By Kellie Scott
A GROUP of Melbourne-based Chinese protesters hit the streets of Sale and Lakes Entrance last week in an attempt to rally locals into signing a petition against China’s live organ trade.
Group spokesman Kun Wang said in China practitioners of Falun Gong, and other religions banned by the communist government, were arrested and then subjected to severe and continuous beating until they agreed to forsake their religion.
He said people were told that if they converted religions they would be released.
People who refused, he said, were beaten further and had their organs harvested for sale in international hospitals, for the profit of the communist regime.
“China may be economically strong but its human rights and religious freedoms are horrible,” he said.
He said what was happening amounted to torture, even without its connection to the live organ trade.
Kun Wang said he could not return to his homeland.
“I can’t go back to China; I can’t see my parents or friends if I want to continue to practice my religion,” he said.
He said he was afraid he too would be detained by police if he was caught practicing Falun Gong.
The group hoped, Kun Wang said, that Australians would sign their petitions and join them in their protest.
Kun Wang said the group was making its way from Melbourne to Canberra to take part in a larger rally, one he hoped Australians would join.
He said he hoped the protest would help pressure the Chinese government to stop the barbaric practice of live organ trade and other human rights abuses.
He said he also wanted to raise awareness of the Falun Gong religion.
Falun Gong is a spiritual religion, based on Buddhist practices and Taoist traditions, which was introduced to China in 1992.
It promotes the unity of mind and body and teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.
In October 1999, Falun Gong was declared to be an ‘heretical organisation’ by the communist government and outlawed.
This came months after a nationwide crackdown and multifaceted propaganda campaign.
Internet access to websites which mention Falun Gong have been blocked in China since the late 1990s as a result.
At the time, according to Kun Wang, the religion was practiced by 100 million people in China.
Kun Wang said he had been in Australia for two years.
For more information about the group’s protest visit the website, www.organharvestinvestigation.net