People from all walks of life in Sweden are showing great concern after hearing that Shen Yun Performing Arts was forced to cancel all seven of its shows in Hong Kong because the Hong Kong Immigration Department denied entry visas to six key members of the Shen Yun production staff. The Swedish pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is up to its old tricks again. The "one country, two systems" exits only in name. They condemn the CCP for its manipulation behind the scenes, and interference with the Shen Yun show in Hong Kong.
Goran Lindblad, vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), said the CCP used all its mechanisms to interfere. But he wasn't surprised. It was bad news because it harmed freedom of speech. Hong Kong was guaranteed with freedom of speech and assembly. There wasn't any formal way to obstruct the Shen Yun show, so they used something related to labour. It was a terrible excuse. It was Beijing who should be condemned.
Mr. Goran Lindblad has seen the wonderful Shen Yun Performing Arts show in Stockholm. After watching the show, he praised it for its art and for letting the world know the Chinese people had another way of thinking besides the centralisation government.
Goran Lindblad, vice president of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE)
Mr. Lindblad added, "I am an politician of foreign affairs. I condemn the CCP's interference with the Shen Yun shows. What it did was no surprise to me. I have personally experienced its interference with activities I participated in. The best way is to timely expose its conduct. I am here today to show support of Shen Yun."
Computer technician Sofia
Computer technician Sofia has provided assistance for Shen Yun shows in Sweden. She said the Hong Kong government's denial of entry visas for Shen Yun production staff members was equivalent to denying the shows, because the success of the shows can't be separated from the coordination of production staff behind the scenes. She said, "It is common practice for touring shows to use their own production staff because they know the show and have the needed skills. It would be impossible to use local employees."
Mats Karlsson, spokesperson for Supporting Human Rights in China (SHRIC)
Having watched the Shen Yun show, Mr. Mats Karlsson, spokesperson for Supporting Human Rights in China (SHRIC), said he regrets that the people of Hong Kong won't be able to see the Shen Yun shows. He said, "It is a setback of Hong Kong. It shows the 'one country, two systems' doesn't exist. And it lost space for freedom. It is ridiculous. It is hard to believe production staff were denied entry visa three days before the show." He repeated, "It is ridiculous! I have watched Shen Yun show because I am interested in Chinese culture. It is a beautiful show! I feel sorry for people in Hong Kong they won't be able to watch it early this year!"
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