President Jacques Chirac
The Republic of France
55, rue du faubourg Saint-Honoré
Dear Mr. President
30 Falun Gong practitioners were detained (some were even handcuffed) in Paris during January 24-27 2004. Some were handing out leaflets to inform about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Some just quietly watched the Chinese parade, and because they wore yellow scarves or clothes with the words “Falun Gong” or “Falun Dafa” they were treated as criminals by French police. Some of them didn't even wear clothes, scarves, or badges of this kind. These actions by the French police against peaceful European citizens are not only unfair, but also against human rights and democracy.
A friend of mine, Marco Hsu from Denmark, was kept under surveillance for four hours January 24. Here is a part of his report: “…Just around 2 p.m., three or four plainclothes policemen approached me and demanded that I take off my yellow scarf bearing the words ‘Falun Dafa.’...When I asked the reason why I should take it off they would not give any answer except that ‘Falun Gong is forbidden today.’ They also didn't want to tell their names or any other information that could reveal their identity. The policeman that seemed to be in charge was very short tempered and basically ignored my questions and would only talk to his men, treating me as if I wasn't even there. After a short while and another warning to take off my scarf I was told that ‘now it is too late,’ and I was consequently taken away by four or five uniformed policemen who had been sent for.”
This kind of thing, and even worse, happens in China daily ever since the persecution started in July 1999. But now it has happened in France, a democratic country, and that is very, very serious. The rude behaviour of the policemen, which other detained Falun Gong practitioners were also subjected to, indicates that the French police have been fooled by the Chinese propaganda about Falun Gong. That propaganda claims us to be troublemakers or even violent. But the fact is that during these years of suppression, Falun Gong practitioners both inside and outside China have always been using non-violent ways to expose the persecution. Our appeals are known by police and authorities all over the world to be very peaceful. Our behaviour is always in accordance with what we practice, and that is Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Falun Gong is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Due to its enormous popularity in China, Jiang Zemin, the former head of state, outlawed Falun Gong in July 1999 out of jealousy and paranoia. Since that time, Jiang’s regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practise it. Lawsuits have been filed against Jiang and other Chinese top leaders in countries such as France, Belgium, USA, Australia etc.. They are charged with Crimes Against Humanity, Torture and Genocide. I think all people in the world, including the French government, should take a clear stand in this matter. Do the French government want to support criminal dictators or people who live according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance?
Looking back in history, when other groups were suppressed or even eradicated, people asked: “Why didn’t anyone do anything?” Today we all know what is going on in China. We, Falun Gong practitioners outside of China, are really trying to do something to stop the persecution, to stop the torture and killing. We should be respected and supported for our work, and we should definitely not be treated as criminals. I sincerely hope that the French government can do it’s best to investigate this matter and prevent this from happening again.
[A Swedish Falun Gong practitioner]
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