Denmark's Second Biggest City Plans to End its Friendship with Harbin City in China
(Clearwisdom.net) Arhus, the second biggest city in Denmark, has recently been thinking of ending its friendship with Harbin, capital of Heilongjiang Province in China. The reason is that Arhus has discovered that the record of the persecution of human rights in Harbin is the worst. It is the place where the crime committed against Falun Gong practitioners is the most severe, including organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners. This has provoked maximum repercussions. The future of the two cities has become a topic of general interest.
In Arhus, all media has extensively and thoroughly reported the persecution of human rights happening in China. "Jutland Post", the biggest newspaper in Denmark whose headquarters are located in Arhus, and local TV stations, radio stations and newspapers have delivered several long pieces of news and commentary, telling of the crimes committed, about the severe persecution of human rights and organ harvesting from live people happening in China and Harbin. A summary follows:
Freezing the friendship with Harbin
On February 9th, "Jutland Post" carried an article entitled "The Unstable Relationship Between Sister Cities". It began:
It was just because of the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989 that Arhus froze her friendship with her sister city in China. Nicolai Wammen, the Mayor of Arhus said: "At present, if the discussion about trampling on human rights in China has resulted in the end of relationship between Arhus and Harbin, this will only be the replay of the history. It was as early as the Tiananmen Massacre that Arhus stopped her relationship with Harbin. It was not until 1993 and 1994 that the relationship between these two cities resumed with the suggestion by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Denmark."
Back in 1983, according to the suggestion by Uffe Ellemann Jensen, the then Minister of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Arhus established the friendship with Harbin in China on the 2nd of May 1984. Since then, the two cities had several bilateral visits. The latest visit was this January. Accompanied by other members, Flemming Knudsen, an Alderman who is in charge of culture, participated in the Ice Sculpture Festival held in Harbin on 23rd of January.
But, it was on the same day, 23rd of January that "China Human Rights Website", a human rights NGO, wrote a letter to the Mayor of Arhus asking him to pay attention to the issue of infringing on Human Rights in Harbin according to the information the organization possessed. The letter was signed by Christoffer Brekne, who is also a Falun Gong contact.
The letter pointed out the number of Falun Gong practitioners being locked up in forced labor camps in Harbin, how they are being tortured and the fact of organ harvesting from live people there.
According to witnesses provided by "China Human Rights Website", many crimes committed in Harbin are especially cruel. These witnesses have indicated that Falun Gong practitioners are being tortured and killed by many methods being used, such as killing them with maltreatment, rape, and electrocution. This was mentioned in the letter to the Mayor. At the same time, "China Human Rights Website" has also written letters to politicians in many city planning committees. This has aroused the attention of left wing politicians from the City Government, the party in power in Denmark and the Liberal party. They have asked the Mayor to make an investigation in depth into these accusations to prove whether they are true.
Bunyamin Simsek, a spokesman of the left, said, "We must contact the authorities and organizations who have learned more about the issue. If they can, to certain extent, confirm those atrocities mentioned in the letter, we will have to make a reaction to it." Bunyamin Simsek hoped the Mayor of Arhus would express their standpoint of Arhus Government to the condition of human rights in China. He emphasized that the left wing party could not accept the persecution of peaceful and kind people and their organization.
On the 10th of February, the "Jutland Post" in Arhus carried an article entitled "Sister Cities, Politicians demand that an allegation should be made according to torture discovered by the investigation".
Government officials of Arhus were shocked at the accusation that torture and especially organ harvesting from live Falun Gong practitioners have emerged in Harbin, their sister city. If these accusations are true, there are different opinions about how Arhus should react.
Some politicians think that at any degree, if these accusations are real, Arhus must immediately end the relationship with Harbin. Any yet, another opinion is that they should put pressure on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) regime.
