An Open Letter to the Chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Mr. Gerhard Schroeder
We are turning to you in our great sorrow concerning the human rights situation in China.
As you might be aware, in contrast to other countries around the globe, Falun Gong practitioners in China are being persecuted and hunted. The persecution is taking increasingly more inhumane turns. Tortures and endless abuses, both physical and mental, are becoming the order of the day. Unfortunately, more and more these transgressions against humanity end up as murder of its victims. Detention periods are routinely and arbitrarily extended. According to the Chinese government, Falun Gong is to be completely eradicated.
Thirteen days ago, over 130 Falun Gong practitioners went on a hunger strike in the notorious Masanjia Re-Education-through-Labor-Camp, a camp that has become infamous in its gruesome treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. Only those who have signed written statements to sever all ties with Falun Gong will be released, otherwise they will be subjected to horrible tortures. The camp authorities accept the deaths of practitioners from these tortures as incidental. This hunger strike is the result of the camp's refusal to release the detainees after their initial time of incarceration had expired, but was arbitrarily extended.
We interpret the action of those practitioners as a call for help to people from all walks of life all over the world and also to the governments of the free world. Their lives are in our hands! In this spirit we ask you to hear this call for help and openly and officially declare your stance against the brutal and unjust persecution of Falun Gong in China. We appeal to you with trusting, peaceful hopes and noble thoughts, to help us in this critical time where human lives are at stake and to support us.
For these reasons, we are staging an around-the-clock vigil in front of the Chancellor's Office on August 14th, 2001, beginning at 3 p.m. Because of the grave danger in which our Chinese friends find themselves, we beg you for a speedy decision and firm handling of this crisis. Beginning August 15th, 2001, at 9 o'clock, we await your Declaration of Appeal to the Chinese government, asking them to stop all persecution of Falun Gong and to release all the prisoners.
We remind you to think back through Germany's history. How many lives could have been saved and how much misery could have been prevented, and how much guilt on the part of perpetrators could have been negated if individuals and other entities could have taken a stance at that time in history. Already, many foreign governments have intervened for human rights in China, for instance the countries of Canada, Australia, the United States and Sweden. Many human rights organizations have joined those countries to officially plead for Falun Gong's freedom in China. In Germany lately, in excess of 20,000 citizens wrote letters of appeal to the German government. Those letters were handed over to the Foreign Office on July 20th. Please help, in the interest of Germany's virtue. Falun Gong is peaceful and strictly non-political. We conduct our lives according to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.
Please, we urge you to demonstrate an act of compassion and intervene for innocently persecuted human beings.
With friendly greetings,
In the name of Falun Gong practitioners in Germany