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Monday, April 30, 2007

Report Faults China On Rights Failures

Olympics an Excuse for Arrests, Amnesty Says

Washington Post Foreign Service by Maureen Fan April 30, 2007 -Amnesty International and others said the Olympics provide a rare opportunity to effect change in this image-conscious nation.

"It's only about a year to go and we don't see any genuine effort by the Chinese administration to improve human rights," said T. Kumar, advocacy director for Asia and the Pacific for Amnesty International. "The efforts they're taking are stopgap -- the public statement about extra review for the death penalty, the additional movement for international journalists. It's just enough to keep the criticism at bay."

Kumar added: "If we don't make any structural improvements before the Olympics, it could be worse afterwards. No one is going to pay attention once the glamour and attention and the Olympics are gone."(more)

The new Asian tiger?

Paul Richardson has some good insights here.

Religious Intelligence UK: Monday, 30th April 2007. 2:48pm Excerpt: China’s nervousness about religion and about Falun Gong in particular shows just how worried the regime actually is. Historically popular religious movements have often heralded a change of rulers in China. Repression can only work for so long. In the long run, a government can only secure legitimacy if people feel that it takes account of their views and if it operates by a moral creed that commands widespread respect and support. The shocking examples or corruption provided by Hutton, Pei, and others are signs of a spiritual and moral vacuum in Chinese life that cannot continue indefinitely. (more)

India: Interview with Kilgour and Matas

The two Davids are tirelessly pursuing their mission hoping to gain some support from the international community to stop the organ harvesting genocide against Falun Gong in China. The response has been good but the challenge must be phenomenal.


Mizzima.com: India should stop arming Burmese military junta


(Interview with Former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour and Canadian refugee, immigration and human Rights lawyer David Matas.)

Compiled by Mungpi
Mizzima News (www.mizzima.com)

Excerpt:

April 29, 2007- Former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific (2002-2003), Hon. David Kilgour, and Canadian refugee, immigration and human Rights lawyer David Matas, who is also a member of the Canadian Bar Association, visited India to raise the issue of the Chinese government's continued executions on the Falun Gong Practitioners for their organs.

The two dignitaries had widely traveled across the world covering more than 30 countries to put a stop to the ongoing dreadful practice of the Chinese government to Falun Gong Practitioners.

During their trip to India, the two dignitaries, who are also prominent supporters of democratic changes in Burma, met a number of Indian leaders and raised the issue of India's relationship with Burma.

Kilgour said India being the largest democratic country in the world and an immediate neighbour of Burma, should concern itself at the deteriorating political scenario in Burma. He said, India, in view of its long term interest, should stop arming the Burmese junta but take a stronger and tougher stand in support of democratic changes in Burma.

During their few days stay in New Delhi, they met Burmese reporters including Mizzima's Assistant Editor Mungpi, and talked about their views on India's stand towards Burma.

What has brought you to India?

Kilgour: David Matas and I filed a report and we have now done a revised report on the terrible practice of taking organs from Falun Gong Practitioners in China.

By our best estimate, about 41,500 transplants, that is kidneys, livers and so on, that were done over five years of persecution of Falun Gong, cannot be explained by executed criminals, the brain-dead, accident victims or by donated organs. So, we are not saying that these 41,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been killed for their organs, because you can take more than one organ from a person, but many thousands of Falun Gong Practitioners have been treated in what we call a new form of inhumanity against human kind and crime against humanity.

And the reason we have travelled to India is, we are trying to get the government of China to stop doing this, to stop doing it now. Not just before the Olympic Games. We know they are going to stop before the games, but they have got to stop it now because people are dying, probably, every day.

And what people don't understand is, if you are a criminal and you said you committed a murder or something or people say I need a kidney or I am going to die, so I will go and get a kidney from an executed murderer, but for one thing, I think there are sixty eight offences that you can get capital punishment in China. So, we think that people in India or any where know that many of the people that are being killed for their organs are Falun Gong Practitioners, who are never been before a court, they have never been convicted of anything, they are simply sent to a work camp, where they work as forced labour, making part of exports, by the way. They are tested medically every three months to see how their organs are and then some body comes from New Delhi or Ottawa or Winnipeg, and there is a computer match and the computer match says that Ms. so and so in the camp over here got a match-able organ and then she dies, she is killed medically with out conviction of nothing, and she dies and her organs are taken and this terrible practice continues. I don't think any other nation on earth has ever done it, but it is simply unimaginable this could be happening in the twenty first century.

Mattas: Well, I mean your question is right over here and what we are trying to do here is what we have been doing in different countries around the world. We have been, the two of us, to over thirty countries now and what we are trying to do is mobilize concern, trying to get the practice to stop by trying to create awareness among people of the practice. We are meeting with media, with academics, with parliamentarians, with civil servants, with medical professionals, and we are trying to get all these various sectors and civil societies engaged in raising the issue. (more)

China tops spy list: CSIS

Isn't that a fact? If you're not convinced yet, look here, here, and here.

Toronto Star: CANADIAN PRESS (OTTAWA) Apr 30, 2007 05:09 PM – Almost half the effort the country's spy-watchers put into monitoring suspicious foreign activity in Canada is devoted to Chinese operatives, the head of CSIS said today.

Jim Judd, director of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, said there are a lot of foreign agents operating in Canada, many adopting the guise of innocent visitors.

"It's surprising, sometimes, the number of hyperactive tourists we get here and where they come from."

Judd told the Senate committee on defence and national security that 15 countries account for most of the concern when it comes to foreign intelligence-gathering or interference in Canadian affairs.

He wouldn't identify all those countries, but did tell senators that China tops the list.

He said CSIS tries to keep close tabs on foreign operatives and hopes "that we have all the bases covered."

Judd said his agency is charged with monitoring foreign efforts to collect information, both public and private; to meddle in Canadian affairs; or to foment trouble within ethnic communities China has been accused of all three activities in the past and has steadfastly denied it has spies in Canada.

Earlier this month, a Chinese-language TV station demanded the expulsion of a Chinese diplomat for allegedly trying to block its licence approval.

New Tang Dynasty TV said diplomat Huang Huikang tried to orchestrate a campaign to keep it from getting a broadcast licence from the CRTC.

The station said the Chinese embassy has also tried to sabotage the station by urging Chinese-Canadians to boycott various activities.

Two years ago a pair of Chinese officials who defected and sought asylum in Australia said China was running hundreds of spies and informants in Canada, mainly in Vancouver and Toronto.

One of the defectors said some of those agents were charged with intimidating members of the Falun Gong sect in Canada.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, when he was still Opposition leader, claimed there were up to 1,000 Chinese agents in Canada.

He quoted a CSIS official as saying that Chinese spies stole $1 billion worth of technological secrets every month.

