German Federal Department of Domestic Affairs Admits the Illegality of Its Behavior and Reaches an Agreement with Falun Gong Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) Clearwisdom.net reporter Zhou Yu reports from Germany: On April 26, 2004, the Federal Department of Domestic Affairs, in charge of the security of visiting heads of state, formally admitted that its treatment of Falun Gong practitioners during the visit of former Chinese president Jiang Zemin in April 2002 was illegal. The German Falun Dafa Association welcomed this forthright admission. The two parties reached an agreement proposed by the judge in Berlin's Administrative Court. At this time, the complaint filed by Falun Gong practitioners against German Federal Police on March 13, 2003 was formally resolved.
In April 2002, while Jiang Zemin was visiting Germany, Falun Gong practitioners held large-scale protest activities in Berlin. They held up banners in Chinese reading, "Falun Dafa is Good," "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and "Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong." The police, who did not understand Chinese, were misled by Jiang's entourage. According to police officers, Jiang threatened to stop the state visit, claiming he was "insulted" by the banners. As a result, the police were instructed to remove Falun Gong practitioners staying in the same hotel as Jiang.
During Jiang's visit on April 9 and 10, 2002, the federal police broke into the hotel rooms of Falun Gong practitioners without their consent, for the purpose of preventing the visiting Chinese president from having his reputation damaged. Representatives of the Federal Department of Domestic Affairs admitted in the agreement that this behavior was illegal. At the same time, they also admitted that such action violated Article 13 of the German Constitution, which states that an individuals' residence should not be invaded. Moreover, they agreed that the protest activities held by Falun Gong practitioners should be protected by Item 1 of Article 5 of the German Constitution, which stipulates that individuals have freedom of speech.
Falun Gong practitioners in Germany were pleased with the German government's attitude and the judicial system's resolution. Mr. Wu, president of the German Falun Dafa Association, said that Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong is completely based on lies and slander. He also pointed out that the documents submitted by the police to the court indicated that the Chinese authorities informed the German police before Jiang's arrival that, "According to reliable sources, Falun Gong plans to interrupt Jiang's visit.... Falun Gong also issued orders to its branches in neighboring countries of Germany to dispatch members to Germany to disturb the visit... We cannot exclude the possibility that Falun Gong members resort to violence." Such false information clearly caused the unnecessary tension from the German police.
Representatives of the Federal Department of Domestic Affairs said that Falun Gong practitioners had not resorted to any violence during their protest against the persecution.