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Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Singapore: Stop persecuting Falun Gong

Once again, I encourage you to write to the Singapore Consulates and Embassies of the world and let them know that caving in to China is not good for their citizens. Singapore must endeavour to apply the rule of law! Update: The six practitioners were released from jail 14 hours later--that is a good sign. May justice prevail at the hearing Wednesday. (more) Read the Human Rights Law Foundation statement here.

Consulate General of the Republic of Singapore
1820-999 Hastings Street West
Vancouver, BC V6C 2W2

Dear Consul-General:

On Monday, January 22, 2007 the Singapore court put 6 Falun Gong practitioners on trial because they distributed flyers in October 2005. They were convicted of “assembly without license”. Once more, many irregularities in the proceedings were noticed, namely the fact that Singapore chose, from 35 courts, to use the smallest courtroom that only seats 8. Then the court did not allow the public to access the courtroom because of its size. That being the case, the media, relatives and friends were not allowed in. To avoid this form of ‘secret trial’, the 6 practitioners protested asking for a bigger room by peacefully reading a passage from their teachings. Singapore charged them with “Contempt of Court” and they were sent to jail for 2 days.

Allow me to draw your attention to some unusual details about this proceeding. Before the trial started, Yuyi and the other practitioners asked for a bigger courtroom but the judge rejected the request. They asked again on Monday but the judge said that there was no bigger room. Yuyi asked: “Are you sure?” and the judge did not answer. Then practitioners asked to add a few chairs knowing that the court did this before. The judge denied the request and started the hearing abruptly.

Apparently, forty minutes after the court started, the police asked the supporters to back off. The supporters saw the six practitioners handcuffed and walked by. The police said that they did not cooperate. The court started again at 2:30 pm but no one saw the practitioners getting in--they were brought to the court using another path. When the prosecutor started to question the practitioners, they turned around and started to read “Lunyu” out loud. Then the judge charged them with “Contempt of Court”. Practitioners pleaded not guilty. They were sent to jail without bound and relatives are not allowed to visit them. The next court hearing will be on Wednesday.

This is not the first time that practitioners are treated unfairly in Singapore. We would like to further remind you how the Court treated two Falun Gong practitioners last December. In a rare pronouncement more typically reserved for dangerous offenders, Judge Shanmugam demanded that two Falun Gong practitioners serve their jail sentences prior to initiating their appeal. Moreover, the practitioners had no legal representation in court after their lawyer, Madasamy Ravi, was unexpectedly suspended from the bar in November.

While many countries are supporting appeals to end the internationally condemned persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese regime, Singapore stands alone in continuously interfering with and stopping the peaceful appeal activities by Falun Gong practitioners. It is unfortunate that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) who have been persecuting Falun Gong for their belief for almost eight long years will not hesitate to import their mean evil ways into other countries. Illicit organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners in China confirms the extent of the atrocities.

Freedom of religion is for everyone and the free world should respect those values even more. For the greater good of all humankind, we should not indulge dictatorships in carrying out their brutal repression via the embassies and consulates of the world. Singapore should show some integrity and leave Falun Gong alone. They have suffered enough at the hands of the CCP.

Practitioners from Vancouver and from around the world appeal to the Singapore government, Consulates and Embassies to respect the rule of law and set free the six Falun Gong practitioners detained illegally. This type of injustice in your democratic country is immoral and should be stopped. Practitioners, as all taxpayers, should be entitled to exercise their civil rights. It is high time that Singapore start to uphold justice and integrity instead of kowtowing to China at the peril of its own residents and citizens.

BC Falun Dafa Association

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