Status of Chinese People

About China and Chinese people's living condition

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    1. A China More Just, Gao Zhisheng
    2.Officially Sanctioned Crime in China, He Qinglian
    3.
    Will the Boat Sink the Water? Chen Guidi, Wu Chuntao
    4.
    Losing the New China, Ethan Gutmann
    5.
    Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party, the Epochtimes
  • Did you know

    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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Archive for the ‘ceremony’ Category

(video) “I Too Have a Dream”- A Chinese American’s Speech At Memorial Ceremony of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Author on February 14, 2008


Speech by Dr. Sen Yang, on Jan. 21, 2008, at the memorial event of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.

About 1,000 people attended the ceremony, which included former president Bill Clinton, Republican presidential candidate and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, U.S. Senator John Isakson, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin, numerous religious leaders and Dr. King’s relatives.

Mr. Sen Yang is the President of Mid-USA Falun Dafa Association.

I, Too, Have a Dream

President Clinton, Governor Huckabee, Senator Isakson, Mayer Franklin, and all honorable guests:

In 1992, I started my graduate study at Georgia Tech. I landed in Atlanta, a great city best known as the home of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. I am honored to call this great city my second home in honor of the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. And “Georgia is on my mind”.

But when I first arrived, I knew little about Dr. King. I very much wanted to return to China. Everything was so unfamiliar to me. But then I noticed something I had never before experienced.

I noticed that people in this country could say what they think without being arrested by the thought police. I noticed that people went to church on Sundays and that all people were free to practice their religion. I never saw people being arrested for bible study or for trying to be good and kind citizens of this country.

There was only one word that could describe my feeling: Freedom.

At first, I thoughts these freedoms were easily achieved in the United States. But then as I studied U.S. history, I learned about Martin Luther King Jr., one of the main leaders of the American civil rights movement. I read Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” and started to have my own dream.

I talked with a friend in China. He asked me what greatest thing was in US. I told him it was “freedom” I enjoy the most. He replied: “You are rich and we are poor. We will chase after ‘freedom’ when we get more money.” I told my friend: “You don’t need to be rich to fight for the right to be free.” I told him that Dr. King fought for the freedom not because he was rich, but because he had the heart.

I lived in China for 31 years and now in this country for 15 years. I love China and I love the people in China. I want them to be respected and live like human beings. I want them to enjoy the same inalienable rights that God has given to all his people, not only in the United States, but everywhere.

Inspired by Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream Speech,” I thank him for the sacrifices he endured to help all people in the United States become free. His life is an example for all people everywhere who have a dream of freedom, even me – a humble physicist happy to live as a free man in this country. I too have a dream.

I dream that all people in China will have freedom of thoughts and that they won’t have to endure persecution (torture, illegal arrests and interrogation) because of their most deeply held thoughts and ideals.

I dream that all people in China will have freedom of religion and that they won’t be persecuted because of what they believe; and that they won’t be sentenced to illegal prison terms or subjected to extra judicial killing.

I dream that Falun Gong practitioners in China can one day, walk to the public park and start to do the morning exercise without being beaten by the police.

I have a dream that my daughter can return to China and will not be judged by her belief in Falun Gong, but by her character. And, as Martin Luther King Jr. said:

And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!”

This speech was given by Dr. Sen Yang at The Martin Luther King, Jr. Annual Commemorative Service held at Ebenezer Baptist Church Horizon Sanctuary in Atlanta, Georgia on Monday, January 21.

Video from Youtube, speech script from the Epochtimes

Posted in ceremony, China, Event, Falun Gong, Freedom of Belief, Freedom of Speech, Human Rights, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Special day, Speech, Spiritual, USA, Video, World | 3 Comments »

Taiwan President Praises NPC’s Stand on Press Freedom When Facing Pressures From China

Posted by Author on October 11, 2007


Central News Agency (CNA), via the China Post, Taiwan, Thursday, October 11, 2007-

TAIPEI, Taiwan — President Chen Shui-bian said Tuesday that it is his greatest honor to be invited to attend the 100th anniversary ceremony of the National Press Club (NPC) in the United States after he leaves office next year.

Chen made the remarks during a meeting with Peter Hickman, vice chairman of the NPC Newsmaker Committee, at the Presidential Office.

Chen said that it is an invitation to the 23 million people of Taiwan and that he is willing to represent the Taiwan people to take part in the ceremony.

Meanwhile, Chen lauded Hickman’s strong belief in democracy and press freedom, saying that three incidents can show that Hickman does not cave in to any pressure from China.

First of all, Chen said, the NPC did not remove Taiwan’s national flag from among those of other countries displayed at the NPC’s hall as China has repeatedly requested.

Secondly, Chen said that Hickman, facing even greater pressure from Beijing in May, invited him to speak to U.S. press members and academics via a NPC-organized videoconference.

Thirdly, despite mounting pressure from China, the NPC still invited Wang Wenyi, a Falun Gong member, to talk about how the Chinese government oppresses Falun Gong practitioners and particularly how China harvests organs from living Falun Gong members.

Touching upon Taiwan’s bid to join major international organizations, Chen noted that there are still many countries that would not support or even explicitly oppose Taiwan’s entry into the World Health Organization (WHO) or the United Nations for fear of offending China.

He stressed that the people of Taiwan undoubtedly have the freedom and the right to express their common aspiration for the country to become a member of international organizations and that they should not be deprived of this right.

Chen also said that the Taiwan people have been excluded from the U.N. for 36 years, which he described as “extremely unfair.”

In response, Hickman said that China will not be able to achieve its aims by putting pressure on the NPC, adding that he hopes more people from Taiwan can give speeches at the NPC in the future.

– Original report from China Post: President Chen promises to attend National Press Club anniversary

Posted in ceremony, China, Event, Human Rights, Media, News, People, Politics, Press freedom, USA, World | Comments Off on Taiwan President Praises NPC’s Stand on Press Freedom When Facing Pressures From China

Torch Relay to Arrive Netherlands To Support Human Rights in China

Posted by Author on October 3, 2007


Press Release, CIPFGHRTR

Hague, Netherlands – On October 3rd and 4th, 2007, the Global Human Rights Torch Relay, an activity to support human rights in China, will be held in the Netherlands. This activity is launched and sponsored by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG).

