China's Ambassador to Ireland indicates that Liu Feng can return to Ireland to Resume His Studies
(Clearwisdom.net) On May 11, 2004, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Sha Hailin held a meeting with the Irish Students Union and indicated that Liu Feng, a Falun Gong practitioner, can return to Ireland to resume his studies.
The Irish Student's Union and the Irish Prime Minister appealed to the visiting Chinese Premier
During the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's state visit to Ireland in May 2004, Falun Gong practitioners held peaceful appeals, calling to "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice" and for the return of two Falun Gong practitioners, Liu Feng and Yang Fang from Liaoning province who have been detained in China. In a meeting with Wen Jiabao, the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern also raised the issue of Liu Feng and Yang Fang's incarceration, so that they can return to Ireland and resume their studies at Dun Laoghaire College.
On May 11, a week after Wen Jiabao's visit to Ireland, the Chinese Ambassador to Ireland Sha Hailin held a meeting with the Irish Students Union. According to the Union President Will Priestley, during the talks he asked the Chinese Ambassador if Liu Feng and Yang Fang would be allowed to come back to Ireland. Sha Hailin replied that Liu Feng can return to Ireland.
On May 22, 2004, The Irish Times reported the meeting between the Irish Student's Union representative and the Chinese Ambassador in its article entitled "The case of Falun Gong practitioners is raised."
Widespread concern in Irish society about the two Chinese students
Irish Amnesty International delivered five thousand postcards to the Foreign Minister Brian Cowen at the beginning of 2004, calling for the Irish government to raise the issue of Liu Feng and Yang Fang with China. Tens of thousands of Dublin residents signed the petition demanding the Chinese Government to stop its human rights persecution against innocent students and to allow Liu Feng and Yang Fang to return to Ireland and resume their studies.
Before that, student representatives from a few major Irish Universities gathered and demanded China to stop persecuting the two students, as well as allowing them to return to Ireland. The Irish Student's Union and eight other Irish student associations jointly wrote to the Irish Prime Minister Bertie Ahern, asking the Prime Minister to raise concerns about China's human rights problem and Liu Feng and Yang Fang's circumstances.
Earlier this year, the Irish Students Union passed a resolution during its student representative's conference, asking China to stop persecuting Falun Gong, as well as allowing Liu Feng and Yang Fang to return to Ireland.
About Liu Feng and Yang Fang
Liu Feng was arrested after he wrote a letter to the Chinese Premier when he returned to China for Christmas break in 1999. He was rearrested in June 2002 just before returning to Ireland whilst shopping and was subsequently sent to a forced labor camp. Yang Fang was arrested in 2002 when she was boarding a flight to Ireland to continue her studies and her passport was confiscated.
About these unjustifiable detentions, the UN human rights committee, in its report "about the working group of the arbitrary arrests" on January 24, 2004, cited the case of Irish Trinity College student Zhao Ming. This working group considered the case of Zhao Ming to be an example of freedom being taken away arbitrarily and raised questions to the Chinese government. In response to the answer and explanation from the Chinese government, this working group concluded in its report that the "Chinese Government did not provide a satisfactory explanation for the reason why Zhao Ming's passport was confiscated, causing him to be unable to continue his studies. Aside from the fact that he exercised his rights of belief and expression in a reasonable way, the Chinese government did not provide any reason for his arrest."
Zhao Ming, who was persecuted in the Tuanhe and Xinan forced labor camps for about two years and who has now returned to Ireland, pointed out that "Liu Feng and Yang Fang did not do anything against the law. Their arrest is illegal. As with many other Falun Gong practitioners who were unjustifiably arrested, the Jiang regime used the so-called crime of "disrupting the social order." Today the facts about the Jiang regime's persecution against Falun Gong practitioners are well documented by independent organizations, various human rights organizations and the United Nations.