Fair Trial for Falun Gong and Rule of Law in Russia
Brussels, July 10th, 2012 - For several years, the Russian authorities have been trying to suppress law-obeying Falun Gong practitioners in Russia under the request and pressure of the Chinese regime, which illegally persecutes Falun Gong (a peaceful Chinese traditional meditation practice) since July 1999.
Russian authorities have banned Falun Gong related materials since 2008, through a court verdict in Krasnodar, using a law on extremism. This law is also used to target other religious groups in Russia, as well as Russian human rights activists and independent journalists. Falun Gong practitioners filed appeal on June 20th, 2012 to the Russian Supreme court, which is set to issue a final decision in the following days.
Several Russian Human rights activists and Sakharov Prize winners sent letter to members of the European Parliament (MEP) to urge Russian authorities to stop the unlawful harassment of Falun Gong in Russia and guarantee a fair trial for Falun Gong.
People from several European countries will come to Brussels to stage a demonstration:
Time: 2pm to 6.00pm, Wednesday July 11st, 2012
Address: Place de Luxembourg
(In front of the European Parliament)
Press point at 3pm
Contact: Nicolas Schols 0479/875734 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Background: The Russian authorities have been banning various Falun Gong activities in Russia using Article 8 of the Treaty on “Being Good Neighbours, Friendship and cooperation between the Russian Federation and the PRC”, which was signed by Russian President Vladimir Putin and the former President of PR China, Jiang Zemin, on July 16, 2001.
Russia, being a member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, allows its national security services to treat Falun Gong practitioners as international terrorists. The legal basis of anti-terrorist activities of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization violates the principles of the United Nations and stipulates that a terrorist could be a person who has certain ideological views and not merely a person performing certain actions; it also treats terrorism as actions against the state, and not only against its citizens.
About 20 MEPs from different political groups have sent Russian authorities a statement to: condemn the Chinese regime's export of its persecution and human rights violations beyond its borders, by pressuring other countries, like Russia, to follow its policy to suppress innocent Falun Gong practitioners; urge the Chinese regime to stop such behavior; and call on the Russian authorities to respect the rule of law, and guarantee Falun Gong practitioners in Russia to have the fundamental rights granted by the Russian constitution, so that they can have a peaceful environment to follow their belief.