APEC Leaders Asked to Speak Up for China's Human Rights

September 6, 2007 Updated: September 6, 2007

SYDNEY—Representatives from around the world travelled thousands of miles to ask APEC leaders to speak up for China's people.

Human rights figures, politicians, democracy activists, representatives for the people of Darfur and the Uighyristan Autonomous Region of China, and Falun Gong pracititioners from New Zealand, Australia and Taiwan descended on Sydney, using the APEC summit to push for social change in China.

Dr Sev Ozdowski, member of the Commonwealth Human Rights Commission from 2000-2005, spoke at a rally—attended by around 1000 people—to put human rights violation in China on the APEC agenda. The rally was held in Sydney's Hyde Park on Thursday.

“When China was granted the rights to host the Beijing Olympics, it promised to improve its human rights record, however the human rights in China has grown progressively worse,” Dr Ozdowski said.

He said the persecution of Falun Gong has all the hallmarks of genocide.

“Furthermore the Chinese Government has exposed its 'human rights' to other countries like Zimbabwe, Burma and supports the conduct of genocide in Darfur.”

He said if the international community had boycotted the Berlin Olympics in 1936 it was likely the Holocaust could have been averted.

“It is time to act now,” he warned.

Falun Gong international spokesman Erping Zhang, from the US, said more 3074 Falun Gong practitioners in China have been confirmed persecuted to death but many, many more were missing and the figure did not include those killed through the state-sanctioned organ harvesting.

International human rights lawyer David Matas, of Canada, co-authored the 'Bloody Harvest' a compilation of evidence about organ harvesting from detained Falun Gong practitioners in China.

He said it was important to use the APEC conference to publicise the gross violations of human rights abuses in China today.

“Unless the Government's of APEC are discussing humanity they are not performing their function,” he said.

Asia Pacific Human Rights Charitable Trust president Pan Qing, from New Zealand, commended the Australian Government for being willing to bring up human rights issues with the Chinese regime.

“We all live in the same world. We have to stop the CCP's [Chinese Communist Party's] human rights violations,” he said.

Greens senator, Kerry Nettle, said the Australian Government had a very strong trade relationship with China, but their leaders had not done enough to address the important issues at APEC.

“We should be able to raise these issues of human rights and democracy,” she said.

Phil Glendenning from the Edmund Rice Centre said a number of people who had sought asylum in Australia “went missing” when they returned to China.

He said all leaders at the APEC summit needed to read the Matas-Kilgour report on forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.

“We need a leadership that is prepared to tell the truth. We don't have that at the present time.”

“The world requires a China that is not afraid of human rights. The world requires a China that is worthy of its history,” he said.

East Turkistan Association of Australia Dimyan Rahmet said the Chinese regime was still killing, kidnapping and raping women in East Turkistan also known as Uyghuristan.

He said the Chinese Communist Party had also enforced a language assimilation programme, forcing all Uyghurs to speak Chinese, not allowing children to learn their mother tongue.

Quit the CCP service centre Australia spokeswoman Anne Zhong said as evidence of the communist regime's crimes start to flood China, social unrest is growing. She said 25,727,155 Chinese citizens have publicly withdrawn their membership of the communist party and its related organizations since 2004.