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Falun Gong Seek Court Permission To Protest

MEDIA RELEASE: Lawyers for Falun Gong practitioners

Lawyers for Falun Gong practitioners confirmed today that proceedings were filed yesterday in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory against Foreign Minister Alexander Downer seeking an injunction to restrain the Foreign Minister from relying upon certificates he issued pursuant to the Diplomatic Privileges and Immunity Regulations 1992 that prevent the display of banners and the use of amplified music outside the Chinese Embassy in Canberra.

The proceedings also seek a declaration that the certificates issued were unlawful and of no force or effect. Significantly, the proceedings seek a declaration from the Court that in the circumstances the Falun Gong applicants had a reasonable cause to display the banners and to use amplified sound in exercising their right to freedom of expression in Australia and that the Foreign Minister had a ministerial duty to uphold that right. The proceedings seek exemplary damages against Mr Downer and the return of Falun Gong banners that have been seized.

The proceedings themselves have been taken by Mrs DAI Zhi Zhen and Mrs ZHANG Cui-Ying. Mrs Dai is an Australian citizen with an Australian-born child. Her husband was murdered in China by agents of the notorious 610 Office, a secret apparatus of the State Security Bureau. Mrs Dai is dependent upon Australian welfare support as the result of the murder of her husband by agents of the 610 office. Mrs Zhang, also an Australian citizen, was arrested and tortured by agents of the 610 Office when she traveled to China. Persons providing evidence in support of the application include an eminent Chinese University Law Professor who is currently seeking protection in Australia and a 610 Officer, HAO Feng Jun, who is also seeking protection in Australia.

It is intended that proceedings before the Supreme Court will include further evidence from another defector of widespread torture and murder in China and that the Australian Foreign Minster's certificates were issued not to protect the dignity of the Chinese Embassy and its officers but to ingratiate the Executive Government of Australia with the Government of the People's Republic of China.

Lawyer for the Falun Gong, Bernard Collaery said

The Australian Government's response to the persecution of the Falun Gong has been disgraceful. The desire to advance bilateral relations with China including economic relations has resulted in a supine position on human rights and is a national disgrace. The arguments to be advanced by the applicants before the ACT Supreme Court will focus on these issues. The unchallenged activities of the Chinese State Security Bureau in Australia reflects the Government's distorted priorities that put appeasement ahead of integrity.

Mr Hao will give a further interview explaining the structure of the Chinese Intelligence operation in Australia at the boardroom of CC Law offices, 30 Bougainville St Manuka at 3.30pm EST today.

ENDS


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