On the occasion of World Human Rights Day, the following VIPs sent statements of support for the Falun Gong press conference:
Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith MP [Leader of the Opposition]
“We support the right of individuals to enjoy life’s freedoms without fear of persecution or violation of basic human rights. We do not condone the oppression of individuals on the grounds of political or religious belief.”
“In this time of unprecedented co-operation the international community should make a stance against the abuse of human rights. Individuals who practise their beliefs in an acceptable manner, showing respect and tolerance of others who are likewise entitled to engage in their own chosen faith, should be free to practise their religion unhindered.”
Glenda Jackson MP
“I remain deeply concerned with the treatment of Falun Gong leaders and adherents in China.
Through the government’s policy of dialogue with the Chinese, it has been made clear that the Chinese engagement in a repressive programme of “re-educating” adherents and excessive sentences against the Movement’s leaders is unacceptable. Such actions are in direct contravention of provisions of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China signed in October 1999 but has yet to ratify.
I welcome any opportunity to further the government’s involvement and maintain momentum behind the human rights dialogue with the Chinese authorities.”
David Taylor MP
“The persecution of any minority on the grounds of spiritual or faithful practice is something I have and always will oppose. It is very easy to make cultural assumptions, from a western perspective, about other countries but this example seems to be clearly one of individuals practising an ancient art that is entirely personal but seen by certain members of the Chinese Government as a failure on the part of the individual to remain completely subservient to the state at all times and in all physical and emotional aspects of their existence.
….I […] wholeheartedly support the right of these individuals to practise Falun Gong in China and wish the campaign every success in highlighting this fundamental abuse of human rights.”
Lord Habgood, former Archbishop of York
As a Christian leader I am happy to identify myself with this peaceful protest on Human Rights Day. The most fundamental freedom of all is the freedom to practice one’s faith, provided it does no harm to other people. I find it both sad and shocking that a country which has such a long and proud history as a great civilization, should fall so far below normal civilized standards in its treatment of this personal, spiritual, essentially peaceful movement.
I wish you every success on the day itself.
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