You had much wanted to obtain my support in favour of the members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, victims of persecution from the Chinese authorities.
Believe me when I tell you that I share your indignation regarding these violations of fundamental individual freedoms, and it is without hesitation that I join your petition for the respect of Human Rights in China.
As I had promised, I had interceded in other respects with Hubert VEDRINES, Minister of Foreign Affairs, so as to request the intervention of the French diplomacy. You will find a copy of the mail that I am sending him today.
Thank you for having appealed to me,
I sincerely wish you the best, Madam.
A Letter from the Mayor of the City of Clamart to French Foreign Minister Mr. Hubert Vedrines
September 5th 2001
I would like to relay to you the worry expressed by a great majority of the Chinese people [that] reside in France, concerning the repression of the Falun Gong movement by the Government of the People' Republic of China.
I have thus recently met Ms. XXX, a practitioner of this teaching in the Buddhist tradition, who lives in Clamart. Ms. XXX spoke to me about the very real persecution that this community [of Falun Gong] is victim of.
The petition launched to attract the international opinion on the matter, to which I join without hesitation, states the fact of over 50,000 people arrested, 220 dead by torture, 150 sentenced to prison, 10,000 sent to labour camps, and 600 detained in psychiatric hospitals.
The testimonies of unfair trials, of torture, of disappearances and immolations are many. Amnesty International confirms that, at the end of last year, several tens of thousands of practitioners were in prison. Many are forced, without trial, to sentences of labour through re-education. Others are confined in asylums. The NGO underlines that, since the banning of the Falun Gong movement in July 1999, at least 93 of its members have died in detention, the majority following torture. Retroactive laws have been instated to condemn their organizers.
The French Falun Dafa Association has again recently announced the disappearance of a Grenoble family who returned to China this summer to visit their family. According to them, the three members who are Falun Gong practitioners were arrested by the police August 7th since then their relatives have not had any more news from them.
Faced with these repeated and flagrant violations of Human Rights, the international community is starting to become indignant, even if no nation has to date officially condemned these atrocities. In July 2001, this subject came into discussion in the House of Lords of the United Kingdom, who thus pointed out the bad treatment inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners, likewise a dozen members of the American Congress participated in a rally in Washington to protest against the violation of Human Rights in China.
The Chinese community in France, very much affected by the atrocities that the members of Falun Gong are victim to, is waiting today for a diplomatic initiative to be made to the Chinese authorities so that they will cease their persecution.
I know that you are concerned with these questions, and this is why I have no doubt that you will know how to answer this request and to answer to the disarray that the Chinese community is feeling today.
I sincerely wish you the best, Mr. Minister.
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