MEP Statement from London Activities to Commemorate April 25th

The following statement by John Purvis, Member of the European Parliament for Scotland, was read at a press conference opposite the Chinese Embassy in London on Saturday April 28th 2007. The press conference was the start of a day of activities to commemorate April 25th 1999 when Falun Gong practitioners in China appealed to the government to release fellow practitioners who were wrongfully imprisoned. This appeal was used by members of the Chinese Communist Party as an excuse to publicly launch the persecution against Falun Gong, which had previously been happening clandestinely.

As you may know, my colleague Mr Edward MacMillan-Scott, Conservative MP for Yorkshire and the Humber and Vice President of the European Parliament, has been particularly active on this issue.

In May 2006 he visited China and interviewed Falun Gong practitioners Cao Dong and Niu Jinping and has spoken at length to human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, who has supported a number of Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. MacMillan-Scott has also been liaising with the UN and concerned NGOs as well as with the President of the European Parliament, Mr. Hans-Gert Pottering, who has raised the issue of Falun Gong prisoners with the Chinese ambassador to the EU.

I am grateful to you for raising this particular case, which I have forwarded to Mr. MacMillan-Scott for submission to the European Commission, which conducts a twice yearly EU-China human rights dialogue.

I hope this will be of some help.

John Purvis
Member of the European Parliament for Scotland

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