Belgian Police Pressurized to Arrest Falun Gong Practitioners during the EU-China summit

(Brussels, September 7, 2001)

During the EU-China summit in Brussels and the Chinese Premier’s visit to Belgium, Falun Gong practitioners from different European countries, as well as from Australia, came to Brussels, to try to appeal peacefully to the Chinese delegation to stop the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China.

On Thursday, September 6, 2001, 16 practitioners from France, Belgium and the U.K. individually made their way to the Chinese Embassy in the afternoon. They expected to appeal to the Chinese Premier for the release of a recently detained French family, Mr. Chi Jian, his wife and his daughter, who were arrested by the Chinese security in Inner Mongolia, China in August 2001.

However, the Belgian policemen detained them all. Handcuffs were used to shackle their hands. They were not released until 9pm that evening. The policemen forcibly ransacked their belongings. The practitioners were detained in the name of disturbing social order, although they did nothing wrong and had no intention to protest. When they asked the reasons for the detainment, the policemen explained that they knew that Falun Gong practitioners are peaceful, innocent people but they had a heavy pressure from the Chinese authority. All of the police officers gladly accepted our flyers clarifying the truth about the persecution in China, and were sure to read them later when they were off duty.

This incident fully demonstrates how the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is extended outside of China under the influence of a few wicked people. Some individuals from the Chinese delegation themselves also considered it wrong to clear out the practitioners from public places just because they peacefully appeal for justice. This is what one of the practitioners heard when listening to a conversation between two officials.

The freedom of thought, of expression and of belief is something to be cherished, and it cannot be replaced by any kind of material benefit. We hope that European countries can remain clearheaded when facing the pressure from the Chinese Government and be firm in their stance against the violation of human rights in China.

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