Friday, May 30, 2008

Join in the Global Human Rights Torch Relay

Open Invitation to join in the Global Human Rights Torch Relay

As the Global Human Rights Torch Relay arrives in our country we cordially invite you to our event aiming to draw attention to the Communist China’s worsening human rights abuses and to press for change in advance of the Beijing Olympic Games.

China was honoured with hosting the 2008 Summer Olympics on condition that it would improve its horrific human rights record ahead of the games. Yet according to reports from the United Nations and media and human rights organizations worldwide, its rights abuses have in fact substantially increased. Recent reports of large-scale arrests of Falun Gong practitioners—1,878 in two months—indicate yet another attempt to stamp out the spiritual group before the games. The killings of Tibetans and intensified crackdown on human rights defenders over the past months also testify to the urgency of the situation.

In light of this, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG) initiated the Human Rights Torch Relay (HRTR), a year-long international effort to put the spotlight on the regime’s human rights violations. The relay, which is travelling to 40 countries and through 150 cities, consists of concerned individuals, athletes, church leaders, government officials, civic and religious groups, as well as non-profit organizations committed to defending universal human rights.

Through grassroots events, the HRTR group speaks out against China’s systematic persecution and organ harvesting of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners and its atrocities against Tibetans, Christians, Uyghurs, democracy advocates, human rights supporters, journalists, lawyers, and other groups. The relay also provides an opportunity to expose the regime’s support of rogue regimes that perpetrate slaughter upon their citizens, including Sudan (Darfur), Burma, Zimbabwe, and North Korea. The fascist regime in Beijing persists in demonstrating the utmost contempt for the principles of peace and human dignity espoused in the Olympic Charter.

The HRTR began in Athens last August and has toured 30 countries on four continents to date. The torch receiving ceremony will include the traditional Olympics run with a symbolic torch along with speakers, information displays, music performances, petition signing, and press conferences.

We would be honored if you would join the event and add your voice, with an emphasis on your stand for human rights, to that of the elected officials, human rights advocates, and other concerned citizens who support human rights in China.

Through our combined efforts, perhaps we can bring the true Olympic spirit to the Chinese people. Please visit for more information about the global HRTR.



CIPFG was established in 2006 to investigate the largest and most extensive human rights violation in China today, the persecution of the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. Tens of millions of Falun Gong followers suffered serious abuses at the hands of the Communist regime since the persecution started in 1999.

o At least 3,145 practitioners are confirmed to have been killed in the persecution of Falun Gong. The real number of deaths and other casualties could be shockingly higher.

o In March 2006 the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture stated that 66% of all alleged torture victims in China were Falun Gong practitioners. Another UN report states: “The cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description.”

o The US State Department 2006 Annual Report indicated that Falun Gong adherents may constitute “half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates in reeducation-through-labor camps,” while the real number could be much higher.

o According to an independent report by Hon. David Kilgour and well-known human rights lawyer David Matas, over 40,000 human organ transplants have beenunaccounted for in China in six years and it is feared that unwilling Falun Gong adherents were killed for the source of the organs.

o 1,878 Falun Gong practitioners were reported to have been arrested in the first two months of 2008, clearly another attempt to stamp out the spiritual group before the Olympics.

HRTR has been joined by thousands of international government officials, past Olympic medalists, and individuals and organizations from around the world with the hope of bringing an end to all human rights abuses against people in China.

The Torch is a symbol of respect for humanity, and represents justice and hope. It is carrying this message to cities around the world.

CIPFG welcomes all individuals and organizations to join the effort and spread the word that, “The Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot coexist in China.

CIPFG hopes the relay will help stop terrible crimes, help to protect the integrity of the Olympic spirit, and help protect the dignity of all human beings.

Join the CIPFG group:

Friday, May 23, 2008

Human Rights Torch Comes to Vancouver May 25

MWC: Vancouver - Activists will take to the streets and focus attention on human rights abuses in China before the Beijing Olympics when the "human rights torch" arrives in Vancouver on May 25.

Initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), Apaak Clement said, the torch relay is not looking to cause problems or interruptions. “It’s a very peaceful group who are against human rights violations. They’ve got lots of support from world leaders.”

The Human Rights Torch Relay is a global grassroots effort to raise awareness of the Chinese communist regime's human rights abuses. It strongly condemns the Chinese regime’s ruthless crackdown in Tibet; the underwriting of genocide in Darfur; the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong and arrest of nearly 2,000 followers since January 1; its support of corrupt regimes in Burma, N. Korea and Zimbabwe; and persecution of Christians, lawyers, reporters and all who have become ‘prisoners of the Olympics’ as a consequence of China’s pre-Olympic whitewash.

The message behind the relay, Clement said, is that “the Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co-exist in China.” Since it was lit on Aug. 9, 2007, in Athens, Greece, the torch has traveled to 115 cities across the world; Vancouver is its last stop in Canada.

“We invite everyone concerned with human rights in China to join in the relay at the Art Gallery, Georgia Plaza. We will start at noon with speeches from VIPs followed by the Torch Walk and a celebration with 4 local bands interspersed with speeches from NGOs and wrap up around 5pm”, Clement said.

He stressed that it is not “a campaign against the people of China. This is just [protesting] the government’s role in human rights abuses. This is supporting the people of China.”

The relay, which follows the Olympic torch relay route in some areas, plans to span five continents, 40 countries and 150 cities.

Since May 4, the torch has traveled throughout Canada from Halifax to Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg.

Global Human Rights Torch Relay
Vancouver Art Gallery ~ Georgia St. Side
May 25, 12pm-5pm

12pm – 1pm - Torch Receiving Ceremony

  • Apaak Clement, MC
  • Goddess of Freedom

Guest Speakers:

· Bill Siksay, Member of Parliament

  • David Matas, International Human Rights Lawyer

  • Simma Holt, Former MP and journalist

  • Clive Ansley, Chair of CIPFG and China Country Monitor for Lawyers Rights’ Watch Canada

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Int. HR Activist, Recording Artist

  • Jim Stephenson, Federal Candidate for the Green Party
  • Greetings from the Honourable Hedy Fry

1pm – 2pm - Torch Walk—Start and finish: Art Gallery

2pm – 5pm –Live music interspersed with more speeches

  • Guo Guoting, Attorney from China and China Expert
  • Dan Grice, Green Party Candidate in recent Quadra By-Election
  • Shahram Vahdany, Founder of Media with a Conscience
  • Kyi Min Saw, Representative of Burma
  • Tenzin Lhalungpa, President of Canada Tibet Committee
  • Gao Qiaomin, Representive of Falun Gong
  • Apaak Clement, President of Canadian Students for Darfur
  • Message from Jeremy Frimer, world renowned mountain climber, Team Darfur

  • Music: Bocephus King ~ Darker the Sky ~ David Newberry ~ Innocent Bystander ~ Sarah Wheeler
“With our combined efforts, we can bring the true Olympic Spirit to the Chinese people”: CIPFG