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Message from Canadian Senator Con Di Nino

January 14, 2003

Dear         ,

To coincide with International Human Rights Day on December 10, a number of Boycott Made in China protests were held in cities around the world. I participated in one such protest in Toronto on December 7, 2002.

I am a vocal critic of the Chinese government, and a strong supporter of the Dalai Lama's efforts to free Tibet from Chinese occupation. Unfortunately, the mass consumption of products produced in China has been misinterpreted by Chinese leaders as approval of their repressive regime. The income derived from exports has allowed the Chinese government to further expand its apparatus of control and brutality.

The Chinese government's record of repression speaks for itself:

  • The world's largest system of forced labour camps
  • Media control
  • Commercial harvesting of organs from executed prisoners
  • Systematic human rights abuses
  • Religious persecution
  • Denial of freedom of speech
  • Brutal occupation of Tibet and systematic extinction of its ancient culture and practices

The above abuses have been widely documented by the United Nations, Amnesty International, Asia Watch, the Laogai Research Foundation, the media, and other non-governmental organizations.

Please be clear: my criticism of the Chinese government is not directed at the Chinese population or at those of Chinese origin living in other parts of the world. I have nothing but respect for the citizens of China, who are themselves victims of their government's corrupt regime. The image of the lone man staring down an army tank in Tiananmen Square, in defiance of a government that continues to repress its citizens, remains sharply engrained in my mind.

Those of us who support the struggle for freedom and democracy in China and Tibet urge you to review your buying practices and to consider alternatives to products made in China. The few pennies saved come at the expense of the fundamental rights and freedoms of hundreds of millions of Chinese citizens.

I would be happy to speak personally with you or to supply further information. Your comments would be appreciated


Senator Consiglio Di Nino



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