European Parliament Hearing on China Human Rights Abuses Held in Brussels

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On the afternoon of November 26, 2007, the European Parliament held a hearing in Brussels on China Human Rights Issues. The hearing was hosted by Ms. Helene Flautre, Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee of the European Parliament. Over 200 people attended the hearing.

The European Parliament hearing on China Human Rights issues November 26, 2007

Chairperson of the Human Rights Committee Ms. Helene Flautre of European Parliament

Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott

Well-known Chinese human rights advocate Mr. Hu Jia, candidate for the European Parliament Human Rights Award, spoke via telephone and answered questions from the Parliament Members. Hu said that millions of innocent Chinese people were being beaten, jailed, or even sent to mental hospitals. The international community and the Chinese people expected the Olympics to be an opportunity for China to improve in the areas of democracy, freedom, and law, openness and peace. But the Chinese Communist Party wants to use the Olympics like the Nazis did in 1936--to justify its dictatorship and tyranny and to legalize its authority. Working toward its goals, the Chinese Communist Party is committing numerous human rights violations, which are reaching new heights.

Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott read a written statement from Mr. Yuan Hongbin, a Chinese judicial consul now living in Australia. In his statement, Yuan noted that the Chinese Communist Party Officials Group is the largest criminal group in human history. Their crimes have included enslaving people, murder, genocide, and the widespread use of torture. The politically motivated persecution of Falun Gong, started at the end of the last century, has already lasted for eight years. It is the most miserable human rights disaster in the modern world. The Party's flowers and cheers, based as they are on human rights violations, are insults to the Olympic spirit.

Researcher Mr. Phelim Kine from China Human Rights Watch pointed out that, in 2001, the International Olympic Committee stated that the Olympics would help China to improve its human rights. But since the Chinese Communist Party won the right to host the 2008 Olympics, many more human rights violations have occurred.

Ms. Sharon Hom, Executive Director of China Human Rights, emphasized the Chinese Communist Party's "blacklist" with regard to participation in the Olympics. Ms. Flautre turned to ask Mr. Pal Schmitt (who is on the Council of the International Olympic Committee) about why Falun Gong practitioners are not allowed to participate in the Olympics. She said that this was not acceptable.

Mr. McMillan-Scott said he had met several Chinese people in Beijing last year. Soon after, these people, including attorney Gao Zhisheng, were jailed. Two people were tortured in jail by the Beijing authorities. One of them was Ms. Zhang Lianying, because he had met with her husband. Another one was Mr. Cao Dong, who is now jailed in northern China. In Chinese forced labor institutions, he continued, millions of people--many of them Falun Gong practitioners--are forced to produce toys for export. The human rights situation in China is deteriorating and the persecution is still going on. There is evidence that over 3000 Falun Gong practitioners have died as a direct result torture. This is the real China. It is time for the International Community to wake up. The International Olympic Committee must take the responsibility to verify whether or not China has carried out its 2001 promise based on the Olympic Constitution and basic ethics and morality.

International Olympic Committee Council member, former Olympic Gold medal winner, and member of the European Parliament Mr. Pal Schmitt said, "We shall not turn our heads away from all of this." He said he would report to the International Olympic Committee. He believed that it was time for the International Olympic Committee to make an announcement. In the past, the Committee took similar measures against South Africa on the issue of segregation, so the Committee should do this again.

At its conclusion, Ms. Helene Flautre said she regretted that the representative from Chinese Embassy was absent. The Human Rights Committee would contact them. She said that the Human Rights Committee and the European Parliament must put pressure on Beijing to take proper measures to protect human rights in China before the Olympics.