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Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Australia: Falun Gong detainee facing deportation

Article 33 of the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, 1951, to which Australia is a signatory, declares that no refugee shall be returned to a country where "his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion". So, should we have returned a Falun Gong practitioner to China? (more)
Update: Detainees On Hunger Protest After Woman Deported

Sydney, Australia (AHN) by Sally Grover March 28, 2007 3:15 p.m. EST - - An estimated 60 detainees at Villawood Detention Centre are on a hunger strike after a Chinese woman was deported.

The 35-year-old Falun Gong worker was deported back to China and others are suspected to follow.

According to the Refugee Action Coalition (RAC), the woman was wanted by police in China because of her work with with the banned group, Falun Gong.

She was working to expose persecution of Falun Gong members in China.

RAC spokesman Ian Rintoul told AAP, "It is understood that she has been taken to the airport for deportation to China this morning. The Government's actions have placed these asylum seekers' lives in danger."

According to Mr Rintoul, the woman had to be dragged from the detention center, kicking and screaming, by six guards.

The detainees are also protesting because another worker, An Xiang Tao, was taken to an isolation cell. Mr. Rintoul continued, "Detainees had been told that he was going to be deported today." (more)

Send your letters of appeal to Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews NOW to save a life.

Honourable Kevin Andrews, MP
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship

Parliament House
CANBERRA ACT 2600

Phone: 02 6277 7860
Fax: 02 6273 4144
Email: Kevin.Andrews.MP@aph.gov.au

Tell Minister Andrews that Falun Gong practitioners that are sent back to China face torture and often become unwilling organ donors who are routinely killed during the process. He apparently doesn't know this or has chosen to look the other way.

Excerpt - SMH (AU) - March 28, 2007: On February 28, Xiang Tao An's jailmates formed a human barricade and prevented his removal by guards, after he said he feared having his organs removed and sold if he was sent back to China.

Yesterday, they were not given a chance to resist. As Mr An made a visit to the clinic in the detention centre at about 3pm, he was collected by guards and moved to the high-security Stage One section, said fellow detainees.

A Stage One detainee said last night they had been told he would be deported on an Air China flight today or tomorrow.

According to the Refugee Action Coalition, detainees were considering another demonstration last night to hamper Mr An's removal. "This is a vicious and vindictive move by the Minister for Immigration. Kevin Andrews could have used his discretionary powers to review Mr An's case, but instead he is sending this man back to prison or worse in China," said the coalition's Ian Rintoul.

An independent report published in Canada last year accused Chinese authorities of killing Falun Gong practitioners and selling body parts to foreigners. China, which says the Falun Gong group is a cult and banned it in 1999, denies the claim.

The Department of Immigration said Mr. An was an unlawful non-citizen and would not be in danger if he was sent back. (more)

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