Last year, Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay said he wanted a crackdown on Chinese espionage. MacKay is currently on a China visit.

In a 2004 report, CSIS said Chinese economic espionage targeted information including contract details, supplier lists, planning documents, research and development data, technical drawings and computer databases.

Foreign students and scientists, business delegations and immigrants were among those recruited as informants, the spy agency said.

The story was also picked up by many media including Canada.
com

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Empire of Lies

A great piece by Guy Sorman, French author and China observer.

Some additional notes from The Middle Stage blog:

Here are some other contributions to the debate on modern China: "New China, New Crisis", an extract from Will Hutton's new book on China The Writing on the Wall; "Does the future really belong to China?", a debate between Hutton and the economist Meghnad Desai; "The Dark Side of China's Rise" by Minxin Pei, "Getting Rich" by Pankaj Mishra; "The Great Leap: Scenes from China's Industrial Revolution" by Bill McKibben; and "Unmasking the Man with the Wooden Face", a piece by Willy Wo-lap Lam on the Chinese President Hu Jintao.
The twenty-first century will not belong to China.

Excerpt:

City Journal: The Empire of Lies by Guy Sorman - But China’s success is, at least in part, a mirage. True, 200 million of her subjects, fortunate to be working for an expanding global market, increasingly enjoy a middle-class standard of living. The remaining 1 billion, however, remain among the poorest and most exploited people in the world, lacking even minimal rights and public services. Popular discontent simmers, especially in the countryside, where it often flares into violent confrontation with Communist Party authorities. China’s economic “miracle” is rotting from within…

In general, however, and especially outside Beijing, the Party ruthlessly polices non-sanctioned religious movements, haunted by the memory of past Chinese dynasties overthrown by mystical upsurges. The authorities have decimated Falun Gong, a Buddhist sect whose master lives in exile in the U.S. The group’s members languish in prison or in reeducation centers…

Today’s dissidents and their compatriots don’t seem very threatening. None promotes the overthrow of the government. They aren’t comparable to Chinese dissidents in exile, such as Wuer Kaixi, leader of the 1989 Tiananmen revolt, or Wei Jinsheng, hero of the 1979 Democracy Wall, political men with no following left in China. So why does the Party expend so much time and energy trying to keep them in check? Because it recognizes that their activity, however limited in scope and seemingly harmless, is a sign of the desire for freedom and truth among the people—a desire that ultimately threatens the leadership’s future…(more)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Letter: Why the delay?

The Ottawa Citizen Published: Thursday, April 26, 2007

The letter from Zhang Weidong of the Chinese Embassy carefully avoids the facts.

The guided tour given to journalists and diplomats of the first hospital identified as an organ-harvesting facility in China happened two weeks after the information was made public. If organ harvesting were not happening at that facility, journalists and diplomats would have been ushered in immediately to prove these heinous crimes were not happening. Why was entry denied for two full weeks?

Mr. Zhang claims that the well-respected David Kilgour and David Matas "concocted" an investigation so that Falun Gong could extricate itself from the initial claims. Falun Gong did not make the initial claims. The wife of one of the organ-harvesting doctors revealed this information at great risk to her personal safety.

Mr. Kilgour's uncommon honesty and decency as a MP for 27 years have been written about in numerous publications. His actions throughout his career have constantly proven he will not compromise his principles. To claim that he would now participate, along with the well-respected Mr. Matas, in a "concocted" investigation on a subject that is difficult for the human psyche to accept to begin with, is a disgusting initiative by the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa.

Yes, indeed, "lies are lame." Mr. Zhang stated that China's "laws" ban torture. But he could not be so absurd as to directly deny that the use of torture is "widespread in China" as reported in 2005 by Manfred Nowak, special rapporteur of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. This has been verified by the U.S. State Department and human rights organizations such as Human Rights Watch.

Mr. Zhang's letter makes him part of history. He has publicly presented himself as an abettor to the crimes of the Chinese Communist regime. These crimes will be answered for, of this there is no doubt. With good will, I hope that others will not continue to sacrifice themselves to China's regime by supporting its ongoing atrocities.

Michael Mahonen,
Toronto

Letter: Organ harvesting is happening

The Ottawa Citizen: Thursday, April 26, 2007 Re: China has shown great caution with Falun Gong, April 21.

A letter from the Chinese Embassy in Canada to the Citizen criticizes our finding that there exists large-scale organ harvesting of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for transplants, killing them in the process. Our report is available at here.

The letter attributes our conclusions to rumours. Yet the bulk of our information came from verifiable government of China sources -- transplant waiting times and profits, the policy of persecution and incitement to hatred against the Falun Gong, and so on.

In their letter, lawyer David Matas, pictured, and former MP David Kilgour say it is fact that China is harvesting organs from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for transplants, killing them in the process.View Larger Image View Larger Image

In their letter, lawyer David Matas, pictured, and former MP David Kilgour say it is fact that China is harvesting organs from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners in China for transplants, killing them in the process.

Woody Wu, Agence France-Presse, Getty Images

We obtained telephone admissions throughout China from hospitals about the use of organs for transplants from Falun Gong practitioners. We have tapes, transcripts, translations and phone bills for these calls, which independent researchers can check.

The letter states that China abides by World Health Organization standards on transplants. Yet Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have decried the harvesting of organs in China from prisoners without consent in violation of international standards, harvesting Chinese officials have themselves admitted.

The only live issue about organ harvesting in China -- the issue that our report addresses -- is what sort of prisoners are being killed for their organs, whether all or only some of the unwilling organ donors in China are prisoners sentenced to death.

Again, it is numbers emanating from the government of China that show that there are simply not enough prisoners sentenced to death for the huge number of transplants that take place in China. The organs of other prisoners, Falun Gong practitioners, sentenced to nothing, fill the void.

The letter attempts to mobilize those who care about China to oppose our efforts.

But surely those who care about China should oppose the murder of innocent Chinese for their organs.

David Matas,
Winnipeg
David Kilgour,
Ottawa

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dr. Abraham L. Halpern's open letter to the WMA on organ harvesting

USA: Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry Calls for an Emergency Meeting of the Council of the World Psychiatric Association to Address Organ Harvesting from Living Falun Gong Practitioners in China

(Clearwisdom.net) On April 14, 2007, Abraham L. Halpern, MD, Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, New York Medical College, wrote a letter to Kgosi Letlape, MD, President of the World Medical Association, Pilaneberg, South Africa, requesting that President Letlape call an emergency meeting of the Council of the World Psychiatric Association to address organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China immediately, and initiate action to save many lives. Below is the text of the letter.

