The Swedish Parliament's Seminar on Human Rights in China Emphasizes Falun Gong
The week before the United Nations Commission for Human Rights began meeting in Geneva, a seminar on human rights that emphasized the Falun Gong issue was held in the Swedish Parliament. Among others, the Swedish Parliament invited Prof. Zhang Kunlun and Dr. Jimmy Zou to be guest speakers. We were happy that all seven of the Swedish political parties endorsed the seminar by signing the invitation.
The seminar took place on the evening of March 14, 2001, between 6:00-9:00, and was led by one of the three deputy parliamentary speakers. The approximately 60 seminar attendees consisted of members of the Swedish Parliament, representatives from various NGO's (including Swedish Amnesty), two Swedish professors specializing in China, Swedish Falun Gong practitioners, representatives of other groups persecuted in China (i.e. Christians and the Uguiru people), a representative from the foreign ministry, and others. We were given permission to have a table with Falun Gong materials and exhibition posters outside the venue.
The first guest speaker was an expert on China who gave a very good talk on, among other things, reform policy and the suppression of free opinion. Although his intention was to speak on general human rights issues, he clearly expressed his support for Falun Gong. This was followed by a representative from Swedish Amnesty who gave an over all picture of the violations of human rights in China.
Prof. Zhang Kunlun was then allotted a full 30 minutes to recount his experiences of torture and psychological abuse as an imprisoned Falun Gong practitioner in China.
Before breaking for tea, a member of the Swedish Parliament's human rights group, which has given Falun Gong a great deal of support, presented a statement and proposed that it be sent to Foreign Minister Anna Lindh. The resolution was an appeal to the Swedish Government to work even harder to stop the violation of human rights in China. It criticized the brutal, inhumane treatment of dissidents and practitioners of various physical exercises, stating that this was totally unacceptable. The resolution was then circulated to the audience for those wishing to sign it. In this way, the seminar was also used as an opportunity to make a concrete contribution to the betterment of human rights in China.
During the tea break, all attendees had an opportunity to discuss matters with one another. Afterwards, Dr. Jimmy Zou spoke for 15-20 minutes about his experience of imprisonment and abuse in China because he was a Falun Gong practitioner. One of the Swedish Falun Gong representatives then gave a speech about the horrendous situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China. She urged all kind-hearted people to help resolve the problems in a peaceful way. In her speech, she mentioned China's attempts to sabotage Swedish Falun Gong practitioners' e-mail, and its policy of denying visas to Swedish Falun Gong practitioners who wish to return to China. In addition, she brought attention to the defamation of Falun Gong by the Chinese consul-general, Yuan Wenjin, in a recent letter to a Swedish newspaper, and the spreading of false propaganda by the Chinese Embassy in Sweden. Furthermore, she told the attendees that 12,750 people in Sweden had signed a petition protesting the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, which was delivered to the Swedish Government. With regard to this, she expressed gratitude to all Swedish Falun Gong practitioners.
Everyone present then had the opportunity to pose questions to a panel consisting of all of those who had spoken during the seminar. After the seminar, one member of Parliament who had helped to organize the seminar showed invited guests the parliament building, gave them flowers, and expressed gratitude for their attendance. One of the members of Parliament explained that he had observed how several attendees were very moved by Dr. Jimmy Zuo's and Prof. Zhang Kunlun's testimonies. Another member of Parliament told us that together, we would continue to struggle against the evil forces.
Even though members of Parliament have a very busy schedule, a number of them still made time to attend the seminar. Afterwards, many of those who were unable to attend, nevertheless showed an interest in the proceedings and the outcome of the seminar.
Swedish Falun Gong practitioners
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media