Western Advocate (Australia): Speaking Out on Human Rights

While other kids are going to the beach or the movies this summer, a group of
friends from Sydney have given up part of their school holidays to travel the
countryside raising awareness of the plight of orphans in China.

The students are currently traveling between Sydney and Broken Hill spreading
the word about human rights abuses.

Seventeen-year-old Yang Xu was born in China.

"The kids in China don’t have a voice. That’s why we decided to speak
for them." Yang said.

"It’s amazing to me how many people are willing to listen to us even though
we are young. The response in country areas in particular has been fantastic."

The kids are focused on the children of Falun Dafa practitioners orphaned when
their parents were executed for practicing the outlawed ancient practice. They
would like to see an orphanage built for them.

"There have been 3010 documented deaths of Falun Dafa practitioners in
China although in reality the number is much higher." Denis Wu (13) said.

"Falun Dafa is practiced in over 70 countries by more than 150 million

A practice of mind and body that includes five sets exercises and incorporates
the principles of truthfulness, compassions and tolerance, Falun Dafa’s effectiveness
in improving health had made it popular in Western countries.

The young people say the persecution of Falun Dafa began in 1999 when its popularity
threatened the ideals of the communist government.

It is alleged practitioners have been killed, tortured and sentenced to forced
labor camps, jails and brainwashing centers.

Details have also bee released of 36 concentration camps located around China
where the organs of Falun Dafa practitioners are being harvested and the bodies

"The children are being left behind," Yang said, "They are the
same as us but do not have the freedom we enjoy.

"We believe they should not be persecuted simply because they uphold truthfulness,
compassion and tolerance in their lives. Hopefully Australia will listen and
put their human rights above any trade agreements, but perhaps I’m being idealistic."

Another student on the road is Annie Zhuo (17).

"We feel these children have a right to basic food, schooling and human
rights." Annie said.

"They can’t demand these rights in China because they would be put in

"These orphaned kids have no one to protect them, or support them. They
just keep running and hope that they will survive."

The baby of the group is Alison Liu (11). "I have a brother to help me.
The orphans don’t have anything. It must be very hard with no one to look after
them." Alison said.

January 23, 2007

Posting date: 16/Feb/2007
Original article date: 23/Jan/2007
Category: Media Reports


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