14 April 2007


Kgosi Letlape, MD
President
World Medical Association
Pilaneberg, South Africa

Dear Dr. Letlape,

Re: Crimes Against Humanity in the People's Republic of China

You will recall, I am sure, the letter I sent you on 27 September 2006, in which I proposed that the World Medical Association demand that the People's Republic of China allow a WPA investigative team to look into the extremely serious allegations that physicians are involved in the killing of Falun Gong practitioners and removing various body organs for sale to desperate patients whose names are on long waiting lists for organ transplantation. I strongly recommended that the Chinese Medical Association be faced with expulsion from the World Medical Association if permission was not granted for this urgent investigation.

Reports are rampant throughout the world that the organ harvesting program in China continues without interruption, notwithstanding the denials of the Chinese government and the enactment of a law that went into effect last July to regulate organ transplants in hospitals.

It has come to my attention that Dr. Chen Zhonghua, the Deputy Committee Director of the Chinese Medical Association, Organ Transplant Division, may actually be involved in these blatantly pernicious violations of the codes of medical ethics of all the countries of the world, especially that of the World Medical Association adopted in October, 1975, and, I believe, not attenuated by any subsequent revisions: "A doctor must have complete clinical independence in deciding upon the care of a person for whom he or she is medically responsible. The doctor's fundamental role is to alleviate the distress of his or her fellow men, and no motive-whether personal, collective or political-shall prevail against this higher purpose." [Bold italics mine.] It is indicated in a website here that Dr. Chen Zhonghua is also head of the Organ Transplant Research Institute at Huazhong University of Science and Technology's Tongii Medical School. The Institute is reported to have performed more than 1,000 kidney transplants in February 2005 alone. Dr. Chen Zhonghua is said to have admitted through phone conversations that some transplant organs had come from living Falun Gong practitioners. In my opinion, the possible participation of this doctor, a senior member of the Chinese Medical Association, makes it all the more urgent that the WMA take immediate action.

Waiting until protests can be organized at the 2008 Olympics or until efforts by diplomats come to fruition will not save the lives of many innocent people during the coming months. I believe that only action by the World Medical Association can bring these crimes against humanity to an end. As I mentioned in my letter last year, the type of step recommended above is one that has proven effective in the past in the Soviet Union and even in China itself in connection with stopping the wrongful incarceration, in maximum security forensic institutions, of non-mentally-ill dissidents in the Soviet Union and Falun Gong adherents in China.

I respectfully request that you call an emergency meeting of the Council of the WPA to address this problem immediately and act to save many lives.

Sincerely yours,


Abraham L. Halpern, MD, FACP
Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry
New York Medical College

Protest Ensues At Falun Dafa Discussion

At Panel, Groups Clash Over Organ Harvesting by Caroline Kao and David Xia

Never a dull moment...Beijing's long arm...

Columbia Spectator: Issue date: 4/23/07 Section: News - Angry protestors held signs deriding the Falun Gong movement while panelists spoke last Friday regarding allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.


The event, sponsored by Columbia's Falun Dafa Club and Columbia's chapter of Amnesty International, included talks by David Matas, an international human rights lawyer, and Dr. Charles Lee, a Falun Gong practitioner.


The discussion, moderated by Professor Frank Xie of Drexel University, focused on the findings of an investigation of organ seizures from imprisoned Falun Gong members. The investigation, carried out by Matas and David Kilgour, a former Canadian Secretary of State, also reports that the Chinese government killed many of the harvested victims.


According to an English translation of a Chinese-language e-mail sent the night before the panel by the Columbia University Chinese Students and Scholars Association with the subject of "Urgent call: defend mother land's reputation, deny cult's rumor," the CUCSSA called on its members to interrupt the forum. The e-mail said that the disruption "may entail inevitable body contact," and continued on to read, "...we will use the sea of flags dyed by blood, to beat the cult's high spirit, to defend the reputation and dignity of the motherland!"


At noon, a group of about twenty CUCSSA members walked into Uris with banners, Chinese flags, and signs. The two sides argued until the protesters, the Falun Dafa club, and public safety worked out the terms under which the event could continue. Since it was registered as a public event, the protesters were allowed to attend and keep their signs. Banners and flags were not allowed, and the protesters were not allowed to interrupt the panelists.


Matas-who disagreed with the protesters' claim that Falun Gong is a cult-compared the allegations of organ harvesting to early signs of the Holocaust, and said that his investigation was conducted independently without any influence from practitioners of Falun Gong. According to Matas, there were 41,500 unaccounted-for organ transplants from 2000-2005, which coincides with the reported persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.


"We don't know if this is being done with the government's directive," Matas said. He ended by asking the audience, "Do your own research. Come to your own conclusions, but at the end there are problems. China is not a country where there is a rule of law."


While many of the protesters remained silent and covered their faces with signs, some were more outspoken.


"Every country has problems. ... Our image really is distorted by this event," said one unidentified protester.


Panelist Dr. Jingduan Yang, a psychiatrist from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital said after the event, "I'm not here to make China look bad."


"We should all try to help China by helping everyone there to have human dignity and be respected."

Falungong asks Canada FM's help to free 15 in China

A lot of pressure is needed by FM Peter MacKay on his first trip to China, to get the Beijing bosses to release the 15 Falun Gong practitioners with ties to Canada and to stop the persecution altogether.

OTTAWA (AFP via Yahoo) Tue Apr 24, 2:30 PM- Canadian relatives of 15 Falungong followers jailed in China asked on Tuesday Foreign Affairs Minister Peter MacKay to bring up their plight during an upcoming official visit to Beijing.

"The persecution of Falungong is a key policy of the Chinese regime among its many severe human rights violations," said Li Xun, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada.

"It is a serious issue that must be raised during any human rights talks with the regime."

China banned the spiritual group in 1999, accusing Falungong of spreading rumors in a bid to undermine "social stability" and Beijing's international relations, but the group is politically active in Canada.

The Canadian wing is expected to meet with the Foreign Affairs Department's China Desk on Wednesday to outline the plight of the 15, including the brother of a refugee who was himself freed from a Chinese prison with help from Canadian lawmakers, and the Beijing branch manager of Paris-based PCM Pumps.

The group accused Chinese authorities of "beating" and "brainwashing" their brethren, and sending them to forced labor camps.

Asylum seeker Yao Lian said PCM Pumps was "pressured to abandon their inquiries if they wished to continue doing business in China" after her husband Ma Jian was arrested at their Beijing offices.

"His arrest had a huge impact on their operations," she said, noting that French presidential candidate Segolene Royal wrote to Falun Dafa's Paris offices to "express concern" about Ma's fate, but failed to secure his release.

A Canadian government spokesman was not immediately available for comment.

