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Issue 13: Please Continue to Voice Your Concern and Support of Tang Xianhui  
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Please Continue to Voice Your Concern
and Support of Tang Xianhui


Dear citizens concerned for human rights:

One month ago, we sent an urgent appeal to you about the Australian immigration authorities' imminent deportation of Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Tang Xianhui.

Tang Xianhui practicing the Falun Gong exercises in Melbourne, Australia
Thanks to your immediate and massive intervention, Mr. Tang's deportation has been halted-for now. The Minister for Immigration has indicated that she will give consideration as to whether to allow Mr. Tang the "48B application."

The so-called "48B application" is an opportunity to submit a further asylum application when the original application has failed. Only the Minister has the discretion to grant the "48B application." Before your intervention, Mr. Tang's request for the "48B application" was repeatedly denied. He has not been granted the "48B application" yet, but at least the Minister is considering it.

We are, however, alarmed by the authorities' detention of Mr. Tang on May 30, 2005, at the Maribyrnong Immigration Detention Centre. The detention is ominous because the authorities can deport Mr. Tang the minute that the Minister decides not to allow him the "48B application," thus leaving Mr. Tang and his legal counsel no time to respond. The official reason for the detention was that Mr. Tang's bridging visa had expired and he therefore needed to wait for the Minister's decision on the "48B application" inside an immigration detention center. The authorities can give Mr. Tang another extension of the bridging visa, or the Minister can also give him a discretionary permit to allow him to stay outside the detention center. However, the request made by Mr. Tang's legal counsel to release him from the detention center has been denied.

Australia is a State Party to the United Nations' Convention Against Torture (CAT). Article 3 of the CAT states:

"1. No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.

2. For the purpose of determining whether there are such grounds, the competent authorities shall take into account all relevant considerations including, where applicable, the existence in the State concerned of a consistent pattern of gross, flagrant or mass violations of human rights."

In the event that the Minister rejects Mr. Tang's "48B application," he can submit his case to the UN Committee Against Torture. However, if the Australian immigration authorities deport him immediately after the rejection, it will minimize the possibility CAT affording Mr. Tang protection.

There have been many cases of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted when they traveled to or were returned to China. On March 5, 2000, the Chinese police arrested Ms. Zhang Cuiying, an Australian citizen. She was thrown in jail for more than eight months, simply because she went back to China to appeal for Falun Gong. She suffered severe torture and sexual abuse. Ms. Xiong Wei, who studied in Germany from 1993 to 1999 and returned to China to work for the German company Buderus in 2002, was arrested by Chinese police on January 5, 2002, and sentenced to two years in a forced labor camp. She was subjected to severe beatings, mental torture, and hard labor. She was rescued back to Germany in September 2004. Dr. Charles Lee, an American citizen, was sentenced to three years in jail in Nanjing, China in March 2002. He is still in jail, and has suffered physical and mental torture. Ms. Zhang Xinyi and her husband, Mr. Li Guojun, who were granted refugee status by the United Nations Refugee Agency in Cambodia, were kidnapped in Phnom Penh on August 2, 2002, returned to China on August 9, and put in jail. Mr. Jiang Renzheng, who was repatriated back to China by the German government with his wife and two children, was arrested on August 8, 2005, by the Chinese police and thrown in a forced labor camp.

We ask you to help to prevent such a tragedy from happening to Mr. Tang.

Please continue to email, fax, or telephone the Australian authorities or your representatives to urge the Minister of Immigration to allow Mr. Tang the "48B application," and urge the Australian immigration authorities to release Mr. Tang from detention while waiting for the Minister's decision. If the authorities do not grant the "48B application," ask them at a minimum to allow Mr. Tang and his legal counsel a reasonable time to respond to the decision.


How You Can Help

Mr. Tang's case Number: N02/06781

To appeal to the government of Australia:

Please contact the following government offices:

Senator the Hon. Amanda Vanstone
Australian Government Immigration Minister
Suite MF 40, Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: 02-6277-7860
Fax:           02-6273-4144

The Hon. Peter McGauran
Minister of Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: 02-6277-7890
Fax:           02-6273-0434
Email: http://www.minister.immi.gov.au/cam/contacts/index.htm#email

The Hon. Alexander Downer
The Minister for Foreign Affairs
Ministerial Office:
Telephone: 02-6277-7500
Fax:           02-6273-4112
Email: minister.downer@dfat.gov.au

The Hon. John Howard MP
Prime Minister of Australia
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600
Telephone: 02-6277-7700
Fax:           02-6273-4100

Prime Minister's Electorate Office:
230 Victoria Road, Gladesville NSW 2111
Postal Address:
PO Box 336, Gladesville NSW 2111
Telephone: 02-9816-1300
Fax:           02-9816-1349
Email: http://www.pm.gov.au/email.cfm


To offer your support to Falun Gong practitioners:

Simon Vereshaka
Falun Dafa Association of Victoria
Telephone: +613-410-313-587
Email: simon@twinscapes.com,
          fhcfan@optusnet.com.au


To sign the online petition:

http://www.falunhr.org/te/


To learn more...

What is Falun Gong?
Why the persecution in China?
Current Situation of the Persecution in China

Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group
9974 Scripps Ranch Blvd. #228, San Diego, California, 92131, United States
Phone: 619-280-5177, Fax: 619-280-4931, E-mail: info@falunhr.org


     
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