Saturday 21st september 2002
By Søren Lange
Representatives of the meditation movement Falun Gong in Denmark will not accept a ban of demonstrations directly opposite the embassy at Gentofte. Dressed in yellow and meditating the [practitioners] will therefore stand directly opposite the embassy at Oregaards Allé for the coming week and protest against the persecution of the [practitioners] in China. This occasion is the summit in Copenhagen with the EU and some Asian countries at the so-called ASEM-cooperation that also brings the Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji to Denmark.
Since the movement was outlawed in China in 1999, the representatives of Falun Gong have almost every week carried out minor silent demonstrations at the embassy, but in July the Gentofte police refused to allow demonstrations directly opposite the embassy. Falun Gong practitioners must stand about 30 metres away from the embassy in stead. But at this place the Falun Gong practitioners are not willing to stand, according to the chairman of The Association of Falun Gong in Denmark, Marco Hsu.
We are not on a confrontation course, but we will use our democratic rights to demonstrate. The Danish authorities have been pressed by the Chinese embassy, and for that reason we will not move, he says, and refers to a letter from the Chinese embassy, in which it officially complains to the police about demonstrations at the embassy.
Head of information at Copenhagen Police, Flemming Steen Munch, responsible for the security at the summit, does not expect that the demonstrations will cause problems.[..]
Falun Gong has its origins in China, where now the movement is banned. The mainstay of Falun Gong is meditation, whereby the practitioners, through five basic exercises, are working forward toward an inner equilibrium of body and soul. Practitioners in China are risking long prison sentences, and as late as yesterday 15 members of the movement in China were sentenced to between 5 and 20 years of prison for having told about the persecution on local TV channels.
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