But relations between Beijing and Ottawa have been strained recently over accusations that China is spying on Canadian corporations, the jailing of a Canadian imam in China, Canada's failure to deport a Chinese fugitive, talks between Ottawa and the Dalai Lama as well as stalled trade negotiations.

Last month, the wife of a Chinese diplomat defected to Canada and accused Beijing's embassy in Ottawa of inciting hatred against Falungong practitioners in Canada.

Letter: Why April 25, 1999, matters




Taipei Times: Tuesday, Apr 24, 2007, Page 8 - April 25, 1999, marked a turning point in recent Chinese history. On that historic day, more than 10,000 peaceful Falun Gong practitioners turned up at the Zhongnanhai government compound to appeal the beginning of the persecution (of Falun Gong) in China by the Chinese Communist Party. This was undoubtedly the biggest spontaneous public gathering since students assembled on Tiananmen Square in 1989, the outcome of which is well-known by all.

Just as with the Tiananmen protests, the "Zhongnanhai appeal" sounded the alarm and sent shockwaves through the political elite in Beijing. On that fateful day, Jiang Zemin (江澤民) was seen patrolling the area in his big black sedan, hiding behind tinted windows and probably shaking with fear. That same night he wrote a letter to the politburo saying that the Marxists must defeat the Falun Gong.

Just seven years before the gathering at Zhongnanhai, Li Hongzhi (李洪志), a Nobel Peace Prize nominee, brought the spiritual practice of Falun Gong to the public. A combination of exercises, meditation and moral principles, Falun Gong quickly became popular throughout China. It was this popularity that would pose a dilemma for the Chinese regime, which displays zero tolerance toward any alternative voices.

To this day the persecution, which went into full swing in July 1999, has continued unabated.

Recently, news of organ harvesting from living practitioners in military and civilian hospitals has come to light. Human rights reports speak of 100 Stalinist-style torture methods used on practitioners to coerce them into abandoning their beliefs. Some China observers have labeled the Zhongnanhai event as the catalyst for one of the most vicious periods of oppression of a spiritual movement in modern times.

To commemorate this black day, practitioners will hold silent protests in various locations around the world. If you drive by the Chinese consulate in Vancouver, Canada, tomorrow, you will see a miniature reflection of what happened back in 1999. To underscore their request that persecution come to an end, Vancouver practitioners have, for the past few years, maintained a round-the-clock peaceful vigil at the consulate. It is a shame that Vancouver Mayor Sam Sullivan has caved in to pressure from consulate officials and chosen to take practitioners to court, using bylaws as an excuse.

Speaking out against torture and human rights abuses is a constitutional right that should be enforced, not diminished.

But in the face of brutalization by one of the most powerful and autocratic political groups in history -- a group responsible for the deaths of over 80 million people -- never once have practitioners resorted to violence. To this day, Falun Gong is still Falun Gong. Peace and justice will prevail, eventually.

Marie Beaulieu

A short version was published in the Times Colonist.



Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Divine Performing Arts Spectacular World Tour -- don't miss it!

Urge Minister MacKay to raise Falun Gong persecution during China visit

News Release: Family members ask for help to rescue their loved ones incarcerated for freedom of belief

Ottawa – The day prior to Foreign Affairs Minister’s departure for his trip that includes a China visit, Falun Dafa Association, and Canadians whose family members are incarcerated in China for their Falun Gong belief held a press conference on the Hill to call on Minister MacKay to raise the Falun Gong persecution during his visit to China.

“The persecution of Falun Gong is a key policy of the Chinese regime among its many severe rights violations. It is a serious issue that must be raised during any human rights talks with the regime”, said Mr. Xun Li, president of Falun Dafa Association. “We also ask help from Minister McKay to urge the regime to end the 8-year persecution-- killing and organ snatching of practitioners--and release imprisoned practitioners, including 15 Canadian family members”.

Meanwhile, Falun Gong practitioners staged an anti-torture exhibition on the Hill re-enacting severe methods of torture used on practitioners to coerce them to give up their belief. To this day these crimes are blatantly denied and systematically covered up.

According to a report by the UN Special Rapporteur on torture, Mr.Nowak said while “torture is systematic and widespread,” Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in government custody. The US State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices released last month stated “Falun Gong adherents constituted at least half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates in reeducation-through-labor camps, while the real number could be even higher.” Mr. David Kilgour, former secretary of State (Asian-Pacific) and David Matas, renowned human rights lawyer, released a revised report on January 31 that confirmed that a large-scale organ harvest of practitioners is happening in China as a “new form of evil on this planet”.

Four out of the 15 Canadian families that grieve for their loved ones incarcerated in China also spoke at the press conference. They are Mr. Michael Zeng from Toronto, whose mother Xin Huang is serving a 8-year jail term for distributing Falun Gong truth materials, Mr. Shenli Lin from Toronto, whose brother was sentenced to a 6-year jail term for distributing similar materials and Ms. Lian Yao from Montreal, wife of a French company’s Beijing branch manager, Mr. Jian Ma, who received a 2.5 forced-labour-camp term on April 18 simply for his belief in Falun Gong, and Mr. Shen You from Montreal, whose three aunts are incarcerated right now.

“Both my husband and I have been detained for multiple times, incarcerated and tortured. As Falun Gong practitioners, simply for following the principle of truth, compassion and forbearance, we are automatically labeled as ‘criminals’ or ‘class enemies’ by the regime, and do not have any safety”, said Ms. Lian Yao, wife of Mr. Jian Ma, a French company’s Beijing branch manager. According to Ms. Yao, “inside information from the public security bureau mentioned that all practitioners arrested this year will not be released until after the Olympic Games in Beijing in 2008”.

“My mother was jailed in Liaoning Female Prison and cruelly tortured. Policemen also forced to take large doses of psychiatric mental drugs twice a day for 8 months, although she has no psychiatric disorders. Now she cannot speak a single complete sentence due to over-dosed drug, has difficulty to walk and lost most of her memory. Her life is in great danger. Please help to rescue her,” said Michael Zeng from Toronto.

“Thanks to Amnesty International, and Members of Parliament Messrs. Cotler, Reid, Anders and many others, thanks to the Canadian government, I was rescued to Canada and re-united with my wife in 2002”, said Shenli Lin who spend more than 2 years in a Chinese forced-labour camp in 2000 for signing a petition for Falun Gong, “I hope Minister MacKay will also extend his helping hand to Falun Gong practitioners, including my brother Mingli and the 15 other family members of Canadians”.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. Its principles are based on Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. However, In July 1999, fearing Falun Gong's widespread popularity was overshadowing his own legacy, the then-Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered the traditional Chinese practice "eradicated”. The arbitrary arrest, torture, killing, incarceration, brainwashing and demonization of Falun Gong have lasted till this day.

