Italy: Falun Gong Spokesman Attends Parliamentary Hearing

On October 9th, Falun Gong spokesman Erping Zhang was invited by Mr. Marco Pannella MEP, Chairman of the Transnational Radical Party (TRP), to attend a hearing held by the Human Rights Commission and Foreign Affairs Commission of the Italian Parliament, along with some other guests from Asia. At the hearing, Erping Zhang talked about the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Mr. Malgeri, Chairman of the Human Rights Commission, who was hosting the hearing, said, “We need to pay attention to the situation of people under persecution. The respect for human rights cannot and should not be talked about as a mere rhetoric”. Mr. Azzolini, member of the Human Rights Commission and chairman of the Italian parliamentary delegation to the EU Commission, said that his delegation would urge the EU Commission to pay more attention to religious freedom. This is the first hearing on religious freedom to be held in the Italian Parliament.

Corriere Dellasera, an Italian newspaper, said in its report, “… a guest invited by the TRP, which has always been fighting for the religious freedom of minority groups in the Far East, said, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong followers have been detained, incarcerated in mental hospitals, sent to labour camps or tortured, only because they practise an ancient way of body purification…”

On October 10th, the Falun Gong spokesman attended another hearing held by the Special Committee on Human Rights of the Italian Senate, which was hosted by Mr. Pianetta, chairman of the committee. After the hearing, Erping Zhang and other invited guests, accompanied by Marco Pannella MEP and several other MEPs and senators, had a meeting with Mr. Pera, Chairman of the Italian Senate. Chairman of the Senate is the No. 2 position in the Italian political system, second only to the President of the Republic.

Translated from Chinese at

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