Court orders Foreign Minister Downer to pay $20,000 costs in Falun Gong ¨certificates¨ case

¨…The plaintiffs have achieved the object of the proceedings…
and will be free to continue their protest without the limitations
that had been imposed upon them earlier by the certificates.
No further relief is required. ” Said Justice Crispin.

On 14 December 2006, Justice Crispin of the ACT Supreme Court closed the case
brought by two Falun Gong practitioners against the Foreign Minister for the
issuance of certificates restricting the Falun Gong peaceful protest of human
rights abuses taking place in China, near the Chinese Embassy in Canberra. The
dismissal of the case was based upon Foreign Minister Alexander Downer’s promise
to make an official and formal undertaking to the Court so that “[Falun
Gong practitioners] will be free to continue their protest without the limitations
that had been imposed upon them by the earlier certificates.”‘ (Crispin
Op. at paragraph 33).

The outcome of this case is a win for all Australians who value our freedoms
of belief and expression and serves to defend the civil rights of all Australian

The legal proceeding began after Mr Downer had ignored engaging in dialogue
with Falun Gong practitioners for over 3 years regarding this matter; and in
addition had publicly defended his issuance of the [illegal] certificates to
the media and Members of Parliament based upon inaccurate and misleading information
about the Falun Gong protest.

In early 2006, after 4 years, Mr Downer did stop issuing the certificates and
offered to pay the plaintiffs´ court costs. While this was a partial victory,
Falun Gong practitioners in Australia sought through the court a formal and
official promise from the defendant to discontinue his unlawful conduct.

Based on the legal precedent of this case, Falun Gong practitioners in Australia
may continue to exercise their right to tell the truth about the persecution
of Falun Gong and to encourage all good people to speak out. As the July 2006
Matas-Kilgour report, “Allegations into Organ Harvesting from Falun Gong
Practitioners in China”, available at
reminds us, a crime against humanity in China is the concern of all people,
as it is an assault on the community of Man.

The outcome of the case sends a clear message to all – that siding with the
Chinese communist regime to silence human rights protests and to intimidate
Australian citizens on Australian soil will not be tolerated under Australian

We thank the Australian public and various Members of Parliament for their
continued support during the process of this case and for their courageous actions
to investigate, expose and stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

Posting date: 18/Jan/2007
Original article date: 18/Jan/2007
Category: Media Release




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