International Chinese Classical Dance Competition

Monday, April 23, 2007

Why does Sudan's peace lumber an uphill track

Peter Lokarlo Marsu is right on the mark when it comes to the China-Darfur connection and more.

Sudan Tribune
Monday 23 April 2007 02:59.- Khartoum is persistently sounding a high-pitched clarion call and warning Beijing that China's interests in Sudan would be compromised, if the NCP were out of business as a result of UN or Washington's unilateral punitive action against the Sudanese government, and that China would definitely forfeit its multi-million investment in Sudan for failing to back up Khartoum's cataclysmic policies. Such warnings have made china to turn a blind eye to Khartoum's appalling Human Rights dossier that also perfectly matches China's own horrendous records.

What could be more disgusting and outrageous than executing hundreds of prisoners in Chinese jails and harvesting their organs for sale? This is forlornly a standard practice in China and highly lucrative business managed by the government in the country. The Falun Gong followers have taken a heavier toll since 1999 for what Beijing termed '¡llegal activities' a cryptic reference to the group's inexorable spiritual beliefs, commitment and practices. The Tibetan spiritual leader the DALAI LAMA is banished from China for his beliefs. Beijing does not condone ideological aberration and any sort of religious worshipping is abhorred and could attract severe penalties. It is easy to see why Beijing is not alarmed by the genocide that occurred in Darfur. (more)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

HK repeatedly denies entry to travelers from Taiwan

Taipei Times: Friday, Apr 20, 2007, Page 3 - DANGEROUS? In February 2003, 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners arrived in the territory for a conference, but were denied entry, allegedly for `security reasons' By Shih Hsiu-chuan

Last month, Chang Chi-yu (張志宇), an official with the Mainland Affairs Council (MAC), was barred from entering Hong Kong after landing there with a delegation sent by the council to observe the territory's chief executive election, which was held on March 25.

"Even now I still have no idea why I was repatriated," said Chang, who formerly held a position at Chung Hwa Travel Service Hong Kong, Taiwan's representative office in the territory, for four years.

Ming Chu-cheng (明居正), a political science professor at National Taiwan University, said he was once in 2005 questioned at Hong Kong's airport for two hours without being given a reason.
"Not until the Hong Kong media were notified by my friends that I was being detained did the Hong Kong officials let me go," Ming said.

"I frequently travel to Hong Kong, but I never had such an experience before Hong Kong was returned to China [in 1997]," he said.

Adding to the list was an incident in February 2003, when some 80 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners arrived for an international conference, but were denied entry for "security reasons."

The incident drew widespread media attention when 10 female members were photographed being put into sacks by police officers and being carried to a plane for deportation.

US-based lawyer Theresa Chu (朱婉琪) and three other Taiwanese filed a lawsuit on behalf of the group against Lai Tung-kwok (黎棟國), director of Hong Kong's Information Department in April 2003.

They demanded the court to declare the deportation illegal and the abuse inappropriate, but the case was dismissed by the territory's High Court on March 23.

At a press conference organized by Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Wang To-far (王塗發) in Taipei yesterday, Chu said:"The ruling demonstrated that justice is nearly dead in Hong Kong. China's dirty hand has interfered in Hong Kong, which used to have values of freedom."

Chu said that Justice Michael Hartmann (夏正民), the High Court judge, had ruled unfairly.
In his verdict, Hartmann said that the director was authorized to deny the entry of the Taiwanese plaintiffs because he can exercise "broad discretionary power."

Chu has argued that the deportation was in violation of Article 4 of the Hong Kong Basic Law, which stipulates that the authorities must safeguard the rights and freedoms of Hong Kong residents and of other persons in the administrative region.

Hartmann said the group had only landed in Hong Kong and wasn't really "in Hong Kong."
Commenting on the ruling, Kenneth Chiu (邱晃權), a human rights lawyer, said that "the degree to which Hong Kong's judiciary system has degenerated" since the territory's handover to China "surprised" him.

"Although there was no democracy in Hong Kong before then either, it did have law and order," Chiu said.

The four plaintiffs will appeal to Court of Appeals of the High Court on Monday, she said.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Chinese-language TV station urges Ottawa to expel diplomat

May justice be done...Let Canada speak a little louder and get things done here.

Canadian Press : Published: Thursday, April 19, 2007- OTTAWA (CP) - A Chinese-language TV station is calling on the federal government to expel a Chinese diplomat for allegedly trying to block its licence approval.

New Tang Dynasty TV says Huang Huikang tried to orchestrate a campaign to keep it from getting a broadcast licence from the CRTC.

The station is to hold a news conference Friday to ask that Huang be kicked out "for his direct and continued interference and attacks against a Canadian business operation here in Canada."

The non-profit broadcaster also notes that defector Jiyan Zhang, the wife of a former official at the Chinese Embassy, revealed the existence of an office within the embassy geared toward interfering with anyone critical of the Chinese communist regime.

It says she also produced a document which detailed embassy efforts to thwart New Tang's efforts to win a licence.

New Tang says the embassy tried to enlist Chinese Canadians and Chinese students in Canada in a letter-writing campaign to oppose the licence.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Future China Online University Officially Opens

An Interview with Dr. Li Dayong, FCOU's Executive Principal
By Yuan Meimei
Epoch Times New York Staff


Dr. Li Dayong, the executive principal for Future China Online University (Li Ming/The Epoch Times)
Dr. Li Dayong, the executive principal for Future China Online University (Li Ming/The Epoch Times)

On April 8, 2007, at the rally in New York in support of the 20 million people who have withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Future China Online University (FCOU) was officially opened. The opening attracted attention from all circles of society.

To mark this event, The Epoch Times interviewed Dr. Li Dayong, the founder of the Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP and the executive principal for the Future China Online University. The following is a record of this interview:

Epoch Times: Principal Li, what kind of university is the "Future China Online University"? What kind of sort of education will it offer?

Principal Li: The most important aspect is that this is the first university that no longer forces teachers and students in mainland China to absurdly insist on the "Four Basic Principles"; that no longer trains "successors of proletarian revolutionary cause"; that no longer imbues people with the CCP's distorted history, deviated values and Party culture, and definitely no longer ridiculously pushes people to join the CCP to make up the numbers. On the contrary, our university takes it upon itself to restore traditional Chinese morality and culture, and to recover the high moral integrity of scholars of past dynasties. At the same time, we will try our best to spread all advanced cultures that exist in the countries around the world. This is a university that engages in teaching and research in humanities.

It can be said that Future China Online University is a complete rejection of the CCP's current education system and model. It is acting as the first pilot project, and is carving out a way to reform the several thousand universities in China, which are currently full of the CCP's Party culture.

