MAILED: April 25, 2001
EAU CLAIRE The University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire
chapter of Amnesty
International will host a panel discussion on religious persecution at 7 p.m.
Thursday, May 3, in the Tamarack Room of UW-Eau Claire’s Davies Center.
The focus of the discussion will be on the human rights
abuses people experience as a result of practicing their religion. Panelists
will share personal accounts and stories of people being tortured and abused for
their beliefs. Invited speakers include Dr. Brett Greider, assistant professor
of philosophy and religious studies at UW-Eau Claire; John Nania, a Falun Gong
practitioner from Minneapolis; and Getaneh M., who was tortured in his home
country of Ethiopia for his Christian beliefs.
David Stamps, former treasurer and vice-president of the
board of Amnesty International U.S.A., will present an overview of Amnesty
International’s work on instances of religious persecution around the world as
they relate to human rights abuses.
Greider will discuss current human rights issues
associated with the Mayan indigenous peoples of Guatemala. He also will discuss
two recent truth commissions documenting the violence that has claimed over
200,000 lives in the past thirty years.
Nania will share his knowledge of Falun Gong and the
persecution his fellow practitioners have experienced under the Chinese
government. Nania also will provide demonstrations of Falun Gong from 11 to 4
p.m. on the campus mall.
Getaneh will share his and his family’s personal
experiences of torture and ill treatment during imprisonment in Ethiopia.
Additional speakers include a practicing Tibetan
Buddhist who will share her personal experience of the persecution Tibetan
Buddhists have experienced under the Chinese government, and a University of Minnesota graduate
student from China whose mother was imprisoned for her practice of Falun Gong.
The event is free and open to the public. Participants
will have an opportunity to take action against human rights abuses due to
religious persecution following the panel discussion.
For more information, contact co-presidents Molly
Bjorngjeld at (715) 833-9892 or Sarah Aldridge (715) 855-2925, or visit the
UW-Eau Claire Amnesty International Web site.
Janice B. Wisner
UW-Eau Claire News Bureau
Updated: April 25, 2001