(Clearwisdom.net) On May 7, 2004, Mr. Joseph Hackett, Private Secretary, on behalf of Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen T.D. wrote a letter to a Falun Gong practitioner, in concern of the human rights in China, particularly the abuse and maltreatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

7th May, 2004

Dear Mr. O'Connor,

The Minister for Foreign Affairs Brian Cowen T.D., has instructed me to thank you for your recent letter concerning the treatment of practitioners of Falun Dafa in China.

The government takes seriously the concern about human rights in China, including those of Falun Dafa members. The issue of the treatment of followers of Falun Dafa has been raised both bilaterally and through the formal framework of the EU-China human rights dialogue, which was established in 1996. Through the dialogue, the EU shares with China its experience in the field of human rights protection and promotion, and urges China to improve the human rights situation generally, and more specifically with respect freedoms of expression, religion and belief, which have a particular impact on individual practitioners of Falun Dafa.

As you are aware, the last session of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue took place in Dublin on the 26th and 27th of February last year. At the dialogue, Ireland, as Presidency of the EU, discussed with China a wide range of human rights issues of concern, including individual cases of alleged human rights abuses, and the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. The Chinese authorities continue to consider the cases raised and we have received some responses.

I would like to take this opportunity to assure you that the government will continue to encourage the Chinese authorities to respect fully the human rights of all its citizens, and to realise fully the commitment made at the most recent EU-China Summit (Beijing, October 2004), to work towards achieving more meaningful and positive results in the human rights situation on the ground.

Joseph Hackett
Private Secretary