(Clearwisdom.net April 2, 2004) In the last two months, several Lords and MPs have raised questions in the UK parliament about China's worsening human rights record. For example, as recorded in the House of Commons Hansard of the 25th of March 2004, Column 351WH, Mr. Ian Stewart, MP, made the following remarks:

'Within any democratic civil society we expect respect for human rights, religious tolerance and toleration of diversity. I must raise two issues that I hope that the Chinese Government will act on. First, there is the issue of the Falun Gong, an organisation that was declared illegal by the Chinese authorities in 1999. A constituent of mine, Mr. Terence Shanahan, is an active member of the Falun Gong UK. He is a powerful advocate for the stated Falun Gong ideals of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. I take no view on the nature of Falun Gong, but I am concerned about repeated reports of human rights abuses against its followers. In turn, I make no judgment about the obvious concerns that the People's Republic has about the organisation. However, I urge the People's Republic to exercise tolerance in relation to organisations such as Falun Gong. Any organisation should quite properly be established within the rule of law and any abuse by members of an organisation would be punishable within that rule of law."

In reply, the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, Mr. Bill Rammell, said, "...we urge that the rights of Falun Gong adherents be respected."

Another example, of the continuing concern regarding human rights abuses in China, was expressed by Mr. Wilkinson in the Commons Hansard of 5th March 2004:

"... As people of a democracy, we believe in the right of people to exercise their religious faith, whatever it may be... for example, the Falun Gong movement should be permitted in the PRC. We hold such fundamental freedoms dear, not only in this country but in Europe as a whole."

Source: http://www.clearharmony.net/articles/200404/18771.html