Irish MEP Writes to the President of France about "Extremely Disturbing" Violations of Human Rights in Paris

Jacques Chirac
55, rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honore
F75008 Paris

10th February 2004

Dear M. le President,

I am writing with regard to the recent arrests and detainment of individuals during the Chinese New Year Parade in Paris due to their adherence to Falun Gong. Such action is extremely disturbing as it violates such basic human rights as the freedom of expression.

France is a sovereign, democratic state, which has traditionally held the protection of human rights in high esteem. As you know, Beijing and Paris came together in a Chinese New Year celebration which ended, however, in the arrest of 11 individuals of different nationalities. These individuals posed no harm, as they were simply wearing yellow, the colour of Falun Gong, and scarves representing Falun Gong.

Falun Gong adheres to the three principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance” and denying them the right to express these peaceful ideals is an obvious encroachment on their freedom of speech. Since Communist leader Jiang Zemin outlawed Falun Gong in 1999, 870 deaths have resulted as well as many more tortures and imprisonments. France’s contribution to this maltreatment of members of Falun Gong is disheartening and sets an extremely dangerous precedent.

I look forward to hearing from you on this matter.

Yours sincerely,

Patricia McKenna MEP

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