On the afternoon of January 29, 2004, Falun Gong practitioners in Washington DC held a press conference in front of the French Embassy to expose the extension of the Jiang regime's slander and persecution against Falun Gong overseas. They also urged the French Government to take immediate action to correct its wrongful detention of Falun Gong practitioners to avoid further damage to France's image in the international community.
Most practitioners attending the conference rushed to the venue during their lunch break. They held banners on which "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," "Uphold France's Spirit of Freedom," and "Bring Jiang to Justice" were written. It was cold with snow on the ground.
A Falun Gong practitioner from Washington DC read an open letter from the Washington DC Falun Dafa Association to Mr. Jean-David Levitte, the French Ambassador to the US. After the press conference, a representative of Falun Gong practitioners delivered the letter to the embassy. Later, officials from the embassy met with Falun Gong practitioners, who explained the facts of Falun Gong and Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Out of personal jealousy, Jiang Zemin initiated the brutal persecution in China. During the past four years, at least 870 innocent Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death. Jiang and his associates have been sued in six countries. The Falun Gong practitioners also asked the French Government to investigate the incident in which Paris police arrested Falun Gong practitioners for no reason and offer an explanation and apology. A French official accepted all truth-clarification materials and said that he would convey the requests of Falun Gong practitioners to the Ambassador and Department of Internal Affairs in France.
Falun Gong practitioners said in the letter, "During recent days when the Chinese President visited France, at least 11 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in Paris for no reason. The Washington DC Falun Dafa Association expresses its deep concern over this incident. We must point out that these arrests were not because the practitioners did something wrong, but simply because they were Falun Gong practitioners. When one Falun Gong practitioner asked why she was being taken away, a French policeman told her, 'Because you are wearing yellow clothes, and today yellow is banned.' We are surprised to learn that this kind of incident could occur in a country that has upheld freedom for such a long time. We formally request that the French Government offer an explanation of this incident and apologise to the Falun Gong practitioners who were unfairly treated."
Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Wang said, "The unusual actions of the French police are apparently the result of deception and coercion from the Jiang Zemin regime. Local Chinese people said that they'd heard slanderous rumours coming from Jiang's followers. All activities of Falun Gong practitioners are peaceful. They target only Jiang and his associates. At the end of last year, Wen Jiabao, the Chinese Primer visited the US and Falun Gong practitioners unfurled banners that read, "Welcome Wen Jiabao to Visit USA" and "Bring Jiang to Justice". This time, as Hu Jintao visited France, what Falun Gong practitioners requested was to "Bring Jiang to Justice," but Hu was not the target of any protests.
In April 2002, Dictator Jiang Zemin visited Germany. Ms. Shi, a Washington DC Falun Gong practitioner who went there and participated in a peaceful appeal, said, "To avoid seeing practitioners, Jiang infused German police with many lies to slander Falun Gong. Police in Berlin checked the streets to see whether there were Falun Gong practitioners wearing yellow clothes or yellow scarves. This action aroused indignation among local kind-hearted people. Later, the Berlin government formally wrote to Falun Gong practitioners to apologise and promised that there would be no similar incidents in Berlin in the future."
Ms. Tao, who had a similar experience said, "In June 2002, Jiang visited Iceland. I and other Falun Gong practitioners went there to appeal to Jiang to end the persecution of Falun Gong. Nobody imagined that Jiang's regime would provide a blacklist to the Icelandic Government. Many Falun Gong practitioners were refused entry into Iceland. I was illegally detained on entry and asked to sign a statement with a list of many guarantees. Later we clarified the truth of Falun Gong and the inhumane persecution to the custom officials. They were moved by our compassion and did not insist on our signing the documents. Later, kind-hearted Icelandic people held a large scale demonstration. Under the pressure of the people, the Icelandic Government allowed Falun Gong practitioners to enter. Several hundred local renowned people put a huge notice in the largest local newspaper to apologise to Falun Gong practitioners."
The organisers of the press conference said, "We are not against the French Government. All activities of Falun Gong practitioners are peaceful. All we are doing is calling for an end of the persecution of Falun Gong and to bring its instigator, Jiang Zemin, to justice. Countless Falun Gong practitioners are being tortured in labour camps, mental hospitals and detention centres in China. We urgently request that the French Government take immediate actions to correct its wrongdoing to prevent further damage to France's dignity and image in the international community."
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