Rabin Azad Ahmad of the Radical Party said, "If your friends personal integrity is not good, you cant simply say, I wont speak to you any more. At first, a true friend is required to try his best to influence the other side. It is same when we have established a friendship with a city; we should also do it like this." He said: "Of course, we need to make a reaction to these accusations. We must investigate them and we must contact the Chinese authorities. If these accusations are true, we can not accept them. If they (the CCP) still go their own way, we must freeze the relationship with them. "
Bunyamin Simsek, the spokesman of the left wing politicians stressed that his party claimed to have a dialogue with Harbin. When asking the Mayor to make an investigation into the issue on the 8th of February, he said: "If these accusations are true, after having a dialogue with them, they are still unwilling to make any corrections, we must tell them that we dont like to have a city where basic human rights are not taken as a standard to be our sister city. We can put forward some requirements that what cooperation we are expecting. We will express our values more clearly."
The Mayor has made a request to investigate the issue
Nicolai Wammen, the Mayor, has already made a request to investigate the issue to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. At the same time, he had a discussion with Flemming Knudsen, his assistant to a high official, who is in charge of culture. The latter has just visited Harbin.
Flemming Knudsen said, "These are very serious accusations. If they are real, it is certain that I will not go to Harbin any more. If all these have proven that they have trampled on human rights, we must end the relationship with them. We do not like to have the city to be our sister city where human rights are violated."
Marc Perera Christensen of the Conservative Party thought that the issue has made people very worried.
"Even if these accusations were a whisper, but only a touch of them is true, it is worthwhile for us to discuss whether we should take it as our sister city. If such terrible incidents have taken place in Harbin, we should not take it as our sister city. Otherwise, how can we face our citizens and Chinese who have escaped from the autarchy and made their home in Arhus? How can we make reasonable justification for ourselves?" She encouraged the City Government to put the issue on the table so as to obtain some clarification of the truth.
She said: "We should cooperate with organizations who are observing China, such as International plenary indulgence, Red Cross, and with International Organizations of Aids who are paying attention to such issues as torture and human rights. If the issue does exist, we will consider our relationship. For example, we wont take Harbin as our sister city. However, we will still show special concern for it. "
Preparing to freeze the relationship of sister cities
Relating to the topic about China, Niels Brammer of the Demos Party expressed that he was not astonished at these accusations. He has already prepared that once the Ministry of Foreign Affairs can confirm these accusations, he will lay aside the relationship of sister cities. "If they are true, I will make a conclusion very quickly. We two cities should not continue any relations. "
At the same time, Dorthe Laustsen, a councilor who is in charge of elderly people, has also prepared to end the friendship between the two cities. She said: "What is very important is that Arhus should not link her name with such a city. If the persecution is the fact, I dont think we should support such a thing. Therefore, the outcome will be: We will stop such a relationship."
Independent report by two Canadians has aroused peoples attention
Reports into allegations of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China by a former Secretary of State of the Government of Canada and a human rights lawyer are attracting worldwide attention.
The report concludes:
"Based on what we now know, we have come to the regrettable conclusion that the allegations are true. We believe that there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners. "
"We have concluded that the government of China and its agencies in numerous parts of the country, in particular hospitals but also detention centres and peoples courts, since 1999 have put to death a large but unknown number of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience. Their vital organs, including hearts, kidneys, livers and corneas, were virtually simultaneously seized involuntarily for sale at high prices, sometimes to foreigners, who normally face long awaits for voluntary donations of such organs in their home countries."
"How many of the victims were first convicted of any offense, serious or otherwise, in legitimate courts, we are unable to estimate because such information appears to be unavailable both to Chinese nationals and foreigners. It appears to us that many human beings belonging to a peaceful voluntary organization made illegal seven years ago by President Jiang because he thought it might threaten the dominance of the Communist Party of China have been in effect executed by medical practitioners for their organs."
"Our conclusion comes not from any one single item of evidence, but rather the piecing together of all the evidence we have considered. Each portion of the evidence we have considered is, in itself, verifiable and, in most cases, incontestable. Put together, they paint a damning whole picture. It is their combination that has convinced us."