lost along the way; you should try harder if you want a response. Remember that though you mean well, TibetTruth is a blog, it isn’t an NGO or campaigning organisation- Mr Wu’s organasation is, and as I’m sure you’ve volunteered for such organisations before, you’ll understand they have to prioritise who they get back to.

    Though all Tibet supporters will agree that there needs to be more campaigning done to stop the forced sterilisation of Tibetan women, it doesn’t help for you to criticise people who are doing good human rights work, just because they are not doing the work YOU want them to do. A better solution is for you to spend less time blogging and start doing some real human rights work yourself. (IE, blogging isn’t human rights work, FYI)

    I look forward to see you campaigning against THE CHINESE GOVERNMENT on force sterilisation soon.

    1. Thank you for your comment, despite its somewhat condescending tone, we thought it important to feature, if only to again address,albeit briefly, what is a matter of some importance.

      Firstly let’s get one fact straight it is not Harry Wu’s personality or his record on human rights that is being criticized, so forget that straw-man argument. We are concerned strictly with a specific issue, in that he ignored a number of appeals to feature the forced sterilization of Tibetan women at a conference he organized on human rights situation in Tibet.

      As to your defense that Mr Wu somehow did not receive communications from @tibettruth, because ‘he is such a busy and important individual bla bla..’ our colleagues at @tibettruth, are very active 24/7 on Twitter and had we gather been briefing his account (and that of his museum) in advance of his conference.

      Concerning other points you raise, we have long campaigned, lobbied, researched and published on the subject of China’s forced sterilizations, examples of such action is clearly present on this site. We are though distinguished from Harry Wu in the sense that we do not speak-out only about how this atrocity is imposed upon Tibetan women, but also care about and challenge on how countless numbers of Chinese women suffer this major human rights violation. For some curious reason Harry Wu has spoken on the matter in relation to Chinese women, but has maintained a silence on the abuse it forces upon women in Tibet, even when he was repeatedly requested to give exposure to that at his conference by our colleagues on Twitter.That is an inconsistency which cannot be ignored.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s