Federal Chancellor: Angela Merkel
Platz der Republik 1
May 2nd, 2007
In view of the forthcoming human rights dialogue between China and the EU, we would like to register our deep concern about the effectiveness of continuing these talks in any meaningful way.
Although the EU and other European and international governments have conducted discussions on human rights with China for over ten years, particularly in relation to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners since 1999, we believe that the majority of these talks have proved to be fruitless.
We cite the findings of the Canadian government as an example; Canadian officials state that ‘the (annual) dialogue was created as a cornerstone of Ottawa's policy of engagement with China on human rights, but today there is "pervasive cynicism" and "dialogue fatigue" among most officials.’ The overriding view of many participants in annual bilateral talks with China is that, although talks have been intended to provide genuine dialogue, they have always descended into a rehearsed propaganda exercise.
Amnesty International stated in their most recent press release that there is little evidence of improvement in human rights particularly relating to the Olympic Games, and that there has been increasing repression of human rights activism and domestic journalism. In fact ‘the Olympics have been used by China as a catalyst to extend the use of detention without trial.’
Catherine Baber, Deputy Asia Pacific Director at Amnesty International, said ‘The IOC cannot want an Olympics that is tainted with human rights abuses -- whether families forcibly evicted from their homes to make way for sports arenas or growing numbers of peaceful activists held under 'house arrest' to stop them drawing attention to human rights issues.’
The recent reports by former Canadian MP David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas have shown that international governments need to take a much tougher stance with China on the issue of human rights. They have documented evidence not only of the scale of the persecution, but also of the systematic harvesting of organs from thousands of live Falun Gong practitioners for sale abroad. None of the talks with other countries’ officials has ever tackled this problem head on. We also suspect that this report may be only the tip of a much more sinister iceberg.
We therefore call upon the EU to:
• Publicly condemn the Chinese Communist regime for these atrocities.
• End the fruitless bilateral dialogue with the Chinese regime and openly condemn
them for the persecution of Falun Gong and organ harvesting.
• Investigate all Chinese labour camps without interference.
• Call for an international boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games.
John Dee (Vice-Chairman)
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