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Archive for the ‘Edward McMillan-Scott’ Category

Awarded Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Important for China’s Future, Says Vice-President of the European Parliament

Posted by Author on August 14, 2010

By James Burke/Epoch Times Staff, Aug. 13, 2010 –

A Vice-President of the European Parliament has said that missing Chinese human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng must play a role in the future of a free China.

“Gao Zhisheng must be part of the future of a reformed and democratic China,” said Edward McMillan-Scott, a Vice-President of the European Parliament and Founder of the EU’s democracy and human rights initiative.

“[Mr. Gao’s] devotion to the cause of justice and a fair legal system brought him into national prominence as a lawyer,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott after learning that the respected Chinese lawyer had been honoured with the International Human Rights Lawyer Award from the American Bar Association on Friday August 6.

The annual award is given to lawyers well-known for taking on human rights cases and who have in turn, suffered persecution because of their efforts.

“This award is one of many which make Gao indispensable for China’s future,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott.

Since April this year there has been no word of Mr. Gao’s whereabouts or his wellbeing, and it is believed he is being secretly held by the Chinese police.

A dedicated Christian, Mr. Gao was self-educated and would go on to be described by Chinese officials as one of China’s ten best lawyers. He was well known for his work in assisting China’s poor and marginalized, but he met the wrath of Chinese state security once he began defending the rights of persecuted Falun Gong practitioners.

In December 2004, Mr. Gao sent the first of three open letters to Chinese Communist Party leaders — President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao — which described his investigation into the state’s persecution of Falun Gong. His next two letters would include descriptions of extreme methods of torture used by Chinese police during their attempts to force practitioners to denounce their faith.

“His criticism of the repellent and corrupt Beijing regime in his open letters gave him a wider audience as a statesman,” said Mr. McMillan-Scott.

“His examination of the persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement and his trenchant criticisms of the regime which set them in train mark him out as a true prophet,” he said.

“His captors should learn from recent European and world history: democracy and human rights will triumph.”

For his letters, the Chinese state shut down Mr. Gao’s law firm and took away his license to practice. Mr. Gao and his family also faced continued harassment and intimidation from security agents. In August 2006, he was taken by secret police and later convicted of “subversion.” A subsequent jail sentence was suspended and he was placed under house arrest and monitored.

In the lead up to the 2008 Olympics he wrote an open letter to the US Congress stating that China’s human rights situation was worsening. Subsequently he was taken into police custody for several months and tortured to the point where he considered suicide. After being released he revealed via a statement what he had experienced in custody, despite being warned by police that if he did so he would be killed. His family fled China in January 2009 and a month after this, Mr. Gao was again abducted by police and went missing for more than a year.

In April this year, Mr. Gao resurfaced and gave several restricted media interviews and it was believed he was being closely monitored by police. At the end of that month he was reported missing again, he is now thought to be in police custody.

In 2007 the English translation of Mr. Gao’s memoir “A China More Just” was published. In 2007, 2008, and 2010, he was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Mr. McMillan-Scott has been a long time campaigner for reform and democracy in China and was in contact with Mr. Gao before he disappeared. According to his website, in May 2006, Mr. McMillan-Scott visited Beijing on a fact finding mission and all the Chinese with whom he had contact with were arrested, imprisoned and in some cases tortured.

The Epochtimes

Posted in China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Freedom of Speech, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Social, World | Comments Off on Awarded Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Important for China’s Future, Says Vice-President of the European Parliament

We need new powers to rein in China: Edward McMillan-Scott

Posted by Author on January 3, 2010

Edward McMillan-Scott, The Independent, UK, Sunday, 3 January 2010 –

The new year must see an end to ruthless regimes using human pawns in international relations. After the barbaric execution of Akmal Shaikh, the first execution of a European by China since 1951, the EU’s new role in foreign relations, which begins this week, must be shaped by a commitment to its values.

The argument against standing up to China is that we cannot afford to offend such a growing superpower, to jeopardise trade relations. But trade and politics have always been separate, and always will be.

The European experience with the monolithic Soviet Union during the Communist years was to name and shame its worst offences, and to do so with mounting intensity. This strategy worked and should now be applied to China. The “sophisticated” argument that China doesn’t respond to Western anger carries no weight. Last week’s indignant response from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman following Western condemnation of the execution laid bare China’s sensitivity to criticism. Our response should not be to shy away from voicing further criticism but to capitalise on that sensitivity and use it to apply pressure for change. Europe must ensure that its political priorities are heard as loudly in Beijing as at home.

The prominent Chinese dissident Wei Jingsheng cautioned in The New York Times last week: “We Chinese are intimately acquainted with this authoritarian arrogance.” He spent 15 years in various Chinese prisons for putting up a wall poster, but was released after pressure from Washington. We must seize the chance to create a more consistent, coherent and effective foreign policy, one that sets out to co-ordinate a common European stance towards a changing China, the world’s largest country and still a terror state.

On New Year’s Day, the dragon spread its wings further with the launch of a new free trade zone spanning more than 1.9 billion people. Europe’s foreign ministers, in a long-awaited new policy on the projection of democracy and human rights worldwide, declared in November that “human rights and democracy are inextricably linked”. Until now, the EU’s external priorities were listed separately: democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law. Now brought together, these conditions alone should govern future relations with China.

The death penalty has been abolished in all EU member states. The European Parliament condemns capital punishment everywhere and especially as a method of control by one-party states that act as judge, jury and killer. China executes more people than any other country, with about 1,718 executions in 2008, far surpassing the 346 in Iran, 102 in Saudi Arabia, and 37 in the US, according to Amnesty International. More than 100 prisoners died under torture in China last year, too, but because they were members of Falun Gong, the banned spiritual movement, they were classed as non-persons.

