Germany: Practitioners in Berlin Invited to Hold a Seminar Introducing Falun Gong at a Berlin Police Station

On May the 18th, Falun Gong practitioners in Berlin were invited by a Berlin Police Station to hold a seminar to introduce Falun Gong. Over ten high-ranking police officers attended the seminar and the discussion which followed.

During the three hour seminar, Falun Gong practitioners used a great number of photos to introduce to the police the origin and features of this cultivation method, its popularity in China and around the world, the persecution of Falun Gong in China since July 1999, and practitioners' efforts to appeal against the persecution. In addition, five Western and Chinese practitioners demonstrated the five sets of exercises.

Deceitful lies being spread overseas unexpectedly helped to promote Falun Gong and broadcast the truth

Berlin Police Station is under the direct jurisdiction of the Berlin Police General Agency, mainly in charge of the public security of the German capital Berlin and also responsible for the security of visiting heads. The crackdown on millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China has been in the international spotlight since July, 1999. Therefore, China's delegates have no choice but to face the peaceful demonstrations held by overseas Falun Gong practitioners calling for a stop to the persecution and for the criminals to be brought to justice. To avoid overseas Falun Gong practitioners' protest activities, the Chinese consulates keep pressuring the governments during Chinese leaders' visits, or even make up lies so as to instruct local police to enforce the ban on Falun Gong practitioners' appeals.

In April 2002, during the criminal Jiang Zemin's visit to Germany, Chinese officials lied to the German police by claiming that Falun Gong practitioners, who are renowned for their peaceful protests, might resort to violence. Furthermore, China threatened to stop the state visit. As a result, German police were instructed to restrict Falun Gong practitioners and forcefully removed the practitioners staying in the Hotel Adlon, Berlin. Accordingly, in 2003 Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit with Berlin's Administrative Court against the German Federal Department of Domestic Affairs, demanding the court to investigate if the security measures taken by the department during Jiang's visit curtailed basic civic rights enshrined in the German Constitution.

Through a one year investigation and contact with Falun Gong practitioners, on April 26th 2004 the German Federal Department of Domestic Affairs reached an agreement with German Falun Gong practitioners proposed by the judge in Berlin's Administrative Court, formally admitting that its treatment of Falun Gong practitioners during Jiang's visit infringed their basic human rights. The situation, the result of false information spread by the Chinese authorities, alerted German police to the possibility that information about Falun Gong provided by China might be misleading. In the past two years, German Falun Gong practitioners have made contact with the agencies concerned and offered them materials explaining the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution.

Learning a lesson from Jiang's visit to Germany in 2002, the heads of the German Federal Criminal Police Station and the Berlin Police General Agency held talks with Falun Gong practitioners on May the 2nd, prior to the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to Germany; the two parties exchanged opinions and information with each other. The Berlin Police Station, in charge of Falun Gong practitioners' legal protest activities during Wen's visit, stated that the two parties cooperated very well during Wen's visit. To enable more police officers to have a deeper understanding of Falun Gong, the Berlin Police Station especially invited Falun Gong practitioners to introduce the truth of Falun Gong and the persecution in China to the heads of the police sections .

Seeing photos of Chinese Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted to disability or even to death, German police officers were shocked. When the video tape revealing the truth of the "Self-Immolation" event was played, the meeting room fell silent. "Though we had been informed of some situations of the persecution against Falun Gong in advance, we felt extremely shocked by the "Self-Immolation" staged by a government as an excuse for the crackdown," said one of the police officers. The photos of the tortured practitioners and the video tape exposed the Jiang's regime's fear of encountering Falun Gong practitioners overseas.

"We are in Germany, not in Beijing!"

During Wen's visit to Germany from May the 3rd to the 5th, Falun Gong practitioners again held peaceful demonstrations in Berlin and displayed banners reading, "Welcome Wen Jiabao", "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice" and "Expel The Human Rights Abuser Bo Xilai". To cover up massive human rights violations, Jiang's regime again exerted pressure on the German Government and the police and threatened them with "political and diplomatic repercussions." The Chinese officials even lied to the police, saying that the Chinese characters on the banner reading "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice" meant to sentence Jiang Zemin to a death penalty instead of bringing Jiang to court, and thus demanded the police to have the banner confiscated. The police then hired several translators to check out the Chinese characters on the banner, which meant that Jiang's criminal behaviours should "be judged in courts of law." Based on the reliable information from the Berlin police, China's delegates and some officials of the Chinese embassy in Germany repeatedly harassed German police officers in charge of the security of different districts, demanding them to interfere with Falun Gong practitioners' protest activities or to confiscate the banners displayed by practitioners. One of the German police officers had no choice but tell the Chinese officials seriously, "Sorry, we are in Germany, not Beijing. We have to follow German law."

The three hour seminar came to an end and several of the police officers borrowed Falun Gong books from the practitioners. The officers also took a pile of newspapers to distribute among their colleagues. The representative of Falun Gong practitioners submitted an eighty page testimony made by German practitioners suing Jiang and his accomplices for genocide, crimes of torture and crimes against humanity to the head of the Berlin Police Station. In the end, the representative thanked the German police on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners for their help during the visit of the Chinese delegation. The head of Berlin Police Station also expressed his hope to keep in constant contact and share information with practitioners. He plans to hold another large-scale seminar to introduce Falun Gong to more police officers and to recommend the seminar to other departments of the Berlin Police General Agency.

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