Spokesperson of the Falun Gong movement in Iceland Þórdís Hauksdóttir encourages its members to come to Iceland and protest peacefully during the official visit of Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao to Iceland on April 20.
Prime Minister of China Wen Jiabao. Source: Wikipedia.
“Falun Gong practitioners were planning to come to Iceland in late April because of the parliament resolution so foreign members who want to convey peaceful messages will be here,” Þórdís told ruv.is, referring to a parliament resolution that Icelandic authorities are to issue an official apology and pay Falun Gong damages due to their actions against the movement’s members who protested when Chinese President Jiang Zemin visited Iceland in June 2002.
At the time, Chinese authorities demanded that Falun Gong members would not be in the president’s way. The movement, which is defined as an illegal denomination in China, protests against human rights violations in the country.
Icelandic authorities responded by locking protestors up in a school and barring other Falun Gong members from entering the country.
In January 2006, the Parliamentary Commissioner of Iceland decreed that the Icelandic government was not legally permitted to prevent Falun Gong members from entering Iceland and practice freedom of speech in June 2002.
Þórdís said she is certain that the Icelandic government will welcome them with open arms this time. “Now we have the opportunity for the authorities to formally clear that matter and I encourage all parliamentarians to take advantage of that.”
Prime Minister of Iceland Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir wrote on her Facebook site today that the Icelandic government will not take any measures to prevent protests during the Chinese official’s visit.
PM Wen is planning to meet with his Icelandic counterpart, other ministers and President of Iceland Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson.
Click here to read more about the parliamentary resolution and Falun Gong’s response to it.