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Monday, 27 October 2014
Page: 12134

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Mr SIMPKINS (Cowan) (16:15): It is my privilege to present a petition of 4,487 names drawing the attention of the House to Falun Gong and the concern of the petitioners that practitioners of Falun Gong are being persecuted in China and calling for the Australian government to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. I was approached by the principal petitioner, Dr Albert Lin, and another practitioner. They told me that Falun Gong is a peaceful meditation practice and that it is based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Despite this philosophy and such principles, since 1999 the Chinese government has been persecuting them in China. The persecution they spoke of included imprisonment on nebulous or other false charges, and once in jail many were subjected to forced» «organ» «harvesting» that resulted in their deaths. The basis of that allegation is the investigative reports published by the former Canadian Secretary of State, David Kilgour, and human rights lawyer David Matas.

I know we always raise the persecution of Falun Gong in the annual human rights dialogue that we have with China. I am also aware that the government believes there is insufficient credible evidence to support Falun Gong's specific allegations. Yet these are matters that should continue to be put to China in such forums as the dialogue as it is in that way that progress is made.

I conclude by thanking Dr Lin for bringing this issue to my attention and for gathering together the many people who signed the petition, which I now table.

The petition read as follows—

To the Honourable The Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives

This petition of certain citizens and residents of Australia draws to the attention of the House that Falun Gong is a peaceful meditation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners in China have been subjected to the most brutal and relentless persecution by the Chinese Communist regime since July 1999.

According to investigative reports published by human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific David Kilgour, a large number of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to «forced» «organ» «harvesting for China's transplant market and lost their lives ( ).

We therefore ask the House to request the Prime Minister and the Foreign Minister to openly and forthrightly call for an immediate end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

from 4,487 citizens

Petition received.