Our university will train high-level humanities talents with virtue, ability and courage, which are urgently needed for the future China. Graduates will be able to "shoulder the great responsibilities for the country, and report their fulfillment to the people (school motto)." They will replace those civil servants performing the tasks for the CCP, who still refuse to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations on the verge of the CCP's collapse, en masse in the fields of culture, politics, economy, law, finance, news and national defense.

Graduates will replace those professionals (especially teachers who push students to join the CCP or the Communist Youth League to earn bonuses for themselves), who still refuse to accept or believe in precious truth clarification materials, and follow the evil CCP to its imminent elimination. They will thus participate in administering and governing the future China as people who have awakened and prepared early. If we wait until the CCP collapses to think about and begin training these talents, it will be too late!

ET: Could you tell us about your university's characteristics?

Li: We do have several characteristics. I will list them for you.

1. All university staff and students are people who have withdrawn from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Employee numbers and student numbers will be the certification number for their "Party Withdrawal Certificate" or the identification number for their withdrawal statement.

2. Future China Online University caters mainly to young students in mainland China, but it is suitable for almost all people from all walks of life to listen to its lectures and learn how to adapt to the future China. Our training department welcomes all professionals, people with work experience and unemployed people.

3. Books on the CCP's forbidden list are generally most suitable for our university to use as teaching materials or references, for example, the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party", "Disintegrate Party Culture", "Which is the New China – Distinguishing between Right and Wrong in Modern Chinese History", and "What Ancient Prophecies Tell Us of Today".

4. "Public homework" is assigned especially for accelerating the disintegration of the CCP. It has extremely useful social practicality. For example, the homework titled "Hosting the Olympics by the CCP is a shame for mankind" is a resistance action by itself. Strictly speaking, it does not belong to any particular class, so it will be marked by the Dean's Office.

ET: What is the direct cause and initiative for establishing this university?

Li: In the process of massed withdrawals from the CCP, especially when the number of people who had withdrawn from the party exceeded 10 million, many people raised questions like "What can we do without the CCP", a thought which itself originates from the CCP's distorted logic. These questions must be answered in order to overcome various obstacles hindering people from quitting the CCP. Last year, "Voices inside the Army" proposed to set up a forum to discuss the disintegration of the CCP and transition measures required for after its disintegration. Following this idea, a group of overseas scholars set up the "Future China Forum."

Many people, who have been inspired to prepare for the future China, finally have a platform not controlled by the CCP to communicate with each other and to others. On this platform, you can put your great talent and bold vision into full play and express your far-sighted opinions. Future China Online University is established based on a proposal from a forum friend named Shen Zhu. It is founded by all initiators of the Future China Forum and unites around three-withdrawal from the CCP. At present, the university resides within the Future China Forum. Our university has emerged at this historical moment.

ET: How many courses are currently available at FCOU?

Li: We are currently opening classrooms on an as-needs basis. The subjects which are already under planning include "Network Security," "Divine Culture," "Recognizing and disintegrating Party Culture," "World-wide Political System Comparisons," "Political Party Management," "Non-violent Philosophies and Practice," "Parliamentary Systems Around the World," "International Politics and Foreign Relations," "Republic of China (Taiwan) and Democracy in Asia," "Concise History of Ideologies of the World," "History of the Republic of China," "History of Chinese Literature," "News Media Studies," "Global Economics," "World Finance," "Wealth Management and Taxes," "Chinese Economy," "Resources and Environments," "Audit and Anti-Corruption," "New Sources of Energy," "Legal Laws," "Constitutions," "Temporary Constitution," "International Human Rights," "Rights-Upholding Movement and Intellects," "Macro Perspective and Decision-Making," "Energy Policies," "Industrial Management," "Modern Administration Management," "Public Relations," "Science of Market," "National Defense and Military Control."

A large portion is closely tied to society, and contains highly enriched knowledge. Students should benefit greatly from enrolling in these courses, and these benefits will last a lifetime.

ET: How would you study in this school? Then how would you put it to practice? How are classes conducted?

Li: FCOU works on the philosophy of "Actions follow the knowledge." The ratio of learning knowledge from books versus actual usage in the society is 1:1. In other words, theories and practice are equally important. Take "Recognizing and Disintegrating Party Culture" as an example. Besides studying the designated textbooks of the "Nine Commentaries of The Communist Party" and "Disintegrate Party Culture," students must put it to practical use by helping others to withdraw from the CCP, upholding their basic rights, and better understanding the CCP.

Since the courses are intended for people in China, being able to break through the Chinese authorities' Internet censorship is a pre-requisite. For those who have no access to the Internet, they can probably form study groups and elect a group leader who will print various course materials and submit assignments on behalf of the group. This arrangement would work well for, say, retired army veterans of human rights defenders.

Classes are conducted like this: The lecturer will release an outline with detailed course materials, including reference readings and problems for completion. Students will download these for independent study, and then attend a large class a few days later. In the large classes, the lecturer will answer questions and lead discussions. Students will be evaluated based on what they say. Lecturers will also hold smaller classes to help graduate students with specific topics.

Student's assignments are composed of general writing and essays. These are submitted by posting to designated areas online. If a student is not satisfied with the grade, he or she can rewrite the paper according to the lecturer's point-form critique, and then teaching assistants will update the grade to arrive at a final mark.

ET: How will FCOU recruit students in the future? What are the acceptance requirements?

Li: There is no concept of school terms. We are accepting enrolments at ay time. Just submit a request in the Future China Forum.

During the two-month recruitment trial period, we were constantly looking for ways to make it easier to enroll, and we updated the enrolment instructions immediately. As for acceptance requirements, it's a matter of the students choosing courses which are suitable for his or her level.

ET: Can you talk about the teachers? How do you become a teacher here?

Li: The teachers who have already joined, and those who have shown willingness to join us are mostly highly-respected individuals in their fields. This school is still little known right now, so we are aggressively inviting professors, but we also strongly welcome those who come to us via referrals. For the main lecturers, we do take time to evaluate their performance, and we will have the administration department communicate with them when necessary.

In order to be responsible to the students, we demand that the main lecturers meet these following requirements. They must have 1) completely denounced CCP control through the three withdrawals; 2) read "Nine Commentaries of the Communist Party" and "Disintegrate Party Culture" prior to penning course outlines and other teaching materials; 3) Teaching materials that are independent and original works; 4) the willingness to lead students and assist graduate students; and 5) the ability to design appropriate practical lessons to accompany the theoretical.

ET: What about funding? Do you require financial support from the general public?

Li: We mainly raise our funding through the Future China Foundation, which is registered in the U.S. This university has only taken its first step, so financially it's in a worse shape than most would imagine.

