EU Parliament VP Seeks Release of Falun Gong Practitioner

June 24, 2006 12:00 am Last Updated: June 24, 2006 12:00 am

Edward McMillan-Scott's letter, dated June 22, 2006, is addressed to Mrs Benita Ferrero-Waldner, Commissioner for External Relations, European Commission, Brussels.

Dear Commissioner,

In my intervention on 22 June to the European Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee I raised the issue of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and referred to an individual case, which you kindly offered to look into. As you may recall, I placed on the record that Mr Cao Dong, who had been in prison with seven Tiananmen protesters, told me that he had seen his friend's cadaver with holes where organs had been removed. For completeness I attach an article I wrote in the Yorkshire Post, my regional newspaper, which explains my visit a little more fully.

On 21 May in a hotel room in Beijing I held a meeting with Mr Cao Dong (aged 36), who is a Falun Gong practitioner. He has served time in prison for his religious beliefs and has discharged his sentence.

Following this meeting, he was arrested and he has not been seen since. I fear for his welfare.

His flatmate was arrested and questioned for five days and Mr Dong's possessions have been seized by the police.

I sent a letter on 5 June to the Chinese Ambassador to the EU, which I attach for your reference, urgently calling for the release of Mr Cao Dong. I repeated this request on 16 June. Both letters were delivered by hand to the Chinese embassy in Brussels. My office has been told that the Ambassador is receiving instructions from Beijing.

I would be grateful if you could raise his case with the Chinese authorities.

Yours sincerely,

Edward McMillan-Scott