Mrs. Mary Robinson Invites Swiss Practitioners to Attend A Briefing Session Prior to Her Departure for China
13 November 2001
Two Swiss practitioners attended a briefing session, given by the High Commissioner for Human Rights, to prepare for her visit to China on 8 November
The meeting we attended took place at 11 a.m. at the Palais Wilson. Representatives from several NGOs (non-governmental organizations) had also been invited and were there to present further information on human rights abuses being perpetrated in China.
We were able to offer our comments and elaborate on what we had written in our letter. In submitting the latest facts to Mrs. Robinson, we took the opportunity to say that it was evident China was making no effort whatsoever to improve its human rights policy, given the atrocious accounts of torture we continue to receive. We also expressed our skepticism as to the establishment of cooperation with a country that makes no attempt to demonstrate an improvement in its human rights policy. On the contrary, numerous abuses continued to take place even when Mrs. Robinson was in China.
We requested that she, in the upcoming negotiations, to ask for proof of China's goodwill and to ask for the release of Zhao Ming and Dr. Teng - their freedom being our priority - as well as for the official and immediate closure of the 610 Bureau. We reminded her that we had already spoken of this perverse organisation from which all the directives regarding Falun Gong are issued. Throughout the meeting we constantly sent forth righteous thoughts.
Mrs. Robinson was moved by the account of the practitioner who had been thrown out of a 4-story window and she recalled the case of Zhao Ming. She explained to us that throughout her last visits to China she always spoke of Falun Gong and emphasized that "no matter what the ideology, human rights must above all be respected."
We were surprised on this occasion to see that all the NGO members present spoke of Falun Gong:
The representative of Human Rights Watch stated that a report on Falun Gong would soon be available and asked Mrs. Robinson to take into consideration the abuses perpetrated against Falun Gong practitioners. The representatives of FIDH (International Federation of Human Rights) and Amnesty International also emphasized this point.
Finally, before leaving, we shook hands with Mrs. Robinson, while giving her a folder containing our letter and some documents. The latter were distributed in the room before the meeting and a copy of the letter was given to Mrs. Robinson's two assistants.
Category: Other Community Events