Argentina: Falun Dafa Practitioners Attacked During Hu Jintao's Visit to Argentina

On November 16th and 17th, 2004, Falun Dafa practitioners in Argentina who peacefully appealed to the Chinese delegation led by Hu Jintao were attacked and harassed.

Chinese Embassy Plays an Important Role in the Incidents

On November 20th and 21st, 2004, the APEC 12th Informal Conference will be held in San Diego, the capital of Chile. The Chinese State Chairman Hu Jintao has been visiting four countries in Latin America (Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Cuba) since November 11, and will attend the APEC conference. Falun Dafa practitioners are taking this opportunity to raise concerns to the Chinese delegation and the media of the illegal persecution against Falun Gong in China, and call for an end to this five-year persecution.

According to Falun Dafa practitioners in Argentina, on November 16, Hu Jintao concluded his visit to Brazil, and went to Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina, for a two day visit. A group of Falun Dafa practitioners posted banners that read, "Falun Dafa is Good!" "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance," "Bring Jiang to Justice," "Rescue Falun Dafa Practitioners in China," along the highway to the airport. After learning the truth of Falun Dafa, police allowed Falun Dafa practitioners to stay in an assigned area for their peaceful appeal.

When the Chinese delegation left the airport, people sitting in the cars and buses were all shocked to see the Falun Dafa banners. Hu's car was driven very slowly. Hu Jintao saw the banners, even tilted his head to read the words. There were more than 300 people in his delegation. Some of them opened the windows of their vehicles, or waved their hands to Falun Dafa practitioners.

When the group of vehicles arrived at the Hilton Hotel, they saw another group of Falun Dafa practitioners protesting the persecution with banners in the garden.

Before the vehicles arrived, the Chinese Embassy Officials asked the police to force these Falun Dafa practitioners to leave. According to Argentina Law, people have the right to protest, so the police only asked that the Falun Dafa practitioners stay inside the garden. There were some journalists from TV stations and newspapers in the garden, as well as one man and two women who closely watched every move the practitioners made. When the vehicles of the Chinese delegation arrived, these three people tried to take the banners held in the practitioners' hands. Two more women joined them, and began cursing the practitioners. The journalists of the TV stations tried to record their behaviour, but these two women quickly covered their faces, and ran towards the Chinese Embassy Officials waiting at the Hilton Hotel.

Falun Dafa practitioners stayed in the garden in front of the Hilton Hotel. The Chinese delegation was about to go to the President's House. This required a U-turn, and meant they would view the banners again. Some Officials working in the Chinese Embassy were very angry. The Minister-Counsellor for Cultural Affairs, Zhang Yi, shouted at Falun Dafa practitioners, and even threatened to kill a practitioner.

Right before the Chinese delegation left the hotel, four or five Chinese people walked out of the hotel and tried to take the banner reading, "Bring Jiang to Justice" from the two practitioners who held it. They tore the banner. One police vehicle came, and one Chinese was arrested. Then, around thirty additional Chinese came out of the hotel, and sat in the garden. Eight or ten local police stood between them and the four Falun Dafa practitioners.

About 15 minutes before the Chinese delegation left the hotel, one police officer told a practitioner, "You'll have to settle this between yourselves." Then all the police began to leave. Before the police had even left the garden, the group of Chinese began to take the banners, ripping them and cutting them with knives. In their efforts to protect the banners, the four practitioners were beaten and pushed. All the banners were stolen except for one that was badly damaged.

The group of Chinese went to the President's House right away, where another group of Falun Dafa practitioners were also displaying banners. They surrounded these practitioners as well, and stole their banners that requested "Bring Jiang, Luo, Liu, Zhou to justice." By standing in front of their banners, practitioners were able to protect them and thus two banners were not taken.

The Argentinian Police's Explanation

The Welcome Dinner was held in the Foreign Ministry. In order to clearly express their opposition to the persecution, Falun Dafa practitioners went to the garden in front of the Foreign Ministry that evening. They unfurled their banners that read "Falun Dafa is Good," "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance," and "Bring Jiang to Justice". Soon many police came and surrounded the practitioners, requesting that they put the banners away. The practitioners told them that it is allowed by Argentina law to hold banners. Then the police ordered them to take down their banners, arrested three practitioners, and took them to a Police Station. They were detained for five hours until the dinner was over.

Police were very friendly to these practitioners inside the Station. A Police Official came to talk to these practitioners after three hours. He explained that the Minister-Counsellor for Military Affairs in the Chinese Embassy pressured the Foreign Ministry, which in turn requested the Government Office to issue orders to take away the banners.

Falun Dafa practitioners thoroughly explained the truth to police throughout the course of the incident

On the morning of November 17, 2004, four Falun Dafa practitioners from Argentina who were mistreated in front of the Hilton Hotel filed a law suit in the local Federal Court.

On the morning of November 17, several Falun Dafa practitioners went to the Capitol Hill to pass out truth clarifying materials. A large group of Chinese waited there and grabbed all the materials from the practitioners. Pedestrians who saw this were very angry, and asked "how can these Chinese be so rude in Argentina." Some TV journalists tried to record their behaviour, but were blocked by the Chinese with flags.

Chinese and Polish Government Declaration Stipulates Different Views on Human Rights

In June 2004, Hu Jintao visited four countries in Europe and Asia. On June 8, 2004, Hu Jintao arrived in Poland. The Chinese welcome group organised by the Chinese Embassy drew much attention in Polish society.

On June 10, 2004, a Polish attorney (1) who was at the site told a VOA reporter: "At that moment, I felt like I was in China." He said the group first pushed and shoved them, and tried to use their red banners to block Tibetan banners and Falun Gong practitioners' banners reading "Bring Jiang Zemin to Justice" and "Falun Dafa is Good". The attorney said, "They were very aggressive. A man who drove a bus for the welcoming group came off the bus and tried to attack the Falun Gong practitioners. He was stopped by Polish police."

Bo Xilai, then a member in that delegation as Minister of Commerce, was charged with torture and crimes against humanity. This was the second time he was sued overseas.

Polish President Kwasniewski signed a co-declaration with Hu Jintao after the conferences, agreeing to strengthen the cooperation on politics, economy and other areas. The declaration emphasised that both recognised the two countries maintained different views on politics, economy, society values and human rights.

The Attitude of Chinese and Argentinian Government Officials Towards Falun Gong Practitioners' Human Rights is Attracting Attention

High ranking officials in China are now eager to find a specific means to "restore the reputation" of Falun Gong and ease China's crisis and pressure. Much information regarding these plans has been reported overseas. During Hu Jintao's visit to Argentina from November 16th to 17th, 2004, the incident in which peacefully appealing Falun Dafa practitioners faced harassment by the Chinese Embassy revealed that the persecution against Falun Gong is still not over, despite the Chinese government's contradictory message to the world.

Since Argentina's President Kirchner visited China this year, he has placed his hope for Argentina's economic recovery in China, as China promised a huge investment in his country. Since July, 2004, Argentina's largest media have stifled all reports on Chinese human rights violations and the persecution of Falun Gong, because the President did not want to embarrass China.

1. The original provided names in Chinese (phonetic) cannot be verified in Polish or English at this time.

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