Irish Parliamentarians Raise Questions Regarding Zhao Ming
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the issue he raised with the Chinese Premier; if the issue of the Chinese student who was attending Trinity College and the position regarding the Falun Gong was raised, the answers he received from the Premier; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
For Oral answer on Tuesday, 16th October, 2001.
Question No. 74
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs the Government's position in relation to the suppression of Falun Gong; the plans he has to take any initiatives through the United Nations or elsewhere to support their position; if his attention has been drawn to the nomination of a person (details supplied) for the Nobel Peace Prize; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
For written answer on Tuesday, 13th February, 2001.
To ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs if progress has been made in securing the release of the Trinity student and Falun Gong member who has been imprisoned in a Chinese labour camp since May 2000; and if he will make a statement on the matter.
For WRITTEN answer on Tuesday, 16th October, 2001.
Friend and Colleague
During the recent visit of Premier Zhu Rongji, I met with senior member of the Chinese delegation, including Foreign Minister Tang.
Human rights were raised by the Taoiseach in an open and frank way during his private meeting with the Premier and during the plenary meeting with the Chinese delegation, which both Foreign Minister Tang and I attended. The Taoiseach set out Ireland's concerns, in particular in relation to the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. The Taoiseach took the opportunity to raise the case of Mr. Zhao Ming, the Trinity College student currently detained in China. The Premier undertook to raise this case with the judicial authorities on his return to China, and the Government has been assured that this has been done. We will continue to closely monitor the situation.
The Premier was traveling to Brussels following his visit to Ireland and he was aware of the importance we attach to the ongoing dialogue between China and the EU on Human Rights.
...The Premier left keenly aware of the degree of public interest in Ireland in the human rights situation in China.
Ireland together with our EU partners, closely monitor the measures taken by the Chinese Government against Falun Gong practitioners. We have expressed our concern about the situation and called on the Chinese authorities to respect the human rights of individuals. We have urged the Chinese authorities not to act against the principles contained in the UN Covenant signed by China, in particular those relating to the freedom of expression, assembly and association. We have also expressed concern about the number of arrests and heavy sentences imposed on some members of the Falun Gong movement.
It has been decided to step up the [China-EU] dialogue, focus it better and assess it on a continuous basis. The specific areas in which the EU will be seeking progress through dialogue process include respect for the exercise of the freedom of expression, religion and belief, both public and private, and respect for the fundamental rights of all prisoners, including those arrested for membership of the political opposition, unofficial religious movements or other movements, such as Falun Gong.
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