New Zealand Public Forum Discusses Human Rights Atrocities in China
(Clearwisdom.net) On the evening of September 11, 2007, a public forum named "Behind the Rise of China" was held at the Pipitea campus of Victoria University in Wellington, New Zealand. The forum was organized by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG). Six experts on China attended the forum, including former Canadian Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) David Kilgour, renowned Canadian human rights attorney David Matas, Executive Director of the Association for Asian Research Erping Zhang, China expert Wang Juntao, Amnesty International Campaign Manager for New Zealand Gary Reese, and CIPFG New Zealand spokesperson and human rights attorney Carole Curtis. The forum was moderated by attorney Tony Ellis. More than 200 local residents attended the forum.
In her speech, Ms. Curtis said that she was very familiar with the persecution of Falun Gong from her professional experiences. However, she said that she could not imagine that such atrocities [as organ harvesting] could happen in the 21st century, and she encouraged the audience to read the Kilgour and Matas investigation report "Bloody Harvest."
David Matas commented that it was almost impossible for lawyers to go into China to perform independent investigations. He said that Gao Zhisheng, a widely respected Chinese lawyer who invited Matas to go to China to investigate organ harvesting, was suspended from practicing law and later imprisoned. Nevertheless, Matas said that they managed to perform the investigation using various effective ways such as telephone interviews of related Chinese agencies, individuals and Chinese Falun Gong practitioners. The findings of this investigation are summarized in "Bloody Harvest, Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China."
Amnesty International has collected substantial evidence of human rights crimes committed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Gary Reese presented a slide show which highlighted such human rights issues as forced labor, execution of prisoners, the persecution of Falun Gong, and Internet policing. He pointed out that the 2008 Olympic Games is in effect being used by the regime to cover up its human rights atrocities, though the international community hoped that the Olympics would give the regime on opportunity to improve human rights in China.
In his speech, David Kilgour said, "When we talk about China, we don't mean the Chinese Communist Government. Instead, we mean the Chinese people and the culture. If China has democracy and rule of law, you will not hear so many issues about China." He said that the report co-authored by Matas and himself concluded that the Chinese Communist regime had murdered thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and sold their organs in the international organ markets. The report included 33 pieces of evidence and has been translated into 17 languages.
"If the Chinese Communist Party doesn't stop its brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, the 2008 Olympic Games should be called the 'Bloody Olympics'." Kilgour said.
Members of the audience raised many questions, which ranged from the poor quality of Chinese products, to Chinese politics and economics, free trade with China, the current tide of quitting the CCP, organ harvesting, and the relationship between the 2008 Olympics and human rights in China. After the forum concluded, many people continued to discuss issues with the speakers.