China must cease persecuting those such as Liu Xiaobo, whose only crime is in arguing for democracy. His sentencing on Christmas Day to 11 years in jail by a Beijing court was designed to bury the news. Liu Xiaobo was one of more than 300 Chinese intellectuals and dissidents to author a bold call for constitutional reform on 10 December 2008 to mark the 60th anniversary of the UN’s Universal. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, Politics, Speech, Trade, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Beijing olympics designed to benefit a regime responsible for appalling abuse of human rights: Edward McMillan-Scott

Posted by Author on August 11, 2008

Edward McMillan-Scott, The Guardian, UK, Friday August 08 2008-

The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics will inevitably be an occasion for admiring comment about the immense achievements – architectural, organisational and presentational – of the host nation. This, of course, is precisely what the Chinese authorities hoped for when they secured their Olympic bid seven years ago. It was intended as a statement of China’s modernity, its economic prowess and its rise to the top table of world power. Judging from the coverage so far, there are plenty of people willing to accept this image at face value. Yes, human rights groups have raised some awkward questions, but why should that spoil the party when so many world leaders will be on hand to give their blessing to the proceedings?

Despite the fact that I campaigned hard for a political boycott of the Beijing Olympics, I wish the athletes well and hope the competition passes without a repeat of the terrorist attack that happened earlier this week in Xinjiang province. What I don’t want is for those watching to be in any doubt about the nature of the regime these games have been designed to benefit. Beyond the mesmerising Bird’s Nest stadium is a country presided over by a terror state responsible for some truly appalling crimes against humanity. Even the stadium’s designer, Ai Weiwei, was moved to disown the games describing the human rights situation as “appalling”. The countless victims imprisoned, tortured and murdered by the Chinese state also deserve to be part of this Olympic story. They should not be too far from our thoughts as the gold medals are being handed out.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are in agreement that far from honouring their pledge to improve human rights as a result of hosting the Olympics, the Chinese authorities have used the games as an excuse to intensify domestic repression. Much of this abysmal record is widely known about. There is no freedom of expression and the authorities go to extraordinary lengths to control information and restrict access to the internet. Dissent is punished severely, with those considered a threat imprisoned without trial and often without any information about their location or condition. The death penalty is applied extensively and for relatively minor non-violent crimes like tax fraud. The use of torture is frequent according to Manfred Nowak, the UN’s special rapporteur on torture, including beatings, electrocution and the removal of fingernails. The violent suppression of Tibetan rights and cultural identity is well documented. Moreover, some of these methods appear to be for export. BBC Panorama recently exposed China’s role in arming the Sudanese government in its genocidal campaign in Darfur.

The victims of Chinese state terror are numerous and include human rights defenders, lawyers, trade unionists, environmentalists, campaigners for regional autonomy and anyone who seeks to challenge state policy. One person I am particularly concerned about is Gao Zhisheng, a Nobel prize nominee sometimes referred to as “China’s conscience”. As one of his country’s top lawyers, he was targeted by the regime for speaking out about human rights abuses and has been in detention and subjected to torture since he wrote a critical open letter about the Olympics last year. It is essential that the UK and other countries across the world raise his case with the Chinese authorities as a matter of urgency.

One of the groups that Gao has been most prominent in defending has been the religious movement, Falun Gong. Members of this group have been on the receiving end of some of the most brutal abuse imaginable. Many foreign observers are easily frightened off by the Chinese government’s designation of it as an “evil cult”, but Falun Gong is a harmless Buddha-school set of spiritual exercises that is persecuted mainly because its popularity is deemed to pose a threat to the “guiding role” of the Chinese Communist party. A decade ago it had up to 100 million adherents.

Falun Gong supporters are routinely imprisoned for their beliefs and are believed by Manfred Nowak to make up the majority of prisoners subjected to torture. But they are also the principal victims of China’s most horrific crime against humanity – the harvesting of human organs from prisoners to supply the country’s burgeoning transplant business. With transplants running at more than 10,000 a year, and with a harvested heart fetching up to $160,000, this is a profitable enterprise for the People’s Liberation Army which organises it and pockets the proceeds.

Unfortunately the organs used are far from surplus to requirements. A report written last year by the former Canadian secretary of state, David Kilgour, and the human rights lawyer, David Matas, concluded: “there has been and continues today to be large scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners.” Falun Gong prisoners are the only ones routinely subjected to urine and blood tests, with strong reason to believe that significant numbers of them are subsequently killed to order.

There is no sign that this appalling practice is about to stop, either. Earlier this year, the Chinese authorities announced that they were adopting a lethal injection as the means of capital punishment instead of a bullet through the head – the mouth was propped open to minimise damage, but it is still a messy way to kill. It is not hard to understand this change. In one province alone, 16 buses have been specially adapted to perform on-the-spot eviscerations.

This is the reality behind the facade of modernity presented by the Beijing Olympics. Although the political boycott of the opening ceremony will be nothing like as widespread as the seriousness of the human rights situation in China demands, it is not too late to register a protest against the terror state behind these games. I hope that Gordon Brown will reconsider his decision to attend the closing ceremony later this month. I also hope that those watching at home will take some time out from enjoying the sport to consider the enormous human suffering that is the reality of daily life for many Chinese people.

– Original: The reality behind China’s Olympic image of modernity, The Guardian

Posted in Beijing, Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, Human Rights, Law, Lawyer, News, Opinion, People, Politics, Religious, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

‘people are being killed for their organs’ while China ‘hosting an event to promote peace’

Posted by Author on February 17, 2008

European politicians are expressing their concern about China’s appalling human-rights record ahead of the Beijing Olympics

From blog of Will Buckley, The Guardian, February 17, 2008-

On 1 January this year Torsten Trey, chief executive director of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, sent a letter to, among others, Steven Spielberg and George W Bush. He wrote: ‘It is reasonable to say that in China organs are removed from executed prisoners as well as from living, non-consenting donors, in particular from practitioners of the peaceful meditation movement Falun Gong. As medical doctors, we are extremely concerned about these practices.’