Human Rights Torch Relay was lit up in Athens, Greece, on August 9th. 2007. Its goal is to appeal to the international community to boycott the 2008 Beijing Olympics with the motto “The Olympic Games and the crimes against humanity cannot coexist in China”.

David Matas, Canadian lawyers and the author for the book “BLOODY HARVEST“, will be in Holland on a special trip to participate in the activities of Human Rights Torch Relay and give a speech on October 3rd and the 4th.

The activities of the Global Human Rights Torch Relay will be held in two cities in the Netherlands: Hague (October 3) and Amsterdam (October 4).

The arrangement of the activity is as follows:

  • October 3, 13.00 -15.00: Hague – Congress Plaza (Plein) (assembly, speech). Torchlight will arrive at the Peace Palace of the International Tribunal.
  • October 4, 16.30 -18.30: Amsterdam – Dam Plaza (assembly, speech). Torch Relay will go through the city centre and return the Dam Plaza in the end.

Original report from HRTR

Posted in Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, News, Religion, Speech, World | Comments Off on Torch Relay to Arrive Netherlands To Support Human Rights in China

Worldwide Torch Relay for Human Rights in China Visits Belgium

Posted by Author on September 28, 2007


Press release, CIPFG, published on HRTR website-HRTR logo

Brussels – The Worldwide Torch Relay for Human Rights in China is sponsored by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG). CIPFG welcomes all people and organizations to jointly spread the message “The Olympic Games and Crimes against Humanity cannot coexist in China.”

The Worldwide Torch Relay for Human Rights in China started on august 9th 2007 in Athens and will visit more than 100 cities in more than 35 countries throughout Europe, Asia, North-America, and Australia.

The worldwide Torch Relay will be in Belgium from Friday 28th September until Monday 1st October 2007.

Friday, 28th Sept., Brussels

12:00pm-1:00pm: Opening Ceremony at Schuman (EU headquarters)
2:00-3:00pm: Torch Relay will arrive at La Bourse

Politicians, athletes and human rights movements will support the start of the Torch Relay in Brussel.

A speech will be given by:

– senator Patrick van Krunkelsven
– human rights lawyer Georges-Henri Beauthier
former IBF boxing champion and Parliament member of the French speaking community Bea Diallo
– spokesperson for Human Rights Without Frontiers Paolo Barabesi.

Moreover, the chairman of the Belgian CIPFG Mr. Jan Loones, Flemish minister Mr. Geert Bourgeois, the Dardenne brother filmmakers, Interfaith International, Les Amis de Tibet and Gaia will support the event by either being present or having their letter of support to be read.

Some of the speakers will not only encourage other people to run in the Torch Relay, but will also join in themselves to bring the Human Rights Torch into Brussels.

Saturday, 29th Sept, Antwerp
  • 1:30pm start from Sint-Jan square
  • 2-3:00pm Torch Relay will arrive at Astrid Square with speeches by MEP mr.Bart Staes and others
Sunday 30st Sept, Oostende
  • 1:30pm start at Wapen Square
  • 2-3:00pm at the “Drie Gapers”(end of Koninginnelaan) with speeches by MP Mr. Wouter de Vriendt and Flemish parlement member Mr. Gino de Craemer
Monday 1st Oct, Sint-Niklaas
  • 9:30am Torch Run at the Grote Markt (Grand Place)
  • 10am official reception in the city hall

In all cities various Belgian politicians and NGO’s will support the event by either being present or having their letters of support to be read out loud.

More information:

Yves Vanderhoeven 0476/50.49.54 – 0479/50.48.74 – hr-torch@skynet.be

Original report from HRTR website

Posted in Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Crime against humanity, Europe, Event, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, Rally, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Worldwide Torch Relay for Human Rights in China Visits Belgium

Global Torch Relay Arrives In Romania: Against Genocide In China

Posted by Author on September 10, 2007


Press Release, CIPFG, September 10,2007-CIPFG logo

As a new member of the European Union, Romania wants to show that it has learned the lesson of democracy about respecting and sustaining the human rights.

Timisoara is the town where the wave of freedom started in Romania in December 1989. Timisoara kept its reputation this time too. Professors, athletes, political and cultural personalities but also the citizens of this town expressed their support for the cause this Torch was lit for: ending the crimes against humanity ruled in this very moment by the Chinese communist government.

We received an important support from the mayor of Timisoara – Mr. Gheorghe Ciuhandu, renowned Romanian gymnast Maria Olaru – gold and silver medallist at the Summer Olympic Games in 2000 (Sydney, Australia), Mr. Ducu Darie – director of the European Theatres Union, Mr. Vasile Docea – university lecturer, Dogar Tabita – triple Balkan champion at relay race (4×100 m) and individual (100m), Rosenblum Aida – national vice champion at 300 m, Mr. Tiberiu Toro – deputy, Simona Pele – Radio Timisoara, among many others citizens of Timisoara, to which we thank them.

When it received the honour to host the Olympic Games in 2008, the communist government promissed to improve the situation of human rights in China.

In less than a year until the Olympics, the promises made back then remained just promises. Even more, trying to assure that there will not be democratic movements; the Chinese government tries to maintain the “silence,” spreading terror among the population. So, illegal arrests, crimes, rapes, forced indoctrination, death by torture and evil practices, organ harvesting from living prisoners in order to be sold on the black markets, followed by the cremation of the victim’s body, all these crimes got worse and are organized by the Chinese officials in order to discourage any possible tentative of protest from population.

In this moment in China, democrats, journalists, Internet users, Christians, Tibetans, Uighurs, and especially Falun Gong practitioners (an ancient Chinese practice to improve ones moral standard and based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance), who are subjected to forced removal of vital organs, lawyers, human rights activists, monks – all of them are persecuted constantly by the communist government from Beijing.

We welcome all of you who want to sustain the Human Rights Torch Relay to come to Timisoara on Monday, the 10th of September, 2007, at 19:00 o’clock in Maria Square. The more we are the better.

Only a strong solidarity from all of those who cherish the human being, the right of your own faith, the freedom of speech, truth, tolerance, compassion, and in general all the high moral values of humankind, can oppose to the serious violations of human rights and crimes against humanity.

Monday’s schedule, 10th September, city Timisoara

19.00 – 19.15 – Maria Square, the presentation of the event and the lighting of the torch
19.15 – 20.00 – The carrying of the Torch from Maria Square to Unirii Square
20.00 – 21.30 – Unirii Square – festivity and speeches.

