As the Australian Senate supports an end to the persecution of Falun Gong Thousands arrested in run up to Olympics

"The legacy of the 2008 Olympics must not be
thousands of Chinese citizens languishing in labour camps"
Dafa Information Centre Spokesperson, Mr Erping Zhang.

SYDNEY – With one month to go before the Olympic Games’ opening
ceremony, Chinese security agencies continue to arrest Falun Gong adherents
throughout China in large numbers. In Beijing alone, hundreds have been arrested
and dozens sentenced to labour camps without trial.

"It is now imperative that the international community leverage real
pressure and stop these deplorable actions. The legacy of the 2008 Olympics
must not be thousands of Chinese citizens languishing in labour camps,"
says Mr Erping Zhang, Falun Dafa Information Centre spokesperson says.

In recent months, the New York-based Falun Dafa Information Centre (FDI) has
received regular reports from adherents and their families inside China of
door-to-door searches and arrests. According to statistics compiled from these
reports, there have been at least 8,037 arrests of Falun Gong adherents across
29 provinces since December 2007.The largest monthly total of 1,819 known
arrests occurred in June 2008.

Meanwhile outside of China, Beijing Olympic organisers have openly expressed
the banning of Falun Gong participants from attending the 2008 summer Olympics.
In stark violation of Chinese Constitutional law, which mandates freedom of
association and religious belief, as well as the International Olympic Committee’s
bylaws, which prohibit any form of discrimination, many people from different
nations around the world, including Australia are banned from going.

Taking into account Falun Gong participators within China and all around the
world, Mr. Erping Zhang, Information Centre spokesperson says; "We’re
talking about tens of millions being barred from the Games simply for who
they are. This amounts to a violation of the Olympic Charter on a scale nobody
could have imagined."

China’s determination to marginalise, persecute and eradicate Falun Gong is
being met with increasing international condemnation. The Australian Senate
recently passed a unanimous motion supporting an end to the persecution of
Falun Gong, placing Australia alongside other governments, such as the US,
Canada, European Union, Sweden and Taiwan. Amnesty International, Human Rights
Watch and the United Nations Special Rapporteur on torture also continue to
outline the human atrocities taking place in China against Falun Gong. Further,
nearly one million signatories stand testament to public support for an end
to the persecution in a petition to be presented to the International Olympics
Committee among others.

Posting date: 12/July/2008
Original article date: 11/July/2008
Category: Media Release


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