Dear Prime Minister
I hope I am not intruding too much into your well-spent time.
I understand that you will be visiting China soon and would like to take this opportunity to respectfully request your help in securing the release of Falun Gong practitioner Mrs. Yoko Kaneko, who has been incarcerated in a labour re-education camp in China for exercising her basic rights of freedom of speech and belief.
International support on individual cases of human rights abuse in China has proven to be most effective. Among the many successful cases is that of Zhao Ming, a computing postgraduate student at Trinity College Dublin (TCD). He was imprisoned in a labour camp in Beijing and severely tortured. Over 50 Members of the European Parliament signed petition letters for Zhao Ming. The Irish Prime Minister personally raised the case with his Chinese counterpart. The UN High Commissioner for Human Right, Mary Robinson, appealed to Chinese leaders in Beijing for Zhao Ming. The Principal of TCD also personally raised the case with the Chinese Premier. As a result of the international human rights efforts, Zhao Ming was released early this year!
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal values of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is resolutely peaceful and encourages the highest standards of moral behaviour. With government estimates of as many as 100 million practising Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Over 480 practitioners are known to have died of torture or ill treatment. Over 100,000 have been detained, and over 20,000 have been sent to labour camps without trial.
We kindly appeal to you to raise the case of Mrs. Yoko Kaneko with the Beijing authority during your visit to China. Your help would be invaluable to the campaign for her personal freedom and adds to the international standing of Japan as a liberal and democratic society.
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