The European Parliament slammed China's human rights record via a strong resolution announced just days ahead of the EU-Asia Summit to be held in Helsinki this weekend. There is no doubt that this is a step in the right direction and hopefully this document will carry a lot of weight in future dealings as the EU is preparing to embrace China as a stronger trade partner. Below is the portion that relates to Falun Gong and organ harvesting.
66. Strongly condemns the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners in prisons, "Re-education through Labour" camps, psychiatric hospitals and "legal education schools"; is concerned about reports that organs of detained Falun Gong practitioners have been removed and sold to hospitals; urges the Chinese government to end the detention and torture of Falun Gong practitioners and to release them immediately;
China’s dictators were quick to respond to this paper stating:
At the post-summit news conference, Wen said every country struggles with human rights, but argued that China has made significant progress in "protecting the human rights of Chinese people."He objected to the EU's practice of linking "economic and trade issues with the so-called human rights issues. China attaches great importance to the issue of human rights and we identified human rights as the basic rights of the Chinese people." (full
Similarly, a call from three top MEPs, including Edward McMillan-Scott, was put forth to the European Parliament to raise the issue of organ harvesting targeting Falun Gong practitioners across China at the Summit.
"China is a terror state run by a brutal, arbitrary and paranoid regime. Falun Gong is a peaceable movement whose members are imprisoned and tortured to renounce their practice. They are also the only category of prisoners in China to be routinely given blood, urine and blood pressure tests."
Meanwhile, Falun Gong practitioners from Finland requested their government officials to bar entry to Bo Xilai, China’s Trade Minister, who is planning the attend the summit.
“Bo was the governor of Liaoning Province before he assumed his current position as Minister of Trade in February 2004. Under his direction, Liaoning is one of the provinces that have been persecuting Falun Gong most severely. For example, during his tenure as governor, he directed more than 10 million dollars to renovate prisons to persecute practitioners. To date, for persecuting Falun Gong, Bo has been sued in more than 10 countries including the U.S., the U.K., Germany, Ireland, Russia, Australia, Korea and Spain".To think that such criminals are still at large is inconceivable. This is what happened in the US last time they try to sue Bo.
According to a report from AFP, some protestors were arrested…
"As leaders arrived here Saturday, around 100 protestors were arrested after they clashed with riot police in central Helsinki at a demonstration against the presence of leaders from China and Myanmar. Around 2,000 anti-globalisation protestors had held a largely peaceful demonstration earlier in the day." (full report)
Helsingin Sanomat, Finland: SATURDAY 9.9. Falun Gong most active protester during ASEM