AFP: Hu refused to accept human rights letters, US congresswoman says

WASHINGTON, May 1 (AFP) - China's heir apparent Hu Jintao refused to accept four letters from members of Congress urging China to free political prisoners, according to a leading member of the US House of Representatives.

House Democratic whip Nancy Pelosi said she tried to hand Hu the letters, which expressed deep concern about the detention and imprisonment of people in China and Tibet, during a meeting of the House leadership on Tuesday. "I am extremely disappointed that the vice president refused to accept these letters," said Pelosi. "I had been hopeful that we could at least talk about human rights issues in China and Tibet, but Vice President Hu's refusal demonstrates how serious the problem remains. "China's human rights abuses continue to be an obstacle in developing the full potential of relations between our two countries," said Pelosi, a veteran human rights campaigner.

The letters asked for the release of 25 people imprisoned when Hu was communist party secretary in Tibet from 1988 onwards, as well as several high profile Chinese prisoners including Xu Wenli, and for the freedom of Liu Yaping, a US permanent resident held in China.


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