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Ixtiyari Muxpir
01-06-06, 05:29
Press briefing at the European Parliament on freedom of religion in China

Parliamentarians urged Chinese authorities to invite UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion or Belief to assess the situation of religious freedom in the country





HRWF Int. (31.05.2006) Email: info@hrwf.net Website: www.hrwf.net - At a press briefing organized on the eve of the visit of the Dalai Lama to the European Parliament, MEP Simon Coveney, Spokesman for Human Rights of the Group of the European People's Party (Christian Democrats) and European Democrats (EPP-ED) in the European Parliament and Member of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, urged the Chinese authorities to invite the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to assess the situation of religious freedom in the country.



The press briefing was organized by MEP Simon Coveney in collaboration with Human Rights without Frontiers Int. (HRWF Int.) with the objective to draw attention to Chinas policies of repression against religious activities that are considered to be outside the scope of the state-controlled religious system. Simon Coveney, who hosted the event, highlighted that the briefing was organized in order to facilitate open discussions between representatives of religious minorities in China and the media here in Europe. The audience had the opportunity to listen to the testimonies of Buddhist, Muslim Uighur, and Falun Gong representatives.



A Buddhist nun testified that the years of imprisonment and the moral suffering inflicted on her because of her religion and culture had built up her resolve to step forward and talk about her experiences.



A Falun Gong female practitioner talked about her one-month detention in the Tuanhe detention centre in Beijing and one-year detention at a forced labour camp in the period between February 2000 and November 2001. She also referred to stories of practices of organ harvesting on Falun Gong practitioners. In a comment to this testimony, MEP Edward MacMillan-Scott expressed his conviction that the European Parliament should initiate an investigation into allegations of organ trafficking.



The leader of the World Uighur Congress spoke of the situation of Muslim Uighurs in Chinas Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region and the systematic policies of religious intolerance and discrimination practiced by Chinese authorities for the last 55 years. He also evoked the desperate situation of Uighurs seeking asylum in Europe, who are extradited to China or to Central Asian countries, from which they are then re-directed to China. Several cases of execution of people sent to China were quoted.



In his introductory remarks, the HRWF Int. director Willy Fautr elaborated on Chinas policies aimed at subordinating religious organizations to the state. In a statement distributed at the press briefing, HRWF Int. called on the Chinese authorities to ratify and implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights; to invite the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to assess the situation of religious freedom in the country; to allow access for the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief to the Panchen Lama designated by the Dalai Lama; to grant access to the Laogai forced labour camps where believers of all faiths are allegedly detained on the ground of their religious beliefs and activities; and to release all prisoners detained on the ground of their religious beliefs and activities.



In his concluding remarks, MEP Simon Coveney expressed his conviction that the European Parliament had levers to induce positive changes due to the fact that China is sensitive to outside pressure. He called on the Chinese authorities to invite Asma Jahangir, the UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, to assess the situation of religious freedom in the country.


http://www.uyghurcongress.org/En/news.asp?ItemID=1149146813

Unregistered
01-06-06, 19:48
Great work!