The crimes against human rights in China unfortunately seem to have increased in number. Harassment, torture, and censorship are common stuff for those who contradict the regime in Beijing. Moreover, year after year China beats the world record in the number of executions. Catholics report on systematic harassment. In Tibet, the oppression against the Tibetan people, not least against the Tibetan monks, continues. The possibility to freely exercise one's religion is strictly limited. Torture, re-education camps, and imprisonment under unacceptable conditions are rather the rule than the exception.

The Chinese regime's systematic harassment against the meditation movement Falun Gong continues. Thousands of Falun Gong-practitioners have been arrested and a couple of hundred have died in custody. Countless testimonies exist regarding torture and acts of cruelty from police and authorities. In Heilongjiang alone, the Chinese "friendship-province" of Vasterbotten [a swedish province with a "twin or sister-city" relationship], twenty five practitioners have been killed in recent weeks.

It is despicable that people who devote themselves to exercises that strengthen the body and the mind are being persecuted. The explanation for the persecution is probably to be found in the fact that the regime cannot control Falun Gong. That is typical in a totalitarian system.

We agree with the protests against the murders of, and the persecution of, Falun Gong practitioners in China. At the same time, we would like to express our support for those practitioners who continue their struggle in China.

We also think that a more intensive debate about China's crimes against human rights is needed. All the forces of good have to co-operate in order to intensify the pressure on China on these issues. For the local authorities of Skelleftea, this is the first and foremost question to ask when it comes to the contacts with the "friendship town" Tonglin and the "friendship province" Heilongjiang.

Representing the Liberal Party in Skellefte

Hakan Lindh (LP), Opposition Counsil
Lars Ahman (LP), Member of Local Counsil