On October 3rd 2007, the Human Rights Torch Relay initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) arrived in the Netherlands’ political capital The Hague, which was the first stop of the Relay in the Netherlands. Among those who participated in the Human Rights Torch Relay activity were musicians, poets and representatives from all walks of life. The spokesperson of the activity stressed the true meaning of the Olympic spirit and called for an end to persecution in China. He pointed out that we should bring the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leadership members who are involved in killing Chinese people to the International Court of Justice. As the International Peace Torch is situated near the International Court of Justice, the Human Right Torch has a symbolic meaning to be there. These two torches represent the hope for peace, freedom and justice.
|The Human Right Torch arrives in the Dutch political capital The Hague on October 3rd.|
Long before the event started at 1 p.m., many people had already waited there to welcome the arrival of the Human Rights Torch. The Torch lighting ceremony was held on Dutch Parliament Square at The Hague, which is the home of the International Court of Justice. After the trumpets were sounded, the Human Rights Torch Relay ambassadors ignited the five torches simultaneously. A yellow ribbon was added to the torches, symbolising the call for the international society to support renowned human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng and put an end to the harassment of his family. The Human Rights Torch Relay activity was welcomed by Dutch people from all walks of life. They are very concerned about the on-going human rights abuses in China and want the Chinese people to have a better future.
|Renowned Chinese democracy advocate from France Zhang Jiang gives a speech|
Renowned Chinese democracy advocate from France Zhang Jiang gave a speech at the rally. Mr. Zhang used to be the chief commander of the students’ self-discipline team during the June 4th Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protest in 1989. He said, “It’s been sixty years now since the United Nations first recognised the necessity of establishing the International Criminal Court to prosecute crimes such as genocide. The U.N. General Assembly’s resolution 260 on December 9th, 1948 stipulates: ‘Recognising that at all periods of history genocide has inflicted great losses on humanity and being convinced that, in order to liberate mankind from such an odious scourge, international co-operation is required.’
“As we all know, the International Court of Justice at The Hague has tried former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic, who was the remaining evil element of communism and the extreme nationalism, on war crimes charges. By the same token, if the Chinese Communist regime refuses to repent and start anew with the Chinese people, the final place for the prime culprits of atrocities to go would be the International Court of Justice at The Hague, and they shall be subjected to trial by all the people in the free world.”
A supporter of the Human Right Torch Relay said: “I am here to support the rally against the Chinese Communist regime’s anti-humanity. Today’s speeches are wonderful. In particular, it is very good to invite some people who have personally experienced the Chinese Communist regime’s atrocities to speak. I wish to let people know that the Olympic Games is not only an event for athletes to be awarded gold medals. It symbolises peace and something good that is to make the world become more wonderful through the enthusiastic participation of organisers and athletes.”
A Dutch person told our reporter: “The reason for me to be here is to support the organisers of this activity, while they step forward to speak for those who are persecuted in China, such as Falun Gong practitioners and Tibetans.”
A gentleman from the Dutch Branch of the CIPFG stated: “We are holding this activity to call on the international society to boycott the co-existence of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and the Chinese Communist regime’s crimes of anti-humanity. In the meantime, we call for “an Olympic Games without the Chinese Communist regime” as well as the Chinese regime’s immediate ceasing of the persecution against Falun Gong and the release of renowned lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was illegally kidnapped for second time by the Chinese authorities recently.”
Around 2 p.m., the parade marking the Human Rights Torch Relay participated in by the torch ambassadors and the general public kicked off at Parliament Square in The Hague. Passing through Chinatown and the busy business centre, the procession finally arrived at the Peace Palace which is home to the International Court of Justice. The Human Rights Torch would be relayed to the second stop in the Netherlands, Amsterdam, the capital of the country, the following day.
|Human Rights Torch in front of the Chinese Embassy|
As The Hague is the Netherlands’ political capital and is home to the International Court of Justice, it is often regarded by people as the city of peace and justice. It is meaningful to hold activities marking the Human Rights Torch Relay on Parliament Square opposite the Dutch Parliament Building.
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