Thu, Jan 04, 2007 - Page 8 News List

Letter: Falun Gong just the start

By Marie Beaulieu

I strongly disagree with Charles Liu's views about Falun Gong muddling facts (Letters, Dec. 29, page 8).

Why is Beijing's abysmal track record in the spotlight lately? It is not surprising, especially with the news of Beijing officials profiting from live organ harvesting from Falun Gong members. Investigative reports maintain that it has been going on since 2000.

The world response to what Kilgour-Matas have condemned has been encouraging, with a recent hearing in a US Congressional sub-committee and Amnesty International's New Zealand branch calling for further investigation.

The Taiwanese, Finnish and Australian governments, as well as the European Parliament, have backed the allegations. But so far China hasn't granted permission to any international observers to probe the allegations. On the contrary Beijing arrested and silenced the human rights lawyer, Gao Zhisheng (高智晟), who extended an invitation to the Kilgour-Matas research team.

For such an abhorrent practice to be allowed to take place in the 21st century is unacceptable. By all means, China should be held accountable for such crimes against humanity. In the run-up to the 2008 Olympics it would be in China's best interest to live up to the promises they made to secure the games -- that is, to improve their rights record.

With the recent shooting of Tibetans at the border, intensified crackdown on human rights lawyers along with tightened Internet and press censorship, not to mention widespread corruption, China's rights record is in decline. It is clear that this long list of violations, including organ harvesting, has put Beijing apologists on the spot leaving them with very little to say.

Marie Beaulieu

Victoria, Canada

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