On Tuesday, at a meeting in London, European Parliament vice-president Edward McMillan-Scott expanded on those concerns. ‘They are hosting a sporting event intended to promote peace and at the same time people are being killed for their organs,’ said Trey. ‘It is outrageous. Once you are a prisoner of conscience you are outlawed and lose any rights. You are just a body mass.’

Later that evening Spielberg resigned as artistic director for the Beijing Olympics. There was no connection between the two events – Spielberg, after all, cited China’s failure to put pressure on Sudan to ease the humanitarian crisis in Darfur, not transplant trading, as the reason for his decision – other than that the staging of the Olympics in Beijing means that China will be examined more closely and more critically than ever before.

There are plenty of areas of concern. Also speaking on Tuesday was Annie Yang. ‘On 1 March 2005, without any legal procedure, I was arrested at home and sentenced to two years in a Chinese labour camp,’ she said. This was for being a practitioner of Falun Gong, an organisation that is part Taoist, part Buddhist, and that flourished in the wake of communism before being banned as ‘an evil cult’ in 1999.

In an effort to make Yang renounce her beliefs, she was forced to survive on 500ml of water a day and half a slice of Chinese bread. She was also tortured. ‘They made you sit with your knees closed, your feet closed, your back very straight and your hands on your knees for 20 hours without closing your eyes. No one dared look at me. Only this one woman waved at me and she has now been tortured to death.’

Yang, an antiques dealer, recanted and four months later was asked by the authorities if she wanted to be a spy in London. She declined the offer.

Anne Holmes, from the Free Tibet campaign, said that ‘silence is the cost of doing business in China’. Silence, in particular, about what is happening in Tibet. ‘There are some monks who must be protected and others who are invisible,’ she said, comparing the country to Burma. China’s influence is so great over Tibet and around the world, she says, that ‘Belgium no longer welcomes the Dalai Lama’.

China, in contrast, welcomes transplant tourists – it is alleged that 40,000 unexplained operations have been conducted in recent years. Also present on Tuesday was Professor Tom Treasure, a noted heart-transplant surgeon, who wrote an essay last year for the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine entitled ‘The Falun Gong, organ transplantation, the holocaust and ourselves’. In this he noted that waiting times for such operations in China were a mere one to two weeks and the cost under a tenth of what is charged in the United States. He also drew attention to the fact that, on being incarcerated, members of Falun Gong are blood-tested. This is unlikely to be for their own good, but is most helpful if you are looking for a blood-group match for organ donation.

As McMillan-Scott pointed out: ‘What makes it even more ghoulish is that the Falun Gong are regarded as good quarry because they neither smoke nor drink.’ Transplanting the organs of executed criminals is one thing, but using the organs of the living one hoped belonged in science fiction.

McMillan-Scott has long campaigned against human-rights abuses in China. He last visited the country in May 2006 and ‘all the reformists I had contact with have been arrested, and at least three of them tortured’. Last August he talked from the same meeting room in which we were sitting to eco-dissident Hu Jia in Beijing by live phone link. On 29 January Hu Jia was convicted of subversion.

‘There are 1.3 billion Chinese, most of whom are desperately unhappy living under a corrupt, arbitrary and paranoid regime which is dangerous to them,’ he says. ‘It is a terror state.’ Particularly if you are a practitioner of Falun Gong. ‘They have been subjected to systematic repression,’ says McMillan-Scott. ‘Falun Gong are to the Chinese what the Jews were to the Nazis. And that’s an understatement.’

Perhaps. One way in which they are being treated worse is that they are prohibited from competing in the Games. Hitler, in contrast, allowed one half-Jewish fencer to represent Germany and excluded the rest. Helene Mayer won silver in the individual foil.

Comparisons with Berlin have seen Beijing labelled the Genocide Games. This term is somewhat melodramatic, although it does remind one of Chairman Mao’s massacre of 70 million of his citizens during the Cultural Revolution. It is a reminder that worse things happen behind closed doors than partially open ones and, grim and nasty as life is in China, it may be less grim and nasty than it was. In part, this is because of the Olympic Games. Playing host means you are open to scrutiny and Tibet, Darfur and transplant tourism are subjects up for discussion.

Limited aims may be achievable and last year the number of transplants decreased considerably following the passage of the Human Organ Transportation Act.

There is, however, only limited leverage that can be exerted because the total boycott the admirable McMillan-Scott demands is just not going to happen. This is because the Olympic Games, like US vice-president Dick Cheney, are more about commerce than politics. The defining modern Games, after all, came in 1996 when they shared a home with Coca-Cola. Once the sponsors take over, they become indelibly corporate. Spielberg and a few others excepted, the capitalist West will flock to Beijing to do what it always does – shift product.

– Original from Will Buckley’s blog at The Guardian

Posted in all Hot Topic, Beijing Olympics, China, Crime against humanity, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, Life, News, Opinion, Organ harvesting, People, politician, Politics, Report, Social, Sports, Tibetan, UK, World | Comments Off on ‘people are being killed for their organs’ while China ‘hosting an event to promote peace’

Power of the Olympics Boycott– Stop the suffering in China and Zimbabwe

Posted by Author on January 20, 2008

by Edward McMillan-Scott, the Yorkshire Post, UK, 18 January 2008-

THE Government wants it both ways on sport boycotts. It is trying to ban Zimbabwe’s cricket team from a UK tour but wants to hang on to Zimbabwe – and other sympathetic African countries especially South Africa – for the 2012 London Olympics.

