Belgium: Human Rights Torch Relay Arrives in Ostend

After arriving in Belgium, The Human Rights Torch Relay passed through Brussels and Antwerp. It later arrived at Belgium’s most famous seaport Ostend and has obtained support from Members of Parliament.

Ostend’s MP Wouter De Vriendt and Great Flanders’ MP Gino De Craemer held the post of ambassadors of the Human Rights Torch Relay in person. They started from the city centre, Wapenplein Square, ran along a big coastal road to today’s main meeting field Deli Harpers Sculpture and attracted the attention of many tourists.

On the 30th of September, the Human Rights Torch was lit in Ostend, Ostend’s MP Wouter De Vriendt (left) and MP of Great Flanders Gino De Craemer held the post of Human Rights Torch Relay ambassadors

After the Human Rights Torch Relay arrived at the main meeting field, a representative of the Coalition of Investigation the Persecution of Falun Gong made a speech, expressing support for Lawyer Gao Zhisheng, who was arrested last week because of his letter to US’ two Houses to call attention to China’s human rights issues.

Ostend’s MP Wouter De Vriendt

Followed by speeches given by two MPs, Wouter De Vriendt said in his talk: ‘‘Everyone knows that, there are no human rights in China, spiritual groups like Falun Gong who are being persecuted and their organs harvested. I much appreciate that Ostend was chosen as one of the cities to host the Human Rights Torch Relay. I respect this activity very much. I will track human rights issues in China, I will ask the Belgian government to take action to help change this terrible status.’’

MP of Great Flanders Gino De Craemer

‘Many Olympic products are made by slaves in labour camps. But all this is carried out with the knowledge of the Olympics Committee. Thus the international Olympics Committee obviously has the ability to change the status quo, but they said: ‘sport is not politics. However they are pretending human rights are politics. The whole world should know what has being happening in China, this status quo should be changed, I promise, our Green Party will discuss this topic in parliament; we will try our best to stop China’s human rights persecution. ’’

MP of Great Flanders Gino De Craemer expressed that although the Olympics will be held in China in a year’s time, China has no freedom of press or freedom of belief, and organs are being harvested from living Falun Gong practitioners. In order to get the right to hold the Olympics, the Chinese government said they would improve human rights but now they are arresting more people because of the Olympics. He also mentioned that the Chairman of the International Olympics Committee said: ‘‘It needs time if you want to teach a country that this is a shame”. Craemer also promised that he would point out these issues in Flanders’ parliament, asking the Belgian government to take action to help change this situation.

Two MPs running in the Human Rights Torch Relay

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