The following statement by UK Member of Parliament Mark Hunter was read at a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy in London on Saturday April 28th, 2007. The press conference was the start of a day of activities to commemorate April 25th 1999 when Falun Gong practitioners in China appealed to the government to release fellow practitioners who were wrongfully imprisoned. This appeal was used by members of the Chinese Communist Party as an excuse to publicly launch the persecution against Falun Gong, which had previously been happening clandestinely.
I am writing this letter in support of the campaign to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Government.
The evidence of the Chinese Government’s actions against the Falun Gong practitioners is unquestionable, with the UN Special Rapporteur detailing the brutal, shocking and illegal treatment of this group. The leaders and supporters of Falun Gong have been continuously subject to criminal sanctions because of their religious beliefs. Tens of thousands have been arbitrarily detained, tortured, tried without legal advice and placed in camps to be re-educated through labour, all actions that fly in the face of the UN declaration of human rights and the right for every person to freely practice the religion of their choice.
Reports that, despite the ban in June 2006, human organs are still being removed from executed prisoners without proper permission from family members and sold are extremely worrying. Such an obscene practice would be yet another in the long line of human rights violations by the Chinese Government.
I have raised this issue in parliament, along with other MPs, and will continue to do so. I believe strongly that in order to play a meaningful role in world affairs China must first deal with its human rights issues at home. The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office in its 2006 Annual Report on Human Rights acknowledge the lack of progress in this area in China, and we now need to see this acknowledgement being followed by action. The British Government must use the greatest possible pressure to influence the Chinese Government to end these human rights abuses.
I urge the Chinese, British and other international governments as well as international institutions to listen to today’s protest. I join both the people here today, the UN, WHO, Amnesty International and other humanitarian organisations condemning the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Government and calling for the Chinese Government to cease its human rights abuses.
Mark Hunter MP
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