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Can the Falun Gong high court case be settled?

Media release - For immediate release
7 February 2008

Can the Falun Gong high court case be settled?

Again, Falun Gong has been excluded to participate in the 2008 Chinese New Year Festival

Although Wellington City Council agreed to respect the rights of Falun Dafa "to participate in events, in accordance with the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990" and "fully respects their rights to freely express in a peaceful manner their religious beliefs..." - draft of Join statement of The Wellington City Council and the Falun Dafa Association of New Zealand. Falun Gong has been excluded to participate in the 2008 Chinese New Year Festival.

"I am very disappointed. I think this obstacle is due to the City Council's insincere attitude," Joan Zhang, a local Falun Gong practitioner said.

The City Council claims that the Asian Events Trust, who is in partnership with the Wellington City Council for the New Year event, declined Falun Gong's application through "past behaviours".

"How can we settle the High Court case in this situation?" Ms Zhang said.

"The entire problem has escalated due to the City Council past improper action - including breaching our basic democratic rights in this country," Ms Zhang said.

"If the City Council doesn't officially correct this error, there will still be problems in the future."

"Such a large group of Chinese New Zealand citizens who want to show their true traditional Chinese culture have been excluded from their local Chinese New Year Festival.

I believe it is because of a few people wanting to please the Chinese communist dictatorship for their own benefit - and ignore the human rights in both countries," Ms Zhang said.

Under pressure from many concerned citizens, the City Council gave Falun Gong permission to join in the Christmas parade last year. Falun Gong's participation received a warm welcome.


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