The following letter was sent to Falun Gong practitioner and artist, Zhang Cuiying by the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs:
Asia and Oceania Department
22 February 2002
Re Treatment of individual Falun Gong practitioners
Dear Mrs Zhang,
On behalf of Jozias van Aartsen, Minister of Foreign Affairs, I would like to thank you for the beautiful scroll and the book of your paintings you left as a present for him during your stay in the Netherlands last December. I hope your exhibition in Maastricht was a success.
Thank you also for your letters to Her Majesty the Queen, the Prime Minister, Wim Kok, and Minister Jozias van Aartsen, in which you raise the problem of the harsh treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Dutch government is concerned about the human rights situation in China and tries to ensure that matters such as the death penalty, freedom of religion and assembly, and the right to a fair and impartial trial and humane treatment of all prisoners and detainees, including members of unofficial or banned organisations such as the Falun Gong, are always on the agenda of the human rights dialogue between the European Union and China, which takes place every six months.
The Dutch government attaches great importance to upholding the international human rights instruments, which enshrine the responsibility of governments for protecting the human rights of their citizens, irrespective of the organisation to which they belong. I would like to stress, however, that the government's concern about the treatment of individual Falun Gong practitioners does not imply any judgement, positive or negative, regarding the nature of the Falun Gong movement, or its ideas or activities.
Please rest assured that the Dutch government will continue to try and contribute to the improvement of the human rights situation in China, including the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, and will raise this issue wherever appropriate, in its bilateral relations and in the European Union and United Nations.
Director Asia and Oceania Department
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