Interview with Swiss Practitioner who was Acquitted After False Charges in Hong Kong

This interview was published in Swiss newspaper Tagblatt on the 16th of November.

Journalist: Kreuzlinger’s Erich Bachmann is a practitioner of Falun Gong. In 2002, he took part in an appeal outside the Chinese Embassy in Hong Kong. He was arrested and ordered to pay a fine. Now he has been acquitted on all counts.

Mr. Bachmann, please tell us, given Hong Kong’s hard-hitting attitude during the legal proceedings, how did this acquittal come about?

Erich Bachmann: The Court of Appeals felt bound by the laws of Hong Kong. Our appeal was legal under all existing laws.

Journalist: Please tell us more details about the legal proceedings.

Erich Bachmann: Myself, along with three other Swiss nationals and twelve Falun Gong practitioners from other countries, were charged during legal proceedings under all counts in autumn of 2003 because of the peaceful demonstration we held in March two years before. We appealed against this judgment. Now, one year later the court handed down its decision.

Journalist: Please give us the exact words of the judgment.

Erich Bachmann: The police arrested us illegally. The public prosecutor found no existing law suggesting that the demonstrations presented a public nuisance.

Journalist: Were you able to be present during the acquittal proceedings?

Erich Bachmann: No, the hearing date was given with too short a notice.

Journalist: But you still feel relieved?

Erich Bachmann: Yes. I’m extremely pleased that the judgment was based on the truth. It was even discussed in the media that the first unjust ruling by Hong Kong’s court was brought about because of pressure by the People’s Republic of China’s regime. It is important to publicise the persecution of Falun Gong in China. Therefore, we keep up our campaign to raise awareness in Switzerland.


Originally published in German at http://de.clearharmony.net/articles/200411/20511.html

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