The organizer of the event is the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG), a NGO established in Great Britain, with the headquarters in London. It has over 300 members and its mission is to stop the persecution against Falun Gong in China.

Original press release from CIPFG

Posted in Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Crime against humanity, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Genocide, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, Organ harvesting, Religion, Spiritual, Sports, World | Comments Off on Global Torch Relay Arrives In Romania: Against Genocide In China

China Organ Harvesting Report Authors Win Rights Award During APEC

Posted by Author on September 6, 2007


By Shar Adams and Fang Xiao, Epoch Times Australia Staff, Sep 04, 2007-

Two Canadian dignitaries will be the only Westerners among a field of Chinese to receive awards at a human rights ceremony in Sydney this week.

The Honourable David Kilgour, former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, and international human rights lawyer David Matas will receive the Guarding Justice Award for their report on illegal organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China and for their continuous efforts to bring international attention to human rights issues in relation to China.

The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation will present the awards at a ceremony in the New South Wales State Parliament on Wednesday September 5, a statement said.

A range of human rights activists in China are to receive awards, including Professor Ding Zilin, who will receive the Casper Award as the representative of the Tiananmen Mothers group.

Professor Ding’s only son was killed by the Chinese army as he attended the student demonstrations at Tiananmen Square in 1989. Only 17 years old, her son was shot as he was yelling: “Don’t use force against the people,” Professor Ding told a CNN reporter.

Since then, Professor Ding has been an advocate for the relatives of those who died in the Tiananmen Square massacre by gathering financial support and collecting and collating evidence about the event.

Another award recipient is Chinese literary critic Mr Liu Xiaobo, who will receive the Conscience Courage Award as the current chairman of the literary freedom group PEN in China.

Safeguarding Citizen’s Rights and Resisting Violence awards will also be given to the Heilongjiang farmers Yang Chuanlin and Wang Guilin. Both rural activists were arrested in July this year for helping thousands of farmers protest at being thrown off their land by corrupt Communist Party officials. Mr Yang was also publicly advocating the slogan: “Human Rights wanted, Not Olympic Games”. According to Mr Yang’s family, he was officially charged with “inciting subversion of state power” on August 23.

The Human Rights Awards ceremony is one of a number of events staged to draw attention to China’s human rights violations during the APEC leaders meetings in Sydney. …… ( more details from the Epochtimes’ report: China on The Public Agenda During APEC)

Posted in Activist, Australia, Canada, ceremony, China, David Kilgour, David Matas, Event, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Social, Spiritual, World, writer | Comments Off on China Organ Harvesting Report Authors Win Rights Award During APEC

Video Review: Human Rights Torch Relay Begins in Athens

Posted by Author on August 26, 2007


NTDTV-

CHAN:

Hundreds of supporters from all over the world gathered at Syntagma Square in Athens to witness the inaugural launch of the Global Human Rights Torch Relay yesterday. This Torch Relay aims to remind the world of the true essence of the Olympic Games, and that the 2008 Beijing games should be boycotted, due to the Chinese Communist Regime’s past and current human rights abuses.

STORY:

The torch has begun its journey exactly one year prior to the 2008 Beijing Olympics. It was hosted by more than 300 members of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong or CIPFG.

The Human Rights Torch will follow the same path as the Olympic Torch, seeking to remind the world that the Olympic Games symbolize world peace and freedom, values unfortunately opposed by the Chinese Communist regime.

[Martin Rubenis, Latvian Olympian]:

“Looking towards Beijing I cannot find a single reason why the Communist regime of China has a moral right to represent the ideals and highest principles of the Olympic moment.”

A chief investigator of human organ harvesting in China, Mr. David Kilgour was there to support the event.

[David Kilgour, Co-Author, ‘Bloody Harvest’ Report]:

“Independent international organizations, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in China, have been saying in several years that human rights are not getting better in China, they are getting worse as the games approach. And contrary to what the government of China promised when they won the rights to host the Olympic games.”

A list of more than 10,000 supporters in China was presented, with their wish to have human rights in China before the Olympics.

Three Greek Goddesses of Freedom lit the torch, evoking a joyful moment of peace, equality and freedom.

Many people were moved to tears by the symbolic event, with warm embraces seen throughout the crowd.

In ancient Greece, fire represented the will of the Gods. And so it is hoped that the flame of human rights will remind peoples from across the globe the value of righteousness and propriety, as the Human Rights Torch Relay travels to 35 nations and more than 100 cities.

NTDTV, Athens, Greece.

Original report from NTDTV

Related:
Breaking the Darkness: Human Rights Torch Lit Despite China’s Pressure

Posted in Activist, Athens, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Europe, Event, Greece, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, News, People, Spiritual, Sports, Video, World | Comments Off on Video Review: Human Rights Torch Relay Begins in Athens

Human Rights Torch Reaches Berlin, Calls for Boycott of 2008 Beijing Olympics

Posted by Author on August 22, 2007


By Florian Godovits, Epoch Times Berlin Staff, Aug 21, 2007-Prof. Ines Geipel

BERLIN—Over two weeks in August 1936, Nazi Germany painted a rosy picture to the world of peace and prosperity during the Berlin Summer Olympics.

Outside the same Olympic Stadium, human rights activists last Saturday called for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, as the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR) made its first stop in Europe.

Set to pass through more than 35 countries and 100 cities, the global torch relay started last week in Athens, running under the banner: “No Olympic Games in China without human rights.” It was organised by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), an international coalition of individuals and organisations concerned about widespread human rights violations in China, according to the organisation’s website.

Former Olympian Ms Ines Geipel was a member of the East German (GDR)Prof. Ines Geipel cross-country team in the 1980s. She was the starting runner of the protest-relay and completed part of the track with 7 year old Fadu Chen, who lost her father due to the persecution of the meditation practice Falun Gong in China six years ago (photo right).

“Those who celebrate the Olympic Games in China next year without a change of the human rights situation should know they are doing so with murderers,” Ms Geipel said in front of a crowd of about one hundred people that had come to the handover of the torch.

Also carrying the torch were Andreas Krieger and his wife Ute Krieger-Krause, bothAndreas Krieger and Ute Krause former athletes and victims of a systematic doping campaign by the communist government of East Germany (GDR). The program saw unsuspecting athletes given large doses of anabolic steroids to boost their results, despite adverse health effects.