In a world clamouring for democracy and the universal value of human rights, Britain could give a lead by arguing for a switch of all future games to Athens, home of the Olympics and a 2004 spectacular (and saving us £10 billion in the process) – as well as saying no to Zimbabwe’s cricketers.

Unlike sanctions, boycotts work and yes, sport, politics and religion are inevitably mixed.

“The situation in Zimbabwe is obviously deeply concerning. I think that bilateral cricket tours at the moment don’t send the right message about our concern”, foreign secretary David Miliband said the other week.

But in a House of Lords debate on human rights in China, in which Moscow Olympics silver medallist Lord Moynihan referred to my Beijing boycott campaign, government spokesman Lord Malloch-Brown sidestepped the issue, although every speaker referred to China’s ghastly record, of an order of magnitude greater than Zimbabwe’s.

The Mugabe regime has “cleared” nearly 100,000 homes, allowed mass hunger, destitution of the economy and is guilty of scores of deaths.

When ITV broadcast a series of horrifying reports from Zimbabwe last autumn, the government began all sorts of back-stairs deals, some through sports bodies, to put off the cricket tour.

The truth is that sport is now a high-profile commercial activity with an unprecedented impact on the public.

So much so that Pope Benedict recently gave football his blessing and said: “Soccer should increasingly become a tool for the teaching of life’s ethical and spiritual values”.

In 2001, making his pitch for the 2008 Olympics, bid spokesman Liu Jingmin argued that: “By allowing Beijing to host the games you will help the development of human rights”.

Even though article one of the Olympic Charter insists on “universal fundamental ethical principles” the crackdown by Beijing on dissidents and religions has continued with increased severity.

Last month, the European Parliament unanimously expressed “serious concern” and invited the IOC to make its own assessment of China’s compliance with its pledges. Maybe sponsors VISA, Coca Cola and Kodak could ask the questions.

On December 27, Hu Jia, an environmental activist who has publicised Beijing’s appalling air quality and the demolition of hundreds of thousands of homes to make way for the Olympics, was taken from his home by 20 policemen.

Another noted dissident, Christian human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng – sometimes called China’s Lech Walesa – has disappeared in similar circumstances after an open letter criticising Olympic corruption. I had been in regular contact with both.

Gao is best known for his report on the regime’s vast brutality against the Falun Gong “Buddha school” spiritual movement.

Harry Wu, an exiled dissident, runs a US research foundation which estimates that there are about 1,100 penal camps in China’s Laogai system with an estimated 6.8 million inmates, most detained without trial.

The UN’s torture specialist, Austrian jurist Manfred Nowak, says the majority are Falun Gong practitioners, being “re-educated” or tortured to recant. Survivors have told me of SS tactics.

At least 3,000 have died under torture since the crackdown on Falun Gong’s 70 million practitioners began in 1999 – for no other reason than its popularity as a health-promoting activity.

They are probably the reason why China is switching this month from executions by a shot in the head to lethal injections, as I am told this preserves prisoners’ bodies better as a quarry for the army’s lucrative organ transplant industry.

Would the 1936 Berlin Olympics have taken place if the world had known about the Nazi’s camps?

US Supreme Court judge Felix Frankfurter said of Jan Karski’s reports about the SS camps: “I did not say that this young man was lying. I said that I was unable to believe what he told me. There is a difference.”

It is time for the civilised world to wake up to what is really happening in the hidden China, a terror state like no other, which has killed some 80 million of its own people since 1949. Nor should we ignore China’s role in Sudan’s genocide or her support for other vile African regimes – like Zimbabwe.

An Olympic boycott was imposed against South Africa by the IOC itself in 1964 because of apartheid; it worked. In 1980, the US and 60 other countries boycotted the Moscow Olympics because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan; within three years the USSR was crumbling.

Those who argue against boycotts say that “being there” matters more: I disagree, it just gives comfort to tyrants.

In 1987, President Reagan bluntly told the South Korean junta that, unless it brought in democracy, the US would boycott the 1988 Seoul Olympics: democracy was introduced.

It is time to stop the humbug in this globalising world: sports boycotts work. And it is time to stop the suffering in both China and Zimbabwe.

Edward McMillan-Scott is Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber and is vice-president of the European Parliament and founder of the EU Democracy and Human Rights Initiative

– Original report from the Yorkshire Post: Edward McMillan-Scott: Power of the sports boycott

Posted in Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Human Rights, Law, News, Opinion, Politics, Report, Social, Spiritual, Sports, UK, World | Comments Off on Power of the Olympics Boycott– Stop the suffering in China and Zimbabwe

Chinese Reformers Address Human Rights in EU Parliament Press Conference

Posted by Author on October 13, 2007

Epoch Times Staff, Oct 10, 2007-

BRUSSELS— On the occasion of the ‘European Day Against the Death Penalty’ a press conference was organized in the European Parliament in Brussels, hosted by Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Willy Fautré from Human Rights Without Frontiers and Thomas Mann, MEP and Chairman of the EP Tibet group.

During the conference a live phone connection was setup with Hu Jia and with Li Baiguang, a human rights lawyer, in mainland China.

A renowned human rights and democracy activist, Hu Jia was recently nominated for the Sacharov prize by the Green faction in the European Parliament.

Edward McMillan-Scott: what’s your attitude towards human rights and the Olympic Games?

Hu Jia: The Chinese people hoped the Olympics would be an opportunity for China to become mainstream and more like other countries, but now the situation is going to the opposite side. The Chinese Communist Party has arrested many people in the name of the Olympic Games.

Therefore more and more people are saying “We want human rights, not Olympic Games.” An example of this is the case of Li Heping, who was arrested because he spoke out for “Human rights instead of Olympics.”

EM-S: Can you make a statement about the persecution of Gao Zhisheng and his family?

Hu: The persecution of Gao and his family is severe. The police officers follow Gao’s wife when she leaves the home.

