Congress of the United States
September 27, 2002
(name and address withheld)
Dear Ms. (name withheld):
Thank you for contacting me regarding your recent trip to Iceland and the treatment you faced by the government of Iceland as a Falun Gong practitioner. I appreciate hearing form you and I welcome the opportunity to respond.
I share your concern regarding the treatment you received in Iceland and the development of an alleged "black list" of Falun Gong practitioners compiled by the Chinese government. It is very disturbing to me to learn of the possibility that the Chinese government may be compiling lists of Falun Gong practitioners in the Untied States, and then giving these lists of American citizens to foreign governments in order to deny American citizens or residents access to foreign countries.
As you know, the government of Iceland sent police officers to Boston and three national media outlets reported that Icelandic officials banned visits by Falun Gong members form June 7-18, 2002 in an effort to prevent large demonstrations against President Jiang Zemin, and that certain citizens had been "blacklisted" by the government of the People's Republic of China.
Like you I an deeply disturbed by the outrageous, repressive actions of the Chinese government that, in pressuring an original participating state in the Organization for Security and safety and public order, has undermined democracy and human rights in Iceland and around the globe. As you note in your letter to me, my New Jersey colleague and Vice-Chairman of the House International Relations Committee, Representative Chris Smith, has also taken an active role on this critical issue. On June 12, 2002, on behalf of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe, Representative Smith authored a letter to the Prime Minister of Iceland, David Oddsson, urging the government of Iceland to life the travel ban on American citizens in advance of President Zemin's visit. Enclose please find copies of Representative Smith's letter and the response he received form the Icelandic Ambassador to the United States, Jon Hannibalsson. Enclosed please also find a copy of the State Department's response to a letter Representative smith sent to Secretary of State Colin Powell on this issue.
I am very cognisant of and engaged in the struggle for human rights and religious [*] liberty.
Steven R. Rothman
9th District, New Jersey
[*] Editor note Falun Gong is not a religion.
Letter of Support from Fremont City Vice-Mayor Judy Zlatnik to President Bush
President George W. Bush
The White House
Dear President Bush:
I am writing you on behalf of a Fremont resident whose sister has been arrested as a practitioner of Falun Gong. I know that many people have requested United States pressure on China in regard to human rights violations so I am going to present what may be a somewhat different rationale for approaching China. Our city, Fremont, California, is one of the 90 largest cities in the United States. The majority of our population is of non-European origin and 17 % are Asian. Fremont [representatives] recently travelled to Hong Kong, Taiwan and Mainland China on a cultural and trade mission. Representatives from our city met with local representatives in Shanghai, Beijing and Xi'an. Discussions were held on ways to encourage economic ties between our area and theirs. Future trade between the United States' West coast and China will be important to Chinese as well as American economic interests. In addition, Chinese American citizens and Taiwanese American citizens are a tremendous economic force in California. Many of our largest companies are owned by such citizens.
It creates serious problems for American government entities to pursue economic ties to China when our own citizens' relatives are being imprisoned in China simply for being a Falun Gong practitioner. Perhaps our government's representatives might be successful in helping their Chinese counterparts to understand this.
I am attaching the letter I received from [name withheld to avoid further persecution], a Fremont resident.
Thanks you for your consideration of this very serious problem.
Vice-Mayor, City of Fremont
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