(photo: former athletes Andreas Krieger and his wife Ute Krieger-Krause)

Secret East German files recently revealed that as many as 10,000 athletes were involved in a state-sponsored attempt to build a country of 16 million into a sports power rivaling the United States and the Soviet Union.

Mr Krieger, a shot putter who won a gold medal in the 1986 European Athletics Championship, said that although the former Soviet-controlled GDR and today’s communist China were different systems, there would be similarities in the methods used to suppress and ideologise people.

“We can’t always shift off our responsibility; we have to make a statement today … Only discussions all the time … Meanwhile people are dying,” said Mr Kreiger.

“Never has compliance with the enemies of freedom been any use to freedom,” statedRainer Wagner Rainer Wagner, chairman of the Union of Victim Associations of Communist Tyranny (UOKG) in a speech at Berlin’s Olympic Square. “With deep sadness, we witness that western politics and business is sacrificing its ethical values for short-sighted financial gains and the illusion of fake communication.”

(photo right: Ms. Rainer Wagner, chairperson of UOKG spoke on ceremony)

The HRTR’s next stop will be Munich. It is expected to arrive in Australia at the end of October.

– Original report from the Epochtimes : Human Rights Torch Relay Reaches Berlin

Posted in Activist, Athlete, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Germany, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, News, People, Photo, Politics, Religion, Social, Sports, World | 5 Comments »

Breaking the Darkness: Human Rights Torch Lit Despite China’s Pressure

Posted by Author on August 15, 2007


By Chen Weijian, Boxun News, Via the Epochtimes, Aug 14, 2007-HRTR lit

ATHENS—The day of August 9, 2007 will be recorded in the respective histories of Greece and China. On this very day, in Athens, a human rights torch, symbolizing human rights and freedom, was lit in this world-renowned historical city.

As dusk fell, the Hellenic Parliament buildings at Syntagma (Constitution) Square in Athens, Greece were immersed in golden sunlight. The blue and white national flag of Greece fluttered in the wind. In front of the fountains at the center of the square, a stage was being built. The national flags of various countries were slowly raised, as were light stands.

Around the stage, members of the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG), coming members from four continents, pulled out their banners and flags. Written on the banners in both English and Greek was, “The Olympics and Crimes against Humanity Cannot Co-exist in Beijing.”

Another big white banner with red Chinese characters read, “All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Rights and Opposing Violence” came from mainland China and represented billions of people living at the bottom of Chinese society. As soon as this banner was opened it attracted a crowd of reporters eager to photograph this neer-before-seen message from the Chinese people.

After sunset two Masters of Ceremony stepped onto the podium, announcing to the crowd congregated in front of the podium that the event was officially beginning. First, the distinguished female Austrian singer Melanie Fleck mounted the podium to sing the theme song for the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR). Propelled by her voice the message glorifying human rights rang through the entire square.

Speakers

The Secretary-General of Interfaith International, Dr. Charles Graves was the first speaker. He explained the original intention of the HRTR: to stop the persecution of and the organ–harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Afterwards, a statement from U.K. Baroness Caroline Cox was read, in which she stated that the day on which the Global Human Rights Torch Relay movement is launched in Athens will be the most important day in human history. She hopes to raise the world’s attention about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners happening in China. “Through calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics, we can put an end to the persecution soon, and safeguard the Olympic spirit and human dignity,” she said.

Ms. Emmy Pfister, a CIPFG member organizing he Australian leg of the HRTR, said that now is the time to let Chinese authorities know that human rights do matter. Ms Pfister said Chinese people had pinned their hopes on the Olympics to improve their rights and were waiting for the world to speak out on their behalf.

Leading member of the CIPFG and former Canadian Secretary of State for the Asia-Pacific region, Hon. David Kilgour, stated in his speech, “Independent international organizations and observers have been saying for several years that human rights abuses by the government of China are worsening as August, 2008 approaches, not improving as it promised in its successful bid to win the right to host the games … This is absolutely not what we expect from any government hosting the Olympics.”

Kilgour continued, “If the killing of Falun Gong practitioners across China does not stop immediately—and we’ll all know if it does—people of goodwill everywhere should call for a shunning/boycott of the ‘Bloody Harvest Games’ or the ‘Genocide Olympics’, as Mia Farrow termed them in connection with the government of China’s role in Darfur. ”

The next speaker was Mr. Pan Qing, an overseas spokesman for the All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Rights and Opposing Violence. In his speech he introduced the wish of ten of thousands of average Chinese people who signed their names on a petition, “We want Human Rights, not the Olympics.” This wish represents millions of people’s true desire. He described how the names on this petition were collected by Mr. Yang Chunlin in northeastern China. Walking in the deep snow, he collected the signatures one family after another, one village after another. Pan called Yang the Prometheus of China. Yang has been detained by the Chinese Communist regime.

Pan condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for stealing the sacred flame of the Olympic Games, and turning it into a tool for the dictatorship to persecute people. He listed some of the people who are being persecuted in China: people who lost their homes because their houses were forcefully demolished, farmers who lost their land, and workers who lost their jobs and are living in misery. He hopes that the true spirit of the Olympic Games, represented by the Human Rights Torch Relay, can be passed on to China.

During his speech, Pan’s image was shown on a big screen at the square. His message, representing the lowest segment of Chinese society, was heard by the world for the first time, here in Athens, the birthplace of democracy and human rights. His speech was also broadcast into mainland China after breaking through the information blockade imposed by the CCP.

Following Pan were politicians and human rights activists from several countries. Every speaker received warm applause from the audience. After the speeches, the organizers released a flock of doves to symbolize peace.

CCP Tries to Suppress HRTR by Pressuring Greece

According to the event organizers, the CCP had lied and claimed that there were terrorists in their group. As a result, the square was surrounded by armed police. All vehicles on the square were searched, including outside broadcast vehicles. Event organizers had to use cell phones to talk directly with police.

The Human Rights Torch Relay is a direct challenge to the CCP and the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. The CCP has used all of its influence in the international political arena to dismiss the importance of the “Human Rights Torch Relay.”

The CCP pressured the Greek government to block all activities connected to the “Human Rights Torch Relay.” The CCP not only promised to offer Greece the preferential trade status, but also invited Greek government officials and business delegations to visit China.

