Speeches at a Human Rights Watch Sit-in Appealing to German Chancellor (Excerpt)
(Translated from German original)
August 15, 2001
"The human rights situation in China has taken a serious turn for the worse in the year 2001. None of the other religious or minority groups or even opposition groups in China are hunted and persecuted as brutally as the Falun Gong. Since July 1999, China has put into effect numerous edicts to curb and nullify religious freedoms, freedoms once guaranteed under Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution and. We are especially concerned and follow closely the pronouncement by the Chinese rulers to completely and totally rub out and erase Falun Gong from the face of the earth. Every week we receive reports of Falun Gong practitioners who have been murdered while in police custody or during incarceration. The authorities are proceeding with such unbridled brutality that we have to take this situation seriously. We demand that the European Union (EU) will finally react to this circumstance and require an end of the repression against Falun Gong. As representatives of human rights organizations we cannot condone the Falun Gong practitioners' hunger strike, an expression of extreme necessity. We do support the Falun Gong appeal to the German Chancellor, to speak openly against the persecution of Falun Gong and to all in his power to affect the release of all incarcerated practitioners."
Speech by Mr. Alexander Fehr v. Bischoffshausen, Chairman, International Association for Human Rights (GFM):
"I find it great that you are here today. To be able to demonstrate assertively and peacefully is democracy's cultural heritage. Germany can learn a lot from your example of nurturing this cultural heritage, this treasure.
The Chinese human rights situation is alarming, the example of the people on hunger strike just one of the frightful signs. One has to fear that everyone who does not think in line with the state-ordered doctrines and abides by these doctrines would inherit the "Olympian peace," ending up in the cemetery of the soul. Since the decree of the "cult laws" went into effect, besides Falun Gong, China has begun mass persecutions of Christians and Buddhists.
Altogether, 10 to 20 million citizens in China are being detained, in prisons and other places, without due state process of law. Every year, the state pronounces around 6,000 death sentences, and that in a country that has ratified and is a signatory to the UN Human Rights Charter as well as to the UN Agreement for Civil and Political Rights; it happens in a country that is a member of the WTO; a country that wants to present the Olympic Games in 2008. We decry the systematic use of torture in China against those whose thinking is not in line with state ideology and will not buy into the ruse that these things concern domestic issues or that these incidences are caused by ignorance on the part of the authorities who carry out these orders.
Those who are behind the scenes and, with their good will, are furthering the integration of China's power brokers into the value system of the UN Human Rights Charter are also carrying a particular responsibility for the positive development of human rights in China. For this reason, we support the appeal to the German Chancellor, to intervene and plead for an end to Falun Gong persecution and for upholding human rights. We plead with the German government to make their decision to participate in the 2008 Olympic Games dependent on China's pro-active proof of decision for improved human rights. We urgently appeal to the participants in the proposed "Two year Rule of Law program of German-Chinese Cooperation" to keep human rights in the forefront and not put them on the back burner."
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