The next EU-China dialogue on human rights is due to be held on 15 and 16 May 2007. On behalf of the millions of people being persecuted in China today, the EU should be aware that we have not seen any positive results from this process. In fact we have seen China’s human rights deteriorate since the start of the dialogue. We ask the EU to review its whole approach to China’s human rights. In particular we ask that the EU and each member state public condemns China’s worsening human rights and open the dialogue process to attendance by the media and non-governmental organisations so that it is transparent and accountable to the people of Europe.
The EU-China dialogue on human rights was initiated in January 1996, but was interrupted by China after Denmark (plus nine other EU Member States) tabled a critical resolution at the 1997 UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR) session. Later in 1997, China decided to resume the dialogue. Since then, the dialogue has been held twice a year.
The persecution of Falun Gong continues unabated in its scale and viciousness. The death toll continues to mount. Up to the end of April 2007, 3000 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners were verified. The deaths were mostly attributed to the severe torture practices of Chinese detention centres and labour camps. Torture techniques usually include severe beatings, electrocution, force-feeding, physical torture and forced drug injections. The actual figure is of course much higher and in the thousands. Over 100,000 have been illegally sent to labour camps and more than 500 have been sentenced to prison terms of up to 18 years.
A recent report of the independent investigation led by David Kilgour and David Matas of Canada shows that a large number of Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for organ harvesting. At least 41,000 cases of organ transplants have been carried out since year 2000 with organs harvested from Falun Gong practitioners, an atrocity in which state-owned hospitals, the military and the people’s court are involved.
We sincerely appreciate the support that the EU has given in the past for the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the efforts it has made through the policy of behind the scenes dialogue. It is clear from the persecution figures, continuing death toll and verifiable information coming out of China that this has not had any impact in preventing the Chinese authorities from continuing to flagrantly violate international human rights laws. Indeed, the closed-door human rights dialogues avoid overt and public condemnation of the persecution, which is exactly what the Chinese authorities would like to avoid at all cost.
As long as such strategies continue, so will the persecution. If such methods were actually helping to prevent further torture and deaths, it would be helpful to continue in this way. But, it is all too tragically clear that the practitioners in China continue to suffer and endure horrific abuses. We sincerely urge the EU to take this valuable opportunity to openly and publicly speak out against the human rights abuses. The EU’s efforts and public condemnation of this senseless and horrific persecution can significantly contribute to easing the pressure that the practitioners in China are currently enduring and take us one step closer to ending their suffering. It has now been over 8 years since the crackdown began. Every day, we receive more news of yet another torture victim, another family torn apart, another human rights crime.
European Falun Dafa Association
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