An Open Letter to the French President from Swedish Dafa Practitioners

Stockholm, 7th of February 2004

An open letter to:

Your Excellence President Jacques Chirac
Your Excellence Foreign Minister M. Dominique de Villepin
Your Excellence Ambassador in Sweden M. Denis Delbourg

We are Falun Gong practitioners in Sweden. We would like to have your kind attention to the serious incident that more than 70 Falun Gong practitioners were detained by the French police during the recent Chinese New Year celebrations on the Champs Elysées in Paris, simply because they wore yellow scarves or clothes, or they peacefully handed over flyers about the ongoing persecution in China. Among them, there were two Swedish.

We love France because she has been a country, which prides itself on its independence of thought and will and does not easily bow to the demands of others. However, this incident clearly shows the very integrity and self-will of the French nation have been violated and compromised. We are deeply concerned that the Paris police, at the behest of your government and due to pressure from the Chinese government, has actively helped in the persecution of Falun Gong. France's constitution guarantees freedom of belief and assembly and yet these good people were illegally harassed for upholding their beliefs and clearly discriminated.

The Chinese former leader Jiang Zemin personally banned the ancient qigong practice Falun Gong in 1999. There were at that time about 100 million people practising it in China. This makes it one of the largest persecutions in history. He gave the orders to “Destroy (Falun Gong practitioners) physically, financially and destroy their reputations.” This directive was carried out primarily by the “6-10 Office” – a Gestapo-like agency created by Jiang Zemin for the sole purpose of implementing his “eradicate Falun Gong”-policy. They implemented a variety of directives such as “Falun Gong practitioners being tortured to death should be recorded as suicide” and “Do not identify the body. Cremate it locally.”

During the persecution, hundreds of thousands were illegally arrested, tortured, and sent to forced-labour camps. Up to today, more than 870 people died in prison, labour camps, and police stations due to torture, simply because they refuse to give up their beliefs in the value of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance that Falun Gong teaches.

It is painful for us to see that this incident in Paris could support the persecution of Falun gong practitioners in China, which can be used by the Chinese Government to make the persecution more severe. We are sure these consequences are not wanted by the peace loving French people.

Facing the cruel persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have always been peaceful. We truly hope the responsible persons who gave order to arrest Falun Gong practitioners will openly apologise for their mistake, not only to save the innocent lives in China, but also to protect our basic human rights in Europe, and keep the good reputation that France has, where human rights are respected.

We are respectfully awaiting your answer in this urgent matter.

Yours sincerely,

Falun Gong Practitioners in Sweden

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