EM-S: The 17th CCP Party Congress as well as the EU-China human rights dialogue will start October 15th. What are your comments on these events?

Hu: The Olympic Games have become a cover for human rights violations. The number of arrests has also peaked because of the 17th ccp party congress. These evil deeds should be condemned in the human rights dialogue.

Li Baiguang stressed “The Olympic Games are a peaceful and friendly gathering of humankind, not an opportunity to violate the human rights of the Chinese people.”

Different speakers highlighted the persecution several groups in China suffer today, less then 10 months before the Olympic Games. Willy Fautré, Director of the Brussels-based NGO, Human Rights Without Frontiers, said, “Heads of states and democratically-elected politicians should not accept any invitation from the Chinese authorities to the Beijing Olympics, while people in China are still being tortured. The world should focus on the real China, in which hundreds of thousands are being repressed because of their religious faith or belief.”

Edward McMillan-Scott released a letter at the press conference he wrote last week to the president of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert Poettering, in which he stated that he contacted the Secretariat of the International Criminal Court (ICC) regarding the cases of Gao Zhisheng, Li Heping and the thousands Falun Gong practitioners killed since the CCP’s persecution started in 1999.

The ICC has suggested that an official from the European Parliament should prepare a dossier for submission under the Genocide Convention.

– Original report from the Epochtimes: Chinese Reformers Address European Parliament Press Conference

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Social, Sports, UK, World | 1 Comment »

Vice-President of EU and Chinese activist call for original Olympic spirit restored

Posted by Author on August 21, 2007

News Release, by Edward Mr McMillan-Scott, Vice-President of the EuropeanEdward McMillan-Scott Parliament and leading European human rights and democracy champion, Via Human Rights Torch Rely Website, 16 August 2007

A senior Conservative MEP, who is urging European governments to debate a boycott of the Beijing Olympics for humanitarian reasons, has hit back at comments by British Olympic chief Simon Clegg who criticised his campaign as “absolutely extraordinary”.

Mr Edward McMillan-Scott (Yorkshire & Humber) – a Vice-President of the European Parliament and leading European human rights and democracy champion – last week presented a letter to Gordon Brown and has set up a website, which has so far received 80 per cent support.

To highlight the situation in China, McMillan-Scott invited a leading human rights campaigner to break new ground by contributing to a London press conference from an anonymous telephone in Beijing. Mr Hu Jia – who had been arrested for speaking to Time magazine last year – spoke through an interpreter in Hong Kong for over 40 minutes.

He said: “The abuse of human rights now is worse than 2001 when China was awarded the Olympics. These games have been kidnapped by the authorities – they do not belong to the Chinese people. The Chinese Communist Party is using the Olympics to violate citizens’ human rights through a crackdown on dissidents and environmental degradation. This goes against everything that the Olympic spirit stands for.”

McMillan-Scott said: “Hu Jia put himself in real danger by speaking with me in public with such clarity, compassion and courage. I hope that this demonstrates to the Olympic industry what is really happening in China. Nobody should forget the first article of the Olympic Charter insists on respect for universal fundamental ethical principles.”

Mr Jia is a close friend of the prominent human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng who was arrested on August 15 2006, and convicted of subversion. When Mr McMillan-Scott visited China in May 2006 he was due to see Gao Zhisheng and Hu Jia but was warned by Western diplomats that a meeting would place them in danger.

In any event, two former prisoners of conscience who the MEP had already met had been arrested – Cao Dong and Niu Jinping. The latter appealed on behalf of his wife, who has been tortured in Beijing’s women’s prison since 2005 to renounce her religious beliefs.

Mr McMillan-Scott gave details of the current condition of the prisoners and those responsible for their treatment. Both are practitioners of Falun Gong, a mystical Buddhist movement of some 100 million people. More than 3,000 have been tortured to death since 1999.

The MEP said: “Sadly these are not isolated cases. I have met many survivors of torture from China’s numerous ‘re-education through labour’ camps. I do not understand how the Olympic industry can turn a blind eye to what is going on. We would not have participated in the Berlin Olympics if we had known about the concentration camps in 1936, but the situation in China today is far worse.

“Pledges of reform were made to the Olympic industry by the Beijing regime in 2001 and have manifestly been ignored. It is time the original Olympic spirit – and not the commercial festival the games have become – was restored, including its commitment to respecting universal fundamental ethical principles.”

CONTACT: Andrew Lambert (01325) 363436

News Release from Human Rights Torch Rely Website, approved by Mr. Edward Mr McMillan-Scott

Posted in Activist, Beijing, Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Campaigns, China, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Falun Gong, Gao Zhisheng, Hong kong, Hu Jia, Human Rights, Labor camp, Law, Lawyer, News, People, Politics, Religion, Religious, Report, Spiritual, Sports, Torture, UK, World | Comments Off on Vice-President of EU and Chinese activist call for original Olympic spirit restored

Edward McMillan-Scott: We Should Shun Beijing Olympics in the Land of Genocide

Posted by Author on August 17, 2007

By Edward McMillan-Scott, via Yorkshire Post, UK, 13 August 2007-Edward McMillan-Scott

Edward McMillan-Scott (photo right) is a Conservative MEP for Yorkshire and Humber, a vice-president of the European Parliament and founded the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Initiative.

The year-long countdown to the 2008 Beijing Olympics was celebrated by the Chinese regime with a firework display in Tiananmen Square – the focus of the June 1989 massacre of thousands of human rights activists. Massed dancers performed under the bland portrait of Mao Tse-tung, who murdered without qualms more than 70 million of his own people, 38 million through starvation.

Outside China, numerous reports were produced by human rights organisations such as Amnesty International. Reporters without Borders said “despite the explicit undertakings it gave to the International Olympic Committee (IOC) in 2001, the Chinese government has done nothing to improve free expression or human rights in general…. Every year several thousand Chinese are executed in public, often in stadiums, by means of a bullet in the back of the neck or lethal injection”.

