Vienna, Austria, February 2nd 2004
Dear Mr. President!
We are writing to you to express our strong concern about the arresting and detaining of Falun Gong practitioners in Paris on January 24th and 26th, 2004, just because they wore yellow cloths or cloths with words saying "Falun Dafa" or "Falun Dafa Hao". Also some Austrian citizens were affected from this incidence in Paris.
Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, is a Chinese traditional meditation. Through the practice of Falun Dafa, many people in western countries, also in Austria, became deeply interested in Chinese traditional culture. It is like a bridge between the Chinese and western cultures. Simply because of the enviousness of the former Chinese regime leader Jiang Zemin about the popularity and huge amount of Falun Dafa practitioners in China, he has started a systematic persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners in July 1999 in China. He and some other Chinese officials, who were mainly responsible for the persecution, have already been sued for genocide in many countries. During these years, not only the world wide appeal activities of Falun Dafa practitioners for an end of the persecution are well known to be peaceful, but also in many international cultural festivals, like the Edinburgh culture festival, Falun Dafa practitioners are well known for their contribution to introduce Chinese traditional culture.
Before the activities in Paris, we were very disappointed to hear that because of the pressure of the Chinese regime, the Falun Dafa Association in France didn’t get permission for Falun Gong practitioners to take part in the Chinese New Year parade on January 24th, 2004, at the Champs-
Elysées in Paris. On that day many Falun Gong practitioners went to the parade as individual persons to watch the celebration ceremony. But many of them were arrested and detained just because they wore cloths or scarves in yellow, the colour of Falun Dafa, and cloth with words saying "Falun Dafa" or "Falun Dafa Hao" (Falun Dafa is Good). We have also received reports about similar incidents happened on January 26th, 2004. Furthermore some Austrian practitioners told us, they were threatened to be arrested simply because they gave out flyers as individual persons on their way to their hotel. It is imaginable that something like this is happening in China, but not in France. We are shocked about these serious violations of the basic human rights. We can only assume that all this happened because of the pressure of the Chinese regime.
It is widely known that Jiang Zemin and some other Chinese officials, who are responsible for the genocide of Falun Dafa practitioners, don’t want people, especial Chinese people, to see Falun Dafa practitioners, because they fear that more and more people will know the truth, will know about their crimes of genocide and will know that Falun Dafa is peaceful. We can understand that French government has possibly got a lot of pressure from some of the people in the Chinese regime to prevent the presence of Falun Dafa practitioners. But we think it is important that people don’t give up their democratic values and the respect of the human rights, even under such pressure, especially in France, the mother land of the principles "Liberty, Equality, Fraternity".
We have deep respect to your great nation for its wonderful culture and its principles, therefore we urge you to apologise for and to take action to rectify this unjust behaviour, so that something like this can never occur again in France. We hope you can also make efforts together with other countries and people to help the millions of people in China who are right now suffering the persecution of Falun Dafa. Please help to end this persecution.
Chairman of the Austrian Falun Dafa Association
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