Fri, Jun 15, 2007 - Page 4 News List

Worldwide human-rights torch relay plan announced

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG) announced plans yesterday to send a "human-rights torch" around the world and called for a boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics to condemn human-rights abuses in China.

Democratic Progressive Party Legislator William Lai (賴清德), president of CIPFG's Asian chapter, said individuals or organizations that support the protest will be able to sign up online to welcome the torch.

The torch relay plan was simultaneously announced in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong yesterday, Lai said.

"So far, organizations or individuals in dozens of cities across five continents have signed up to welcome the torch," he said. "We assure you that, at the very minimum, the torch will pass through as many cities across the five continents."

A detailed route and itinerary will be announced later, he said.

A Chinese Falun Gong practitioner told reporters at the press conference that her children are still being harassed in China because of her beliefs.

Nie Shuwen (聶淑文), who was a cardiologist at a Shanghai hospital, said she has been barred from returning to China because she practices Falun Gong.

"Although I escaped the persecution of the Chinese Communist Party, they often harass my children in Shanghai," Nie said.

Organ harvesting in China was another topic discussed at the news conference.

"The purpose of organ donation technology is to help people, but now, because it's killing people through misuse, I have to stand up against it as a doctor," said Kuo Cheng-tien (郭正典), a physician at Taipei Veterans General Hospital. "Every individual in the world ... should stand up and speak against it [live organ harvesting]."

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