Denmark: Falun Dafa Association Appeals to the Ambassador of France about Human Rights Violations in Paris
Copenhagen, 3 February 2004
Thank you for your letter dated 21 January 2004, in regard to the exclusion of Falun Gong's participation in the Chinese New Year celebrations in Paris this year.
As you may be well aware of by now the French authorities displayed a very discriminating and harsh stance towards Falun Gong practitioners in regard to the French Association of Falun Gong's participation in the New Year parade. However, the discrimination against us was not limited to the exclusion from the festivities; much more serious than that was the implemented policy of eliminating the physical presence of Falun Gong practitioners in areas visited by the Chinese authorities. This appalling form of "apartheid"-like policy consequently led to many most unfortunate incidents where innocent Falun Gong practitioners from a number of countries, were arbitrarily detained, and in some cases were physically manhandled or treated with rudeness and disrespect by the French police.
I speak to you in all honesty, as I was one of the victims of your government's unjust treatment. As a Falun Gong practitioner I seek to benefit society by being conscious of and responsible for my actions. I am a law-abiding person, living in a great democratic nation which respects and promotes the principles of human rights, and a citizen of the country in which it is your privilege to serve as your nation's honorable ambassador. I believe in the rule of law and I believe in high moral standards. I am utterly shocked by the oppressive treatment that I was met with while being a guest in your country. I distinctly feel that my citizen's rights as a free human being in a democratic society have been severely violated by your government's actions.
It has filled me with deep anguish and sorrow to see France, a nation of immense historical importance, past and present, as well as of great promise, to act in conformity with the Chinese regime's immoral demands thereby lending them a hand in carrying out the illegal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. By giving in to the Chinese leadership's wishes to arrest and discriminate against Falun Gong, the French government has in fact helped China in extending the persecution of Falun Gong to outside the Chinese national boundaries. It is indeed a very grave situation that may very well have repercussions in the future; France should not have complied with a notorious human rights violator as the Chinese leadership, who wantonly murders innocent citizens without any scruples.
To be singled out in a public crowd for wearing a yellow scarf carrying the words "Falun Dafa" -- and to be taken away like a criminal by armed police and unjustly being charged with breaking the law, amounts to a situation that is hard to distinguish from what the Jewish population had to go through during the second world war. In China, if you are a Falun Gong practitioner wearing a yellow scarf with the inscription "Falun Dafa", you would immediately be pounced upon by the police. You would be taken into custody and most likely you would be made to suffer both physical and mental abuse just for being who you are and for your beliefs - countless innocent practitioners have died because they refused to renounce their beliefs in Falun Dafa's universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. How dreadful it is to witness that the very same mechanisms, with which the Chinese regime persecutes Falun Gong practitioners in China, were in place in Paris this year -- it could have been Tiananmen Square -- but it was Champs Elysées, France.
The bad behavior by some of the police resulted in the confiscation of private property, such as informational material and the discarding of such material. Scarves and other items belonging to Falun Dafa practitioners have been reported missing. This is also an unjustifiable and unacceptable conduct by the French police.
I know that some of the policemen gave the impression of not agreeing with what they had to do but still they carried out their orders -- you could probably hear the same arguments from the Chinese police and jailers. Each one of us has to take responsibility for our actions...we cannot set aside morality or justice, the very cornerstones of human society and still pretend that everything is all right.
Currently there are investigations under way of many of the Chinese regime's officials for their role in the persecution of Falun Gong. These individuals will be prone to further scrutiny and could very well face legal actions in the future having to answer for their crimes against humanity. Right now many organizations are being established with the sole purpose of bringing Chinese ex-leader Jiang Zemin, the instigator of the genocidal persecution of Falun Gong, and his accomplices to justice. I am confident that in due time, everything will be brought out in the open for everyone to view. And everyone's actions will reflect on that person.
I would like to kindly but firmly protest the French government's unjust measures against Falun Gong practitioners in this matter. I also kindly ask you to bring to your government's attention my request for an official apology for injury caused be this incident, to myself and to all other practitioners of Falun Dafa.
With much respect,
Danish Association of Falun Gong
Pictures of arrestees, Paris.
Copy of Human Rights Lawyer's open letter to the Government of France.
A copy of this letter has been sent to :
Danish Premiere Anders Fogh Rasmussen, Danish Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller, Danish Minister of Justice Lene Espersen, MP Peter Skaarup, MP Anne Baastrup, MP Søren Søndergaard, MP Elisabeth Arnold, MP Hanne Severinsen, Retsudvalget, Udenrigsudvalget, The Danish Embassy in France, Tyge Lehmann Danish Ambassador of International Law, members of the Danish press, AFP, WOIPFG [World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong] as well as others.
Category: Opinion & Perspective