Green Party Human Rights Spokesperson Keith Locke and Chinese dissident Chen Yonglin will be among speakers at a rally being held at Parliament on Thursday the 19th of July.
The event has been organized by a coalition of groups – Amnesty International, Friends of Tibet, Falun Dafa and the Green Party – concerned about ongoing human rights abuses in China, and New Zealand’s reluctance to offend Chinese government sensibilities.
“In China today we see censorship, detention without trial, widespread torture, executions, repression of ethnic minorities and religious groups. New Zealand should not be silent on theses human rights issues because of commercial pressure,” says Green Party MP Keith Locke.
“The motorcade and march is to show our solidarity with the Chinese people, and to signal to the New Zealand Government that we will not allow Chinese influence or concerns over a free trade deal to impinge on New Zealand’s traditions of religious tolerance, free speech and freedom of the media.
Guest speakers include former Chinese diplomat Chen Yonglin, who defected while working at the Chinese Embassy in Australia in 2005, as well as representatives of Amnesty International, Friends of Tibet, and Falun Dafa, and parliamentarians Keith Locke, Peter Dunne and Hone Harawira.
“The rally aims to send a message to the New Zealand and Chinese Governments that we will not allow our human rights to be sacrificed in pursuit of a free trade deal between the two countries,” Mr Locke says.
Human Rights are Not for Sale Rally
Motorcade departs Civic Square 12pm, arrives Parliament 1pm, Thursday 19th July
Civic Square/Parliament forecourt
A one minute silence will be held at 1pm, consisting of people linking arms in solidarity with the people of China, gagged to represent the silencing of activists, oppression of Government opposition and rampant censorship.