Pell plea for Falun Gong detainee

Cardinal George Pell of Sydney has appealed for asylum for a Falun Gong convert who faces deportation from Australia.

The Age reports today that in a letter to Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone last month, Dr Pell said Tang Xianhui was a political and religious refugee. Mr Tang took part in the 1989 Tiananmen Square protest and was black-listed.

When the Government refused him a passport, he paid $40,000 for a passport and Australian business visa and fled in 1996.

Speaking from Melbourne's Maribyrnong detention centre, where he was detained last week, he said he believed he would be allowed to stay.

His original asylum claim was rejected. He appealed against the decision to the Federal Court.

He cycled from Melbourne to Canberra last month and handed Senator Vanstone a file on the persecution of Falun Gong members in China.

An Immigration Department spokesman said department officers would decide if his appeal was suitable for a referral to the minister.

Pell pleads for detainee (The Age 9/6/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Tang Xianhui Facing Imminent Deportation and Torture (Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group)

Yonglin's claims make a Moritorium on Deportations (scoop.co.nz 7/6/05)
Centres 'are turning people into zombies' (Catholic Weekly 12/6/05)
Detainee privacy 'not guaranteed' (The Australian 4/6/05)

9 Jun 2005