The international conference on “Genocide in the New Era”, organised by “Friends of Falun Gong Europe” and “International Advocates for Justice”, commenced in Sweden’s capital, Stockholm at 2:00 pm on January 26th 2004. The agenda for the first day covered two topics: “Human Rights Violations in China” and “Development and Law”.
Representing “Friends of Falun Gong Europe”, Lord Francis Thurlow from Great Britain made an opening address to the conference. As a retired senior diplomat with more than thirty years of experience in foreign affairs, Lord Thurlow expressed a sincere welcome to the one hundred and fifty participants, including representatives from approximately twenty non-governmental organisations, personnel associated with law and legislation, and media correspondents.
Lord Thurlow emphasised the important meaning of holding the international conference at this time. He said the Holocaust has left permanent scars on humankind. Although history often repeated itself, every time it was different. Despite the fact that many people in the world devoted themselves to preventing the occurrence of genocide, there remains the question: if this crime against humanity should occur again, would we be able to recognise it? One of the topics for discussion in this conference was how to treat a current genocide — the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China. The speakers in the conference would discussed "Genocide in the New Era" from different points of view.
In the first topic “Human Rights Violations in China”, Mr. Yin Lei, Chairman of The World Organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong gave an account of the brutal persecution that Falun Gong practitioners have been suffering in China since July 1999. Mr. Harry Wu, Executive Director of the Laogai Research Foundation, showed photos taken of Chinese labour education camps. The photos provided a vivid illustration of Laogai (labour education), a form of mental persecution that the Chinese government uses very often. Ms. Viviana Gulli, Chairperson of China Mental Health Watch, based her analysis on a large number of facts to expose the conscience-dooming persecution occurring in China: “Brain-washing and Conversion”.
Ms. Jane Zhizhen Dai, an Australian Falun Gong practitioner, told the participants the true story of how the Jiang & Luo rogue regime had persecuted and torn apart her family. Ms. Janice Cheung, Executive Director of The Petals of Peace provided an introduction to her project. She said The Petals of Peace was encouraging people to fold paper lotus flowers to help raise awareness of peace, creating a brighter future in a more safe world. She wished that the tragedy that happened to Fadu never happens again, and little by little, world peace can be promoted. (Note: Fadu is a Chinese-Australian young girl whose father lost his life because he wrote a letter to the Chinese government appealling for Falun Gong.)
In the “Development and Law” session, Mr. Peter Müller, a prestigious fighter for human rights, delivered a speech entitled “State Terrorism and Genocide” on behalf of The International Society for Human Rights, Germany. Speaking sternly out of a sense of justice, he denounced China for its violent tyranny, and called for more public attention to the severe human rights infringements in China. This was followed by a speech, “Ending Genocide and War Avoidance in the 21st Century: Some Basic Truths”, made by Professor Jeffrey Addicott (School of Law, St. Mary's University) from the viewpoint of law and the legislature.
Enthusiastic reactions arose among the participants at the end of each session. They asked questions to the speakers eagerly. The activities of the first day were wrapped up in a dynamic atmosphere.
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