It is distressing to read that your country has excluded groups of people who were proposing to visit Iceland to protest against the persecution of the Falun Gong in China on the occasion of the visit to Iceland of President Jiang Zemin. As you should be aware, this persecution is extremely vicious and has resulted in the detention of many thousands of people. In many cases they have been tortured and there have been hundreds of deaths. Reliable reports indicate that the persecution is to a great extent the personal responsibility of President Jiang.
You Government ought to have been aware that in many countries where members and supporters of the Falun Gong have staged protests, these protests have in every case been entirely peaceful.
Where the movement and its supporters demonstrate against President Jiang in a country he is visiting, they have a record of always obeying police instructions promptly and unconditionally. The purpose of the demonstration is not to interfere with the visit as such, but to attract the attention of the local population. I have myself taken part in such demonstrations in London, Dublin, Brussels, Geneva, Berlin, Dresden and Wolfsburg and this was the practice in every case.
It is disappointing that the Government of Iceland feels it necessary to cringe in this way to an unpleasant dictator. The reputation of your country in the matter of human rights will certainly suffer.
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