As I said following my visit to Beijing last year, when I met former prisoners of conscience, one of whom had shared a cell in one of China’s vast detention camps with Tiananmen activists, “the civilised world must shun China”.

Simon Clegg, chief executive of the British Olympic Association, has said he would not succumb to pressure from human rights groups or politicians over participation in what promises to be the most controversial Games since the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics.

However, this view that sport and politics don’t mix defies the Olympic Charter itself. Article 1 says it “seeks to create a way of life based on the joy of effort, the educational value of good example and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles”, surely the most universal of which is the UN Human Rights Charter.

It was the IOC itself which decided to exclude South Africa from the Games in 1964 as part of a world-wide campaign against apartheid. So I make no apology for urging our Prime Minister to begin a debate across the EU about a possible boycott of the Beijing Games. The EU’s foreign policy claims to be the promotion of human rights and democracy.

Gordon Brown, with the help of French President Nicolas Sarkozy and with all-party support at home, has shown a new foreign policy activism by making the genocide in Darfur his first priority. It is Chinese support for the murderous Sudanese government which has led Mia Farrow to call the Beijing Games the “Genocide Olympics”.

But there is still genocide inside China. Hundreds of thousands are in “administrative detention”. The world’s biggest country is becoming explosive, with tensions arising from huge distortions in wealth leading to corruption, a collapsing environment and universal repression of any dissent. A leaked official report said that some 90,000 impromptu demonstrations in rural areas took place within a recent 12-month period. These were primarily against expropriation of land and corrupt officialdom.

China’s economic boom is causing massive environmental degradation. The air in Beijing is appalling. Even Jacques Rogge, president of the IOC, acknowledged that Beijing’s air pollution could force outdoor events to be abandoned.

The crackdown on religions is a brutal mistake from the regime’s standpoint, as it will lead, in my view, to its collapse. In any event, it is of fundamental importance in the coming period. Recently, Beijing has modified its policy by promoting a “patriotic” or authorised Buddhism.

This is possibly in recognition of the role of religions in bringing down the Soviet Union – Catholics in Poland and Protestants elsewhere across Eastern Europe who had simply had enough. Faith cannot be killed.

The Vatican has until now accepted the appointment of its senior clerics by the Communist Party of China but is becoming restive; several million Catholics secretly appoint their own bishops. Underground Anglican churches, too, abound. Muslims have been shot for “separatism” and those with passports have had them removed this year, to prevent them from making the Haj.

Patient and proud, Tibetans have suffered humiliation since Chinese troops occupied their lovely country in 1951. Beijing rules with a heavy hand, enforcing strict controls on religious activity. It routinely vilifies the 71-year-old Dalai Lama, and imprisoned his chosen successor, the “soul boy”. Beijing has recently sacked hundreds of Tibetan officials and replaced them with Han loyalists.

The Falun Gong movement, a spiritual Buddhist group, has had the worst treatment after it grew in only seven years of existence to 100 million adherents. Over 3,000 Falun Gong have been tortured to death since 1999 by a regime which demands that they recant.

Survivors have told me that they are the only prisoners who get a health check. Why? One had seen his friend’s cadaver in the prison hospital with holes where body parts had been removed. China’s booming organ transplant industry – run by the People’s Liberation Army – is harvesting Falun Gong prisoners’ vital organs to order. They sell at a premium as practitioners neither drink nor smoke.

The Genocide Convention refers to any acts “committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group”. Tragically, China today abounds in examples of continuing internal genocide. Let us give the regime until Christmas to put the past aside, or we must apply the Olympic spirit and shun their Games.

– Original report from : Edward McMillan-Scott: We should shun these Olympics in a land of genocide

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Prime Minister of UK Urged To Boycott 2008 China Olympics

Posted by Author on August 10, 2007

Press Association, Via The Guardian, UK, August 9, 2007-

Gordon Brown has been urged to start a Europe-wide debate on whether athletes should boycott the Beijing Olympics in response to human rights abuses.

Senior Tory MEP Edward McMillan-Scott claimed there was evidence of “persecution and genocide” in China and said EU countries should consider pulling out of the Games.

Mr McMillan-Scott, MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber and a vice-president of the European Parliament, raised the issue of a human rights boycott following a visit to China in 2006.

He said: “There is continuing evidence of persecution, and even genocide, in China.

“The civilised world must seriously consider shunning China – and using the Beijing Olympics to send the clear message that such abuses of human rights are not acceptable.

“The debate must take place – whether the countries of the European Union are present at the Beijing Olympics or whether they stay away.”

Mr McMillan-Scott added: “I believe that everyone has the right to practise a religion of their choice without persecution, imprisonment or torture.

“Christians, Buddhists – especially in Tibet – and Muslims are all persecuted.

“Human rights should be endorsed by the Olympic movement, and it is time for the European Union to enter the debate.”

Mr McMillan-Scott is to deliver a letter to Mr Brown calling for him to initiate a debate among European leaders.

Copyright (c) Press Association Ltd. 2007, All Rights Reserved.

– Report from The Guardian : Brown urged to boycott Olympics

Posted in Beijing Olympics, Boycott Beijing Olympics, Buddhism, China, Christianity, Edward McMillan-Scott, Europe, Genocide, Human Rights, Law, News, People, Politics, Religion, Social, Sports, Tibetan, World | 2 Comments »

Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott: Support 24 Million Brave Chinese Quit the CCP

Posted by Author on July 25, 2007

Letter to Rally support 24 million Chinese quit the CCP, from Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice president of EU, on Jul. 20, 2007-Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott

First of all, I congratulate all of those who have today traveled from various parts of the world to Washington DC to show your support for this rally.

