Friday 19 July 2002

Dear friends of Falun Gong,

Interfaith International, an NGO in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, defends the right of individuals to practise their chosen belief. We recognize that Falun Gong is being persecuted by the Government of China for a number of reasons. Perhaps a State does have the right to determine certain social aspects of daily life in the country it governs, but according to the principles of the United Nations (including China, which is a member of the Security Council), it is not right for the Chinese authorities to attack persons engaged in peaceful demonstrations.

Recently, in Hong Kong in the month of March, peaceful Falun Gong demonstrators were forcibly knocked to the ground by the police, who then proceeded to use a kind of acupuncture, pressing their thumbs behind the ears of Mr. Quoc Lam and an elderly Chinese woman. This has or may have dangerous implications for the health of these people and in any case it was completely uncalled for under the circumstances. The Chinese authorities should present explanations to the demonstrators on whom this illegal method of crowd control has been used.

The photos taken at the time clearly show Mr. Quoc Lam being subjected to this type of physical "torture."

The non-governmental organizations need to be aware of the abnormal methods used by the Chinese police to control movements the Government regards as unacceptable. The Chinese authorities must refrain in the future from using this abnormal persecution against those who oppose them. [Editor's Note: Falun Gong practitioners are not now, nor have they ever been, opposed to the Chinese government; rather, they have simply upheld the rights guaranteed to them by China's constitution.] Otherwise, China may well be considered to be flouting fundamental human rights.

Charles Graves
Interfaith International