Chinese Embassy in France Refuses to Renew Our Passports

On the afternoon of June the 29th 2001, my wife and I went to the Chinese Embassy in France to apply for the renewal of our passports. As the passports we had were Service Passports, the consuls asked us to show them the necessary certificates for passport renewal authorised by the Education Division of the Embassy.

On July 2, 2001, my wife and I went to the Education Division to request these certificates. At first, a secretary with a last name of Wang came to help us. As both my wife and I had been practising Falun Gong for some years, the secretary tried to ascertain whether my wife had passed out informational flyers about China's persecution of Falun Gong to tourists in the area of the Louvre Museum. We then started to discuss the issue of Falun Gong with the secretary. The atmosphere was relatively calm even though each of us took strong positions. After about half an hour, the Director of the Education Division, Mr. Guoxing Chao, joined us. When Mr. Chao realised that we were talking about Falun Gong, he angrily sat down and commenced with a fiery attack on both Falun Gong and its founder, accusing Falun Gong of sabotaging the Chinese government. In a calm manner, we told him how we had benefited both physically and spiritually from practising Falun Gong. We said that as practitioners of Falun Gong, we only hoped that the Chinese government would immediately stop the cruel and violent crackdown on Falun Gong initiated by Jiang's regime, and peacefully end all persecution against its practitioners. This Director completely disregarded the plain truth of the persecution of many thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, including the fact that more than 200 Falun Gong practitioners had been tortured to death at that time. He responded in an extremely vicious way, saying that the persecution should absolutely continue and never stop. To finish his tirade, Mr. Chao shouted, "It's impossible for you to renew your passports here! Either you go home, clear your minds about Falun Gong, and then come see me again, or you can return to China and renew your passports there!" In closing, he finished by adding, "You can go ahead and seek asylum. I don't care about you!"

As a matter of fact, we had only insisted upon our beliefs, and our desire to continue the practice of the principles of "Truthfulness, Benevolence and Forbearance." Falun Gong is going through a brutal persecution in China, and practitioners overseas have also experienced the threats and persecution. The objective of that Director was to get us to give up our belief in Falun Gong, give up our pursuit of truth and betray our own consciences. For us, that was absolutely out of the question. This was yet another example of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by overseas Chinese officials who closely followed the dictates of human rights violator Jiang Zemin.

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