On March 26, an opening ceremony of "The Year of China" was held at the State Kremlin Palace in Moscow.
The Russian branch of The Epoch Times officially applied for press credentials for this event. The request was approved. The correspondent arrived on time at the Kutafiev tower of the Kremlin, the entrance to the palace, and after standing in line, finally approached the policeman on duty.
At that moment, the phone rang and the policeman repeated loudly an order he had just received: "Cross the Epoch Times reporter's name off the list and do not let him in." No explanations followed. The journalist took one picture of the tower, but in a few seconds, he was approached by a representative from the military commandant's office, who demanded he delete the picture.
According to our correspondent, this incident occurred because The Epoch Times reports on human rights abuses in China and Falun Dafa adherents' circumstances in Russia.
Starting March 24, in preparation for communist leader Hu Jintao's visit, Russian police have been acting on orders to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from displaying signs or banners describing the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong. Russian adherents say this is a clear violation of their rights under the Russian Constitution and Federal laws.
During a conversation with a law enforcement employee, a reporter learned that police had been ordered by higher authorities to violate Federal law and to harass and arrest Falun Gong adherents.