IMMEDIATE 7.00pm 1st July 2005
The Metropolitan Police allowed themselves to be used as a private security force of the Chinese Government this afternoon, when they served a Section 14 notice under the Public Order Act 1986 preventing a peaceful vigil right outside the Chinese Embassy by prolifers and human rights activists from UK Life League and Christian Voice. Inspector Robert Hedderman told the dozen or so Christians that he believed "that the assembly may result in serious disruption to the life of the community" and that "the purpose of the persons taking part in the assembly is the intimidation of others with a view to compelling them not to do an act that they a right to do or to do an act they have a right not to do."
Stephen Green, National Director of Christian Voice, said afterwards:
"The legislation used against us to prevent our holding a peaceful act of witness on the pavement outside the Chinese Embassy was brought in to stop violent animal rights activists intimidating researchers. To see it used to save the blushes of one of the most despotic regimes on God's earth on the eve of the G8 summit is nothing short of scandalous and an abuse of civil rights here in the UK.
"Moving us to the opposite side of the road hardly lessened the supposed 'disruption to the life of the community' which Inspector Hedderman pretended to be so worried about. The truth is, the British police are simply on the side of those who want to make money trading in the Chinese market. They should be on the side of peace and justice."
Rev Jim Dowson, leader of UK Life League added, "This is the regime which sent tanks into Tiannamen Square and routinely tortures dissidents who are simply detained without trial. If they feel intimidated by the prayers of a few protestors, then they must know we serve a mighty God indeed."
Stephen Green continued: "We set up the vigil in the first place because of issues raised in the 2005 report from Amnesty International. The use of arbitrary detention and systematic torture as a means of repression is well documented, and that against unregistered Christians and the Falun Gong has reached sickening levels. Ms Gao Rongrong, a Falun Gong follower, died just last week from appalling injuries sustained during prolonged torture, in particular, the use of electric batons to her face, head and neck. On top of that, we are horrified by:
"(a) The practice of forced abortions in China as part of that country's notorious 'one-child' policy, financed in part through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), which Britain supports,
"(b) The persecution of Christians in China. In particular, Amnesty have specifically recorded the widespread torture and detention of Chinese Protestant pastors which has been going on for years.
"We do not agree with Amnesty International on absolutely everything they do and all their policy positions, but the human rights abuses they catalogue in China are shaming to the UK, which is happy to trade with these torturers. Amnesty even cite the case of a woman who was forcibly aborted so she could be put to death on drugs charges - Chinese law does not allow the death penalty for pregant women. She was eventually sentenced to life imprisonment. That case is evil and barbaric, as is much else in China. So we have no hesitation in condemning China on the basis of the Amnesty Report and calling for our Government to stop financing China's human rights abuses through contributions to UN bodies and foreign aid, and to ostracise China as a trading nation. I call on Tony Blair to seek agreement on a united trade embargo against China at the G8 summit. As for our police, it is about time they stopped allowing themselves to be used as political pawns and went back to good, honest coppering."
Further information from Stephen Green call: 07931 490 050
(If your enquiry is less urgent, please email Stephen on: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Note on Gao Rongrong's death: http://english.epochtimes.com/news/5-6-20/29680.html
Note on persecution of Christians: