UK Foreign Secretary highlights Falun Gong human rights issue in latest report on Hong Kong

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The UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw made the following statement in the UK Foreign Office Six-monthly Report on Hong Kong January-June 2001:

"In this report, as in previous reports, we highlight issues which have given rise to controversy. One such issue concerned suggestions that the [Hong Kong] SAR Government might legislate against Falun Gong, a group which is banned in mainland China but legally registered in Hong Kong. I am encouraged by the SAR Government's announcement that it does not at present intend to introduce such legislation."

"...the success of 'One Country, Two Systems' can not be taken for granted: its success requires full observance of Hong Kong's core values"

He also stated that Hong Kong people vigorously defended their fundamental rights and freedoms.

In addition to Foreign Secretary Mr Jack Straw's comments, the report devoted eight paragraphs to the rights and freedoms of Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong. In particular, the report stated "In the days before the Fortune Global Forum, the SAR authorities refused entry to Hong Kong to about 100 individuals, most of whom were reported to be Falun Gong followers. Three of those involved were British citizens. The British Consul-General sought clarification from the Secretary for Security, Mrs Regina Ip. ... we take the view that ease of travel to Hong Kong is an essential aspect of Hong Kong's reputation as a free and open society"

Reported by UK Practitioner
26 December 2001

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