The Royal Plaza Hotel, which is directly adjacent to the square, was designated as the site for a press conference. The CCP put pressure on the hotel manager to cancel the contract for the conference room to be used for the press conference. The hotel manager refused to bend to the pressure and honored the contract for the conference room.

The organizers said that they had gone through unbelievable difficulties in the process of applying for the human rights torch lighting ceremony at the square. The Greek government had been under intense pressure from the CCP to cancel the ceremony. Public appeals in favor of holding the ceremony have also been strong.

The Greek government finally agreed that the organizers could hold the event but lighting of the torch would not be permitted. The atmosphere at the square was very tense. Policemen in uniform and plainclothes were using cell phones and walkie-talkies to keep in touch with their superiors.

Just a little over one hour before the event was scheduled to start, the Greek government ordered it cancelled. Organizers told Greek government authorities that it would be impossible to cancel the event because the singer had already been on stage singing and the audience was already in front of the stage watching; in the fact the activity was already underway.

As the two parties continued to negotiate, police were standing-by, preparing to cut off power. The Greek authorities faced a difficult choice. If the event were held successfully, the Greek government would offend the CCP. Several news media were broadcasting the event live. All the media were waiting for the lighting of the torch.

All the preparatory activities were finished; however the organizers were still negotiating with the Greek officials. The event organizers had to ask the singer to perform one more song.

Breaking the Darkness

As time passed, the atmosphere in the square grew more and more tense. The organizers realized that they could not wait any longer. They decided to light the torch, even if the police cut off power and disrupted the event. A great moment had arrived because of the resolute decision by the organizers.

There was no announcement. Suddenly silently, the torch was lit. Four young maidensHR torch  lit representing the Greek goddesses of freedom, peace and justice walked toward the altar holding the torch.

Determination and peace could be seen on the maidens’ faces as they held the torch. The sacred flame was glowing in the night sky. At this holy and pure moment, many people in the square were moved to tears.

Then the European torch carrier, 2006 Winter Olympic bronze medal skier Martintorch lit (3) Lubinnishi from Latvia, lit the torch in his hand from the torch of the Greek goddesses at the altar. Cheers broke out from around the square. After he lit the torch, Lubinnishi ran around the square and lit the torches held by others surrounding the stage.

At this same moment, Mr. Pan Qing from “All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Rights and Opposing Violence” representing the Chinese people lifted up his torch together with the Greek goddess.

At this sacred moment, with the crowd cheering for the lighting of the Human Rightstorch lit (4) Torch Relay, people suddenly realized that the police were not carrying out their orders to turn off the power.

When people turned around to thank the police who might face dismissal for disobeying orders, they discovered that the police also had tears in their eyes. One police officer said that he had heard about the difficulty that the organizers had faced in arranging the event. He discovered that the organizers were all kindhearted people, not the terrorists as had been described by the CCP. The police were deeply touched by the event and all that it symbolized.

The Human Rights Torch Relay opening ceremony held in Athens ended successfully. The torch will make its way through Europe, Australia, Africa, the United States and finally to Asia. It will also be passed to mainland China.

– Report from the Epochtimes : Breaking the Darkness, Sacred Flame of the Human Rights Torch Lit in Athens

Posted in Activist, Asia, Athens, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Europe, Event, Greece, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, News, People, Politics, Report, Special day, Sports, World | Comments Off on Breaking the Darkness: Human Rights Torch Lit Despite China’s Pressure

Human Rights Group Lights Torch For Beijing Games Boycott

Posted by Author on August 10, 2007


By Karolos Grohmann, Reuters, Aug 9, 2007-

ATHENS (Reuters) – Hundreds of human rights activists from across the world gathered in central Athens on Thursday to launch a global torch relay urging the boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics over China’s human rights record.

Beijing has been under fire for what groups say are extensive human rights violations, including against the spiritual group Falun Gong, ahead of next year’s Games.

China classified Falun Gong as a cult and banned it in 1999. Since then the group has campaigned from abroad against what it says is brutal persecution of its followers in China.

Organizers of the event in the central Syntagma square, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), said Beijing was involved in systematic “organ harvesting” from jailed Falun Gong members and other dissidents.

“We want to put enough pressure on China to stop killing its people and selling livers and kidneys to people around the world,” former Canadian junior foreign minister David Kilgour told Reuters.

Kilgour, co-author of a report on Chinese “organ harvesting,” said the International Olympic Committee was turning a blind eye to violations of its own charter.

IOC President Jacques Rogge on Monday fended off criticism saying the Games were a force for good but were no panacea.

“That’s garbage,” said Kilgour. “Jacques Rogge should know what the Olympic charter states. It talks about human dignity.”

The global human rights torch relay will stop over in 25 countries and more than 100 cities in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia, organizers said.

Among the speakers were former Olympic athletes, including the 2006 Olympics luge bronze medalist Martins Rubenis from Latvia.

“The Chinese Communist Party has not fulfilled the promise to adjust the situation of human rights,” Rubenis said.

Beijing marked the one-year countdown to the Games on Wednesday with spectacular celebrations in Tiananmen Square.

Original report from Reuters

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Video living Broadcast: Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay

Posted by Author on August 9, 2007


Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay:


Address
: Syntagma Square, Athens, Greece
Time: 20:30 pm – 22:00pm
Date: 9th August 2007
Sponsor: CIPFG

Video broadcasting online now:

http://www.youmaker.com/video/bv?id=djy20080809athenshrtorch

– Website for the event:
Global Human Rights Torch Relay

Posted in Athens, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, ceremony, China, Crime against humanity, Europe, Event, Genocide, Greece, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, Sports, Video, World | Comments Off on Video living Broadcast: Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay

Press Release: Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay on August 9

Posted by Author on August 9, 2007


Press Release, http://www.nieuwsbank.nl, 09-08-2007-

 

Olympics and Crimes Against Humanity Cannot Coexist In China

ATHENE, 2007/08/08 — Initialized by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) and supported by many organizations and individuals, the Human Rights Torch Relay will officially have its opening ceremony to light the first flame on August 9, 2007 in Athens, Greece.

More than 100 cities from 30 countries will join the torch relay after the ceremony, calling on the international communities to focus on brutal violations of human rights and the Olympics spirit by the Chinese Communist regime, in order to stop such crimes and not let the 2008 Olympic Games become “Bloody Harvest Games”.

