Appendix 5 - Support for Mr Chen's
The following are excerpts from evidence provided to
the committee supporting Mr Chen's claims
involving the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, kidnapping allegations, an
extensive spy network operating in Australia and the
harassment and monitoring of Australian citizens.
Persecution of Falun Gong
Mr Bernard Collaery, legal
representative for Mr Hao Fengjun told the
committee of Mr Hao's
experience of working in the 610 office and their activities:
...He left his policing duties on moral grounds. After his arrival
in Australia on
16 February 2005, he
provided an affidavit setting out his experiences as a professional police
officer...He states that he enjoyed his career until he was drafted into the 610
office. By way of introduction, 'the 610 office' refers to an office
established by proclamation on 10 June
1999 that suppressed the Falun Gong movement.
states that a notice went around his police district in Tianjin
city, a large city with eight different police stations, asking for volunteers
to join the 610 office. They only got one volunteer. Their police numbers were
put into a computer, and he was unfortunate enough to be chosen to be drafted
into the 610 office. In the 610 office, his first duty was to work on the human
resources and analysis effort in studying the membership and structure of the
Falun Gong in Tianjin City.
He travelled necessarily to the 610 Office headquarters in Beijing,
which are located in the Ministry of Public Security. He found that the 610
Office did not abide by all of the usual police
codes of conduct for the arrest, interrogation and detention of
became disheartened by the maltreatment of the Falun Gong and he decided to
take to the West the story of what the 610 Office are doing to the Chinese
people, particularly, and doing abroad. He secured a large quantity of
electronic information and brought that to Australia.
That information establishes irrefutably the existence of the 610 Office, now
called No. 26 Bureau, headquartered in Beijing.
The material brought by this courageous police officer includes information
concerning the three-year plan for the 610 Office operations in China
and abroad. The functions of the 610 Office, or No. 26 Bureau, have been
expanded to embrace 14 religions in China,
including the established religions known in Australia
and other religions and Bible groups.
told the committee:
I did not personally witness any Falun Gong practitioner's
deaths, but I saw those that had been arrested being interrogated and torture
being used on them.
Basically it was physical punishment like using an iron rod to
beat them, or hanging them up on a door or elsewhere with handcuffs for a long
time. Normally, in our police
rules and procedures and the criminal code, police cannot detain suspects for
more than 24 hours without them being charged. It was different with the 610
Office detainees. There were no restrictions on holding detainees who were
Falun Gong...and there were no restrictions on beating Falun Gong practitioners.
As an outcome of near global agitation by the Falun Gong
movement, the activities of the notorious Gestapo-like 610 office have spread
abroad. The 610 office is but one of many branches of the State Security
apparatus dedicated to controlling discreet movements of the population and
cohorts abroad. The Falun Gong movement has been more successful than other
groups in drawing attention to persecutory actions.
spoke to the committee and his affidavit is contained in Mr
Collaery's submission. It tells of him being
told by a colleague and friend of the torture and murder of a Falun Gong
practitioner by police officers.
Fitzgerald has written
leaving aside the rationality or otherwise of the Falun Gong
religious movement, the liberty to believe and practise religion is a
fundamental right in Western liberal democracies. Freedom of religion is non
negotiable. If it can be established that China' secret security system has
spun out of control in Australia in response to Falun Gong and other alleged
threats to the Communist Party state, then Chinese attempts to suppress
dissidents at home becomes a matter of concern not just to the AFP, to Foreign
Affairs but to all citizens of this country.
The Falun Dafa Association of NSW supports Mr
Chen's claims of the existence of the 610
office which specifically targets Falun Gong practitioners and their submission
Support for Mr
Chen's claims of persecution of Falun Gong
In early July, the press reported on a Chinese defector
in Canada who
supported claims made by Mr Chen
and Mr Hao
regarding a Chinese spy network in Australia.
Mr Han Guangsheng
was reported to be a former spy and prison camp administrator who defected to Canada
in 2001 but only recently came forward with his story. He stated that he heard
many accounts of maltreatment of hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners. 'They
try to brainwash Falun Gong practitioners. The ways they use is to force them to
read the newspaper and to watch news from the Communist Party and then force
them to write a denunciation. They talk to them 24 hours a day, so these
practitioners who refuse to get brainwashed can't get rest and if they continue
to refuse they will be tortured'.
Claims of an aggressive network of Chinese agents and
the 610 Bureau were also confirmed by a former Canadian Intelligence Officer
speaking to the press. Mr Michel
Juneau-Katsuya said that harassment of
pro-democracy and Falun Gong practitioners occurs in Canada.
