This morning the Leader of the New Zealand Greens, Russel Norman was assaulted by Chinese security personnel travelling with Chinese Vice-President Xi Jinping .
Xi is widely tipped to succeed the current Chinese President Hi Jintao and is currently visiting New Zealand and travelling to Australia on Monday .
Below is a link to a news story about this incident, Russel Norman ’ s statement and then below that a statement from Bob Brown.
Incident outside Parliament – Russel Norman’s statement
The mistreatment of Green Party Co-leader Russel Norman on the grounds of Parliament by Chinese security personnel shows how important it is to stand up for democracy and human rights, the Green Party said today.
Dr Norman was assaulted by Chinese security personnel outside Parliament as he was making a stand against China’s human rights record in Tibet.
“Because John Key’s Government let Chinese security control our Parliament, it stopped being a safe place for democracy,” Dr Norman said.
“I’ve laid a complaint with the Police because New Zealanders need to know they are free to speak without fear of violence or recrimination.”
Dr Norman said the Government needs to defend the right of its citizens to free speech because it is one of the cornerstones of democracy.
“I’m asking that John Key make a clear statement that this sort of behaviour is not acceptable in New Zealand,” Dr Norman said.
Brown alarmed by Chinese security officers’ interference with NZ Greens Leader
Australian Greens Leader Bob Brown has expressed serious alarm at the takeover of security duties by Chinese agents in Wellington leading to physical intervention on NZ Greens Co-Leader Dr Russell Norman this morning.
“I hope the New Zealand government has more spine than the Howard government had in 2003 when it facilitated armed secret service agents of China directing people inside Parliament House in Canberra,” Senator Brown said.
“In 2003, Senator Brown and fellow Greens Senator Kerry Nettle were physically barred from entering a joint-house sitting, while Chinese agents locked democracy activists from sitting in the visitors’ gallery for a speech by President Hu Jintao.”
“I have sent my expression of support and concern to Russell Norman. The parliamentary precinct is no place for foreign agents, be it Canberra or Wellington. And Beijing should understand that Wellington is not Lhasa,” Senator Brown added.
Office of Senator Bob Brown
Leader of the Australian Greens
06/20/2010 – 10:39