(Clearwisdom.net) On December 8 and 9, 2011, before World Human Rights Day, the “2011 Seminar on International Human Rights Conventions” was held at the Law School of Taiwan University. The seminar was hosted by the Committee on Protection of Human Rights in Taiwan's Executive Yuan and the Ministry of Justice. The participants included former United Nations human rights specialists, and Asian and domestic human rights scholars. They discussed the implementation of two conventions in Taiwan, and paid attention to mainland China’s human rights situation.

Several international human rights specialists were invited to Taiwan. When asked about the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Mr. Theo van Boven, former UN Special Rapporteur on torture, condemned the CCP’s violence. “I received many claim filings about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. We contacted the CCP regime [about them]. I also conducted many independent investigations. I think it is unreasonable to persecute freedom of belief,” Mr. van Boven said.

Former UN Human Rights Commission chairman Nisuke Ando mentioned that he strongly supported Falun Gong practitioner asylum seekers. He said, “They would face major danger and further persecution by the CCP. Thus we decided that they should be offered refugee status. It is a violation of the international human rights covenant to discriminate against and persecute someone because of his belief.”

Mr. Huang Mo-tse, a member of the President's Human Rights Consultation Committee, said, “The international community supports Chinese people’s rights and freedom. We need to let the Chinese people know what is happening and also gain more attention from the international community. I think it can help stop the persecution in mainland China.”

Gao Yung-cheng of the Alliance for the Implementation of Two Conventions said, “International human rights circles agree that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong violates universal human rights. The exchange across the strait needs to encourage improvement in China’s human rights situation. I think that Falun Gong is an important issue. Taiwan should request mainland China to safeguard freedom of belief and stop the persecution of Falun Gong. I call on President Ma to include Falun Gong in his report on World Human Rights Day and in a national statement on human rights.”

Former Chairman Wei Chian-feng of the Taiwan Association for Human Rights said, “Besides requesting President Ma, everyone should also request Democracy Progressive Party Chairman Tsai Ing-wen, People First Party Chairman James Soong, Taiwan Solidarity Union Chairman Huang Kun-hui and the New Party Chairman Yok Mu-ming to speak out for Falun Gong and China’s human rights lawyers and scholars of freedom. They need to be recognized, but not persecuted in China.”

Associate Professor Liao Fu-te, Preparatory Office, Institute of Law, Academia Sinica, said, “Besides paying attention to internal human rights, Taiwan should also pay attention to China’s human rights because it will affect us more than other countries.”

Mr. Liao pointed out, “The CCP signed the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) in 1986. If the CCP really cares about human rights, it should implement these rights, especially freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and freedom of religion. These are basic human rights. The CCP’s signing [of the covenant] is false. Taiwan should request the CCP to implement the international human rights covenant when addressing Falun Gong.”

Associate Professor Chang Wen-chen of the Department of Law of Taiwan University emphasized that no country should exert torture upon anyone, and every country bears the obligation to stop the occurrence of torture in China. The CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong should draw attention from the international human rights community.

She continued, “Falun Gong practitioners are inhumanely treated in China just because of their belief. It is a violation of the ICCPR. Every country has the obligation to investigate the CCP’s violation of the covenant. Because of such rights, one country should not be influenced by international politics. I think we should mention this issue when the relations across the strait are not good; and strongly put it forward when the relations are good.”

Ms. Chang said that Taiwan's national report on human rights should pay attention to the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong.