Russia: Falun Gong Practitioners under the Pressure of Persecution (Part 2)
(Clearwisdom.net) Continued from Part 1
For several years, Russian practitioners have been making use of all opportunities possible to hold truth clarification activities, to clarify the facts to various levels of government, and to expose the lies and atrocities of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Moscow, St. Petersburg and other large cities. Currently many sentient beings in government departments in Moscow and St. Petersburg, including the Home Office, the Foreign Ministry, have learned about Falun Gong and the persecution it suffers in China. Some human rights organizations and lawyers expressed support for Falun Gong. On the other hand, under the pressure of the CCP and the direction of the Foreign Ministry, the police and the public security departments have been turning down practitioners' requests to hold protests in front of the Chinese Embassy and Consulate in Moscow and St. Petersburg. Below is the story of a recent activity.
The Planning and Application of the June 2006 Protest
According to Russian Federal Regulation Number 54-ÔÇ of June 19th, 2004 on "Public Gathering and Parade", the public is only required to apply to government authorities on the time and location of the gathering within a stipulated time frame. The relevant authority can merely "suggest" changes to the proposed time and location. The organizers of the event have the right to refuse the "suggestion."
Falun Gong practitioners planned to hold an event at the square in front of the Chinese Embassy in Moscow on June 16th to protest the CCP's atrocities of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit. Their request was denied by the local government. Later, practitioners wrote to relevant authorities to state their reasons, pointing out that the local government's refusal of public gathering was illegal. If the government turned down practitioners' application again, the practitioners would bring the local authorities to court and hold the activity as planned. Meanwhile Russian practitioners clarified the truth to the local authorities on numerous occasions. In Moscow and St. Petersburg they submitted another round of formal applications to hold protests in front of the Chinese Embassy and the Consulate respectively from 4-6 pm on June 30th. Even though the replies from local governments were still "no", the refusals were toned down a little.
On the Day of the Activity
At 4 pm on June 30th, practitioners from Moscow and St. Petersburg arrived at the locations specified in the event applications.
A group of Falun Gong practitioners arrested
Falun Gong practitioners soon released after being illegally detained
In Moscow -- the first batch of practitioners arrived to find many police and police cars waiting. The police told the practitioners immediately not to hold the protest or else they would be taken away.
Through sharing practitioners agreed that the police's behaviour was illegal. They solemnly declared to carry on with the protest as originally planned. As a result the first batch of practitioners was taken to the waiting police cars.
Meanwhile another batch of practitioners unfurled a banner. The police who had been waiting in a police car in the woods came over to confiscate the banner and took the practitioners into the police car. Practitioners clarified the truth along the way. The police repeated, "We know about Falun Gong. You are all good people. This is an order from above. We are under huge pressure from the Embassy and have to carry out the orders."
At the police station, practitioners were locked up. They were told they would be released after making a routine statement. Each practitioner was recorded and asked to sign. Everyone wrote, "This is illegal detention. I do not agree with the statement."
Subsequently the police asked practitioners to come to the station on July 3 for a judicial judgement. All practitioners were then released.
Afterwards the event organizer, President of Moscow Falun Dafa Association, Mr. Shikaqiuk Ivan Petrovich, said, "Our gathering was legal. Our goal was to protest the CCP's killing of Falun Gong practitioners, harvesting their organs while they are still alive and illegally selling these stolen organs for profit. The CCP's genocidal atrocities are intolerable. If every Russian citizen can speak out against the CCP's atrocities like the Falun Gong practitioners do, I believe Russia will become a powerful democratic country."
President of the Russian Citizen Human Rights Committee, Sofiya Rashitovna Dorinskaya, who was also on the scene, was quoted as saying, "Today's incident was a direct violation of citizens' rights. The police's behaviour was illegal. I will report this incident to President Putin."
Representative of Helsinki Human Rights Group, Valeriy Nikoliskny, said, "Today's incident is a sabotage of the country's democracy, a blatant violation of human rights. These criminal behaviours will do a great deal of harm to the nation."
In St. Petersburg, practitioners arrived at the event site, where many police had been waiting. The police kindly told practitioners, "We all know that you are good people. We are under tremendous pressure. Hope you will leave here. We have to carry out orders."
Practitioners continued to clarify the truth to the police, telling them in China the CCP harvests organs from living Falun Gong practitioners and sells the stolen organs for profit. At this point one police officer hinted to the practitioners to unfurl the banners. Practitioners immediately unfurled all of the banners in front of the Chinese Consulate.
