BRUSSELS, Belgium—After a morning of pouring rain, the skies cleared for the welcoming ceremony for the Human
The Human Rights Torch, which started its five-continent trek in Athens, Greece on August 9, arrived in Brussels, the administrative capital of the EU, on September 28. Brussels is the Torch's twelfth stop. The torch brings with it the message that human rights violations cannot continue in
The Torch Relay was initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG.) Many think the persecution of Falun Gong, affecting one hundred million practitioners, and involving torture, murder, and organ theft, is the worst human rights violation happening in China. CIPFG started the Torch Relay to tell the world about the persecution of Falun Gong, Christianity, Islam, democracy and freedom of belief, assembly and expression by the Chinese Communist Party.
Mr. Petitjean, local CIPFG representative, said in the opening speech: "The 2008 Olympics are less then 12 months away while according to reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights
He added "The torch relay is aimed at urging the international community to boycott the Olympic games in Beijing as we believe hosting the
One of the Belgian Torch Relay ambassadors, Senator Vankrunkelsven, who carried out his own investigation into illegal organ transplanting in China in 2006, stressed in his speech the ongoing human rights violations in China. "The Chinese regime will use the Olympics for their image, while we should not cease to use this opportunity to expose the real situation in China," Vankrunkelsven stated.
The ongoing persecution in China was sadly illustrated by this week's arrest of renowned human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng in China, because of his open letter to the U.S. congress. Therefore the participants of the Torch Relay in
The list of support statements from political and cultural personalities presented at the ceremony was extensive. "I hereby announce that I will support CIPFG's Global Human Rights Torch Relay. We will join all those who stand up for justice, and together we will light the torch and let the brightness of justice illuminate all corners of our world," one of the Belgian mayors wrote.