Australian court rejects asylum plea

An Australian court on Wednesday turned down the appeal of a Chinese man, whose claim for asylum had earlier been rejected.

    Many Falung Gong members have been arrested in China

    The man, whose identity cannot be disclosed, had sought asylum in Australia on grounds that he would face persecution in his home country over his support for the Falung Gong spiritual movement.

    He took his case to the Federal Court after a Refugee Review Tribunal found that his study of Falung Gong meditation, outlawed in China, was contrived to obtain a protection visa.

    But the court's rejection of his appeal means he must return to China as soon as possible, or face deportation.

    The man, who came to Australia in 1996, claims to have joined Falung Gong in China in 1994 and practiced with a Melbourne Falung Gong group from 1997.

    He claimed that in China anyone associated with Falung Gong would be treated as a criminal and arrested, and said he feared persecution if forced to return.

    Falung Gong practitioners preach truth, compassion and forbearance, and practise meditation.


    But the court's rejection of his appeal means he must return to China as soon as possible or face deportation.

    Labelling it an evil cult, China has banned the movement since 1999 and imprisoned many of its practitioners.

    However,the Refugee Review Tribunal refused to accept that the Chinese applicant was a genuine or committed practitioner of Falung Gong.

    A spokesman for the Melbourne's Falung Gong group, however, expressed disappointment over the rejection of the asylum appeal.

    He said the idea that Falung Gong practitioners would not be persecuted in China unless they were genuine or committed to the movement, was not true.

    "Anyone who is a practitioner and is involved in just practising or raising awareness is to be persecuted, its an official policy of the government," the spokesman said.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    How different voting systems work around the world

    How different voting systems work around the world

    Nearly two billion voters in 52 countries around the world will head to the polls this year to elect their leaders.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    The great plunder: Nepal's stolen treasures

    How the art world's hunger for ancient artefacts is destroying a centuries-old culture. A journey across the Himalayas.