Defense counsel Mr. Ravi, who represents Singapore Falun Gong practitioners in their protest case in front of the Chinese Embassy, held a public hearing on September 1st, 2006 at the Furama Hotel in Singapore. He elaborated the many kinds of unfair treatment against Falun Gong practitioners in the court.
Mr. Ravi believes that the court deprived his two clients of a fair trial. He is to mail the video of the public hearing to the United Nations. He hopes the United Nations will intervene and require Singapore to stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
|Defense counsel Mr. Ravi at the public hearing details the unfair treatment against Falun Gong practitioners in court and hopes the United Nations will step in|
|Public hearing was held on September 1st, 2006 in Furama Hotel in Singapore|
Reportedly, this is the first such public hearing held by a local lawyer.
There were three agendas at the hearing:
- Discrimination in court procedure
- Misleading reports in Singaporean media
- Illegal treatment of an innocent elderly woman
1. Discrimination in court procedure
When more than 100 Falun Gong practitioners from seven countries went to the Singapore High Court to attend a hearing on the mornings of August 30th-31st, 2006, they had all of their Falun Gong related belongings, including books and other materials, confiscated at the entrance to the Supreme Court Building. The security guards also took down their particulars and passport numbers as well as contact numbers.
Mr. Ravi said that withholding Falun Gong practitioners’ books in the Supreme Court is tantamount to withholding Christians’ bibles. It is a serious discrimination.
Falun Gong practitioners from all these countries went to the embassies and consulates of their respective countries in Singapore to clarify the truth and hoped that they would pay attention to this issue.
2. Misleading reports in Singaporean media
Falun Gong practitioners pointed out serious errors appearing in news articles reporting the case in the two largest newspapers in Singapore, The Straits Times (English newspaper) and Lianhe Zaobao (Chinese-language newspaper).
Falun Gong practitioners said that both newspapers incorrectly reported the content of the banner displayed outside the Chinese Embassy. The writing on the banner actually says, "Hunger Strike on July 20th to Protest the CCP’s Inhumane Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners (in Chinese) / Stop Persecution of Falun Gong in China (in English)." However, the Lianhe Zaobao’s report on August 29th replaced ‘CCP(Chinese Communist Party)’ with ‘China,’ and ‘inhumane’ persecution with persecution of "annihilating tolerant hearts/destroying tolerance." While in The Straits Times’ report on August 29th, the word, "inhumane" was left out, and "Stop persecution" was replaced with "Stop prosecution."
Falun Gong practitioners said that the focal point of the case was whether or not the writing on the banner regarding the persecution of Falun Gong is factually correct. The banner, as part of the prosecutors evidence, was displayed twice in court to all media present. Therefore, there should not have been these incorrect reports.
It was learned that Falun Gong practitioners went to the reporter of The Straits Times, requesting a correction of the error in the key words. The reporter agreed to make the correction in his report the next day. But the report (by a different reporter) on September 1st, The Straits Times still used "prosecution" instead of "persecution."
The differences are small, but the implications of these changes are huge. The entire context of the articles is changed in a way grossly misleading to the reader.
3. Illegal treatment of an innocent 73-year-old woman
Seventy-three-year-old woman Mdm. Chen Peiyu recounted the unfair treatment against her before and after she was expelled at the public hearing. Mdm. Chen Peiyu told the reporter that the Chinese Communist Party exerts pressure on the Singapore Government to oppress Falun Gong. As a result, she was targeted by the Singapore government for actively distributing materials telling people about the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Mr. Ravi said he will hold several more public hearings. Singapore was only the first stop. He will go to Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines and Indonesia to hold public hearings.
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