During Hu Jintao’s Visit to Germany, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs were to Request the Release of Jiang Renzheng

On the eve of Hu Jintao’s state visit to Germany, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs took measures to help Jiang Renzheng and his family to leave China. Jiang and his family are Falun Gong practitioners who wee deported from Germany after the German Government mistakenly thought that they would not be in any danger. Upon their return to China, persecution started and Jiang was put in a forced labour camp. But after the German Government's intervention, Benxi Labour Camp of Liaoning Province hampered the departure of Jiang Renzheng and his family. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs assured a local Falun Gong representative that Jiang’s release would be brought up during official meetings with Hu Jintao.

Radio Free Asia reported on November 10th that human rights organizations, including Amnesty International, asked the German Government to deliver deep concerns about China’s human rights issues to Chinese President Hu Jintao during his state visit to Germany. The attitude of the Benxi Labour Camp has simply aggravated the situation.

Hu arrived in Germany on November 10th. On the eve of Hu’s visit, international human rights associations including Amnesty International called upon Mr. Schroeder, the departing chancellor, and Ms. Merkel, who took office yesterday, to explicitly express concerns over China’s ever-deteriorating human rights when they meet Hu Jintao. The concerned German government offices also made efforts on cases of China’s human rights, e.g. the Jiang Renzheng Incident. However, surprising news about Jiang Renzheng was received from China on the evening of November 9th. The reporter interviewed Mrs. Weisberg, a member of the rescue group for Jiang Renzheng.

Mrs. Weisberg said the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs had taken the necessary measures which would allow Jiang Renzheng and his family to depart for Germany from China on November the 11th. Simultaneously, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also contacted for this arrangement. While the German side was waiting for a response from the Chinese side, an unexpected event occurred. Chinese officials associated with the Benxi Labour Camp went to Jiang Renzheng’s parents-in-law’s house in Shenyang City, trying to retrieve Jiang’s passport, which was newly issued by the Public Security Bureau of Shenyang. Jiang was threatened that he would be taken back to the labour camp if he would not surrender his passport. He was also ordered not to leave Benxi or Shenyang, otherwise he would be in big trouble.

The rescue group in Germany called upon German Government executives to bring up the Jiang Renzheng’s event when they met Hu Jintao. After knowing Jiang Renzheng and his family encountered obstacles in leaving China, the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs unequivocally assured a Falun Gong representative that they would request Hu Jintao to release Jiang Renzheng and his family and allow them to return to Germany.

Based on the information available to the correspondent, the action taken by the Benxi Labour Camp has puzzled German people familiar with Chinese issues because it has aggravated the German public’s concerns over China’s human rights. They believed if the Jiang Renzheng incident is not resolved in a short time, its impact will be broad and profound.

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