As the Chinese President Xi Jingping met with the US President Barack Obama at the White House this morning, Congressman Jim McGovern (D-MA 2nd district), Co-Chairman of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission, hosted a 'Stateless' breakfast to honor the human rights defenders who have been imprisoned, persecuted, and silenced by the Chinese government.
Congressman Jim McGovern, Congressman Joe Pitts, Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson, and Human Rights Activists representing various organizations were present at the event.
Nancy Pelosi, who has been a strong advocate for Tibet for decades expressed her support for the Tibetan cause and her solidarity with the Tibetan people. Sheila Jackson Lee, US Representative for Texas's 18th Congressional District also expressed her support for Tibet and said that her state had the priviledge to invite the Dalai Lama.
Chen Guangchen, a Chinese civil right activist; Lu Pin, Chinese feminist activist; Rebiya Kadeer, President of World Uyghur Congress; Teng Biao, lawyer and human rights activist; Ti-Ann Wang, daughter of a Chinese activist currently serving a life sentence in China's prison, and Tsering Kyi, a blogger and poet who works at VOA's Tibetan Service were among the presenters at the event.
Tsering Kyi spoke about the current situation inside Tibet and her nephew, who self-immolated to protest China's policies towards Tibetans in 2013.
The event also reserved an empty chair to represent the human rights defenders who still remain in Chinese custody; in prison, house-arrest, or victims of enforced disappearances.
China Aid, Freedom House, Human Rights Watch, Initiatives for China, International Campaign for Tibet, Project 2049 Institute, Reporters Without Borders, World Uyghur Congress, and Uyghur American Association were the host organizations for today's stateless breakfast in conjunction with The Tom Lantos Human Rights Comission and The Congressional-Executive Comission on China.