For years, the Chinese Communist regime has been persecuting people in China, such as Christians, Catholics, Tibetans, and Falun Gong practitioners. The crimes of torture and genocide they have committed against humanity have been condemned worldwide. The 2008 Olympics were offered to Beijing for the regime to improve its crude human rights record.

However, instead of stopping its persecution, the regime has made use of the Olympics to further repress people in China, damaging the Olympic spirit of peace and human dignity.

Moreover it also supports crimes outside China, particularly the genocide in Darfur, which has been well exposed by the UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and actress Ms. Mia Farrow, who consequently dubbed the 2008 Olympics the “Genocide Olympics”.

Greece, as the origin of Olympics, will receive many politicians, human rights organizations and Olympians as well as representatives of Chinese human rights defenders to attend the press conference and/or the ceremony, including:

Mr. Martins Rubenis, Mrs. Jan Becker, Olympic medal winners;

Hon. David Kilgour, former Canadian Parliament member and one author of the investigation report, which verifies ongoing organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China;

Mr. Michael Ghiolman III, Ghiolman Yachts Travel Aviation, President of Environmental – Ecological – Cultural and Development Society, whose grandfather and grandfather’s brother helped to organize the first Olympic Games in 1896;

Mrs. Melanie Fleck, Austrian Singer;

Dr. George Karahalios, prominent Mass Media Communicator & Lobbyist;

A Traditional Greek Music Band

Press conference:
King George II, 3 Vas Georgiou A’ St 105 64, Athens
Time: 12:00pm – 1:30pm, 9th August 2007

Opening Ceremony:
Syntagma Square, Athens
Time: 20:30 pm – 22:00pm 9th August 2007

Background:

The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) is an international non-government organization established in 2006 when the brutal crime of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China was exposed to the public. It consists of over 300 members from four continental delegations around the world, from politicians to doctors, from lawyers to religious groups.

The European delegation is chaired by Baroness Caroline Cox, member of the House of Lords (UK).

CIPFG since its set up has been requesting the Chinese regime to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, and allow the independent investigation by the international community inside China. However no response from the regime has been received.

On May 30, 2007, CIPFG announced in Canada the statement-Olympics and Crimes Against Humanity Cannot Coexist In China.

On June 8, CIPFG wrote to the Chinese leaders Mr. Hu Jintao and Mr. Wen Jiabao, to ask them to stop the persecution by August 8, 2007, otherwise CIPFG would call for a worldwide boycott of the Beijing Olympics.

The Human Rights Torch Relay, initialized by CIPFG, has been widely joined and supported, by for example Network for Human Rights in China (Denmark), International Society for Human Rights (Germany), Doctors Against Organ Harvesting (USA), Canadian Students for Darfur, and especially large numbers of people in China who recently sent out the message to ask for “No Human Rights, No Olympics”.

Contact Greece:
Fotini Bakatsia, Tel +30-6973 579932,
Kostas Tsolis, Tel +30-6947 421621
Email: cipfg_greece@cipfg.net

Contact Holland:
W. Stuifbergen, Tel 070-3456851 fax: 010-4613979
Dhr. M. `t Hoen, Tel 06-44173026 fax: 010-4613979
Email: olympischespelen@cipfg.nl

Internet
:
www.cipfg.org
www.boycottccpolympic.org/ol/en/ol2.jsp

– Original report from http://www.nieuwsbank.nl : Global Human Rights Torch Relay

Posted in Activist, Asia, Athens, Athlete, Australia, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, Canada, Catholicism, Celebrity, ceremony, China, Christianity, Crime against humanity, David Kilgour, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Genocide, Greece, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, People, Religion, Social, Sports, Tibetan, World | Comments Off on Press Release: Opening Ceremony of Global Human Rights Torch Relay on August 9

Human Rights Challenge to Beijing Olympic Games Heats Up

Posted by Author on August 9, 2007


Glen McGregor, CanWest News Service, Via Vancouver Sun, Canada, August 08, 2007-David Kilgour

OTTAWA – At the birthplace of the Olympic movement, a former Alberta Liberal MP will ignite Thursday what he hopes will become a global movement to boycott next year’s Summer Games in Beijing.

Calling the 2008 Games the “Bloody Harvest Olympics,” David Kilgour is inviting the media to Athens to cover a Global Human Rights Torch Relay. Once lit in Athens, the torch will travel through 100 cities around the world.

The year-long relay is designed to draw attention to allegations of crimes against humanity committed by the Chinese government against practitioners of Falun Gong.

The relay comes as China faces increasing scrutiny over human rights in the runup to the Olympics.

On Wednesday, China expelled three Canadians who had been detained after unfurling a banner on the Great Wall in protest over the occupation of Tibet.

Canada’s Green party called on the government to exert diplomatic pressure on China to keep the Games from being tarnished by human rights violations.

While Thursday’s torch-lighting is unlikely to spark a widespread boycott of the Games, it will help establish Kilgour’s reputation as a leading voice for Falun Gong practitioners in their campaign against the Chinese government.

Followers describe Falun Gong as a peaceful belief system that preaches compassion and tolerance. China considers it a dangerous cult that has led devotees to resist needed medical attention and, in rare cases, to self-immolate in protest.

CanWest News Service

Original report from Vancouver Sun

Posted in Asia, Athens, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, Canada, ceremony, China, David Kilgour, Europe, Event, Falun Gong, Genocide, Greece, Human Rights, Human Rights Torch Relay, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Social, Sports, World | Comments Off on Human Rights Challenge to Beijing Olympic Games Heats Up

First International Chinese Classical Dance Competition Concludes

Posted by Author on July 11, 2007


By Xin Fei, Epoch Times Staff, Jul 10, 2007-

NEW YORK—After three days of intensive competition, the first International Chinese Classical Dance Competition concluded on July 8, 2007 in New York City. Twenty-two contestants from across the world gave splendid performances and high level displays. Expressed through different dance styles, they presented the rich and colorful inner meanings of Chinese dance.

Tickets were sold out for the final competition. During the performance, each act surpassed the preceding one, and there was unceasing applause from the audience.

Many audience members said that this was the first time they had ever seen such a great dance competition as it was so splendid, graceful and harmonious.

The audience also thought the competition displayed traditional Chinese culture and set up a bridge connecting Eastern and Western culture. They hoped that such a competition would continue to be held year after year.

