(Clearwisdom.net) On December 10, 2004, World Human Rights Day, Falun Gong practitioners in the UK held a press conference to remind people of the ongoing five-year campaign of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China and to support bringing to justice the people responsible for the abuse, torture and killing of countless men, women and children. After the press conference, Lord Thurlow, former Senior Diplomat, took a petition letter directly to the Chinese Embassy on behalf of the practitioners. This was the first time that the Chinese Embassy has opened its doors and accepted a petition letter from Falun Gong practitioners since 1999, when the Chinese authorities began persecuting Falun Gong.

A lot of people from different walks of life sent statements of support to the press conference, including Jill Evans MEP, Caroline Lucas MEP, Glenda Jackson UK MP, Chairman of the Greater London Assembly Brian Coleman, Chairman of the Federation for Democratic China UK Shui Li, Director of Leeds China Support Lucy Jin, the Bishop of Oxford and John Dee, Vice-Chairman of European Friends of Falun Gong. They all condemned the persecution carried out by the Chinese Communist Party, showed support and sympathy for Falun Gong practitioners, and called for an improved human rights situation in China. Lord Thurlow talked about the initiative to bring Jiang and other Chinese officials to justice for crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity. Two Falun Gong practitioners introduced the persecution experienced by their families.

Scenes from the press conference

Jill Evans MEP said in her statement on World Human Rights Day, "I share the concerns of many about the treatment of practitioners of Falun Gong. Peaceful freedom of expression is a fundamental human right that no government should violate. This week the Chinese Government asked the European Union to lift its embargo on arms exports to China. Both I and my parliamentary group strongly oppose this move, there can be no reasoning for doing so whilst the human rights situation in China remains as it is. We must work together at the local and European level to bring pressure to bear on the Chinese regime so that it addresses our legitimate concerns on human rights."

Glenda Jackson MP stated in her statement, "Yet again I would like to add my voice to those calling for the Chinese Government to acknowledge the importance of human rights, not only for the individual but for the nation. The world will never be a peaceful and harmonious place until all governments acknowledge that human rights are just that."

Shui Li, Chairman of the Federation for Democratic China UK, stated, "A Chinese ancestor says, 'Do not do it to others if you would not wish to do it to yourself.' Those words carry a message of respecting others and their human rights. It seems that human rights should not be strange words to the Chinese people, who amount to one fifth of the population of the world. However, the persecution of Falun Gong and democratic movements, religious individuals and groups, even to the point of being tortured to death for their beliefs show that human rights have been severely abused in China. Today is World Human Rights Day. We are strongly urging the new Chinese leadership to listen to the Chinese people's voice and make positive changes in human rights in China. We would like to see that the Chinese people's human rights are maintained in practice."

Lucy Jin, Director of Leeds China Support Group, said, "Concerns about World Human Rights must include human rights in China. In fact, China is one of the countries that hold the worst human rights records. The most cruel and evil persecution has been carried out against Chinese people for their beliefs, freedom of speech, life styles, etc. Today we are here to appeal for the improvement of human rights in China. If the Chinese Communist authorities intend to improve human rights in China, they must take action along with their promises."

After the press conference, the Falun Gong practitioners walked through central London with banners to raise awareness of the persecution. Some of them distributed flyers to garner support from locals and visitors.

Falun Gong practitioners hold a parade on the streets in London

Source: http://clearharmony.net/articles/200412/23720.html