20th November 2001
We are writing in response to the arrest today by the Chinese police of 36 western Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, after they had staged a peaceful appeal on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners who are already being persecuted by the Chinese authorities. The western practitioners, who come from 12 different countries including the UK, Switzerland, Germany, USA, Canada, and Australia, had displayed a banner stating ‘Truth, Compassion, Forbearance’, the principles of Falun Gong, and were performing peaceful meditation.
Falun Gong practitioners in China have been subjected to more than two years of persecution by the Jiang Zemin regime, including torture, imprisonment and even murder, and those western practitioners were merely staging a peaceful protest denouncing the Chinese government’s attitude towards Falun Gong, in an attempt to persuade them to stop the persecution. This demonstration shows clearly the strength of feeling in countries outside China.
China is a signatory of the UN Convention on Human Rights and should hold to that. As China has been granted the hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games, it must take the lead on the international stage by improving its human rights record immediately by releasing all Falun Gong practitioners currently imprisoned in China and should stop the killing forthwith.
Falun Gong has given 100 million people better health and has taught people to be better citizens. It also teaches people to be truthful, compassionate and tolerant, and China should be proud that these principles emanated from within its midst.
Falun Gong practitioners have clearly been treated unfairly in China. Despite this, they continue to hold to their principles and always act peacefully. We hope the Chinese government can engage in a peaceful dialogue with Falun Gong practitioners, and bring this persecution to an end.
We therefore call upon the Chinese government to:-
1/ abolish Office 610 and other administrative offices which were created to persecute Falun Gong, and to bring Luo Gan to justice.
2/ unconditionally release all Falun Gong practitioners currently held in Chinese prisons, labour camps and mental hospitals.
3/ withdraw the warrant for the arrest of Mr Li Hongzhi.
4/ stop the Chinese police from carrying out torture, rape and violence against Falun Gong practitioners, and to stop the killing out of respect for basic human rights.
We, the Friends of Falun Gong Europe, make a heartfelt appeal to you to make a humanitarian judgment on this issue. We are going to stand shoulder to shoulder with Falun Gong practitioners in and outside China to the very end, and we believe it is our obligation to continue this humanitarian effort to help to bring about an end to the persecution. Any human being with a human heart should and must stop this persecution now.
Friends of Falun Gong Europe
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