Over 30 UK Parliamentarians Sign a Petition Calling for the Freedom of Wenjian Liang

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A total of 34 UK MPs, Lords, and MEPs have signed a petition calling for the freedom of Wenjian Liang, who together with her husband Zhiyong Lin, have been sent to labour camps in Guangzhou in March 2007 for “illegal gathering” with six other Falun Gong adherents in her own home.

Among the parliamentarians signing the petition are the Rt. Hon. Charles Kennedy MP, who was the former leader of the Liberal Democratic Party and the Rt. Hon. Lord Steel, who was the first Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament and a former leader of the Liberal Party.

Many more have offered moral support. The office of the Leader of the Conservative Party wrote on May 2nd, 2007 to Wenjian’s sister, Jane who lives in the UK: “He [David Cameron, Leader of the Conservative Party] was horrified to learn of the imprisonment of your sister and her husband and absolutely understands your concerns over this. David believes that respect for human rights in China continues to be a matter of serious concern. The detention and harassment of democracy activists, religious practitioners and Falun Gong adherents runs contrary to international human rights standards, and he is aware that religious beliefs, freedoms of association, expression and of media are systematically curtailed in the People’s Republic.”

The Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary, Rt Hon Michael Moore MP, wrote to Jane on 11 April that he is “dismayed at the extent of human rights abuses within China … and given the seriousness of the issues surrounding your sisters detention I have written to the Foreign Secretary to highlight our concerns about the case.”

A staff at Clarence House replied on 3/5/07 to Jane’s letter to the Prince of Wales for help. The staff was seeking further advice from official sources and said to Jane “This [the letter] comes with His Royal Highness’s warmest good wishes.”

Stephen Crabb MP, Chairman of the Conservative Party Human Rights Commission, said in his letter to Jane that he is very sorry to hear about Wenjian's situation. He said although the remit of his Committee is not to lobby for individual cases, it is "very concerned about the human rights situation in China". He wished Jane "every success in your endeavours".

A member of parliament based in Surrey in southern England told Jane in his letter 15/5/07 “I am grateful that you have taken the time to inform me of your case and you have my best wishes for your sister’s early release.” He also said “I believe that freedom of worship should be upheld in all states and I believe that it is incumbent on the British government to bring what means it has to bear on the Chinese Government to allow greater freedom of worship in China. I am also aware that China continues to detain people in contravention of their human rights. Your sister’s case as you describe it would clearly be an example of such abuse of human rights.”

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