DUBLIN [Ireland Falun Gong Information Centre]: At 2pm on Friday 28th November outside the Central Bank in Dames Street, Dublin city centre, students from the major universities of Dublin including Trinity College, UCD and DCU held a rally and march to call for the release of Dun Laoghaire students Mr. Liu Feng and Ms Fang Yang, both of whom have been prevented from returning to Ireland under the Chinese regime’s campaign to suppress Falun Gong.
Mr Liu Feng who returned to China at the Christmas break in 1999 is being illegally held in Dalian City’s notorious forced labour camp. Seven Falun Gong practitioners have been confirmed dead from maltreatment in this same labour camp; they are being held simply because they refuse to renounce Falun Gong.
Representatives from the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), Students’ Union of Trinity College (SU of TCD) and the Graduate Students’ Union of Trinity College (GSU of TCD) gave speeches during the rally. They showed strong support for Falun Gong practitioners’ human rights.
Mr. Michael Dowling, the president of GSU of TCD, said in his speech that he can still remember the large-scale campaign for TCD student Zhao Ming’s release. He then said, “We should double our efforts to get these two Chinese students Mr. Feng Liu and Ms. Fang Yang released.”
Released prisoner of conscience Trinity student Mr. Zhao Ming also spoke at the rally. He said that every day in the labour camp was very difficult and he suffered from brutal torture in the labour camp only because of his belief in Falun Gong.
Ming also introduced the high tide of international legal actions against the Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin and other Chinese officials. Particularly, famous human rights lawyers including Belgian lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier, French lawyer William Bourdon and German lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck who worked on the lawsuit against Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet are now taking these cases on behalf Falun Gong practitioners to prosecute the Chinese officials for their crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity.
The rally was followed by a march to the Taoiseach’s Office, where representatives of eight Students’ Unions and Societies from USI and major Dublin universities handed in a co-signed letter to the Taoiseach (Irish Prime Minister).
In this co-signed letter, the students wrote:
“We believe that Ireland cannot develop a sound academic relationship while neglecting China’s persecution of innocent students for their spiritual belief.
The assurances given in the EU China dialogue over the past few years have changed nothing on the ground; everyday news of new death cases are being received.”
The students also expressed their deep concern about the Chinese Embassy spreading hate-inciting propaganda materials to Irish politicians. A representative from the Taoiseach Office came out to accept the letter.
After handing in the letter, the students went over to the Chinese Embassy by bus, where two representatives from USI and Falun Gong rang the door bell to hand in a letter. One Chinese official said from the other end of the door phone that they would not accept any letter. When the two representatives raised the issue of the two Dun Laoghaire students Liu Feng and Yang Fang, the official said that Liu Feng was receiving medical treatment outside the labour camp.
Learning this, Trinity student Zhao Ming, who was detained in Chinese labour camps for one year and ten months, said, “They would never release any practitioner earlier than the original sentence unless he/she is at the brink of death. Feng must be in very dangerous situation caused by torture or a lengthy hunger strike.”
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong. Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiangs regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
The Irish Falun Gong Information Centre has verified details of 807 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labour camps, typically without trial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE IRISH FALUN GONG INFORMATION CENTRE
Contacts: Mr. Donal Maddock +353 87 9360351, Mr. Zhao Ming +353 87 2980324
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