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Members of US Congress Urge Secretary of State Colin Powell to Investigate Iceland Blacklist and Protect American Citizens' Rights [July 12, 2002]

August 18, 2002 |  

Edolphus "Ed" Towns
Member of Congress
10th District, New York
Congress of the United States
House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-3210

July 12, 2002

The Honorable Colin Powell
Secretary of State
Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington D.C. 20520

Dear Secretary Powell:

As you are no doubt aware, the practitioners of Falun Gong, who believe in truth, compassion, and tolerance, have been the victims of relentless oppression by the Chinese government. But the government's persecution is not confined to the Chinese boarders. Rather, it transcends national boundaries, as the Chinese government keeps a "black list" of Falun Gong practitioners residing abroad. This list includes numerous U.S. citizens.

During a recent visit of the Chinese president to Iceland, the Icelandic government, acting on orders form the Chinese, prevented those on the "black list" from entering the country so that they could peaceably demonstrate against China's harsh treatment of their fellow practitioners. People were thrown off planes, tickets were canceled, and U.S. citizens were denied the freedom to travel where they pleased.

Our request is twofold. First, we would like the State Department to procure an apology from the Icelandic government for refusing to allow innocent people, who only wanted to protest against injustice, into their country. We also want the State Department to investigate the origin and nature of this "black list." Being constantly monitored by the Chinese government poses a threat to our civil liberties and to our natural rights. We ask you to protect us, as American citizens, from this threat and to do your best to right the wrong.


Edolphus Ed Towns
Jerrold Nadler
Nydia Velazquez
Carolyn Maloney
Christopher Smith
Gregory Meeks
William Clay
James McGovern
Steve Israel
Frank Wolf
Ted Strickland
Donald Payne
Chaka Fattah
Eliot Engel
Maurice Hinchey
Benjamin Gilman
Vito Fossella
Nita Lowey