International Catholic Peace Movement
Price UNESCO 1983 for peace education
Status consultatif in the UN, UNESCO and Councel European
The Honourable Tung Chee Hwa
Chief Executive of Hong Kong SAR
5/F, Central Government Offices
Lower Albert Road
Fax: 00 852 2509 0577
Villar-sur-Gl ne, 3 July 2002
On 14 March 2002, sixteen members of the Falun Gong meditation movement, of whom four were Swiss nationals, initiated a hunger strike in front of the Hong Kong Liaison Office in order to claim recognition by the People's Republic of China of the fundamental right of free religious expression. According to the information in our possession, confirmed by the Human Rights Monitor in Hong Kong and the human rights lawyer, Paul Harris, a demonstration of this nature is completely legal according to the law in force in Hong Kong.
The sixteen members of Falun Gong, however, were indicted by the Government.
The Swiss Section of Pax Christi, an international Catholic movement for peace, with the support of the Conference of Catholic Bishops of Switzerland, condemns these proceedings violating articles 18, 19 and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which recognizes that everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to freedom of opinion and expression and the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.
We therefore urgently request the Hong Kong Court of Justice to abandon immediately its proceedings against the members of Falun Gong.
The Hong Kong authorities will thus be able to testify to the world that, while adhering to the legal code in force, they have no desire to take part in the unjust persecution of persons engaged in the peaceful practice of their spiritual beliefs.
We hope for your favourable consideration of our request.
Pax Christi Switzerland
Philippe Christe, Secretary-General