Today marks the 8th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong in China by the Chinese Communist regime. Up until now, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in
China have suffered terribly as a result of the regime’s brutal dictatorship, in addition to many Christians, Catholics, Tibetans and human rights defenders also. Sadly, the constant intimidation and harassment by public security personnel of human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng is to name but one.

Having committed such horrible crimes and embodying an evil that can only be considered unpardonable, the Chinese Communist Party is destined to collapse. The West should support the defense of Chinese people’s rights and freedoms and turn its back on the economic illusion being peddled by the CCP.

I support the 24 million brave Chinese who have quit the CCP and its affiliates and encourage more to do the same. We in the West are with the Chinese people and support any actions that will end this communist regime in a peaceful way. The West welcomes a new China that is without communism. This is a China that the Chinese people both long for and deserve.

I wish the rally every success.

Edward McMillan-Scott

Original letter and Chinese translation available from The Epochtimes report

20% Member Resigned, Chinese Communist Party Collapsing , July 23rd, 2007
Photos: Parade Celebrates 24 Million Chinese Quit the Communist Party, July 20th, 2007

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Speech on Forum: A Closer Look into China

Posted by Author on December 10, 2006

by Edward McMillan-Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament, at New York Summit Forum “China’s Global Strategy and Inner Crisis,” organized by The Future China Forum , The SecretChina News, and co-organized by The Epoch Times, the Wei Jingsheng Foundation, Sound-of-Hope Radio Network, New Tang Dynasty TV, and The Beijing Spring Magazine, at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on November 10.

Transcript of Mr. McMillan-Scott’s Speech on 11/10/06 NY Forum:

Thank you Sen, very much indeed, and thank you to the other introductory speakers. I was with Tony a few weeks ago in Australia, and I was delighted to meet John Nania yesterday in New York.

Perhaps I should explain my own position in relation to China and its future and religious freedom. I’m a Conservative member of the European Parliament, I was elected in 1984, and I set up in 1992 the European Initiative for Democracy and Human Rights, which is a program aimed originally at transforming the ex-Soviet bloc. And in 1996, I was appointed by the European Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee as the Rapporteur, that’s to say, the coordinator of an opinion, on EU-China relations.

At that time, the EU and China sought to establish a full relationship, which was primarily concerned with trade, but also looked at human rights, and established a human rights dialogue. I visited China on a number of occasions, and wrote a very critical report of the state of human rights in China, and the complete absence of political freedom. I was concerned, at that time, about rights, in particular religious beliefs. And so, that’s the personal background.

Only one other remark: My previous contact with China was absolutely zero. My uncle was killed by the Chinese in Korea, and he has no known grave, and for six months his family knew nothing of his fate. But that is entirely typical of the absence of concern about individuals that characterizes the Communist regime in China, which has been in existence since I was born in August 1949.

A few months ago earlier this year, the nature of relationships between civilized countries and China suffered something of a shock. We had all been aware, those of us who deal in human rights and democracy and religious freedom, of the crackdown by the Chinese regime of the Falun Gong practice in China dated from the 10th of July, 1999, and the very brutal repression, which the practitioners had suffered. But a new dimension began in March of this year, when reports of organ harvesting began to emerge here in the United States and elsewhere in the world. And since I am currently preparing a review of the programs on democracy and human rights I set up in 1992, I was very pleased to take the opportunity of a visit to Beijing, Hong Kong, and Taiwan: a fact-finding visit in May that Sen has referred to, since it offered me an opportunity first-hand to look into these allegations.

I arrived in Beijing in May, and immediately went with a Falun Gong practitioner who had helped arrange a meeting to a hotel nearby. And in that hotel, in a bedroom, I met two former prisoners of the regime.

Niu Jingping is in his 50s, and he was there with his 2-and-a-half year old daughter from his second marriage. He told me that his wife—his second wife—was in prison in Beijing; that she was also a Falun Gong practitioner; and was being tortured for her beliefs in order to encourage her to renounce her practice. He said that she was black and blue over the whole of her body as a result of repeated beatings, that she had become deaf as a result of this torture, and that visiting days were often advised to him after the visiting day had taken place. He told me that her treatment was very typical of Falun Gong practitioners who are detained in China and suffering political reeducation. I asked him whether he had heard of reports of organ harvesting, and he said he had not.

I then spoke to Cao Dong, a young man in his 30s, a former tour guide in Beijing. And he too had been married, his wife had been in prison as well. And he had been in prison in northern China, and his marriage had then broken up. He too had suffered very harsh treatment in prison, and had been forced to make tourist goods for export. But what was significant about this young man, was when I asked him about organ harvesting.

I don’t think I need to tell you in this audience what organ harvesting is, but just for the clarification, it is a widespread practice in China to execute prisoners and then to sell their organs for transplant—livers, kidneys, lungs, and other organs. What is new is the systematic use of Falun Gong practitioners as a resource, the body parts for organs.

I asked Cao Dong whether he was aware of such reports, and he told me that he, while he was in prison, had a good friend, his buddy, who disappeared in one evening in the prison in northern China; he’d been there for four years. And the next time he saw his friend, it was his body—his cadaver—with holes where apparently body parts had been removed. Now that is a direct report, you can say evidence if you like, of the removal of body parts from a prisoner, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner.

I later discovered that it is only Falun Gong practitioners, who while imprisoned in China, always have blood tests, urine tests, and blood pressure tests. And these tests are not done for their own health; they are done for another purpose. And that purpose we believe to be the use of their body parts for profits.

I regret to say that after that meeting, everybody present, apart from myself and my assistant, were arrested. Steve, the American who had helped arrange the meeting, was deported. Niu Jingping, the elder man, was held for a week and questioned, and then released with his daughter. Cao Dong, the younger man, remains in prison to this day. He has apparently been charged with a criminal offense—in China—of disseminating Falun Gong material.

