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Commission concern at Chinese President's visist

Melbourne's Catholic Commission for Justice Development and Peace expressed concern at last week's visit to Australia of Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The office was represented in a gathering of about 50 protesters outside Victoria's parliament house. The protestors were urging President Hu to meet with the Dalai Lama to discuss Tibet's future.

Commission's CEO Marc Purcell said the commission had written a letter to Prime Minister John Howard expressing its regret of the government's invitation to Mr Hu to address parliament.

He said the move dishonoured Chinese victims of human rights violations.

"It should not be forgotten that the president of China presides over a brutal system of human rights violations and there is little religious freedom in China," Mr Purcell said.

He said trade talk in the lead-up to Mr Hu's address to federal parliament had overshadowed defence of human rights.

"It's a crying shame that the dollar signs in the eyes of Australia's political leaders have blinded them to the human rights violations occurring in China," he said.

Hu's visit draws small protest (AAP/Yahoo)

Government admits to pressure over Hu speech (Sunday Age 26/10/03)

27 Oct 2003