The Prime Minister,
The Rt Hon Tony Blair MP
10 Downing Street

14th July 2003

I am writing with regard to your imminent visit to China and Hong Kong, which was announced recently. For a number of years I have supported the campaign by Falun Gong practitioners in the UK to raise awareness of the human rights violations carried out by the Chinese government against Falun Gong practitioners in China. As my constituency contains the largest Chinese community in London, this is an issue very close to my heart.

You may not be aware that your visit coincides with the 4th anniversary of the banning of Falun Gong in China, and the beginning of the persecution of its followers. The enclosed report was sent to me by a constituent, and details of three persons with strong links to the UK who have suffered for their beliefs at the hands of the Chinese government. [For more information, click here]

I strongly urge you to raise these issues with the Chinese authorities during your visit, and make plain the view of Her Majesty's Government that the treatment of Falun Gong practitioners is unacceptable. I was recently in correspondence with the FCO over the Article 23 Legislation which was proposed for Hong Kong, and I am pleased that the introduction of this has now been delayed. However it is important that it is permanently shelved, and that action is taken in China as a whole to restore human rights to peaceful groups such as Falun Gong.

I look forward to receiving your reply.

Councillor Brian Coleman GLA
London Assembly Member for Barnet and Camden