Article from “The Epoch Times”: German President to Raise Human Rights with China

International Human Rights groups asked German President Johannes Rau to address the issue of the persecution of Falun Gong on his official visit to China, beginning September 11.

Amnesty International’s German branch and Frankfurt-based International Association for Human Rights (IGFM) wrote letters to President Rau on September 9th, asking him to appeal for people who are being persecuted in China, and specifically mentioning Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioner Xiong Wei.

Xiong Wei studied in the Technical University of Berlin during 1993 to 1999. She was sentenced to 2-year labour education for distributing Falun Gong materials in January 2002 in Beijing.

IGFM’s news bulletin headline says “Chinese Communist Party Wants to Annihilate Falun Gong”. The article quotes from China’s official Xinhua News Agency report that Beijing leaders are going to “completely annihilate Falun Gong.”

Regarding the crackdown on Falun Gong, Mr. Bischoffshausen, President of IGFM, said: “In the past few years, China has carried out the most massive systematic persecution in human history towards a peaceful group. China cannot present herself as an open and modern country with respect when discussing issues like the upcoming Olympic Games.”

IGFM is an international human rights organization that covers Europe, America, Australia and Africa. Its headquarters are in Frankfurt. It has branches and working groups in 26 countries. It also holds observer status in the United Nations and the European Union.

When former Chinese president Jiang Zemin visited Germany last April, IGFM requested the German Prime Minister to appeal for Xiong Wei’s release. During Jiang’s visit, Falun Gong practitioners held large-scale activities in Berlin. Mr. Bischoffshausen, wearing a yellow scarf symbolizing his support for Falun Gong, spoke at an outdoor press conference held by Falun Gong practitioners to support their peaceful appeal for human rights.

From a human rights organization and Falun Gong practitioners’ urging, German Foreign Minister Fischer personally handed a list of four names to Jiang Zemin, asking the Chinese government to release these four people. One of them was Xiong Wei.

German Falun Gong practitioners also wrote a letter concerning Xiong Wei to President Rau. The President’s office revealed to the practitioners that one of the main topics during president’s visit to China will be human rights. President Rau will raise this issue during a speech in Nanjing City.

The reply letter says: “The President’s office hopes to see the improvement of China’s human rights, which will benefit China, because a modern society cannot be founded without the rule of law and the protection of human rights. It is our responsibility to make Chinese authorities realize this.”

A report from a German reporter in Beijing says Rau is the first major German politician to visit China after its new leadership took over the government. He first visited Xi’an, and then arrived in Beijing on Thursday to meet Chinese Chairman Hu Jintao. Rau told the media that during the meeting with Hu Jintao he emphasized the importance of democratic society and freedom for religious groups. In a letter to the English-language newspaper China Daily, the German president says: “Germany thinks freedom and the security of the legal system have great significance in measuring the degree of development. A nation’s rule of law and freedom of speech are the precondition of political stability.”

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