For nearly one hour, practitioners clarified the facts to the police. Time and again the police said they had to carry out orders under the pressure of the Chinese Consulate and their superiors. Later the police said, "You have been here for one hour. They (the Chinese Consulate) kept phoning our superiors to apply pressure. Large groups of riot police will soon arrive. You have done what you came here to do. Please leave."
After sharing, practitioners attending the protest in St. Petersburg decided to leave the riverbank where the Consulate is located and continue the activity from across the river. Meanwhile the police took the event organizer to the station for a written statement. She made it clear on the record, "It is illegal to stop our protest." Similarly, police asked her to come to the station on July 3 for a judicial judgement.
The Court Overruled the Local Police Bureau's Indictment against Falun Gong Practitioners on "Administrative Violation"
Subsequent to their illegal detention of Falun Gong practitioners protesting in front of the Chinese Embassy, the police bureau at the Western District of Moscow indicted the practitioners with "Administrative Violation" at Nikulin District Court. This is a common practice by which the Moscow police tried to legalize their illegal activities. On June 30, ten practitioners were detained. After taking written statements, the police announced that the case would be heard at Moscow's Nikulin District Court on July 4-5.
Practitioners were prepared for this. They clarified the facts at the police bureau, employed an experienced human rights lawyer, and prepared leaflets and defence.
On July 4, the Court heard the event organizer Ivan individually. All other implicated practitioners went to the court voluntarily to support Ivan.
On July 5, the Court heard the other nine protesters. Some practitioners went to the court to support while others who could not attend for various reasons sent forth righteous thoughts wherever they were.
The Court's judgement after two days of trial was:
"The indictment against XX (the name of each practitioner, one verdict per practitioner) on 'violation of mass gathering regulation' at about 16:35 on June 30, 2006 at Number Six, Friendship Avenue, Moscow (Chinese Embassy) did not specify any witness names or surnames or their testimony. With the exception of the police's record of detention of XX and his/her statement denying any illegal activity, there was no evidence or fact of violation by the accused. The indictment lacked any evidence of the accused organizing or attending the gathering in front of the Chinese Embassy or the Western District Government's decision on this issue. Further, it did not detail any specific fact of violation by the accused.
Hence, the indictment lacked any evidence upon which the Court could base a judgement of the violation. The Court cannot try this case or reach any lawful decision.
In view of the above and according to Regulation 29.1, ïÀ ÷.1 29.4 ÊîÀÏ ÐÔ, the Court decided:
To overrule Moscow Laminka Police Bureau's indictment against XX on "Administrative Violation". (The Moscow police are) To correct its mistakes based on the Court's statement above.
Any appeal can be filed at this court within ten days."
Following the Court's decision on July 5, the lawyer representing Falun Gong practitioners stated, "The protest did not go ahead as planned due to the police's illegal acts. The court's rejection of the District Police Bureau's indictment verified that (the practitioners) did not violate the law. Obviously the detention of practitioners was illegal. We will bring a lawsuit against the police bureau and the District Government's illegal disturbance of our gathering.
This court decision will have a positive effect on future gatherings and other activities of Russian Falun Gong practitioners. However, Russia is not a country with a mature legal system. The security department and the Home Office (the Police Bureau) have powers above the law. Additionally, the Foreign Ministry leans towards the evil CCP. Much hard work is ahead. This incident opened channels for clarifying the truth to top level officials. It also served as the beginning of a good judicial process.
Extend Truth Clarification to the Far East
Recently Russian practitioners paid attention to the Far East while working hard to clarify the facts to the Russian people and various levels of the government.
A port city in the far eastern area of Russia, Grodekovo, is across the river from the Chinese border city of Suifenhe. Although the city's population is small, its location is very important. Train service carries three hundred to one thousand Chinese people into Russia here everyday. There are also commuters who travel to the Russian side to work. Another port in the far eastern area of Russia, Khabarovsk is across the Songhua River from the Chinese city of Tongjiang. There are many Chinese businessmen, farmers, and forestry workers here.
In order for the Chinese people to learn the truth about the evil CCP's persecution of Falun Gong, Russian practitioners came here from different cities at their own expense. Practitioners promoted Falun Gong and clarified the facts along the way, taking advantage of even forty minutes' of short stops to demonstrate the exercises and distribute leaflets.
Clarifying the facts to Chinese people at the entrance to the train station
Clarifying the facts to people who change buses
The Russian Falun Dafa Association welcomes support from practitioners worldwide, especially from those who speak either Russian or Chinese or who have contacts with various departments of the Russian government. The combined efforts will awaken people's conscience and save more people with a predestined relationship with Russia.