On April the 6th, during the annual meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission (UNHRC), the World Women's Organisation (USA) staged a seminar on Human Rights in the Chinese educational system. World Organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) president John Jaw, Falun Gong practitioner Zhao Ming and Australian human rights lawyer Christopher Nyst were invited to this seminar.
Based on his personal experience, Tsinghua University graduate and Falun Gong practitioner Zhao Ming first compared the human rights education and human rights values of Chinese and Irish college students. He said, "In the politics courses of Tsinghua University, we students were informed that the Chinese Constitution stated that citizens had freedom of belief, assembly and expression; however, we were never told how to practise these rights. In reality, if students try to practise them, what they will face is punishment and many difficulties, and even arrest and death. The persecution of Tsinghua University students who practise Falun Gong is a good example."
Ming continued, "When I was detained in a Chinese forced-labour camp for practising Falun Gong, students of Ireland's Trinity College, which I attended, formed a rescue team. They organised rallies, collected signatures; they appealed to the Irish government, media and human rights groups. They not only know what rights they have, but they also know how to practise those rights, and the Irish government allows them to do so. An important difference in the human rights education between China and Ireland is whether or not these rights can be actually practised."
WOIPFG president John Jaw pointed out that his organisation's investigation has shown that the Chinese Ministry of Education forced students and teachers of universities, middle schools and elementary schools throughout China to denounce Falun Gong. The Ministry also forced students and teachers to watch fabricated movies which slander Falun Gong, and implemented an anti-Falun Gong "Million Signature Campaign." It also inserted materials attacking and slandering Falun Gong into school textbooks and exams of different levels, including college and graduate school entrance exams.
Teachers who refused to denounce Falun Gong and give up Falun Gong practice have been fired and illegally detained, students have been expelled, barred from entering a higher school and graduating, and forced to attend all kinds of "Conversion Sessions" (brainwashing classes established by the Jiang regime during its persecution of Falun Gong.) Falun Gong practitioners have been abducted to brainwashing centres without any due legal procedures by non-law-enforcing institutes and subject to forced-brainwashing; many have been sent to slave labour camps and mental hospitals, or even murdered.
Since 1999, in Tsinghua University alone, more than 300 professors, lecturers, graduate and undergraduate students have been illegally detained, fired, expelled, or directly sent to slave labour camps.
Mr. Jaw explained the case of Chongqing University graduate student Wei Xingyan, a 28-year-old Falun Gong practitioner. Because she was suspected to have been involved in arranging balloons and banners containing positive messages about Falun Gong on campus around the time of World Falun Dafa Day, she was abducted on campus on May the 11th 2003. In the evening of May the 13th, at the Shabaping District Baihelin Detention Centre, a policeman raped her in public. After this case was revealed on the internet, Chongqing University claimed that Wei was not its student and it didn't have courses in the academic subject Wei was studying. At the same time, the university authorities removed the information of that academic subject from its website. After a thorough investigation and internet search, WOIPFG concluded that Chongqing University does indeed have courses in this subject.
Zhao Ming said that 2003 was the 10th anniversary of his graduation from Tsinghua University. Alumni attending Tsinghua that same year can sign an album on Tsinghua's website. However, when he tried to sign up, his name was blocked. Zhao Ming also said that Yuan Jiang, another alumnus of Tsinghua University, had been persecuted to death. It was said that the President of Tsinghua University was asked about this by alumni on a public occasion when he was visiting the U.S. The President denied the fact that Yuan Jiang was a graduate of Tsinghua University. Though this information has not been confirmed, from his personal experience of being barred from signing an alumni album, Zhao Ming speculated that it was very possible that the university authorities would deny Yuan Jiang was a graduate in order to shirk their responsibility.
Australian human rights and criminal law attorney Christopher Nyst, one of the lawyers who is representing Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Cuiying in her lawsuit against the Jiang regime, also gave a speech during the seminar. He believes that one important aspect in human rights education is to encourage young people to practise those human rights. As one important mission of his Geneva trip, Attorney Nyst will submit a claim to the UNHRC against the Jiang regime for persecuting Zhang Cuiying.
|After the seminar, people talked with practitioners to learn more about the persecution|
After the seminar, many people stayed to learn more about Falun Gong and Jiang's persecution. Many of them had long conversations with practitioners. They also expressed that as citizens of western democratic nations, they could not understand how a totalitarian regime can persecute its own people so extensively and profoundly.
During the seminar, representatives of two so-called NGOs from Mainland China sat in and took notes. All the Chinese NGOs attending the annual meeting of the UNHRC are supported by the Chinese Government, and their speeches on different occasions have shown that they conform to the policies of the Chinese Government. This fact conflicts with the NGOs' UN-recognised function of monitoring governments, and has upset many governments and NGOs. They call these NGOs from China, "Government NGOs". Practitioners were planning to talk with these two representatives of the Chinese "Government's NGOs" and explain the truth of the persecution of Falun Gong. However, the officials quickly departed right after the host announced the end of the meeting. Falun Gong practitioners later said that they hoped these representatives from China could have a better understanding on the extent and depth of the Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong. Practitioners also hope all the Chinese governmental officials and NGO members, through contact with foreign human rights institutes and Falun Gong practitioners, could learn the truth of Falun Gong and no longer act as accomplices of the Jiang regime.
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