Question No 183
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the steps he has taken to obtain information from the Chinese Government regarding the existence of a concentration camp in Sujiatun, Shenyang Province, China in which it is alleged that Falun Gong practitioners are being detained, killed and organ harvested; the options which are open to him to obtain information on same; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Catherine Murphy.
Question No 184
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs his Department's position regarding allegations against the Chinese Communist Party on the establishment of a secret concentration camp in Sujiatun, Shenyang Province, China in which Falun Gong practitioners are being detained for the purposes of organ harvesting; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
- Catherine Murphy.
I propose to take questions 183 and 184 together.
I am aware of reports that are circulating on the issues raised. I am unable at present, however, to confirm the reliability of these reports, but I have asked my Department, in particular through the Embassy in Beijing, to look into the situation as a matter of urgency and to report back to me.
Without prejudice to the outcome of the above enquiries, Ireland and the EU remain concerned about the situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China and have raised our concerns with the Chinese Government on many occasions.
Human rights issues are a constant and important point of dialogue with the Chinese Authorities at both bilateral and European Union level. In our bilateral exchanges, human rights concerns were raised most recently with the Chinese Government during Minister of State Lenihan’s visit to China for St. Patrick’s Day earlier this month. At EU level, the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue is the agreed formal framework through which the EU raises its concerns with China about individual human rights cases, and more general issues such as the abolition of the death penalty.
At the latest round of the Human Rights Dialogue, held in Beijing on 24 October 2005, the EU raised, inter alia, the right to freedom of religion and the need for reform of the administrative detention system, including the associated Re-education Through Labour (RTL) camps, where Falun Gong members, amongst others, are known to be detained. The next round of the Dialogue will take place in Vienna in May.
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