Chinese Consulates in Germany Deny Passport Renewals for Practitioners

Falun Gong practitioner Yang Sizhao applied for passport renewal on March 14, 2011, at the Chinese Consulate in Munich, Germany. He was told that a notice from China was needed for his application. Before leaving the consulate, he saw an instruction sheet on the wall, indicating that passport renewals take at most 15 days.

On June 6, Sizhao went to the consulate with another practitioner, as he had received no response from the consulate for nearly three months. A female staff member in the consulate talked with Sizhao for ten minutes. During the talk, the lady claimed that the persecution of Falun Gong had ended, and that Sizhao’s return would have no adverse consequences. But she could not explain why Sizhao’s passport renewal could not be done similarly to others, considering that the persecution had allegedly ended.

The lady from the consulate also asked how many Falun Gong practitioners were in the city where Sizhao lived, what Falun Gong events Sizhao had participated in, and what work Sizhao’s parents do, etc. Sizhao did not get his passport this time and the consulate did not tell him how long he would have to wait.

On July 4, Sizhao received a call from the consulate and a lady told him that only if he wrote a statement guaranteeing not to participate in Falun Gong activities could the consulate issue him a new passport. He refused. On October 5, he called the consulate about his passport issue and talked with the lady for six minutes. The lady repeated what she said on the phone, and told Sizhao that he must write a statement guaranteeing not to participate in Falun Gong activities.

Sizhao said that this incident showed that Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is still persecuting Falun Gong in China, and also in other countries. It was learned that Chinese consulates in Berlin, Bonn, Frankfurt, and Munich had all denied passports, or similarly interfered with the rights of Falun Gong practitioners. Some practitioners’ passport renewals were denied, some newborns were denied registration, and some practitioners married to Germans were denied a name change. In all cases, the condition required was that practitioners write a guarantee statement promising not to participate in Falun Gong activities.

Sizhao pointed out that as long as the CCP persecutes Falun Gong, he would continue protesting. The basic rights of Falun Gong practitioners are not guaranteed, but used by CCP to intimidate them. Falun Gong practitioners won’t write guarantees against their will, nor stop protesting the CCP’s persecution.

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