He stated 'definitely there would be sort of campaign harassment from phone
calls in the middle of the night to monitoring or surveillance...We have evidence
also or allegations at least of people coming from Canada going back for a trip
for one reason or another to China and claiming they had been arrested right
away on boarding the plane and had been heavily questioned by the Chinese
US State Department
A report by the US State Department, Supporting Human
Rights and Democracy: The US Record 2004-05, states:
authoritarian Government continues to suppress political, religious and social
groups, as well as individuals that it perceived to be a threat to regime power
or national stability. The Government's human rights record remained poor, and
the Government continued to commit numerous and serious abuses. It refused to
allow social, political or religious groups to organize or act independently of
the Government and the Communist Party. Those who tried to act independently
were often harassed, detained or abused by the authorities.
A report on International Religious Freedom in 2002,
During the period covered by this report, the Government's
respect for freedom of religion and freedom of conscience remained poor,
especially for many unregistered religious groups and spiritual movements such
as the Falun Gong...The Government continued its repression of groups that it
determined to be cults in general and of the Falun Gong in particular. Various
sources report that thousands of Falun Gong adherents have been arrested,
detained, and imprisoned, and that several hundred or more Falun Gong adherents
have died in detention since 1999.
Yet another U.S Department of State Report, Country
Reports on Human Rights Practices 2002, stated:
The Government continued its crackdown against the Falun Gong
spiritual movement. Thousands of practitioners were incarcerated in prisons,
extrajudicial re-education-through-labor camps, psychiatric facilities or
special deprogramming centres...Several hundred Falun Gong adherents reportedly
have died in detention due to torture, abuse and neglect since the crackdown on
Falun Gong began in 1999.
Amnesty International reports that the Falun Gong
spiritual movement was banned in China
in 1999 as a heretical organisation and a threat to social and political
stability. They further state that:
Since then, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have
reportedly been imprisoned, assigned to 're-education through labour', or
forcibly institutionalised in psychiatric hospitals where they are at high risk
of torture and ill-treatment, in particular if they refuse to renounce their
beliefs. Overseas Falun Gong organisations claim that over 1,800 practitioners
in China have
died either in custody or shortly after they have been released, largely as a
result in injuries sustained as a result of torture and ill-treatment while in
custody. Amnesty International has been unable to verify these statistics but
remains concerned about the widespread use of arbitrary detention and torture
or ill-treatment against Falun Gong practitioners.
In 2002, Amnesty International stated that:
Falun Gong sources have claimed that a special government
taskforce, the '610 office' was established to lead the campaign against the
Falun Gong and it issued unwritten instructions in 2001 allowing police and
other officials to go beyond legal restraints in the campaign, discharging them
of responsibility if a Falun Gong member dies in detention due to beatings.
Over 350 Falun Gong practitioners are reported to have died in custody since
the 1999 ban.
Spying in Australia
One witness in particular, Mr
came forward to support Mr Chen's
claims in this area. Mr Bernard
Collaery told the committee on behalf of Mr
If your committee wants a comment on Chen Yonglin's statement
about a thousand spies in Australia, or words to that effect, the witness has
brought large megabytes of information that indicates intensive agent activity
in Canada, the United States, Hong Kong, and Macau, less intensive activity in
Australia and a preoccupation, of course, with Taiwan and groups there. If you
want a professional comment, it is police special branch type information. It
is not information that relates to nuclear scientist spies and that type of
espionage. It is what the French historically call 'correspondance'. They are
people who have useful information and who agents get alongside, get
information from and otherwise seduce. We have all the instruction manuals, the
information for it and the list of payments, because Mr
Hao was a paymaster, in some respects.
Because of a concern about where this information would go in Australia,
is assisting the translation of that material at the moment to determine where
people are and to make sure nothing is compromised accidentally at this stage.
supports Mr Chen's
claims of a spy network and has written:
The size and impact of the Chinese informant network in Australia
reaches far beyond the small cohort of cloak and dagger intelligence operatives
who are based in embassies, consulates, information bureaus, travel agencies
and other legitimate businesses. Like the old East German Stasi informant
informant network is built on the benign principles of neighbourhood watch
under the less benign supervision of paid operatives. These operatives gather
and file information from a large number of formally recruited informers and
informal volunteers in Australia,
who report on their fellow students and working colleagues, before passing it
on to higher authorities in the intelligence system back in China.
It is estimated that one in 50 East Germans was an unpaid Stasi informant. With
40,000 to 50,000 visitors from China
in Australia at
any one time, one thousand informers in Australia
is well within the range of plausibility.
Surveillance/Monitoring/Harassment in Australia
told the committee about surveillance allegations:
We live in a democracy but, if you open up ringbinder after
ringbinder of documents that Mr Hao
has effectively brought, you drop into another world of a billion dollar
program of surveilling all your citizens around the world. It is a different
world. It should not be approached from our perspective, with respect. On the
basis of the documents that we have seen to date, the Chinese government must
be spending huge sums of money keeping their former or present citizens under
surveillance – and, as we found, Australian and American and New Zealand
A media statement by Falun
Dafa reports that:
For six years Falun
Dafa practitioners in Australia
have been subject to a wide range of interference and harassment orchestrated
by the Chinese Embassy and consulates in this country. These incidents include
physical threats, harassing phone calls, damage to property, salacious
misinformation about the practice of Falun Dafa, practitioners being on a
travel black list, having their phones monitored, homes broken into and
attempts to adversely influence local councils and events organisers to exclude
us from community functions...we therefore have no doubt that statements by Mr
Chen and Mr Hao about Chinese Communist Party infiltrators in Australian
society are absolutely true.
from the FDC, outlined two cases for the public record and provided others. The
first, described Mr Lu
Zhansuo who was discussing a possible job as
a pastor. The priest he was talking with said that the Chinese consul-general
had approached him several times demanding Mr
Lu not be given a job.
