On May 2nd, 2007, the Legal Aid Institute (LBH) and Falun Gong practitioners from Surabaya, Indonesia held a press conference at LBH and published an announcement, in which they expressed their regret regarding the Surabay City Government cancelling Falun Gong practitioners' performances at the city celebration activity and the police department's detention of Falun Gong practitioners.
Falun Gong practitioners pointed out that the CCP has been interfering with Falun Gong practitioners' activities all over the world, but practitioners will not be moved by it. Falun Gong practitioners will keep clarifying the facts about Falun Gong and taking appropriate actions to stop the persecution. Several media groups came to the press conference. After the press conference, the officials from Surabaya city government contacted LBH and promised that such an incident (interfering with Falun Gong practitioners' activities) would not occur again.
|The press conference|
Invited by the city government, Falun Gong practitioners were supposed to perform at the celebration for the 714th anniversary of Surabaya City. Falun Gong practitioners were invited by the city government twice in the last two years and their performances were highly praised. However, the city government cancelled practitioners' performances on April 7th. The reason that the city government gave was because Falun Gong practitioners' entry includes the Divine Land Marching Band from Taiwan. But later, the city government admitted that the real reason was that a "certain country" doesn't want Falun Gong practitioners to attend the celebration.
170 Falun Gong practitioners in the Divine Land Marching Band had already booked airplane tickets and hotel rooms, but due to the short notice, they could not cancel them. At the celebration, one practitioner was taken away by the police and interrogated for two hours.
The Legal Aid Institute (LBH) expressed their regret at this incident. LBH expressed that city government's action was not proper.
In the announcement, the LBH and Falun Gong practitioners pointed out that it is a citizen's right to peaceably assemble, which is protected by the laws in Indonesia. Cancelling Falun Gong practitioners' activity due to pressure from another country shows that the Indonesian government put international relations at a higher priority than human rights.
As part of the announcement, the LBH and practitioners required the government to give a clear explanation of the incident.
At the press conference, one reporter asked if a "certain country" referred to the CCP's regime. Practitioners pointed out that the CCP has been trying to interfere with Falun Gong practitioners all over the world and in China it is still persecuting practitioners. Practitioners will keep clarifying the facts of the persecution and calling for the end of it.
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