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Auckland Receives Human Rights Torch Today

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                                                                             
16 December 2007

Auckland Receives Human Rights Torch Today


Auckland City — SUNDAY 16 DECEMBER. The Global Human Rights Torch Relay lit its first flame in Athens Greece on August 9 2007. It is now travelling 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 Global Human Rights Torch Relay will arrive in Auckland. 


            Where: Queen Elizabeth Square


            When: 1:00pm, Sunday 16 December


This historic event will be attended by Members of Parliament and Council; human rights defenders, members of different ethnic groups, and various other members of our local community.  


The Human Rights Torch 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 Global Human Rights Torch Relay has been supported by hundreds of international government officials; past Olympic medallists; 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 most severely 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.


Event Schedule


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


12:00am:           Start the Relay from Glen Innes and travel by motorcade to Queen Elizabeth Square. Greek Goddess will travel with the Torch.

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 1:05pm.




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


2).        Monks from Burma, Tibet, Sri Lanka, will pray for love and peace (observe silence for 2 minutes to pray for Falun Gong practitioners who are being persecuted, as well  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; then 500 helium balloons will be released. Dr Casey will light 7 other 
                       torches representing: 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 Monk who will act as a representative for all other monks and their respective communities. At this time the Human Rights Torch Relay theme  tune                tune the STARLIGHT STRINGS QUARTET.


2:00pm              Dr. Cathy Casey will lead the event participants and bring the Torch to the Aotea Square.  All communities’ Torches will follow Dr. Cathy, 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 Hamilton Torch Relay Schedule is as follows:

Date/Time: Sunday, Dec 16, 6:30 pm ~ 8:00 pm

Location/Event: Ceremony at Garden Place (outside City Council).

Speakers include Green Party MP Nandor Tanczos


            All participants are welcome to join in singing  “We are the World”.


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