(Clearwisdom.net) Every year in France, around the time of the Chinese New Year, Chinese people, and those who love Chinese culture, gather in the 13th District of Paris. Most Chinese people live in the area and some large-scale traditional parades are held to celebrate the annual festivities. The mayor of Paris proposed holding next year's parade on Champs Elysees Avenue.

The parade is a public activity promoting traditional Chinese culture, which all Chinese people in France may attend. Falun Gong promotes truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Rooted in traditional Chinese culture, it focuses on one's virtue and self-improvement. In over 60 countries around the globe Falun Gong is popular and supported by each country's government and citizens. Falun Dafa Associations are registered in France and in other countries all over the world. Falun Dafa practitioners frequently attend Chinese and other ethnic community activities including parades, for which they have been awarded many prizes. In a well-developed democratic society, everyone is treated equally no matter what his belief, religion, point of view, ethnic origin, or gender. This is the reason why Falun Gong practitioners are perfectly eligible to participate in the 2004 parade in Paris.

However, the rights of Falun Gong practitioners were irrationally violated by the Chinese Embassy in France. In October 2003, the French Falun Dafa Association sent a written application to the coordinator of the 2004 Chinese New Year parade. The application clearly described that there would be over 1,000 people participating by doing a Dragon dance, waist drumming, traditional Chinese dancing, Falun Gong exercises, and other brilliant performances, as well as a float. The application was later transferred to the Chinese Embassy. When the French Falun Dafa Association didn't receive a response after a week, Falun Gong practitioners called the Chinese Embassy and were told that their application had been rejected. The reason given was the "Chinese government's attitude towards Falun Gong." Embassy staff refused to put the response in writing, which was unacceptable behavior in a well-established democratic society. Falun Gong practitioners' application to attend this Chinese traditional activity had nothing to do with politics, yet the Chinese Embassy made it into a political issue. It wanted people to think of this issue as political, and wanted to make people misunderstand or even hate Falun Gong. The Embassy wanted to extend the unlawful persecution by China's former leader, Jiang Zemin, to France. This seriously threatened the French people's freedom, and value of human rights and social freedoms.

The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners directed by Jiang and his cohorts is unlawful, immoral, inhumane, and contrary to public opinion. The methods used in the persecution are based on violence, lies, and instigation of hatred. Similarly, under Jiang's control, the Chinese Embassy is using comparable means to conduct such shameful actions as spreading rumors that Falun Gong practitioners are planning to spoil the parade and its atmosphere, and to damage the French-Chinese relationship (Jiang cannot represent China; not now nor in the future). The Embassy bribed or coerced Chinese social clubs and associations to write slanderous letters to French politicians. Such activities make innocent Chinese people involved in politics and do something they would not normally do. In this way, French society and its fellow Chinese citizens are participating in the persecution of Falun Gong. Furthermore, this issue was used in anti-Falun Gong propaganda in Mainland China to confuse the public and maintain the persecution.

We sincerely hope all compassionate people will stand up and oppose all forms of persecution of Falun Gong, and support Falun Gong practitioners' right to participate in a Chinese cultural event. We would like to meet with Chinese Embassy staff to discuss this situation, and would like to talk with municipal authorities who may have been deceived by the Embassy's defamation.

Please do not cooperate with Jiang and his cohorts to treat Falun Gong unfairly; do not take the blame for those criminals. Please think about the consequences for our country and our fellow citizens.