The London Borough Council of Harrow has just passed a motion supporting Falun Gong and has condemned the Chinese government’s betrayal of Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The council wrote to the Friends of Falun Gong Europe saying that the London Borough of Harrow strongly supports Falun Gong. The letter and motion are as follows:
My ref: CDN/hp 18Jan 2002-01-25
Dear Mr Dee
Further to my letter of 14th January, I am writing to inform you that the council considered the motion I put forward.
After discussion, an amendment was moved and as majority of the council seemed more than happy to accept it, and in consequence, the motion and amendment was passed.
According to the Council Officer who conducted the count, of 63 members present, 40 voted for the motion...It received the majority support of those voting, and none voted against it.
The text of the motion, as finally passed, was as follows:
“This council strongly supports Article 18 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that everyone has the right to manifest these in public or in private, in teaching practice and worship.
This council notes that Harrow is a London Borough renowned for its cultural diversity, and encourages the values outlined in Article 18 and that Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual movement centred on the practice of meditation.
This council further notes that in the People’s Republic of China the freedoms of religion and conscience declared by Article 18 are not respected, and that the adherence of many faiths and movements, including Falun Gong, are subjected to persecution by way of harassment, arbitrary detention, unfair trials, torture and murder, because they practice their beliefs in accordance with their conscience.
The council therefore requests the mayor to write to the Chinese Ambassador on behalf of the people of Harrow, calling upon the Chinese government to guarantee freedom of religious teaching, practice and worship, and freedom of conscience for all its people, in accordance with Article 18”
CLLR [name omitted]
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