Speech by Lord Thurlow, Former UK Under-Secretary of State, on World Human Rights Day
The following speech was given at a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy in London on World Human Rights Day by former UK Under-Secretary of State Lord Thurlow.
We have in recent years become increasingly insensitive to the horrors that continue throughout the world. We become thick-skinned to the reports of violence, and genocide even. What is the most massive, most terrible, continuing, abusive human rights situation in the world today? Alas, it is in China, even though China has a great history and great tradition of culture which we, throughout the world, respect.
In 1999, Jiang Zemin, overriding the wishes of his colleagues in the Chinese Politburo, introduced a campaign to suppress the innocent group Falun Gong for nothing but their beliefs, amounting to no less than 100 millions Chinese citizens. Suppression of people for their beliefs is known under international law as genocide. The Chinese Government is guilty of genocide and those who have introduced this horror that has lasted for more than 5 years must be brought to justice.
Over 20 Lawsuits have now been filed in different countries around the world with former leader Jiang Zemin as the principal alleged criminal. His principal collaborators, who enforce the policy of violence, torture, rape of women and even the killing of small children, must be brought to an end and they are responsible to pay the penalty.
This week, we in the United Kingdom are joining those in other countries who have filed applications for criminal charges against former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin. If he or the other main collaborating criminals set foot in countries at which we and others have extradition agreement, it will be possible to bring them to justice in the court here or elsewhere. We have Pinochet as a precedent.
Today, week-by-week, we hear the growing reports of the increasing economic and international weight of China. China, in the future, may become a principal engine of world economic expansion, but to achieve this there must be cooperation between the governments and industrial leaders of the world with interests in China. I know from nearly 40 years of work in international relations that international cooperation is not a matter of getting around tables and delivering impressive documents. It all depends on trust and there cannot be any trust between principal Western countries and China until its abuses of human rights come to an end.
On World Human Rights Day, we assert the intention to continue to protest to the Government of China to bring this horror to an end. Our protests are not going to cease. We are going to continue in every forum to bring to the attention of public opinion throughout the world, the disgrace to the reputation of this great country. China has in its culture a great respect of her reputation and we are confident that things below the surface are beginning to move.
We appeal to the public and the media to give all possible support to our government in their continued protest. When our Ministers meet Chinese Ministers they are bringing the abuses again and again to their attention. Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made a resigning statement in July on the intention of the British Government to increase its efforts to bring torture, throughout the world, to an end. Persecution received by Falun Gong is the main example of that abuse. On this annual occasion, we assert the intention of this country, like all the free countries in the world, to use every means help to induce the Government of the People's Republic of China to stand side by side with others in a cooperative world of freedom and justice.
10 December 2004
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide