The President
Vul. Bankova 11,
252220 Kiev,

12th September 2002

Dear President

We would like to express our deep concern at the recent events in Kiev, when 23 Falun Gong practitioners were detained by the local police after having obtained a permit to practise Falun Gong exercises in Shevchenko Park on Ukrainian Independence Day on 24th August last.

The arrests apparently took place after considerable pressure had been exerted by Chinese embassy officials in Kiev upon the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to ban the practitioners from practising there, despite the fact that they had used the same site for peaceful practice regularly over a period of two years or more.

The Ukraine has an excellent record of freedom and tolerance since its independence from the Soviet Union, and the occasion of its Independence Day would surely have been the perfect stage to exhibit that tolerance.

Although China is a huge country with enormous political and economic power and influence, as was pointed out by the local police, it is very disturbing for the future that the Ukrainian authorities capitulated under pressure from the representatives of a foreign power, merely because they do not agree with the activities of a group of people, who have consistently proved to be peaceful, law-abiding citizens, who can only be of benefit to society as a whole with their principles of 'Truth, Compassion and Forbearance'.

We therefore urge you to do all in your power to allow Falun Gong practitioners to practise freely in the future in accordance with their constitutional right to freedom of belief and expression.

We would further urge the Ukrainian authorities not to be influenced in its decisions by pressure from China, and to stand fast against a brutal regime, which has shown no mercy in its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in its own country, and which is now worryingly trying to widen its evil influence by persuading other countries to act likewise.

It is clear from the decision of the local judge, who dismissed the case against the practitioners as 'groundless', that there is no moral or legal basis for the ban on Falun Gong. They must be allowed to practise freely in public, and we are sure that common sense and a feeling of justice will prevail above the evil desires of the repressive Jiang Zemin regime.

Yours sincerely

European Friends of Falun Gong

Original article from: http://www.clearharmony.net/articles/7002.html

Category: April 25 Events