Before Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s visit to China for the G20 Summit, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters held several large scale rallies in Sydney, Canberra and Brisbane, requesting the Prime Minister to bring up the persecution of Falun Gong during his meeting with Chinese leaders and to help stop the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience in China.
Several lawmakers gave speeches at the rally held at Martin Place in Sydney on August 31.
David Shoebridge, member of the New South Wales Legislative Council (Greens), strongly condemned the forced organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China. He believes that the prime minister has the responsibility to bring up this issue with the Chinese leaders.
Shoebridge also condemned the former Australian government for being inactive on the issue of human rights violations in China. He wanted to stress the point to the prime minister that Australia will not lose anything if the government stands up to protect Falun Gong practitioners and other suppressed groups.
Shoebridge told the attendees of the rally that he has proposed a resolution to the council to ban organ transplant trips to China.
Lee Rhiannon, federal senator, sent a letter to the rally, expressing the support of the Greens Party. In the letter, she slammed the mainstream media for keeping silent on the forced organ harvesting in China.
Senator Rhiannon believes that the U.S. House Resolution 343 and similar resolutions and statements in Canada and Europe, which condemn this crime, give people hope, for these resolutions show that the world is paying attention.
She told the rally attendees that after the forced organ harvesting in China was exposed in 2006, a hospital in Queensland specialised in organ transplant stopped their program of training Chinese physicians and stopped collaboration with Chinese researchers. But Rhiannon believe that the Australian government should take more action, including passing the resolution proposed by David Shoebridge.
A similar rally was held in front of Parliament Hill in Canberra on August 31. Two Greens lawmakers expressed their support at the rally.
Federal senator Scott Ludlam thanked Falun Gong practitioners for their efforts to end the persecution. He promised to fight with practitioners until the tragedy stops.
Senator Janet Rice from Victoria is a long-time Falun Gong supporter. She told the attendees that she learned about the persecution when she was Mayor of the City of Maribyrnong. She believes that the international community must speak out and exert pressure on the Chinese government to improve their human rights situation.
At the rally, Falun Gong practitioners delivered 3,000 postcards to the lawmakers signed by Australians from all walks of life. The postcards request the prime minister to help bring about an end to the persecution and the forced organ harvesting. The lawmakers promised to submit these postcards to Parliament.
After the rally, practitioners collected more signatures in downtown Canberra. In just two hours, 600 people signed the postcards.
In Brisbane, practitioners held a press conference at King George Square on August 31. Three persecution victims talked about their experiences of being tortured in China because of their belieif in Falun Gong.
Another speaker at the press conference Yu Ping, a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Queensland, was imprisoned for four years, and forced to do hard labor at a labor camp for two and a half years.
All of the speakers called upon the prime minister to help stop the persecution.