The second case involved Mr
who attended an Australia
day party organisation by a Melbourne Chinese organisation. He attended with
his wife and Ms Xiaoqing
Luo, a journalist for the Epoch Times. He
claims that just before the event was to start, the secretary of the
organisation told Ms Luo
to leave as the Deputy Consul-General of the Melbourne Chinese Consulate would
be very angry if she was there.
also told the committee that the activities of the FDC have been monitored by
the Chinese government. He said their meeting times, discussion details and
plans for events have been made known to the Chinese government through their
network of informants. He further stated that when their members return to China
they are harassed and followed.
Jin, FDC told the committee that he had
raised his concerns regarding the monitoring and harassment of Australian
citizens with a government department. He told the committee that as an
Australian citizen he did not need a visa for Hong Kong
but last year he was stopped from entering Hong Kong
when he was boarding in Frankfurt. He said he raised
this with a government department but there was no action and no feedback.
has stated that:
..there is no doubt that this [the surveillance of Australian
citizens] is taking place on a very wide scale.
He said that Mr Chen's
case 'reveals...an element of surveillance of the Australian community that is
quite alarming. I am speaking specifically of the Chinese Australia community'.
He added that in conversation with Australians who are
of Chinese background he has sensed that they 'do not feel adequately protected
by or recognised as equal citizens under Australian law when it comes to
protection from surveillance by a foreign power, even though they are full and
equal Australian citizens'.
I have been teaching and working in Chinese studies in this
country for 25 years. I have an intimate acquaintance with his kind of
behaviour. This is an opportunity to speak up about it. There is no doubt that
it is extremely widespread. I cannot go into greater detail simply for fear of
placing at risk friends and acquaintances who are fellow Australians.
has written in Australia Policy Online:
...what should concern us is indicative evidence of relentless
attempts by the Chinese regime to monitor and report on the behaviour of
Australian citizens by invisible means. There is no formal mechanism for
dealing with this kind of harassment of Australian citizens. Through DFAT, the
Australian Government can and does lodge formal protests with the Chinese
government concerning the exercise of 'improper influence' when such claims are
fully substantiated. But formal diplomatic protests are extremely rare because
substantiating a claim of surveillance or harassment involves two conditions
that cannot normally be met. First foreign officials on diplomatic passports
can be called to account for improper influence only when they are caught red
handed. As the informant system operates through intermediaries without
diplomatic status, no official is likely to be caught in the act ...Second,
Australians who are intimidated in this way are unlikely to test Chinese
government threats to harm their families in China.
Putting claims of this kind in writing to support an official complaint of
improper influence would be to sign a warrant for the arrest and persecution of
their friends and families in China. 
It is largely Chinese-Australians who are under surveillance
whereas intimidation can apply to anyone. Why do I say 'largely
Chinese-Australians'? It is not exclusively. When it comes to Falun Gong it is
clear that any member is subject to surveillance, but it is particularly
Chinese-Australian members of Falun Gong who are reported on, because they are
the ones who can be threatened by reference to family or other connections in China.
summarised and suggested:
I would like to put a couple of proposals. One is where the
Australian government is constrained in its actions because of its dealings
with China that
applies to human rights dialogues and things to do with China
out there. When it comes to Chinese Australia, the government is not restrained
in speaking proudly, openly and boldly about the contribution these communities
make, how welcome they are and how their rights shall be fully protected under
the law. This is not to do with diplomacy; it is not to do with trade. This is
about sovereignty and citizenship and there is no restraint on what the
government can say and do in that regard as far as I can understand. So it
should be handled not by Foreign Affairs or by Immigration but by the Attorney
General's department – I am not quite sure. It should be handled by those who
speak on behalf of Australian law, justice, rights and citizenship. So speaking
openly and publicly and on many occasions and making this commitment very clear
would be useful. That too would make its way back through Foreign Affairs and
other channels to other places where it would be registered that Australian
governments and Australian people do not like their citizens being harassed.
What concerns me – I would almost like to say this off the
record, but I cannot – is that the Chinese government will not hesitate to push
this government around when it comes to protecting its Chinese-Australian
citizens if it detects that Chinese-Australian citizens are not as valued as
others. The Chinese government is as inclined to think of Australia
as a racist place as anyone else and if it thinks the Australian government
will not defend its Chinese-Australian citizens to the hilt then things will
get worse before they improve. We are at a critical moment here. This is an
opportunity to do something.
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