Speech by Ms. Terezia Stoisits, Chairperson of the Austrian Parliament Human Rights Committee

This speech was given in a rally aimed at exposing and calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, held in Austria's capital city of Vienna on Saturday the 19th of June. For more information, please see

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

Terezia Stoisits, Head of the Human Rights Committee of the Austrian Parliament
I wish to welcome you most sincerely here on the Stephansplatz. The Austrian Falun Gong activists know exactly why they selected this particular place for today’s activities. The Stephansplatz is the most popular place in Austria. I, as an Austrian politician and chairperson of the National Council’s Human Rights Commission, have joined these activities today for a simple and most critical reason: the persecution of humans, torture of humans, violations of human rights, no matter where such violations of human rights occur, they have to be eradicated by us. Today, I represent not only myself, but also the Green Party. The human rights situation in a country like Austria cannot be compared to those of other countries in Europe, not even to other countries worldwide, where terrible human rights violations still continue. Yet, we cannot deny that Amnesty International also focuses annually on Austria. Therefore, we are obligated to speak up for those people who are persecuted because of political or religious leanings, and of lifestyle or moral conduct, in other regions of this world,

Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance, the three virtues that have put Falun Gong practitioners into the centre of attention, are not something that one could call threatening, dangerous, or something that would harm others. I rarely have come into contact with people who radiate so much tranquillity, and whose behaviour emanates so much peace, than those I have come to know, those who are persecuted and who are the tortured Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Therefore, I felt the need to give and show my support to those who were victims of the persecution and torture, especially those who have suffered such tragedy in China. I understand that there are millions, and as we heard just now a hundred million Falun Gong practitioners in China. There are hundred of thousands that suffer hardship because of this. You just described verbally the most extreme cases. One can also see these in the pictures and on the display boards.

We are here to demonstrate against them. One has to ostracise them. We also must insist that all politicians from democratic countries, of which Austria is also considered to be one, must call continuously for dialogues. Therefore, it is my urgent request and plea that the Austrian politicians, be they male or female, must give such message whenever and wherever possible. It is not enough to only think of the 1.3 billion customers and consumers in China. I strongly disagree with this. I want to close the sorely missing bridge between economics and human rights. None should be valued or chosen over the other. Especially, in the countries where Austria and other European Union (EU) countries as well the non-EU countries are economically active, or will be in the future, human rights situations must be keep in mind at all times. In particular we, the Green Party, who as activists strive towards a healthy and sound environment and who keep a close eye on the European and worldwide ecological situation, have found more often than not the destruction of tropical forests in our immediate surrounding. Human rights should be the most important and the most prevalent aspect of worldwide trade and play a major role when forging economic ties. I’m here today to show my support and solidarity with those who publicise worldwide the torture and persecution of the Falun Gong practitioners in China.

I appreciate highly your attention to what I had to say. I ask you kindly to remain and listen to what others have to say.

Translated from German at http://de.clearharmony.net/articles/200406/17740.html

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