Article from The Gothenburg Post: Falun Gong Practitioners File a Complaint with the Police about the Chinese Consulate in Sweden (Photo)
On September the 19th 2003, The Gothenburg Post published a report about Falun Gong practitioners filing a complaint to the police concerning the Chinese Consulate in Sweden. The following is a translation of that story.
The Falun Gong Association has filed a complaint with the police saying that the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg attempted to try and stop a radio program being broadcast in Sweden.
The Falun Gong program is aired weekly on Gothenburg's local radio station and includes details of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Chinese Consulate attempted to get the local radio station to discontinue the program.
Yvonne Kleberg, host of "Falun Gong Time" at the local radio station, told the Swedish TT news agency, "It is infuriating for such a large state to try to suppress a voice that it does not want to listen to".
According to her, the Chinese Consulate also attempted to have politicians in Gothenburg withhold financial support for the local radio station. "In our view, this is a violation of the law by attempting to restrain freedom of speech."
"A Suggested Threat"
"The Consulate staff paid a visit to the Gothenburg local radio station and used threats by insinuating that relations between China and Sweden are currently good, and it would be a pity if these relations were destroyed."
Kleberg said that they also mentioned economic relations between Shanghai and Gothenburg and the East Indian Group from Gothenburg that is scheduled to enter China next year.
This angered the director of the Gothenburg local radio station, Hans Hirschi, who is also a politician. He said "this has completely exceeded what a consulate should do. It is intolerable."
Summer Visit Confirmed
Hans confirmed that Chinese consulate staff visited the radio station in the summer.
"They attempted to force us to discontinue the program. We told them that it was not in their control. This is a basic right granted by law. Then they tried all that they could to have our financial support stopped. After they did not achieve their goal, they went to the local government to try to suppress us. They used the excuse of relationships between Shanghai and Gothenburg and the East Indian Group. It is disgusting to use such base means to achieve a goal."
Hans Hirschi stated, "Since 1940, when Germany attempted to stop Torgny Segerstedt, no incident like this has ever happened in Gothenburg."
According to Falun Gong practitioners, Falun Gong has been brutally persecuted in China. They say that the Chinese government torture practitioners. Some have even been tortured to death.
The Swedish TT news agency tried many times to contact the Consul at the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg but got no response.