3000 Icelandic people demonstrate to protest Jiang’s presence and the unfair treatment of Falun Gong practitioners during Jiang's visit to Iceland last June.
The group of eight Falun Gong practitioners from the US, Canada and Europe completed the first round of dialogue with the Icelandic government on September 6. The Icelandic Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Justice each sent two government officials to participate in the dialogue. The noted human rights lawyer and Icelandic Supreme Court Lawyer Ragnar Adalsteinsson provided legal consultation for Falun Gong practitioners. But for the time being, there has not been any progress.
The focal points for discussion were concentrated on the issue that during Jiang's visit to Iceland in June, the Icelandic government yielded to China's pressure, using a blacklist to keep Falun Gong practitioners from entering Iceland. The media in Germany disclosed that while Jiang visited Germany, China once coerced German police to restrict Falun Gong practitioners' legitimate appeal. They threatened that Jiang would immediately terminate the visit if Falun Gong practitioners or yellow clothes were seen.
Falun Gong practitioner Cheng Dan from the US, who participated in the September 6 dialogue, remarked, "We seek an open dialogue leading to mutual understanding and timely corrective measures to reverse the damage from the unfortunate situation in June. Last June, more than 100 practitioners had their visas denied, were turned away at the border, held in a makeshift detention centre, and/or denied boarding IcelandAir flights in Europe and North America. We also asked the Icelandic government for the blacklist that played such a big role in airports and customs offices around the world last June. That list was made about us, and we have the right to know the source of that list."
One official from the Icelandic Ministry of Justice acknowledged that the Icelandic government had obtained a large number of materials from China. When he was asked if the Chinese government provided the blacklist, the official didn't deny it. The official said, "The name lists have already been destroyed, only one copy is filed as a record." The Icelandic Supreme Court attorney Ragnar, who provided consultation for Falun Gong practitioners, expressed, "Putting one copy of the blacklist on record has no difference with filing several thousand copies." Ragnar hoped that the Icelandic government presented evidence on having destroyed the blacklists.
Earlier, some media outlets thought that the blacklist possibly came from Interpol, but the German Interpol denied that it had provided such a list to the Icelandic government. Interpol expressed that "it only provides information regarding criminals." The Icelandic government also denied that the list came from Interpol.
The Falun Gong practitioners expressed that the Jiang regime disregarded Falun Gong practitioners' belief, exerting pressure on the Icelandic government to deny entry to or detain Falun Gong practitioners. This is clearly in violation of international human rights laws. Moreover, many copies of the blacklist were distributed to airports around the world and used to deny entry to Falun Gong practitioners.
By caving in to the Jiang regime's pressure, the Icelandic government damaged Iceland's reputation and standing in the international community as a bellwether of democratic freedoms and integrity. Falun Gong practitioners believe that the ban was a consequence of incorrect information received by the Icelandic government. Through dialogue, these matters can be directly addressed, leading to improved mutual understanding.
Jiang was making a state visit to Iceland during this time period, and he bears personal responsibility for the brutal persecution campaign waged against tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China, resulting in imprisonment, torture, families torn apart, and more than 400 dead. Falun Gong practitioners travelled to Iceland, not for their own benefit, but to give voice to the innocent people being persecuted in China. They hoped to appeal for an end to the persecution in a peaceful, lawful, and compassionate manner. In China, participating in such appeal activities could cost one's freedom and even one's life.
The Falun Gong practitioners seek an agreement to compensate for the damage. They pointed out possible acceptable outcomes: a public admission of mistakes; compensation for affected individuals; public denunciation of the persecution in China; and full disclosure to practitioners regarding the blacklist and its destruction.
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