British Member of Parliament for Cheadle Mark Hunter wrote the following statement for a press conference held by UK Falun Gong practitioners to mark seven years of persecution.
I am writing in support of the campaign to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese government.
Over recent years, mounting credible evidence has been emerging of the shocking treatment meted out to those people who follow what is a peaceful way of life. In particular, the recent report by David Kilgour and David Matas highlights the practice of removing and selling human organs from members of the practice. Evidence of this brutal and obscene practice is just the latest in a series of verifiable human rights violations.
It is estimated that over the past seven years, nearly 3,000 people have been killed as a result of the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners. In addition, 6,000 have been sent to prison and 100,000 sent to forced labour camps. This represents a gross violation of human rights by the Chinese government.
I have stated before that if China is serious about playing an increasingly important role in world affairs, the human rights situation must be addressed as a priority. It is wholly unacceptable that abuse of political dissidents and followers of peaceful spiritual groups such as Falun Gong are persecuted in the ways described.
Whilst this abuse continues, Members from all sides of the House of Commons will press the British government to use its influence to put pressure on the Chinese government to end these abuses.
China is rightly ambitious to become a world leader. Only when the Chinese government accepts its responsibility to human rights at home and abroad, though, will it be ready to take its place as a global power that can gain the respect and credibility of the international community.
I urge China’s leaders to listen to today’s protest and take note of the international outrage its actions are causing. I join the United Nations, World Health Organisation and other humanitarian organisations in condemning the persecution and demanding that the Chinese government cease its maltreatment.
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