His Excellency the Ambassador
Mr. IHOR PROKOPCHUK
EMBASSY OF UKRAINE
60 Holland Park
London W11 3SJ
Tel.: (020) 7727-63-12
Fax: (020) 7792-17-08
August 29, 2002
Dear Mr. Prokopchuk,
I write to express our extreme concern about the treatment of 23 Falun Dafa practitioners who were detained on August 24 while practicing their exercises in Shevchenko Park in Kiev. Without being informed of their rights, the practitioners were taken into custody under threat of force, where they were held and made to sign statements alleging various wrongdoings, such as "illegally holding an event without permission." As they were put into the police vehicles witnesses say police cited pressure from Beijing as the reason, saying that China is "huge and powerful" compared with a developing country like the Ukraine, and that the Ukraine "can't afford trouble with China relations." According to the detained practitioners, police also mentioned that Chinese officials had struck a deal with the Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to stop Falun Gong activities in the Ukraine.
Fortunately the judge dismissed a case brought against practitioners of Falun Gong by Ukrainian police as "groundless."
This detention, which reminds us of the practices of the "red terror" to which citizens of your own country were subjected not that long ago and that are still in our memory, should never have occurred, and could not and would not have occurred in any democracy around the world. The facts of this case are clear: the Ukrainian police were acting under pressure from Jiang's regime, a regime that continues to wage violence against tens of millions of good people in China.
The 23 Falun Dafa practitioners did nothing wrong. They had been practicing in the same park regularly for the past two years with permission from the Ukrainian Committee of Safety and the Ministry of Internal Affairs.
It is heart chilling to see how a dictator like Jiang Zemin can control the actions of the independent state of Ukraine and that Ukrainian authorities would be unable to uphold the constitutional rights of their own citizens as they find themselves subject to orders from as far away as Beijing. Through a series of recent events, we are witnessing a systematic expansion of Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong in Europe. Other countries on which the Chinese Government has put pressure similarly to your country, have successfully resisted once the facts of the situation were fully understood. We hope that the Ukrainian Government will stand up to the pressure from Beijing, and truly protect its citizens' right to freedom of conscience, expression, and association.
If the Ukraine wishes to aspire to the European standards, then upholding the freedom of belief and association will be one of the basic requirements. No Western European country would tolerate the interference of Jiang's regime in its internal affairs and would abuse the constitutional rights of its own citizens under the dictate of his barefaced tyranny.
Please feel free to respond with questions and/or comments.
What is Falun Dafa?
Falun Dafa (also Falun Gong) is a spiritual practice of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" with five simple meditative exercises. Falun Dafa has received over 600 awards in North America alone for its benefits and thousands of recognitions worldwide. Its founder, Mr Li Hongzhi, has been twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
What's happening in the world and in China?
Falun Gong is not a small movement in the international arena. It is freely practiced by millions in more than 60 countries where it is appreciated, recognized and awarded for its contribution to the stability of society.
In early 1999 Chinese Government survey estimated that more than 70 million people in China practiced Falun Gong, a number larger than the Communist Party membership.
On July 20th 1999, Chinese President Jiang Zemin began a violent campaign of persecution at home and abroad against more than 100 million people who practice Falun Dafa. Over 100,000 are in jails, forced labor camps and mental hospitals. 432 people are known to have been tortured to death. Sources inside Chinese Government put the fatalities at thousands. Tens of millions have been harassed, lost their jobs, homes and families.