Letter from a Dutch Government Official Expressing Concern about the Human Rights Situation in China

In the letter that a Dutch Falun Gong practitioner wrote to Holland’s Prime Minister Mr. Jan Peter Balkenende, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Bernard Bot and the Minister of Defense H. G. J. Kamp on December 10th 2003, the Dutch government was requested to pay attention to the ongoing human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners occurring in China. On behalf of the Ministers, a parliamentary official and Director of the Asia and Oceania Department replied to the practitioners’ letter on January 28th 2004.

The reply letter stated “The human rights violations in China are very serious. For instance, brutal torture, bad treatment in the prisons, coercing a suspect into admitting guilt, and arbitrary arrest. In addition, the Chinese government strictly restricted freedom of speech and assembly, and the rights of labourers. Meanwhile, in their handling of the dissenters, minority nationalities, religious beliefs, spiritual groups (such as Falun Gong), and criminals who commit general crimes, the Chinese government indicted them with extreme penalties. The Dutch government will pay close attention to the situation.

In the European Union, Holland has devoted itself to highlighting issues such as the death penalty, freedom of religion, gathering and assembly, as well as the inhuman treatment of prisoners and members of banned groups, e.g. Falun Gong. These topics are frequently included in the human rights dialogue that the European Union engages in with China.”

The letter also indicated that, “Holland believes in international human rights very much. Every government should take full responsibility to protect the human rights of its citizens no matter which group or organisation its citizens belong to.”

At the end of his letter, the official assured the Dafa practitioners, that “Holland will continue to urge China to improve their human rights conditions, including the way they treat Falun Gong practitioners in China. In the meetings of the European Union and the United Nations, we will also utilize various opportunities to timely demonstrate our concerns about China’s human rights.”

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