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French Police Arrest American, UK, Danish, French Citizens for "Wearing Yellow" During Chinese State Visit
Eyewitness Says Chinese Authorities Directed French Police in Crackdown in Paris

(Falun Dafa Information Center, Press Release, January 29, 2004)

11 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested Saturday by French police for wearing clothing with the words "Falun Gong" on it. Many attribute these arrests to pressure from Chinese authorities to keep Falun Gong hidden from visiting Chinese groups.
NEW YORK - Citizens of the U.S., U.K., Denmark and France were among 11 arrested in Paris this past Saturday for wearing clothing with the words "Falun Gong" on it. These arrests appear to have been an attempt to keep the presence of Falun Gong invisible from the many Chinese groups that took part in a Chinese New Year's Day parade.
U.S. citizens Dr. Sunny Lu and Dr. Viviana Galli were in Paris for an extended layover en route to a conference in Stockholm, Sweden. While walking down the Champs d'Elysees, ten policemen surrounded the two women and told them they were under arrest. "I asked what we could possibly be arrested for, and a policeman responded 'Wearing yellow. The color yellow is illegal today.'" says Dr. Lu.
Dr. Lu says she was wearing a yellow sweatshirt - a color often associated with the meditation practice Falun Gong - that had on it the words "China: Stop Persecuting Falun Gong."
Dr. Galli said she then asked, "Why are you arresting me?" Dr. Galli was dressed all in black. The policeman pointed to her blue scarf. On it were printed the words "Falun Dafa," another common name for Falun Gong.
Both women were loaded into a van, where they were detained for three and one-half hours before being taken to a police station far away from the center of the city. At the police station their passports were inspected, their bags searched, and then they were released. They almost missed their plane to Stockholm, where they will attend a conference on genocide.
Among those arrested was also UK citizen Ms. Xiaoyan Fullerton. Ms. Fullerton says she was standing on Avenue Friedland, which is next to Champs d'Elysees, waiting for a friend. "When I saw my friend, he was driving slowly towards me. Suddenly, two police cars sandwiched his car; the police told him to get out, pushed him onto the pavement and handcuffed him without saying anything. I was shocked to see this," Ms. Fullerton says.
Ms. Fullerton was then searched and arrested without a reason given by the French police. She was wearing a scarf with "Falun Dafa" written on it.
"Two police cars sandwiched his car; the police told him to get out, pushed him onto the pavement and handcuffed him without saying anything."
"These arrests are precisely the way in which Jiang Zemin has urged governments all around the world to act: to silence and suppress Falun Gong," says Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman, Ms. Gail Rachlin. "But the decision to do so has put French authorities in very disgraceful company."
Ms. Rachlin adds, "We know France is a free and open society that upholds human rights, so we trust that this decision will be quickly reversed and a public apology will be issued by French authorities."
Others arrested that day include residents from Germany and Sweden.

French Police Extend Jiang's Information Blockade

The arrests took place in the context of a controversial parade, a state visit this past Monday by the President of China, Hu Jintao, and a French administration, which, according to some news reports, is eager to curry favor with the regime in Beijing.
The Chinese New Year's Parade was sponsored jointly by the Paris and Beijing Town Halls. The parade was open for participation to all kinds of associations, but not Falun Gong.
The Falun Gong Association of France was turned down from participating in the New Year's parade even though, according to the Association's President Alain Tong, their request was handed in to authorities on time and dozens of other associations were invited to take part. "We were excluded because of the pressure from (military chief) Jiang Zemin's regime - not Hu Jintao's - because he is afraid that his criminal acts against Falun Gong will be publicly revealed," Tong told CNS News. "I believe they pressured the French organizers to exclude Falun Gong."
The experiences of Ms. Huifang Roper, a French citizen and Falun Gong practitioner arrested that day for wearing a yellow scarf, provide an interesting commentary on Alain Tong's remarks.
Many groups had been brought from China to take part in the parade, including dancers, acrobats, and a large dragon-dance troupe. Ms Roper says she had taken up a spot in the first row of spectators and when a group of Chinese dancers passed by she wanted to show them that Falun Gong practitioners were in Paris. She says she put her scarf on, and then waved it at the group passing. Two of the dancers saw her, and began talking to one another.
At this moment, Ms. Roper says, a Chinese woman who was monitoring the parade route immediately called out to French policemen. A policeman came over, looked at the scarf, asked what was written on it, found nothing wrong, and turned away. The Chinese woman then asked the policeman to take Huifang's scarf and said "Falun Dafa is illegal," at which point a number of policemen took Ms. Roper away. She was detained for several hours, and then released.
"Whenever state-sponsored groups travel outside China," explains Dr. Shiyu Zhou, a Rutgers University professor, "there is one official assigned to keep watch over them, to make sure, among other possibilities, the group has no contact with Falun Gong. This woman, whether she was a Chinese Embassy employee or a member of the Public Security Bureau brought from China for this purpose, was apparently fulfilling this role."
A key part of Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong is a blockade on all independent information about Falun Gong. Under Jiang's direction, the state-run media in China has gone to great lengths to demonize Falun Gong ?an image that is shattered by the knowledge that Falun Gong is legal everywhere except China (and there the ban contravenes the Chinese Constitution), and practiced in sixty countries around the world.
"In the arrest of Huifang Roper and the other practitioners on Saturday, the French police were cooperating with Jiang's persecution, working to make sure that the visitors from China did not catch even a fleeting glimpse of how Falun Gong is freely practiced in Paris and around the world," says Ms. Rachlin.

What Is Falun Gong? See "Falun Gong 101", by Massimo Introvigne
"Falun Gong 101. Introduzione al Falun Gong e alla sua presenza in Italia" (in italiano), di Massimo Introvigne


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