Some audience members also said that this competition had created the noblest kind of dance in the world, and Chinese dance will surely become popular across the world.

The dance competition award ceremony was also held on July 8. During the ceremony, video clips of the contestants’ fabulous performances were shown on a big screen on the stage. The theatre was a full house and everyone was eagerly awaiting the final results.

The audience’s excitement was palpable as the host announced the winners. The champions for the four divisions were Yuhsuan Chou, Jason Shi, Michelle Ren, and Yung Chia Chen.

President Li Cong of the New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) and chairperson Guo Xiu of the contest’s judging committee made the awards to the four champions. The gold award was $10,000 and a cup, the silver $3,000 and a cup, and the bronze award $1,000 and a cup.

The winners’ list is as follows:

Gold Award:

Junior Division, Female: Yu Hsuan Chou
Junior Division, Male: Jason Shi
Adult Division, Female: Michelle Ren
Adult Division, Male: Yung Chia Chen

Silver Award:

Junior Division, Female: Serena Liang
Junior Division, Male: Po Hung Lin
Adult Division, Female: Hsiao Feng Chang
Adult Division, Male: Yi Chun Chang

Bronze Award:

Junior Division, Female: Cindy Liu, Hsiang En Mao
Adult Division, Female: Xiaoyan Ni, Min Liang
Adult Division, Male: Tim Wu, Seongho Cha

Performance Prize:

Fan Meng, Serene Xian Lin Tan, Sio Lok Chan, Ming Chi Lo, Meng Chun Tsai, Liang Cai, Leon Chao, Jianhui Shen

Li Cong warmly congratulated all prize-winners. He said that in the last few days, the competition had been more and more splendid and the contestants performed very well. Though the preparation for the competition encountered many twists and turns, it had concluded successfully.

He said, “As Chinese, we all hope that our country will become strong. A strong country relies on a strong culture. Given the growing global interest in China, this is the momentum for reviving Chinese culture. We have joined together to accomplish this competition at a time of favorable geographical and human conditions. This is only the beginning. We will hold it every year and I hope everybody will participate enthusiastically.

“We will sigh with emotion when in the distant future, we look back at the grand occasion of this first dance competition. This is the beginning of the revival of Chinese culture. The Chinese culture will be reborn after suffering numerous disasters. You have such outstanding Chinese dance talents and are fortunate to meet at this historic moment. Let us contribute together to the revival of Chinese culture.”

The host revealed that contestants came from mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, North America, Europe and Australia. For the winners, this was a special honor in their chosen art and a new start for their career. For other contestants, this was also an excellent practice and learning opportunity.

original report from The Epochtimes

Related:
Video: First ever Chinese Classical Dance Competition a Success, July 10th, 2007

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(photo) Great Wall of China: Voted as New 7 Wonders of The World

Posted by Author on July 9, 2007


Great Wall of China was announced as one of the new Seven Wonders of the World on July 7, 2007,  in Lisbon, by New 7 Wonders of the World, based on an online poll attracted over 100 million votes cast from people in 200 countries.

All photos below are credited to saad from flickr.

Great Wall of china (1)

The Great Wall of China is a series of stone and earthen fortifications in China, built, rebuilt, and maintained between the 5th century BC and the 16th century to protect the northern borders of the Chinese Empire during the rule of successive dynasties.

Several walls, referred to as the Great Wall of China, were built since the 5th century BC, the most famous being the one built between 220 BC and 200 BC by the first Emperor of China, Qin Shi Huang. That wall was much further north than the current wall, built during the Ming Dynasty, and little of it remains.

The Great Wall is the world’s longest human-made structure, stretching over approximately 6,400 km (4,000 miles) from Shanhai Pass in the east to Lop Nur in the west (of China) , along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia (the northern province of China).

It is also the largest human-made structure ever built in terms of surface area and mass.

Above excerpt  is from Wikipedia

great wall of china, 2

Other six world Wonders are:

Chichén Itzá, Mexico

Christ the Redeemer, Brazil

Machu Picchu, Peru

Petra, Jordan

The Roman Colloseum, Italy

The Taj Mahal, India.

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Rights Groups Support House-arrestted Chinese Lawyer’s U.S. Trip for Award

Posted by Author on June 20, 2007


By Huang Yiyan, Epoch Times Staff, Jun 18, 2007-

California—The American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA) recently granted its Courageous Advocacy Award to Mr. Gao Zhisheng, a famous human rights lawyer in Beijing, and invited him to receive the award on June 30 in the U.S. Currently, The Global Coalition in Support of Attorney Gao Zhisheng has launched an internet petition to appeal for support from the U.S. government to facilitate Gao’s trip.

Gao expressed his willingness to visit the U.S. and said he would try his best to make the award ceremony, although the regime has set up all kinds of barriers to stop his U.S. trip, including not issuing him a passport. Early this year, the regime had also put a renowned Chinese AIDS activist Gao Yaojie on house arrest to bar her from receiving an award personally in U.S.

Ms. Zhang Xuerong, spokeswoman for the Coalition, said that many groups and individuals are paying close attention to Gao’s situation and are very supportive of Gao. When they knew that ABOTA had granted the award to Gao, they all wanted to make it possible for Gao to receive the award personally. “We have initiated an internet petition urging people with a sense of justice to come forward and express their support for Gao. At the same time, we have also appealed to the US government for their help.” said Zhang.

In Ms Zhang’s opinion, Gao Zhisheng deserves the courageous advocacy award. She pointed out that Gao Zhisheng has won tremendous support from people because he is righteous and is not afraid of facing the Chinese communist regime. He continues to use peaceful means to fight for human rights and justice. Even when his life was threatened by the communist regime, he never compromised.

Gao Zhisheng has written three open letters to the communist regime leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao to protest against the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong and called for an immediate end to the barbaric genocide which is destroying the conscience and morality of the Chinese nationality.

Consequently, Gao and his family continue to be harassed by the regime, their lives are threatened and Gao was illegally detained for eight months last year. During his detention, Gao was beaten up and tortured. After his release, Gao was placed under house arrest again and everyday he and his family are watched by more than 100 plain clothes police and spies.

ABOTA was founded in 1958, and enjoys a high reputation in the legal professions of the United States. So far, it has 6,300 members. In 1999 ABOTA set up a “Courageous Advocacy Award” to honor those judges and lawyers who still uphold their convictions to the principle of “rule by law”, despite threats to personal freedom and safety.