Yes, we are a civilian organization. But we are here at such a crucial time when the CCP could dissolve at any time, and we are here to serve as an alarm to awaken people from their illusions of a "peaceful era," and make them aware that China will be better without the CCP. You can imagine the hardship. The difficulties we are facing can be relieved somewhat through generous donations. Weighing the return against the investment, this is the best deal in human history. The cost we are paying to push a radical social reform of an ancient oriental country is so little, it's even less than the cost of some small-scale conflicts.

To all the good-hearted wealthy people, "You may have enjoyed success in every investment up until now, but this is the opportunity for you to harvest the greatest joy from your return on investment, and this investment will earn you unprecedented respect." And to every good-willed scholar, "If you love China, and hope for a bright future for this country, then please give your love to this university."

Here is where to send your donations:

Future China Foundation, U.S. Registration No.: 77-0672425 Bank Account No.: 503202305 3133176160 Bank Name: Washington Mutual

To make donations online go here.

Click here to read the original article in Chinese

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Matas/Kilgour say new Chinese rules on organs must be enforced

News Release

David Matas and David Kilgour in a reaction statement released today called on the Government of China to enforce its new rules on organs. The Government of China issued the new rules on Friday April 6. They are scheduled to come into force on May 1. The new rules ban the sale of human organs for profit.

Kilgour and Matas said: "China has had a history in this area of announcing policies and laws which sound fine in principle but are then not enforced. The announcement of the rule change is welcome. But this announcement will mean nothing if the practice of organ harvesting from non-consenting donors for huge sums of money continues."

“This announcement of a rule change is, in effect, a statement that China is going to stop organ harvesting from unwilling donors for huge sums of money. The very statement that they are going to stop doing this is an admission that this practice is now happening.”

“We worry that this announcement of a change in the law is nothing more than political cosmetics, a piece of propaganda.”

David Kilgour and David Matas are authors of a report on organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The first version of the report was released on July 6, 2006; the second version was released on January 31, 2007. They concluded that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are being executed by medical professionals for commercial reasons and their vital organs sold, often to foreigners. The revised report almost doubled, from 18 to 33, the number of evidentiary factors leading to their conclusion. Both versions are available at http://organharvestinvestigation.net Their full reaction statement is attached to this release.


Reaction statement of David Matas and David Kilgour
Re: Chinese announcement of the rule change for organ transplants
April 17, 2007

China has had a history of announcing policies and laws about organ transplants which sound fine in principle but are then not enforced. The most recent official Chinese announcement of the rule change for organ transplants, banning their sale for profit, is welcome. But this announcement will mean nothing if the practice of organ harvesting from non-consenting donors for huge sums of money continues. The new rules have to be enforced.

China enacted another law last March which came into force July 1st, 2006 also banning the sale of organs. Even before that China had a policy in place to prevent such practices.

Deputy Health Minister Huang Jiefu, speaking at a conference of surgeons in the southern city of Guangzhou in mid November 2006 decried the selling of organs from executed prisoners sentenced to death saying "Under﷓the﷓table business must be banned". Yet, it was already banned in law on July 1 and by policy much before that. His speech was an official acknowledgment that previous bans were not effective.

We concluded in our report “Bloody Harvest” that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners are being executed by medical professionals for commercial reasons and their vital organs sold, often to foreigners. The first version of the report was released on July 6, 2006; the second version was released on January 31, 2007. The revised report almost doubled, from 18 to 33, the number of evidentiary factors leading to our conclusion. The Government of China has yet to come up with any facts or figures contradicting our report.

One of the reasons we came to the conclusion in our report "Bloody Harvest" that organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners occurs is that the precautions which should be in place to prevent this organ harvesting are not in place. The announcement of this rule change vindicates that observation. The change in the law is a tacit admission that the present legal system has been inadequate to prevent the practices we decry.

This announcement of a rule change is, in effect, a statement that China is going to stop organ harvesting from unwilling donors for huge sums of money. The very statement that Chinese hospitals are going to stop doing this is an admission that this practice is now happening.

We worry that this announcement of a change in the law is nothing more than political cosmetics, a piece of propaganda. That is what both the March 2006 announcement of a law change for July 1, 2006 and previous policy announcements turned out to be.

The Chinese authorities have built a vast array of transplant centres. Many Falun Gong practitioners remain in detention centres and forced labour camps. Will the military hospitals and surgeons, which to date have functioned outside the civilian health system and are heavily involved in transplants, be required to comply with the new regulations?

The practice of organ harvesting from unwilling donors on payment of huge sums of money has survived all the previous policy announcements. It remains to be seen whether this law change will be any different.

The announcement is an acknowledgement that the transplant industry in China is causing the Government of China political problems. We say that these problems will not be solved by a re-announcement of a policy which has been announced several times before. We will continue to scrutinize Chinese transplant practices. We ask the global community not to allow this announcement to lull them into the belief that now in China, for transplants, everything is all right.

Monday, April 16, 2007

U.S. says it is troubled by claims of abuse against outspoken Chinese lawyer

The Associated Press; Published: April 16, 2007

IHT (WASHINGTON): The United States said Monday it is troubled by allegations that a Chinese lawyer convicted on subversion charges was subjected to harsh treatment by Chinese authorities.

State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said the United States will follow up on claims that Gao Zhisheng endured severe mistreatment, including being forced to sit for more than 100 hours straight in an iron chair, during a five-month detention.

"These most recent allegations are quite troubling, and we are going to follow-up on them," McCormack told reporters.

Gao became a prominent critic of China's civil rights lapses in 2002-2006, taking on cases involving property-rights violations, the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement and religious persecution.

Gao was arrested in August 2006, convicted and released into a type of house arrest.

He had been detained after organizing a hunger strike to protest what he said was police brutality against activists.

Gao was convicted in December in a one-day trial based on nine articles posted on Web sites abroad, the official Xinhua News Agency reported then, disclosing the details of the charges against him for the first time.

Related Article:

ET: Open Letter on Maltreatment of Gao Zhisheng and Family


New Heights for Human Rights by Donna Jacobs

The Ottawa Citizen; Published: Monday, April 16, 2007

From the Matas-Kilgour report: "The Organ Transplant Center of the Armed Police General Hospital in Beijing boldly states: 'Our Organ Transplant Center is our main department for making money. This year (2004) there is a chance to break through 30,000,000 yuan (about $3.8 million U.S.).' "

Mr. Kilgour explains that far from being donors or criminals whose organs are taken after execution, these lucrative organs come from peaceful people who rarely see a court.

He says a Falun Gong practitioner, when asked, will admit to being part of the movement because truth is one of Falun Gong's principles. Once identified, practioners are sent to work camps, where for 16 hours a day they make items for export, including Christmas decorations and promotional materials for multinationals.

