EU and UK Parliamentarians Raise Labour Camp Case with Chinese Regime

A total of 20 UK parliamentarians have written to the Chinese communist regime or the UK Foreign Office since Wenjian Liang, her husband Zhiyong Lin and 6 other Falun Gong practitioners were detained in February, and sentenced to labour camps without trial in March. Amnesty International issued an Urgent Action and the UK media also reported on their plight.

Against this background, the EU has raised Ms Liang's case at the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue in Berlin on 14th-15th May 2007. The UK Foreign Office also raised the case of Ms Wenjian Liang and her husband with the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Beijing in April.

Lord Avebury, Vice Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Human Rights, wrote to the Foreign Office on May 2nd pointing out that the arrests of Wenjian Liang and others "appear to be part of the state's campaign of repression against the Falun Gong, ... I believe the UK did raise her case when she was imprisoned before and I hope we will do so again now.”

Other UK parliamentarians who took action to help Wenjian included the Shadow Attorney General and Lord Howell of Guildford. Lord Howell said in his letter on May 2nd: "I was very concerned to hear about this and have raised the matter with our Foreign Ministers and urged them to take it up with the Chinese authorities immediately."

Several members of the All Party Parliamentary Group on China discussed Wenjian's case with the Group's Chairman Ben Chapman MP who very kindly wrote to the Foreign Office.

During the past few weeks, several UK parliamentarians have written to the Chinese Authorities about Wenjian's labour camp sentence, including one of the MPs in Nottingham where Wenjian’s sister lives.

Roger Helmer MEP wrote to the Chinese Ambassador to the EU to raise Wenjian's case in February. In his reply, the Ambassador didn't bother to tell the MEP the charges against Wenjian Liang and Zhiyong Lin nor their whereabouts but insisted that the rights of Wenjian and Zhiyong, who have been imprisoned without trial, are upheld by the law. The Ambassador apparently could not see the contradiction, absurdity and cruel injustice in his statement, which reflects the nature of the regime he represents.

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