Czech Minister Dzamila Stehlikova Expresses Support for Falun Gong Practitioners' Appea Before the Olympics

The Czech Minister for Human Rights and National Minorities, Mrs. Dzamila Stehlikova, sent a statement to support the peaceful 24 hour gathering of Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese embassy in Prague, which they held from 7th to 8th August, on the eve of the Olympic Games in Beijing.

Text of the statement from August 8th is below:

Dear friends,

Today begin the 29th Olympic Games, which are hosted by the main city of the People’s Republic of China, Beijing. From the monumental opening ceremony which was attended by nearly all important politicians of the world (except Angela Merkel), we can see how important the activity is for this ambitious country.

Dinner, which was arranged by the Chinese president Hu Jintao, was attended by more than 70 state representatives and rulers. All the more important are gatherings such as this in Prague, in front of the Chinese Embassy. The world must not neglect the fact, that during the monumental opening ceremony the secret police once again shut the doors of the flats of several thousands Chinese activists these are under house arrest during the Games, and that ‘uncomfortable’ spectators were sent home, accompanied by the police escort. The Olympic Games are forbidden for the Olympic winner in speed skating Joey Cheek, the American who did so much to inform the world about the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. Media all over the world inform about the persecution of Falun Gong adherents and efforts to block the access to the internet and free TV broadcasts. The persecution of human rights supporters and media censorship are incompatible with the Olympic Charter. To point out these facts is worthwhile, because stronger and more systematic international pressure for upholding human rights in particular can have any effect. We cannot be indifferent to fates of hundreds of millions of Chinese people.

Dzamila Stehlikova

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