"Their blood is tested and they're carefully tested medically. We're convinced that they're tested so that when a westerner goes to Shanghai No. 1 People's Hospital for a new kidney, for example, the hospital has a computer bank of all the kidneys available from the practitioners. The turnaround time, thus, from arriving in China, undergoing tissue type tests and getting the organ is two weeks."

One military doctor tested compatibility of seven kidneys before a successful match for one patient from another Asian country. "Eight human beings died," says Mr. Kilgour, "so he could get a kidney."

The two lawyers are by no means alone in their campaign. Manfred Nowak, the UN rapporteur on torture, said two-thirds of people tortured in China are Falun Gong practitioners. In March, an article in the respected Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine found the Matas-Kilgour report "credible" given China's "remarkable" organ transplant rate.

Doctors in three Canadian hospitals -- in Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary --have reported about 100 Canadians have gone to China for transplants.

Of China's recently announced ban on the export of transplanted human organs, Mr. Kilgour says, "Laws in China are often observed mostly in the breach, especially when there are hundreds of millions of dollars involved -- as in the case of selling organs from Falun Gong practitioners and executed 'criminals.'

"We hope it's not just pre-Olympics spin."

Mr. Kilgour has campaigned for this cause in Australia with Edward McMillan-Scott, Conservative MP and vice-president of the European Parliament. He believes the campaign has collapsed the Chinese organ transplant market there.

"We're trying to get citizens, parliamentarians and doctors in all 70 countries where there are Olympic committees to raise these issues," says Mr. Kilgour. "We're not calling for an Olympic boycott. If we can just create enough pressure, we think the government of China will stop this terrible practice."

Yesterday, Mr. Matas and Mr. Kilgour left for Pittsburgh and Cleveland (two major transplant centres in the U.S.), then for Asia and Europe.

Retired indeed.

Donna Jacobs is an Ottawa writer. Her e-mail address donnabjacobs@hotmail

Chinese defector describes agents' reach in Canada

THE WASHINGTON TIMES by Bill Gertz: April 17, 2007 - China's embassy in Canada is engaged in an aggressive effort to harass dissidents, including attempts to influence government agencies to limit anti-communist broadcasters, a Chinese defector and religious dissident said.

Zhang Jiyan, wife of a diplomat posted to the embassy in Ottawa, said in an interview that Chinese agents in Canada are harassing and spying on five groups of dissidents: the Falun Gong religious group, pro-democracy dissidents and those opposing Chinese control over Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang.

Mrs. Zhang, a member of the outlawed Falun Gong who hid her beliefs for years, said she is seeking political asylum in Canada. Her husband has returned to China after being recalled by the government.

She defected in early March after obtaining an internal Chinese government document showing how the 10-member anti-dissident unit in the Chinese Embassy is working to block New Tang Dynasty Television from obtaining a broadcast license. The channel is the Falun Gong broadcasting arm.

"I think what the Chinese communists are doing are the worst things," Mrs. Zhang said. "They are cracking down on Falun Gong and other dissident groups and they are spreading a hate program. And they are spreading lies against people who believe in truth, compassion and forbearance, and who are trying to be good people. And they are carrying out the wrong orders from people above" in the government.

Mrs. Zhang said the Chinese have targeted New Tang Dynasty Television because it is "telling the truth and revealing the human rights situation and persecution of Falun Gong in China."

While the communist government "completely controls" all press and broadcast outlets in China, many overseas Chinese press engage in self-censorship to avoid upsetting Beijing, Mrs. Zhang said.

"That is why I wanted to expose the Chinese Embassy using pro-communist Chinese and Chinese foreign students" in influence operations, she said. "I want the people in the world to know the truth."

"Right now in China there is a brutal, terrible persecution of Falun Gong, and what this embassy group is doing is trying to extend the persecution overseas. They are doing the worst things."

Mrs. Zhang said she came under surveillance from Chinese security agents after she attended a Falun Gong demonstration. She said she will be imprisoned if she returns to China.

Falun Gong is a Buddhist-oriented meditation and religious group that had the tacit support of the Chinese government until a crackdown in 1999.

It has since engaged in political activities against China's Communist Party and led an effort to persuade those in the party to renounce their membership and oppose the communist government.

Mrs. Zhang said China's government has labeled the five groups of its political enemies the "Five Poisons."

Dissidents and defectors have said the Chinese government is harvesting and selling the body organs of Falun Gong prisoners.

In a statement during a March 30 rally, Mrs. Zhang said half of China's 1.3 billion people have "been subject to persecution in one way or another in the so-called political movements."

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

China’s top fifty: the China power list

Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi and the Dalai Lama also made the list. Please cast your vote here.

More about this poll:

Who are the most important figures in today’s China? Which names should you know? Kerry Brown introduces the first Chatham House / openDemocracy China power list, and ranks the leading fifty names. (more)

Mayor first to sign Chinese human rights petition

Way to go Mr. Mayor!

The Southland Times Wednesday, 11 April 2007 - Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt was yesterday the first in the country to sign a petition calling for the Chinese Government to look at its human rights record.

The petition, being taken throughout the country by Amnesty International, is featured on the back of a ceremonial Chinese lion.

In the leadup to the 2008 Beijing Olympics Amnesty International is campaigning for China to acknowledge what campaign manager Gary Reese calls “appalling human rights violations occurring on a massive scale'’.

“Basic human rights are universal _ they belong to everyone.

“With 20 percent of the world’s population in China, we all have a responsibility to help the Chinese people obtain their human rights,'’ he said.

“We’re showing solidarity to the Chinese people.'’

However, the calls were being ignored by many New Zealand mayors because of difficulties associated with speaking out against China, he said.

In Auckland, a concert held to raise awareness was not attended by any of Auckland’s five mayors, despite the fact two had agreed to attend, possibly because it might make attendance at the Olympics difficult if they had spoken out, Mr Reese said.

The Chinese Government had made a promise to look at human rights, and the organisation was making sure it would be held to that promise, Mr Reese said.

Mr Shadbolt said he was happy to sign on his support.

“I visited there in 1976 . . . you can’t help being surprised when you arrive there and see they can actually feed themselves . . . with all the progress they have made economically, you overlook their human rights,'’ he said.

The changes needed would probably take a long time to come into effect but this was a step in the right direction, Mr Shadbolt said.

The tour aimed to have cities with a Chinese sister-city relationship to get into dialogue with their sister city about human rights.

Although Invercargill has no Chinese sister-city relationship, Mr Shadbolt and Mr Reese thought it was important for the city to support the campaign.

The tour is to stop outside the city council buildings in 31 towns and cities throughout New Zealand during the next six weeks.

Mr Reese said while not all mayors would be pledging their support, Amnesty would also welcome sympathetic councillors to sign the petition.

The group is to visit Queenstown today, with an interactive display set up in the central business district before heading to the council building at 2pm.