China: Canadian Activists Mobilised
Canadian human rights activists mobilised yesterday on the 18th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre, calling for sanctions and international pressure on
Below are extracts from an article written by Madalina Hubert and published by the Epoch Times:
Eighteen years after the massacre of students in
This is the message conveyed not just by rights activists, but also by members of parliament from
Organized by the China Rights Network—a coalition of groups concerned about human rights there—the forum's focus was on Canada-China bilateral relations, particularly on
"A lot of the media like to use the excuse that if we talk about human rights, it would hurt trade, my point is that this is not the case," said NDP MP Olivia Chow.
It's very important to talk about
Conservative MP Scott Reid praised Prime Minister Stephen Harper's stance on supporting human rights in
"As we know from international trade, all the power is on the side of the country that is running the trade deficit," Reid said.
In 2006, when Prime Minister Harper first spoke out on Chinese human rights,
Based on these facts, Reid rejected the idea that speaking out on human rights harms trade. "It suggests to me that this is a red herring."
"The economic relationships we have are more important to
Distinguishing the Party From the People
"Like everybody seated in this room today [4 June 2007], I have the highest admiration for the people of
He stressed the importance of distinguishing between
The Rights Now! Forum addressed many of the human rights abuses in
The prominent case of Huseyin Celil, the Uyghur-Canadian imprisoned in
Speaking out Can Make a Difference
While representing traditionally rival Canadian parties, the three MPs agreed on the importance of taking a stance on human rights abuses in
"All of us have the same concerns, notwithstanding which party we belong to—what we perhaps differ on is the approach and perhaps the energy that we put in towards some of these issues," said Liberal MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj
"We need to stay engaged, we need to speak out", said NDP MP Olivia Chow, calling for a respectful way for
"That small action shows that when we are united, we can in fact have an impact, sometimes small, sometimes large on the human rights situation in China," said Reid.
Boycotting the Olympics?
The upcoming 2008 Olympic Games in
When addressing the possibility of an Olympic boycott, David Kilgour asked all to be understanding of the hard work of Olympic athletes but emphasized the fact that there is agreement among different organizations, such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch that human rights have deteriorated in
"If the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will not push harder the host government than it has to improve human rights in
"We did not know about Hitler's Holocaust before the Berlin Olympics in 1936, but the international committee does know what the government of
"We should be under no illusions. We should know that
"Human dignity is ultimately indivisible today just as it was in the 1930s," concluded David Kilgour.
The Rights Now! Forum was followed by a vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate to commemorate the eighteenth anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre.