Former UN Human Rights High Commissioner Calls for End to Persecution of Falun Gong at "Children of Immigrants and Refugees" Seminar
(Clearwisdom.net) (Minghui Correspondent Yue Ran reports from New York)
During the afternoon of October 18, 2004, the Institute of Child and Family Policy at Columbia University, New York, hosted a seminar on the subject of Children of Immigrants and Refugees.
The conference room at the School of International and Public Affairs was completely filled to capacity with 200 attendees. Specialists and scholars participating in this seminar came from Columbia University's School of Social Work, School of International and Public Affairs, Institute of Child and Family Policy, School of Public Health and from the Teachers College as well as related child programs in New York City. The guest speaker was Ms. Mary Robinson, the former president of Ireland and former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Ms. Robinson presented a brilliant speech on children around the world who live in abject poverty, highlighting particularly the living conditions of immigrants and refugees, the actual difficulties [they face] as well as the corresponding UN policy. Later during the question and answer session, Elizabeth Wang from the Department of Women and Children of the Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners had this question: "As a human rights organization, we're devoted to the study and rescue of children who are in plight because of the persecution of Falun Gong in China. According to reports, some children have been tortured to death and many have been beaten, detained and expelled from school because of their faith in Falun Gong. Many more children have suffered because of their parents' faith. They are detained with parents, forced to become homeless, or left unattended. At least several hundred children have become orphans and semi-orphans. Would you please give your advice how to rescue them?"
Ms. Robinson first pointed out that during her tenure as UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, China's human rights had shown little improvement. Regarding the issue of Falun Gong, she also made many requests to the Chinese authorities, urging them to observe the UN Charter and the UN Human Rights Declaration, to fulfill their responsibilities and obligations as a UN member state, and to stop persecuting Falun Gong. As to the children, she said, "they should not be persecuted."
She then mentioned that Chinese officials told her that Falun Gong was a "cult" and that it should be eradicated, but she rebutted them and said, "I don't really care. You should stop your way of mistreating your people."
Finally she also lightheartedly gave an example. Every time after she met with Chinese officials there would be a press conference during which many Chinese reporters were planted to raise questions. They often asked, "The Chinese government is very cooperative with UN human rights officials, isn't that right?" Ms. Robinson would answer, "Yes, but China's human rights have not improved." Then, the following day Chinese newspapers would publish an article entitled "UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Praised the Progress of China's Human Rights Conditions." The seminar audience smiled understandingly. It can be revealed that everybody felt that it [such deceit] was a self-evident fact.
Ms. Robinson disclosed two kinds of dirty tricks that the Chinese authorities typically play in the persecution of its citizens. The first is to confuse truth and falsehood. The second is to lie in the media. These two tricks are the very ones that the Jiang regime has used repeatedly and untiringly in the persecution of Falun Gong.
First, let's talk about confusing truth and falsehood. Ms. Robinson mentioned that Chinese officials had told her that Falun Gong was a "cult."
In fact, this frame-up originated from Jiang Zemin himself and has been utilized throughout the persecution of Falun Gong. It has been used to deceive the Chinese people and people in other countries of the world so as to legitimize the persecution mobilized by Jiang because of his own selfish interests.
Falun Gong started to spread in China in 1992. In a few short years, Falun Gong reached the whole country, had as many as one hundred million people practicing it, and brought about good health to people as well as higher morality to society. In the second half of 1998, Qiao Shi, the then Vice Chair of the NPC Standing Committee, headed an investigation into Falun Gong and concluded that Falun Gong had provided only benefits and brought no harm to both the country and the people. On October 25, 1999, though, when Jiang Zemin was interviewed by the French newspaper Le Figaro during his visit to France, he characterized the nature of Falun Gong for the first time as a "cult." On October 28, People's Daily published an editorial with the title "Falun Gong Is Precisely a Cult." On October 30, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress passed the "Decision on Banning Cults; Watching Out for and Punishing Cult Activities." That was how the far-fetched excuse to start the full-fledged persecution was established. But Ms. Robinson's answer, "I don't really care. You should stop your way of mistreating your people" disappointed the Jiang regime and their carefully planned frame-up failed.
Now let's talk about promulgating lies in the media. Ms. Robinson's original answer was, "China's human rights condition has not improved." But later in the Chinese newspapers it was turned into "UN High Commissioner of Human Rights Praised the Progress of China's Human Rights Condition." Aren't they masters of deceit? In the persecution of Falun Gong, the Jiang regime put on numerous farces using the media and other propaganda outlets to frame Falun Gong practitioners, such as the "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation Case," the "Fu Yibin Manslaughter Case" and the "Beggar's Murder Case" and others. Take the "Self-Immolation Case" as an example. A statement made by the International Education Development pointed out at the United Nations that, "the (Chinese) authorities took the so-called self-immolation incident that happened in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001 as evidence to accuse Falun Gong being a 'cult.' But we obtained a video of that incident. Our conclusion from that video is that the government single-handedly staged that whole incident. We have prepared copies of the video for distribution." It can be seen that those that tell such lies are only shooting themselves in the foot, and are making a laughing stock of themselves.
The attitudes of the speakers and the reactions from the audience at this seminar on Children of Immigrants and Refugees demonstrated once again that people with a good conscience have come to understand more and more the truth about Falun Gong and have chosen to stand on the side of justice. Lies will eventually be exposed, one after another.