Letter from the Interprofessional Workers’ Association to the Chinese Ambassador in Austria

Geneva, 14 May 2004

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
Attn: H.E. the Chinese Ambassador
Kalcheggweg 10
3006 Bern

Re.: The situation of Falun Gong practitioners in China

Your Excellency,

We hereby notify you that we have recently been made aware of the fate of some of your citizens in your country. We should like, consequently, to intervene on their behalf as it seems meaningful and important for us to bring to your attention the following:

These persons [citizens] are practitioners of Falun Gong, a discipline practised worldwide, and based on physical exercises and meditation.

For several long years now, the Chinese Government has undertaken a series of measures to put an end to the development of this practise. Even worse, President Jiang Zemin, head of Government at that time, was to make the decision to prohibit Falun Gong and to persecute its practitioners.

From different reports, therefore, mainly from human rights organisations, it appears that there are hundreds of people who have been arrested and imprisoned, and who still remain locked up in forced labour camps.

Aside from the criticism expressed by China in regard to this population group - as to any other group, we may add - nothing could justify such a policy on the part of your former President who we know continues to exert considerable influence on the politics of your country.

May we remind you that the acts of violence for which your State is criticised are manifestly in violation of the relevant international conventions. In arresting, imprisoning and killing citizens for having practised a discipline that in no way disregards the internal security of your State, the leaders of your Government are violating several clauses in international law, and particularly the United Nations conventions and covenants on human, civil and political rights.

We request you, therefore, to kindly convey our concerns to your Government and ask you to bring pressure to bear on the latter in order to stop these practices immediately and allow individual human rights to be fully respected in the People’s Republic of China.

Concerned particularly by the protection of the rights of workers (both female and male) worldwide, and driven by a strong sense of social and civil justice that we dare to believe is universal and shared by your country, we hope that this letter will receive your undivided attention.

We thank you in anticipation of your future action.

Accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of our highest consideration.

For SIT (Signed): Séverin Guelpa, Association Secretary

cc:Permanent Mission of China to the United Nations at Geneva, Swiss Falun Gong Association, Geneva

* Interprofessional Workers’ Association.

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