Article from "The Epoch Times": Letter to the Editor - Iceland’s Pendulum Opinion on Luo Gan

September 18, 2003

A Letter to the Editor

During a discussion about the recent lawsuit filed against Luo Gan in Iceland my mother told me that this time things have been very different here in Iceland. Back in June 2002 when Jiang Zemin came here, the Icelandic people were a bit astonished by all the Falun Gong practitioners dressed in yellow and meditating up on Arnarholl. But not everyone knew enough about Falun Gong to even have their own opinion about what was happening.

Today many people have expressed both publicly and privately how disgusted they are with how the Icelandic government has treated Luo and his crew with great generosity.

Different members of Parliament, from the ruling party as well as the opposition, have been asked on different talk shows or news-related shows to discuss the visit and a lot of what they say is just not interesting. For example our former Minister of Education, now Minister of Justice, and qigong practitioner Bjorn Bjarnason has opted to defend his stance. Bjarnason used to be a strong critic of how Falun Gong practitioners were treated last summer, but as soon as he became the Minister of Justice he changed his tune dramatically. In the beginning, Bjarnason defended the Ministry in relation to The Personal Data committees´ conclusion that stated it was illegal for the Ministry of Justice to take part in the blacklisting of Falun Gong practitioners last summer. Now he defends welcoming Luo Gan by saying he has made Luo well-informed about human rights in Iceland, including introducing him to the Icelandic justice system. Apparently, Luo has also heard Bjarnason’s personal opinion about the need for universal human rights, no matter what ruling system a country has. When asked what Luo Gan’s reply or opinion was after hearing these views, it sounded, not surprisingly, as if Luo was not desperate to change his opinion. Instead he keeps hiding behind the same curtain: that is that the size of his country and its population change everything in relation to individual rights.

Another member of Parliament and Independent Party member alongside Bjarnason Petur Blondal, claims to be a big critic of the human rights violations in China, including the Tiananmen Square massacre in 1989 and the Falun Gong issue. During one show he referred to a female Falun Gong practitioner coming to him and showing him pictures of how Falun Gong practitioners were being tortured in China, noting it was hard to deny that they were the truth. But he still went dining with Luo Gan, saying that is better to talk to these kind of governments so that they would not get too isolated, which could cause their crimes and violations to worsen, as he said was the case in the history of earlier China. He was obviously not happy with Ragnar and the charges being filed against Luo Gan in Iceland, commenting that it might worsen the situation for the people of China.

Steingrimur J. Sigfusson, president of the Green Party, said he would not go to dinner with Luo Gan even if he were invited and that he was very proud of [practitioners' solicitor] Ragnar since this was a very righteous claim, and that it was in his opinion very positive and historical for Iceland in this time.

Several famous writers have expressed their deep support for this cause, among them Illugi Jökulsson, who has written in papers and spoken on TV several times. He makes fun of both the Icelandic and Chinese government, and mentions Falun Gong repeatedly. One time he showed a picture on TV of one student from 1989 in Tiananmen Square standing in front of 4 Chinese army tanks, and a second picture of Luo Gan sneaking out of a tiny little back door of our National Culture House, to avoid the silent protesters in the front. Then Illugi asked: Is there a question which one has more courage and character?

Another famous writer, Sigurdur A. Magnusson, who is also a member of Amnesty International, was filmed at both TV Channel 1 and 2 while protesting silently in front of the Culture House in Reykjavik while Lou Gan was dining there. When the Chinese “welcome team” came and tried to cover his Amnesty flag with their red Chinese flags and started pushing him away he got very upset and was not silent for a moment, telling the “Chinese cheerleaders” to go someplace else, an order which they of course did not follow. This film clip has been shown repeatedly and is a dramatic symbolical show of how the Chinese government tries to block the democratic rights of the general public.

A young, well known actor, Benendikt Erlingsson, expressed very effectively in a news-related talk show where the Minister of Environment was also a guest, how ridiculous it is to treat a person that has so many unthinkably evil crimes on his conscience with such dignity. Journalists have also been very supportive to [Falun Gong], asking Members of Parliament provocative and probing questions, both on TV and in the papers.

The name of Falun Gong and Falun Dafa is becoming well rooted and known in the Icelandic culture for peaceful and courageous thoughts and actions.

Note: Luo Gan, head of the Gestapo-like “6-10 Office”, has been charged with crimes of torture, genocide and crimes against humanity in a criminal lawsuit during his two-day visit in Iceland. For the past four years, the "6-10 Office" in China -- described by the United States Congress as an agency charged with "overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong members through organised brainwashing, torture, and murder" -- has been the primary instrument for implementing a policy of genocide towards Falun Gong practitioners.

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