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Relay for Human Rights Ignites Mumbai Students

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Relay for Human Rights Ignites Mumbai Students

Postby TenantNet » Sun Feb 03, 2008 10:28 am

Relay for Human Rights Ignites Mumbai Students
Epoch Times Staff
Feb 03, 2008

MUMBAI, India­Mumbai took over the Global Human Rights Torch February 1 in an event spearheaded by the National Student's Union of India and its Bombay SU chapter.

The official torch run was preceded by a human rights forum at Bombay University's prestigious St. Xavier's College addressing the worsening situation of global human rights, particularly in China in the lead-up to the Olympics.

"What we see in the world today is a world that is becoming more and more intolerant and violent. We saw evidence of that in modern day China," said St. Xavier's Principal Father Frazier Mascarenhas,

Father Mascarenhas was referring to the documentary China's Olympic Lie, which had been screened at the forum. In it, UK filmmaker Andrew Carter shows the desperate plight of Beijing residents who have been evicted from their homes in the pre-Olympic construction boom.

Reporter Aidan Hartley secretly met with eviction holdouts who had been beaten up and maimed by developers. The police seem indifferent at best, and were in cahoots with developers at worst, the film suggests.

Hartley also entered one of Beijing's unofficial "black prisons," where petitioners who went to the authorities for help, are locked up and beaten up and living in deplorable conditions.

"I hope that together we can bring about a peaceful and loving world."­Father Frazier Mascarenhas (Andreas Schneller/Special to the Epoch Times)

This treatment is mitigated out to people who won't give up their homes. Cindy Drukier, representing the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG)pointed out how Falun Gong practitioners endure much worse for refusing to give up their beliefs.

Two-thirds of all torture cases from China submitted to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture involve Falun Gong practitioners, said Drukier explaining that Falun Gong practitioners are routinely arrested, tortured and even killed simply for not renouncing their belief in the practice's core principles of truth, compassion and tolerance.

"How can you give up what you know in your heart to be righteous just because the Communist Party says it's wrong?" she asked forum attendees.

Spreading the message of Human Rights abuses in China along Mumbai's busy seaside strip on Feb 1. (Andreas Schneller/Special to the Epoch Times)

CIPFG is the organization behind the Global Human Rights Torch Relay, which heads next to Ghana on its 37-country 150-city quest expressed as "One Flame, One Aim: To Free All From Human Rights Abuse in China."

Dr. Manoj Kumar, Political Science professor, put the blame for the world's worst human rights abuses squarely on the shoulders of communist ideology. In the former Soviet Union, he said, the communists "promised a better future, better social development but the communist ideology became instrumental in generating all kinds of oppressions."

According to Dr. Kumar, the CCP is behind most oppressive regimes in the world today, whether or not they are communist. "We have seen that China has supported those dictators who crushed communist groups… so it has a dual character."

Human Rights Torch supporters march along the seaside, informing the populace about the CCP's atrocities. (Andreas Schneller/Special to the Epoch Times)

The forum and awareness-raising run rally were attended by over 200 students, professors and supporters from Taiwan, Switzerland and Canada.

First honours for bearing the Torch down Mumbai's popular seaside were granted to Prakash Adhay, all-India Gymnastics champion and coach and to Mr. Sathye, a former volleyball champion.

The march culminated in a solemn candlelight ceremony for victims of persecution on­beach.

Twelve Taiwanese Falun Dafa practitioners, who travelled with the Torch on its way through India, were received as special guests. "We really respect that you are still fighting for the right cause. That really inspires us to move ahead," said Shoaib Quereshi, Mumbai University Student Union Leader and a main organizer of the event.

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