Letter from Dublin Students to the Irish Prime Minister: "Ireland should do all in its power to help bring this absurd persecution to an early end."

Mr. Bertie Ahern TD
Department of the Taoiseach,
Government Buildings,
Upper Merrion Street, Dublin 2

CC: Minister of Education, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Minister of Enterprise

Dear Taoiseach,

We are Dublin students and we would like to bring to your attention again the issue of two Dun Laoghaire students Mr. Feng Liu and Ms. Fang Yang who are now held in China and not allowed to return to their studies in Ireland because of their refusal to renounce their spiritual belief.

Mr. Feng Liu and Ms. Fang Yang have had their passports confiscated only because of practicing Falun Gong. Feng is only 24 years old and should be completing his studies here yet he has been put in the notorious Dalian City Labour camp without trial. Seven Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death in this labour camp; his family have not been allowed to visit him since the summer of 2002 they are very concerned for his safety, as are we in Ireland Taoiseach.

We hope you can urgently raise the cases of Feng and Fang to the Chinese government directly and through other Minister level interactions with China via trade and education etc. We believe that Ireland cannot develop a sound academic relationship while neglecting China’s persecution of innocent students for their spiritual belief.

Various sources have shown that large amount of China’s state budget have been exhausted in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. The estimated total financial resources exhausted in the persecution of Falun Gong lies in hundreds of billion Yuan each year. Comparing this with statements made by Chinese officials in the ministry for sport before the banning Falun Gong: ‘if 100 million people are practising Falun Gong then that’s billions of yuan saved each year in health fees.’

According to Hong Kong’s Open and Contend magazines, Mainland China now ranks fourth after Venezuela, Mexico, and Argentina in capital loss from large numbers of high-ranking officials fleeing with the country’s financial resources. In the year 2000, China suffered a capital loss of US$48 billion, but overseas investment was only US$40.7 billion.

Evidence has also shown that slave labour is being widely used in China’s labour camps and prisons to make various products. Some of the slave labour products are made for partners of foreign companies. In the attached report, Beijing Xin’An labour camp has made toys for Mickey Toy Co. Ltd subcontracted by Nestlé. Trinity student Zhao Ming [successfully rescued with your intervention] witnessed these toys being made through forced labour when he was illegally detained in Xin’An labour camp.

During the last year, Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin has been sued for his crimes of torture and genocide and against humanity in the US, Belgium, Spain, Germany etc basing upon international law and domestic law. Luo Gan the Head of “610” Office, a Chinese Gestapo organization, was sued for torture or genocide in Iceland, Finland, Armenia and Moldova all the way during his visit to Europe this year. Famous human rights lawyers including one Belgian lawyer, one German lawyer and one French lawyer who were involved in the case of Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet, are taking the cases on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners. It is a shame to shake hands and interact with these criminal officials.

The campaign directed at eradicating Falun Gong is a systematic state terrorism and a policy that has drained China's fragile economy. The assurances given in the EU China dialogue over the past few years have changed nothing on the ground; everyday new death cases are being received. The Chinese consulates and officials even continue to spread slanderous material concerning Falun Gong in the hope that this will incite hatred or at least doubt in the minds of overseas politicians. Indeed politicians in Ireland have received such material. Their aim is clear: To justify their campaign against the practice so that they can continue their brutal suppression and genocide while escaping condemnation from the international community.

We hope you share our view Taoiseach that given the above facts, Ireland should do all in its power to help bring this absurd persecution to an early end. Although these two students are not Irish citizens we believe that human rights transcend political borders and that given their special connection with a democratic country like Ireland we take it as our duty to speak up for them.

We believe that the Irish government should not interact with China while keeping silent on these human rights violations. China’s respecting human rights must be the prerequisite of developing all relationships between the two countries.

Sincerely Yours

Students from Dublin's major universities

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