(COM) Fed (Australia): National protests against human rights abuse
BRISBANE, April 5 AAP - Protest rallies against human rights abuse in China will be staged across Australia today and tomorrow as part of global action to lobby the United Nations.
The UN Commission on Human Rights (UNCHR), which is currently chaired by Australian diplomat Mike Smith, is meeting in Geneva this month for the 60th session of the commission.
The rallies, to be held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, are lobbying for support of the China Resolution, put forward by the United States, which calls for an immediate end to the repression of spiritual and other groups, including Christians, Muslims, Tibetans, Uighurs, Falun Gong and pro-democracy groups.
It also calls for the immediate release of political prisoners and for the country to abide by internationally accepted standards to implement freedoms of belief, expression, association and the press.
A spokeswoman for Brisbane's rally, Heidi Sibley, said she feared human rights abuses were being swept to the side as trade with China increased.
"At the end of the day, trade is very important but human life comes first," Ms Sibley said.
"If we as a nation don't put human rights first, before our money, then that is a serious worry."
Ms Sibley, who is also a Falun Gong member, said at least 40 Falun Gong practitioners were believed to have been killed in China in the past two months.
"The persecution is still intensifying," Ms Sibley said.
"Just in the last two months alone there have been another 40 deaths. Every day you just hear such tragic reports."
The rallies will take place tonight at Sydney's Town Hall Square and Melbourne's Federation Square, while Brisbane will stage its rally from 12.30pm (AEST) tomorrow.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media