Senator Barlett: Freedom is a Universal Human Value that we Should be Promoting at All Times (Photo)

Following
a visit to Australia from former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific
David Kilgour and Vice-president of the European Parliament Macmillan-Scott, Falun
Gong practitioners once again held a rally in Canberra on October 17, 2006, urging
the Australian government to fulfill its promise to conduct an investigation into
allegations of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP).

Mr.
Barlett speaks at the rally

Australian Senator Andrew Barlett, who recently
announced to join the “Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
in China” (CIPFG) attended the rally and made a speech to express the support
and encouragement of the Australian Democrats. He also expressed that they are
deeply concerned about the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. He pointed out
that freedom is a universal human value that we should be promoting at all times.
Mr. Barlett said, “I'd like to express my support and encouragement to you
and also let you know that your concerns both about the organ harvesting and about
the wide spread and extreme persecution of the Falun Gong practitioners by the
Chinese government are being heard, they are being recognized. I can't speak
for other political parties or other individual politicians, but I can certainly
assure you that the Australian Democrats strongly support campaigns to expose
the human rights abuses in China, whether it is of Falun Gong practitioners, Democracy
campaigners in general or other people who are the subject of persecution.”

Mr.
Barlett believes that freedom is a universal human value that we should be promoting
at all times. He emphasized that other politicians in other parties are also concerned
about the human rights abuses against Falun Gong. He said, “Our party's name
is Democrats because we believe Democracy is a core value, is a core right and
is something that all people should be able to practice. The essential component
of democracy is freedom and freedom is a universal human value that we should
be promoting at all times, not just when it is convenient. I would like to emphasize
– while I can't speak for people from other political parties, I do want
to make sure you are aware that people from other political parties are also concerned,
and that a significant number of people in the Parliament have deep and strong
concerns about these extremely serious human rights abuses and allegations that
are occurring and they are looking at opportunities to draw more attention to
the reality of what is happening.”

He expressed that the impact of this
incident on Australia should not be ignored. He said, “This is something that
affects Australia and Australians. It is not something that we can just forget
about it because it is happening in another part of the world. Australian citizens
are being courted up in this persecution and families of Australian residents
are being courted up in this persecution, and of course our country has had historically,
and still has now, very strong social and economic links to China, and you can't
just pursue the positive aspects and ignore the difficult questions.”

Mr.
Barlett finally expressed the promise made by the Australian Democrats that they
will keep up with their efforts on the Falun Gong issues. He said, “So I encourage
you to keep going and to persevere, as I am sure you will, because it is only
by concerted action and by increasing the number of people who are aware of the
situation that you will get long standing and significant change. I am sure if
we all keep pushing in our own ways that change will happen, and obviously the
sooner it happens the better for those potential victims of such serious abuses.
So thank you for your efforts, and I certainly promise you on behalf of the Democrats
that we will continue to put forth our efforts into trying to get major reform
and change on this crucial issue.”

Mr. Barlett was elected a Senator for
Australia in 1997 and is a former leader of the Australian Democrats. He has expressed
concerns about the persecution of Falun Gong many times.

Posting
date: 28/Oct/2006

Original article date: 26/Oct/2006
Category: Australian
News

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