The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) recently
sent an open letter to Chinese leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao. The CIPFG consists
of more than three hundred political figures in many countries. In the letter,
the CIPFG demanded that the CCP stop the persecution of Falun Gong and human rights
lawyers like Gao Zhisheng by the 8th of August, exactly one year before the Olympic
Games are scheduled to open in Beijing. The letter stated that the Olympics and
crimes against humanity should not coexist in China, otherwise it would be a disgrace
to all of mankind.
One member of CIPFG, Peter Westmore, national president of the National Civic
Council, said during a recent interview that China must open its doors and allow
the international community to conduct independent investigations.
Mr. Westmore said, "I read the Kilgour-Matas report on organ harvesting.
And I believe these are the gravest allegations of human rights abuses taking
place in China. It is very clear that China had agreed to improve its human
rights record in the run-up of the Olympic Games. What I want to do is not simply
to allow the Chinese regime’s silence to discourage people from investigating
these very serious matters. What I have decided to do in conjunction with others
in the coalition is to try to put a deadline when we anticipate that Chinese
Government must act. Otherwise, we will call for a boycott of the Olympic Games."
He pointed out, "We can see that despite the Chinese government claims
to be cleaning up their acts with regard to organ harvesting. The hospitals
which are effectively created for this industry continue to operate. We insist
that China open its doors it has promised to do so and allow full free access
to China. So these matters can be investigated properly. And that those responsible
for the grace human rights abuses should be brought to account. So it’s not
only a matter of my own concern for the future. We have to look what happened
in the past."
He continued, "I have received correspondence from members of Parliament.
These issues have been raised to government of Australia. They say that they
have raised the matter to Chinese Government. However, I am not convinced that
that the Australian Government has raised the issue forcefully with the Chinese.
And I want our government to forcefully raise these matters with the Chinese
with the view to try to join the cause which come from European Union, governments
in North America, and US Congress to have a proper and opening investigation
of these matters."
Regarding the Australian cancellation of its cricket team visit to Zimbabwe
due to the poor human rights situation there, Mr. Westmore said, "If the
Australian Government thought of the situation in Zimbabwe was such that Australian
cricket team visit should be canceled, then in my view the situation in China
is exactly analogous to that. In China we also have a government which is persecuting
those who disagree. And if it is good enough for Australia to abandon the cricket
tour of Zimbabwe, then it’s equally important that it should take a stand on
human rights in relation to China."
He continued, "I am very well aware that China is an important country
in the world and throughout the twenty-first century it will become a more important
country. But as China becomes more important particularly in the world, it’s
very important that China has to accept international observation of its human
rights record, the same as Australia does, the same as the United States does.
China must accept that its treatment of people who are human right advocates
within China and people who do not support the Chinese Communist Party should
be also a matter of open and public discussion."
"I believe that there has been subtle pressure put on. But we have the
luxury as a non-governmental organization in Australia we are able to make our
own decisions. And certainly my colleagues in our different branches in different
parts of Australia have been one hundred percent behind what I have done in
relation to this matter. Whatever the pressure is brought by the Chinese Government,
as far as I am concerned, all are irrelevant and have no effect on what needs
to be done here."
Posting date: 24/June/2007
Original article date: 23/June/2007
Category: Australian News