France: Practitioners Hold a Press Conference and Prepare to Sue the Authorities Responsible for Unreasonably Arresting Falun Gong Practitioners

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On the morning of January the 28th 2004, the French Falun Dafa Association held a press conference outside the Supreme Court in Paris. They announced that the Falun Gong practitioners who were badly treated and arrested during Hu Jintao’s Chinese New Year visit are preparing to sue the responsible French authorities.

The Vice-Chairperson of the French Falun Dafa Association, Ms. Christel Gassie, said, “What we have encountered is an incident exporting the persecution of Falun Gong from China to France."

“Our Association applied for participation in the parade to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year. However, under pressure from the Chinese government, our application was turned down. From January 24 to 27, there have been at least 30 Falun Gong practitioners rudely and unreasonably brought to the police station for detention. There were also many practitioners rudely harassed by the police. These Falun Gong practitioners come from countries of freedom, including England, Germany, Denmark, Norway, United States, Taiwan, and France."

According to Ms. Gassie, these people were arrested merely because they are Falun Gong practitioners or because they wore clothes, scarves, or badges with Falun Dafa printed on them. Some of them didn’t even wear clothes, scarves, or badges of this kind. Among them, there were practitioners’ relatives who do not practise Falun Gong. A lady from England could not get in touch with her 12-year-old son during the several hours that she was detained. Another lady from Taiwan was sent to hospital because she was so frightened by the police officers’ unreasonable and forceful behaviour that she passed out on the spot.

Some Falun Gong practitioners said that they come from democratic countries in Europe, Asia, America, and Australia. They were astonished and felt deep regret for what the French authorities did under the Chinese Communist regime’s pressure.

Falun Gong practitioners think that an incident such as this is an infringement upon human rights in France. It has brought tremendous damage to Falun Gong practitioners and is a serious matter. For this reason, practitioners are currently actively explaining the truth about Falun Gong to the related government departments. They are also actively contacting the legal circles, to let them know the facts in preparation of suing the responsible departments in order to stop similar incidents from occurring. Several famous lawyers have already expressed their willingness to take this case to protect Falun Gong practitioners’ legal interests and rights.

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