UK Parliament holds seminar to discuss the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China
UK Member of Parliament, Dr Stephen Ladyman, chaired a session organized by the European Friends of Falun Gong at the Houses of Parliament in the UK on the afternoon of February 27, 2002. The theme of the seminar is "China's Human Rights Violation: How Europe Should Help Stop the Brutal Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners."
The seminar was well attended by around 30 people including MPs, Lords and other officials and several members of the public. Several members of the All-China parliamentary group also attended. Three MPs, three Lords, a member of the Greater London Assembly and representatives of the European Friends of Falun Gong and the European Falun Dafa Association made statements. All of the speakers spoke of the need to stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and to allow people in China to have the same freedoms of belief that the UK people enjoy. MP Ladyman first stated that it was his honor to have the opportunity to preside the seminar and listen to the voice of Falun Gong practitioners.
Lord Moyne said in his speech, "The fact that we are all gathered here today will no doubt be carefully noted by the Chinese Communist Government, and it is right that it should be. It shows that the actions against the Falun Gong excite condemnation in influential circles outside China and, together with innumerable meetings and demonstrations in most of the rest of the world, endanger the foreign contracts which the Chinese government want to foster for the sake of China's further progress." He continued, "What can we in the West do? Quite a bit. The Chinese Communists are by no means indifferent to world opinion. They know that the progress of this country will be hindered and stultified if they are isolated by world disapproval. They are seeking to strengthen their links with the world at large: why otherwise would they have made such efforts to secure the 2008 Olympics, why were they so delighted when they were given them?"
MP Luke said, "I feel very sad that Chinese embassy refused to register Mrs. Mo Zhengfang's daughter as a Chinese citizen and rendered her stateless. As a MP it is my responsibility and also UK government's responsibility to help those that are in difficult situations. We need to work together to urge China to allow its people to have the basic human rights in the free world."
David E. Cooper, Professor of Philosophy of University of Durham could not attend the seminar due to another commitment. He wrote to the meeting, "Although the Falun Gong movement is a recent one -- only a decade old -- it belongs in a long and honoured Chinese tradition of 'cultivation practice,' in which equal attention is paid to physical and mental discipline and flourishing." He hoped that Chinese government will take the opportunity -- at a time when, because of the Olympic Games, eyes will be upon them - to reverse their policy towards a movement committed to precisely those values of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance.
European Falun Dafa Association President Mr. Jahal briefly overviewed the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Ms. Rosemary Katzen talked about the police brutality that she and other 4 UK citizen suffered when they held a peaceful appeal on Tiananmen Square in February. Practitioner Mo Zhengfang told the attendees about how her 2-years-old daughter became stateless because Chinese embassy cancelled their passports just because she and her husband practice Falun Gong.
European Friend of Falun Dafa Association President John Dee said, "At the time China just entered the WTO this despicable human rights record is not acceptable. Only if Chinese government emphasizes elevating moral standards could its economy develop. The Jiang regime has to understand that allowing Falun Gong practitioners freely practice their belief will be beneficial to the China's developments in moral standard and economy."
The meeting agreed on a number of important actions that will be taken over the next few weeks by the UK MPs. During the free discussion period, people provided useful information and offered suggestions.
The Chinese Ambassador tried to persuade Dr Ladyman to cancel the seminar on the day before, but Dr Ladyman refused. The Ambassador then asked Dr Ladyman if he could participate in the seminar and, again, Dr Ladyman refused because he knew that the Chinese Ambassador would try to disrupt the proceedings. On the day of the seminar a representative of the Chinese State media tried to participate in the seminar but was removed from the building by the British police.