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France/China: Italian Radical MEPs ask the major of Paris to apologise to the Falun Gong

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Transnational Radical Party Press Release

Following the decision of the Paris authorities to refuse French Falun Gong Association and other dissidents participation to the Chinese New Year parade parade, held on the 24 January 2004, the Italian radical MEPs have written a letter to Mr. Bertrand DelanoŽ, major of Paris, and tabled a question to the European Commission to denounce the serious violation by Paris authorities of the rights of expression and demonstration.

Text of the letter addresssed to the major of Paris by Marco Cappato, on behalf of the Italian radical MEPs:

"Cher Monsieur DelanoŽ,
Paris should not have yielded to Beijing!!

I was saddened to learn that you yielded to pressure for the dictators of China and stopped the French Falun Gong practitioners from participating in the Chinese New Year parade in Paris.
The image that the Chinese wish to present is one of a beautiful cultural show, friendship between nations Ö but yet there is also a hidden dark side as many have been excluded from the festivities. For example, the French Falun Gong Association requested to take part in the parade with performances of the Lion Dance, Chinese drummers, traditional dancing as well as presenting decorated floats. (...) However, the Chinese Embassy threatened to cancel all of the festivities if the City of Paris allowed Falun Gong to participate. With less than a week to the event, the City Hall refused the application and, at first, vaguely implied that the registration date had not been met. The truth is that the documents were sent on time, back in October.
This ban on the participation of Falun Gong is all the more shocking as it strikes at a peaceful group which is respectful of the Law. Falun Gong is practised in over 60 countries and it has been exemplarily peaceful and has been awarded prizes and honours for its positive contribution to society. In China, despite the fact that Falun Gong practitioners face violent persecution and defamation, they have remained resolute and non-violent.
I hope that the Mayor of Paris will apologise to the French Falun Gong practitioners for the shabby way in which they have been treated."

Text of the question to the European Commission:

"It is the Commission aware of the facts happened in Paris last week?
Does the Commission think to intervene before the French government, the City Hall of Paris and the Chinese Ambassadors before France and EU, in order to remind them that the freedom of expression and demonstration are basic human rights clearly protected by art. 6 of the TUE?"

For more informations:
Office of Marco Cappato
0032 2 2847496

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