A few days ago, the Coalition issued an open letter demanding that the communist regime grant passports to Gao and his family allowing them to travel overseas. The coalition has also sent letters to the US parliament urging the government to pay attention to the plight of Gao and to assist him in visiting the US.

Spokesperson for the Coalition, Wu Fan said that it is an honor for China’s legitimate legal circle that Gao Zhisheng was given the award. He said, “If the regime denies Gao’s trip to the U.S. to receive the award, this would clearly reveal the regime’s pledge to build a harmonious society is simply a lie after all”

Since the coalition was formed in February 2005 to rescue Gao Zhisheng, currently 146 organizations have joined in the coalition.

– original report from The Epochtimes : Human Rights Groups Support Gao Zhisheng’s U.S. Trip

Posted in ceremony, China, Event, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Politics, USA, World | Comments Off on Rights Groups Support House-arrestted Chinese Lawyer’s U.S. Trip for Award

Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Jailed Chinese Journalist

Posted by Author on June 5, 2007


World Association of Newspapers (WAN), June 4, 2007-

Shi TaoThe award to Shi Tao, who was imprisoned after the American search engine company Yahoo provided information to the Chinese authorities that led to his arrest, was made today, 4 June, the 18th anniversary of the massacre.

” Even today, most Chinese know nothing about what happened that day. The Communist regime continues to prevent the Chinese media from talking and writing about it openly and honestly and will go to great lengths to silence any such revelations and to severely punish those who make them,” said George Brock, President of the World Editors Forum, who presented the award.

“Shi Tao, whom we are honouring here today, has learned this to his own great cost. He revealed what the state did not want known and he pays the price in prison today,” he said.

The award was accepted by the mother of the jailed journalist, Gao Qinsheng, who said her son was “a direct victim of the shackles of press freedom.”Mother of Shi Tao

The Golden Pen Award “proves that my son is indeed innocent. He has only done what a courageous journalist should do. That is why he has got the support and the sympathy from his colleagues all over the world, who uphold justice, the colleagues who have been concerned about Shi Tao who has lost his freedom, been locked up in prison,” she said. The full text of her remarks can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/article143…

The award was presented Monday during the opening ceremonies of the World Newspaper Congress and World Editors Forum, the global meetings of the world’s press, which drew more than 1,600 newspaper executives and editors from 105 countries to Cape Town, South Africa.

WAN also announced a campaign to win the release of Mr Shi and dozens of other journalists and cyber-dissidents in Chinese jails, to keep the cases in the forefront of news coverage in the run-up to the Beijing Olympics next year.

Mr Shi is serving a 10-year sentence on charges of “leaking state secrets” for writing an e-mail about media restrictions in the run-up to the 15th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre in 2004. The e-mail was picked up by several overseas internet portals — and also by Chinese authorities, with the assistance of Yahoo. The internet service provider gave state security authorities information that allowed them to trace the message to a computer he used at the newspaper where he worked, the Dangdai Shang Bao (Contemporary Business News).

“How the Chinese authorities traced this e-mail, and discovered that Shi Tao was the author, is a cautionary tale with widespread implications for on-line privacy, and for the way that western communications companies do business in their understandably difficult dealings with repressive regimes,” said Mr Brock.

“While those who do business around the globe must often deal with non-democratic countries, we believe that new media companies that provide more and more of the means for global communications have a special responsibility” he said. “They have an obligation to ensure that the basic human rights of their users will be protected, and they must carefully guard against becoming accomplices in repression.”

Mr Brock’s full remarks can be found at http://www.wan-press.org/article143…

Mr Shi distributed information that had been sent to his newspaper by the Chinese authorities, warning journalists of the dangers of “social destabilisation” and risks linked to the return of certain dissidents to China for the commemoration of the massacre, in which democracy supporters, mostly students, were brutally gunned down by Chinese troops on 4 June 1989.

Mr Shi, a poet as well as a journalist, had published numerous essays and political problems relating to social problems in China on pro-democracy web sites. He worked as a reporter, editor and division director at several newspapers, joining the Contemporary Business News in 2004 as an editorial director and assistant to its Chief Editor. He resigned from the paper in May 2004 to become a free-lance journalist and was arrested six months later.

He is one of dozens of journalists and cyber-dissidents in prison in China, the world’s largest jailer of journalists.

The award to Shi Tao has already provoked the ire of the Chinese authorities. The official China Newspaper Association has demanded the award be withdraw because a Chinese court “handled the case according to law and made the appropriate sentence” and that China’s constitution protects press freedom.

“We are not impressed by this argument,” said Mr Brock. “If the law makes it possible to send a journalist to jail in such a case, the law should be abolished immediately since it contradicts every conceivable international standard and convention on freedom of information and human rights.

“As for the claim that the Chinese constitution protects freedom of speech, this guarantee is nothing more than a mere fiction. Such freedoms simply do not exist in China. Indeed, if they did, Shi Tao would not be in prison today, nor would dozens of other journalists.”

WAN, the global association of the newspaper industry, has awarded the Golden Pen annually since 1961. Past winners include Argentina’s Jacobo Timerman (1980), South Africa’s Anthony Head (1986), China’s Dai Qing (1992), Vietnam’s Doan Viet Hoat of Vietnam (1998), Zimbabwe’s Geoffrey Nyarota (2002), and Sudan’s Mahjoub Mohamed Salih (2005). Last year’s winner was Akbar Ganji of Iran.

The Paris-based WAN, the global organisation for the newspaper industry, defends and promotes press freedom world-wide. It represents 18,000 newspapers; its membership includes 77 national newspaper associations, newspaper companies and individual newspaper executives in 102 countries, 12 news agencies and 10 regional and world-wide press groups.

Inquiries to: Larry Kilman, Director of Communications, WAN, 7 rue Geoffroy St Hilaire, 75005 Paris France. Tel: +33 1 47 42 85 00. Fax: +33 1 47 42 49 48. Mobile: +33 6 10 28 97 36. E-mail: lkilman@wan.asso.fr

Posted in Beijing, censorship, ceremony, China, email, Event, Human Rights, Incident, Internet, Journalist, June 4, Law, Media, News, Newspaper, People, Politics, Shi Tao, Special day, Speech, Tiananmen, World | Comments Off on Golden Pen of Freedom Awarded to Jailed Chinese Journalist