Free China Rally in Canberra, |
Free China Rally in Canberra,
By Peter Westmore May 24, 2007
This is a message from Peter Westmore, President of the National Civic Council, representative of CIPFG - The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China.
This rally marks the resignation of 22 million people from the Chinese Communist Party, an event unprecedented in the history of any Communist Party, and indeed, of any political party anywhere.
Yet in spite of the fact that the CCP has lost the confidence of so many of its members, and undoubtedly a far larger number of ordinary Chinese people who were never members of the Party, the regime stubbornly refuses to submit itself to the will of the people.
If the official title, the “People’s Republic of China”, is to mean anything, it is imperative that the Chinese Communist Party permit the operation of other political parties in China, and submit itself to the will of the people in open, free and fair elections, of the type which we are used to in Australia.
It is surely a sign that things are desperately wrong in China that a communist party can operate in Australia, but parties like the Liberal Party and the Labor Party cannot operative in China.
When China was granted the Olympic Games, it undertook to improve human rights in the country. In fact, some people said that the Olympic Games would force the Communist regime to be more open, more democratic, and to respect human rights. In fact, the opposite has happened. Today, China is less open, less democratic, and shows a contemptuous disregard for human rights: the Olympic Games have simply become an occasion for the regime to spread propaganda about its economic development.
But this development is being conducted at the expense of human rights, workers’ rights and the environment. It is a sign of the regime’s contempt for human rights that it is stepping up political controls ahead of the Olympic Games. The Australian’s correspondent in Beijing reported, just days ago, that “China … appears to be cranking up a strategy of preventing human rights activists with strong international profiles or contacts from travelling overseas, as a damage control measure in this sensitive period in the run-up first to the crucial five-yearly Communist Party national congress in October, then to the Olympic Games.” (The Australian, May 21, 2007)
Further, courageous human rights activists such as the lawyer, Gao Zhisheng, and Dr Gao Yaojie, have been detained without trial or put under house arrest. And in the meantime, an unknown, but large number of Falun Gong practitioners are being detained without trial, and their organs forcibly removed from their living bodies in acts of barbarism comparable to those which took place in Nazi concentration camps during World War II.
All this is happening today, in China, and has been documented by many former Chinese citizens in Australia as well as two well-known Canadian human rights lawyers, David Matas and David Kilgour.
The National Civic Council formed the first Australian CIPFG investigation team last year and had written to the Chinese Consulate to request access to conduct investigation into China.
We hereby urge the Chinese communist regime once again, to:
1. Stop the persecution of Falun Gong immediately and release all practitioners incarcerated for their faith.
2. Stop the persecution of friends and supporters and defense lawyers of Falun Gong practitioners (e.g. Gao Zhisheng, Li Hong).
3. Allow unfettered inspections by independent investigators from the international community to confirm (1) and (2) above, and be exonerated from the continuing live organ harvesting allegations.
If a satisfactory response to our requests is not received on or before 8 August 2007, we will support a public effort from around the globe to boycott the 2008 Olympics.
Unless the persecutions stop now, we must also call on the Australian Government to indicate, as it did with the cricket tour of Zimbabwe, that it does not approve of Australia’s participation in the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008.
It is our obligation to stand alongside the 22 million people of China who have had the courage to say “No” to the Chinese Communist Party, to salute their extraordinary courage, and to say that we stand with them in their struggle for freedom.