During the course of this four-day visit to Beijing, I had been advised that I should meet a very distinguished individual in China today, Mr. Gao Zhisheng. Gao Zhisheng is a Christian, who is a self-taught lawyer, and he has represented many cases of people who he believes are victims of human rights abuses in China. These include people with property problems, and people who’ve had religious pressure, including Falun Gong practitioners. As a matter of fact, he knew of Niu Jingping, because they had been in telephone contact. However, I was advised by the EU ambassadors that to meet Gao Zhisheng would be harmful to Gao Zhisheng. And so, I decided I’d better not, since by that time I already knew that everybody had been arrested whom I’d already met.

I left China and went to Hong Kong. When I was in Hong Kong, I addressed a Forum like this. And a friend of my family, who happened to be passing by, saw my name on the billboard, and came in and said, “I admire what you’re doing!” He’s a journalist with Hong Kong Radio, an Englishman. He said, “A few months ago, a friend of mine needed a new liver. And he called the hospital in Shenzhen, and the hospital in China said, ‘Come right over. We can find you a liver. It’ll probably take about a week.'” In the U.K., the average time to get a new liver would be anything from eight months onwards. In China today, it’s a matter of eight days.

Many of you may know the two Canadians, David Kilgour and David Matas: David Kilgour, a former Minister, Secretary of State for Asian Affairs, a lawyer, and a human rights specialist; and David Matas, a distinguished human rights attorney. They began to collect the available evidence of organ harvesting earlier this year. In early summer, they produced a report, which brought together all the available evidence of organ harvesting. They established 18 methods of proof. And I traveled to Australia and New Zealand recently with David Kilgour. We met a number of politicians. In Australia, we were fortunate enough in securing the commitments from both the opposition and the government of an international inquiry into organ harvesting. This I look forward to seeing on the table.

After I left Beijing, I organized a telephone call with Gao Zhisheng. And this took place the week after I returned to the U.K. We spoke for more than an hour and a half. Gao Zhisheng said how he had been treated by the regime: His law office had been closed, he was under house arrest since February, and he said, “Down below in my apartment block, there are a number of policemen drinking beer. When I go out, they kick me. They abuse me. They treat me like a dog, but I’m used to this. I can put up with it.” He said, “I want you to tell the world, that when people come to Beijing, they should do like you have done. They should meet former prisoners and people who have been oppressed by the regime. It is only if people outside China stand up for those within that we will begin to defeat this tyranny.”

Mr. Chairman, it’s an honor to share a platform with Wei Jingsheng, one of the greatest exponents of human rights and freedom in China, who I have met before on a number of occasions. I pay tribute to his massive political courage and personal courage. I knew he’d understand how distressed I was, when, on August 15 (as it happened, my birthday), Gao Zhisheng was arrested. He was taken away to an unknown place; we now believe he’s in Beijing somewhere. He was later charged on September 29 with subversion. That is the current state of play.

Now, I have made a number of representations, primarily within the EU, about the fate of Cao Dong and Gao Zhisheng. I have tried to raise the nature of their detentions as typical of the hundreds of thousands of people in China today who are imprisoned for their beliefs, whether political or religious, who are being tortured, and whose human rights are completely ignored.

I’m here in New York as part of a delegation of the European Parliament to meet with figures of the United Nations. It’s part of the routine series of visits every year, in the context of the General Assembly of the United Nations. I believe strongly in forceful representation. I don’t believe that diplomacy can work with a country like China, or indeed a country like Egypt—there are many around the world. I was in Cuba last week, where similar tyranny applies.

But sometimes you need to take advantage of the meetings you have. And this morning, I met Kofi Annan, the outgoing Secretary-General of the United Nations. I handed him the following letter. Now, I’m going to read it to you; it’s not very long:

*************************** Dear Mr. Annan,

I traveled, as rapporteur for the review of the EU’s Democracy and Human Rights Instrument, which I founded in 1992, to China, Hong Kong and Taiwan on 21–29 May 2006 on a fact-finding mission, in particular to investigate claims of organ harvesting.

On 21 May in Beijing I held a meeting with Mr. Cao Dong, a Falun Gong practitioner, who had been ‘administratively detained’ for his religious beliefs. He said he had seen his friend’s cadaver with holes where parts had apparently been removed. He had discharged his sentence and was guilty of no crime. Following this meeting, he was arrested.

I have recently learned that he is still being detained by the Chinese public authorities, has been transferred to Gansu province and is being held in the Public Security Bureau detention center charged with ‘producing Falun Gong material’ on September 29, 2006.

During my time in Beijing, I sought a meeting with the distinguished human rights attorney Mr. Gao Zhisheng, but was advised against this by several embassies on the grounds of his safety. Over the past years Gao Zhisheng has developed an international reputation for his courageous stand on religious freedom: he has represented Falun Gong practitioners, members of underground churches, and victims of forced evictions.

On 4 June, I spoke to him at some length on the telephone. On August 15, he was arrested, has been charged with ‘subversion’ by the regime and is being held in Beijing.

I would like to request your personal intervention with the Chinese authorities to call for the release of both of these men.

Yours Sincerely,

Edward McMillan-Scott ***************************

Now I hope, Mr. Chairman, that Mr. Annan and I, in our discussion, had raised the question of human rights in China, and described China as a “difficult country.” That is the terminology in the European Union, that we define countries like Cuba, or China, or Burma. But it was a different terminology in the United Nations. For understandable reasons, China is a key player within the United Nations; it is known as a “complex environment.” And that phrase disguises the most massive and longstanding infringement of personal human rights in modern times—since 1949, the oppressive, brutal, arbitrary, and paranoid regime, which currently runs the largest country on Earth. (… read more)

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