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Human Rights Torch Relay Lights Up New Zealand

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Global Human Rights Torch Relay Lights Up New Zealand in December

Auckland City” The Global Human Rights Torch Relay (GHRTR), lit its first flame in Athens Greece on August 9 2007. It is now traveling through over 150 cities in 35 countries across Europe, Asia, North America and Australasia. The Torch Relay's aim is to urge the international community to boycott the Olympics in Beijing with the message that the "Olympics & Crimes Against Humanity CANNOT Co-exist in China."

The Human Rights Torch Relay will arrive in Auckland on 16 December.

Where: Queen Elizabeth Square

When: 1:00pm

The HRTR is initiated and sponsored by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), which 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. The GHRTR has been joined by hundreds of international government officials; past Olympic medalists; individuals and organisations from around the world, with the hope of bringing an end to all human rights abuses against people in China -- while highlighting the persecution of Falun Gong, the #1 persecuted group in China today.

The mistake of allowing Nazi Germany to host the 1936 Olympics must not be repeated in Beijing in 2008.

The CIPFG hopes this historic global event will help stop the persecution of innocent people in China and preserve the integrity of the Olympic spirit, thus helping to protect the dignity of all human beings, everywhere.
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Schedule for the Event

MC - Barry Wilson, CIPFG member, famous Human Rights lawyer and former President of the Auckland Council for Civil Liberties.

1:00 pm: MC Barry Wilson will open the event. Then Mr. Wilson will introduce Maori speaker Dr. Manahi Mauheni Ngati Porou Minister for a 2 minute Maori prayer, followed by a 5-7 minute speech by Hereditary Chief.

Speakers' speeches scheduled to start at 1:10pm.

Speakers:

1). Auckland City Councillor - Dr. Cathy Casey, CIPFG member

2). Monks from Burma, Tibet, Sri Lanka, will pray for love and peace. Silence will be observed for 2 minutes to pray for Falun Gong practitioners who are being persecuted, as well as Burmese, Sudanese, Tibetans, Chinese activists, etc.

3). Burmese Community - Mr. Naing Ko Ko

4). Mr. Jay Zelaya will speak about Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Guohua Huang and his daughter Miss Kaixin's experience of being persecuted in China.

5). Solidarity Union - Mr. Joe Carolan

6). Chinese pro-democracy activist, Mr. Jia Kuo, United China Government

7). Ms Maire Leadbetter - Indonesia Human Rights Commission

8). Taiwanese Community - Mr. Gui Seng Yang, Chairperson of Taiwanese Community

9). Mr. Michael, Labour candidate for 2008 election

10). Sudanese Community - Mr. Santino Deng, Chairperson of Auckland Sudanese Community

11) Green Party co-founder, Mr. Keith Locke

(Estimated time for each speaker will be between 3 to 5 minutes, maximum.)

1:45pm The Goddess will hand a lit torch over to Auckland City Councillor, Dr. Casey, followed by 500 Helium balloons being released. Dr Casey will then light 7 other torches representing: the Burmese Community, Mr. Naing Ko Ko; a little girl, Kaixin (whose mother was persecuted); Chinese pro-democracy, Mr. Jia Kuo; Taiwanese Community, Mr. Gui Seng Yang; Sudanese Community, Mr. Santino Deng; Green Party MP, Mr. Keith Locke; a Burmese monk who will act as a representative for all other monks and their respective communities. At this time the HRTR theme song will be played by the STARLIGHT STRINGS QUARTET.

2:00pm Dr. Casey will lead the procession along Queen Street and bring the Torch to Aotea Square. All communities' Torches will follow Dr. Casey, including public supporters.

2:45pm Closing speech will take place at Aotea Square, with the passing of the Torch to a Hamilton CIPFG member.

The event will conclude with all participants singing "We are the World".

Ends

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