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Global Human Rights Torch Arrives in Wellington

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 19 December 2007

Global Human Rights Torch Relay Arrives in Wellington

Wellington —WEDNESDAY 19 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 GlobalHuman Rights Torch Relay travels throughout the Wellington region today.

Wednesday 19 December (full schedule at end of press release)
11am Upper Hutt
1pm Lower Hutt
4pm Parliament, Wellington
5.30pm Waitangi Park, Wellington

This historic day of events will be attended by Members of Parliament, Wellington City Councillors, victims of persecution in China, CIPFG members, human rights defenders, members of different ethnic groups, and various other members of our local community.

The Human Rights Torchis 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 medalists; individuals and organisations from around the world, with the hope of bringing an end to allhuman rights abuses against people in China -- while highlighting the persecution of Falun Gong, the most severelypersecuted 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.

Global Human Rights Torch Relay - Wellington region - Schedule of events 19 December, 2007
Upper Hutt
11am - opp Civic Centre, cnr Fergusson Drive & Blenheim St, Upper Hutt
11am Ceremony
Speakers include:
Professor Li Dong, Massey University and CIPFG member,
Stephen Zhou, victim of persecution for practising Falun Gong in China
Local music by George Johnston and John Sutherland
11.20am Relay: north up Fergusson Dr to King St roundabout - south back down Main street - right at Gibbons St towards the highway and departure point

Lower Hutt
1pm - Riddiford Park, cnr Queens Drive & Laings Rd, Lower Hutt
1pm Ceremony
Speakers include:
Professor Li Dong, Massey University and CIPFG member
Stephen Zhou, victim of persecution for practising Falun Gong in China
1.20pm Relay: North up Queens drive - left turn at Kings Crescent roundabout - left at High St roundabout - south down High St - over Ewen bridge - down Railway Ave - left up Parliament St towards departure point.

Wellington
4pm – Welcome Ceremony at Parliament steps
Greek Goddess of Justice to bring Torch onto Parliament
Speakers include:
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman, who will also carry the Torch from Parliament steps to cnr Bowen St and Lambton Quay.
4.15pm Relay to Chinese Embassy with members of the public to carry Torch
4.30pm Arrive Embassy
Brief speeches
4.40pm Relay back to Lambton Quay and Civic Square
5pm Civic Square, speech by Wellington City Councillor Celia Wade-Brown, who will carry the Torch over the footbridge to the lagoon on the waterfront.
5.15pm Relay to Waitangi Park

5.30pm - Ceremony and Concert at Waitangi Park (next to Te Papa)
MC = RadioActive's “Redbird”
Musicians include:
Justin (Firefly) Clark
Jessica Chambers
The Thomas Oliver Band

Speakers include:
Professor Li Dong, Massey University lecturer and CIPFG member – will talk about the persecution of religious/spiritual groups, especially Falun Gong, and the violation of workers' rights.
Stephen Zhou, victim of persecution for practising Falun Gong in China
Wei Jian Chen, NZ Director Asia Human Rights Foundation – will talk about the wish of the Chinese people to see the Human Rights Torch enter China
Pan Qing, overseas spokesman for the All-China Alliance for Protecting Human Rights and Opposing Violence. And NZ CIPFG member.
7pm - Lighting of all Torches (5) – all speakers on stage – Greek Goddesses on stage –
7.15pm Relay through Courtenay Place - Cuba Street - Manners Mall - Civic Square - Finish

Ends

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