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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Falun Gong takes Wellington City Council to High Court

Wednesday, 31 October 2007, 10:36 am

Scoop: Press Release: NZ Falun Dafa Association - 31 October 2007

Falun Gong Alleges Human Rights Breach Against WCC

Falun Gong brass band and dancers banned by WCC.
Top human rights lawyer Tony Ellis files judicial review against Wellington City Council Bill of Rights breach.

The Wellington City Council's (WCC) overturned the organiser's decision to include Falun Gong's brass band and dancers in the Cuba Street Carnival and the Chinese New Year Parade - by labelling Falun Gong as a “political group”.

The spiritual group said their entry into community parades intends to bring to life true, traditional Chinese culture and share the universal principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance.

Former Deputy Mayor Alick Shaw, when pressed about the reasons behind the ban, said he could not deny that the Council wanted to maintain a good relationship with the Chinese Embassy due to sister city relationships with Xiamen and Bejing.

Falun Gong is currently applying to participate in the 2007 Christmas parade to be held on 18 November. Past applications to Christmas parades have not been accepted by giving variousreasons.

The WCC's new policy to exclude Falun Gong from all Council-sponsored events has breached four major sections of the Bill of Rights Act including Freedom of expression and Freedom from discrimination in New Zealand, according to Mr Ellis.

Part of the claimreads that the WCC ban on Falun Gong is “unlawful in that it is an unreasonable limit on the rights and freedoms protected by the NZBORA (NZ Bill of Rights Act).

Press Conference in front of the Wellington High Court

What: Human rights lawyer Tony Ellis to filelawsuit against WCC for Falun Gong ban.

When: 2nd November, 2007 9:40am

Where: Wellington High Court, 2 Molesworth Street, Wellington

Background:

Falun Gong (Falun Dafa) is an ancient Chinese spiritual practice for cultivating the mind and body. It is based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. Falun Dafa is rooted in traditional Chinese culture and thus has rich cultural content to share with communities.

Following Falun Gong’s introduction in China in 1992, its popularity soared and 70-100 million people were practising the exercises and meditation in parks all over China by 1999.

Because communism does not tolerate any other belief systems (including Buddhism, Christianity, etc), and fearing Falun Gong as a threat to his own legacy, then-leader Jiang Zemin launched a persecution campaign in 1999 that continues unstopped.

Today, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are being illegally detained in concentration camps, detention centres, forced labour camps, brainwashing centres and mental institutions.

Please visit http://www.falundafa.org and http://www.faluninfo.net for more information.

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