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Thursday, May 5, 2011

Legalization of the Falun Symbol in Germany Is Significant


Special Interview with a German Practitioner: Legalization of the Falun Symbol in Germany Is Significant

By Clearharmony Reporter Ming Yu --http://www.clearharmony.net/articles/200404/18809.html

Due to Germany’s role in the Second World War, the German government and people became very sensitive to the display of the Swastika symbol. In Germany, there is a law that prohibits the display of the Nazi symbol or other similar symbols. If a German who knew nothing about Falun Gong saw the Falun Symbol, they might wrongly associate the Falun symbol with its Nazi counterpart. On the other hand, because Falun Gong is being brutally suppressed in China, those who did not know the truth thus stayed away from the Falun symbol. All these have resulted in significant difficulty and interference for Falun Gong practitioners in Germany.
In October 1999, in front of the Chancellor’s Office, German Falun Gong practitioners urged German Chancellor Schroeder, prior to his visit to China, to pay attention to human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners in China. The Falun symbol was displayed at this event but the police confiscated it. The practitioners who applied for this activity were given a warning notice. Since then, at all Dafa activities organized by practitioners in Berlin, the Falun symbol was not allowed to be displayed. On International Human Rights Day on December 10 of 1999, practitioners launched a counter-persecution parade in Munich, and the Falun symbol used in this event was confiscated as well. After that, practitioners in some other cities had also encountered similar problems. As a result, the Falun symbol was indeed a thorny problem in Germany.
The Chairman of the German Falun Gong Association received a notice of indictment from a district court where he lives, on the charge that displaying the Falun symbol on the German Falun Dafa Association’s website was illegal. After a year-long legal investigation and court proceedings, the higher court made a final judgment: “The Falun symbol is legal.” In this regard, the practitioner's explanation is as follows:
Q: Please elaborate on this legal case.
A: In the Autumn of 2002, I received a notice from the district court, charging us with displaying the Falun symbol on the German Falun Dafa Association’s website as it was regarded as illegal, and I was asked to go to a local police station to explain the matter. I thus went there to give a detailed oral explanation, and the police were satisfied with my explanation. In May 2003, I received a notice of indictment from the district court, with the charge that we had illegally displayed the Falun symbol on our website, and asking us to appeal within a week; otherwise, the court would open a session to try the case. After calmly discussing this matter with some veteran practitioners, we submitted a letter to the District Court through a lawyer, explaining in detail the meaning of the Falun symbol, introducing Falun Dafa and explaining the truth about the persecution. In the meantime, the lawyer contacted a prestigious German Sinologist and professor of University of Heidelberg, Mr. Rudolf G. Wagner, who was our defence in the session. To him, the prosecutor was doing something nonsensical because the Falun symbol is absolutely legal. In last November, before the session was opened, I received a court verdict: The defendant is innocent, and all the expenses shall be borne by the government. The public prosecutor could not accept the verdict of the court and subsequently lodged an appeal with a higher court. In March last year, I received a final judgment made by the higher court: upholding the original judgment and refusing an application to appeal further. In other words, the Falun symbol is certainly legal in Germany.
Q: What do you think is the cause of winning the case?
A: Our practitioners dealt with this incident calmly and seriously without mentality of fear. We were firmly convinced that our Falun symbol is legal. We drafted that letter peacefully, without any mentalities of struggle and attachments, since we wanted to take full use of this opportunity to explain the facts. The lawyer we hired had a righteous attitude, and he was not attached to profit. After dealing with us, he has come to know Dafa very much. I think the judge was a man with sense of justice, and wanted to uphold justice. He pointed out that in appearance, the Falun symbol and the illegal Nazi symbol are entirely different from each other and their meaning is also completely opposite. He said, “The Falun symbol represents peace and harmony in the mind, which is also what the Falun Gong movement firmly advocates.” The judge also wrote the following into the court verdict document: “Presently Falun Gong is being brutally persecuted in its country of origin, China.” The verdict will be sent to many departments, more people may have the opportunity to know the facts.
Q: What do you think is the important meaning of the legalization of the Falun symbol in Germany?
A: The legalization of the Falun symbol may arouse the interest of the German people, and those who thought it illegal may rethink of it. This symbol is now protected by German law. Falun Dafa and the persecution it has suffered will become people’s concern, which has a proactive effect on our truth-clarification and exposing the evil. Furthermore, it can facilitate the spread of the Fa in Germany, safeguard more sentient beings and create favourable conditions for validating the Fa in Germany.
Q: What will the Dafa Association do to allow a broad range of German people to understand and accept the Falun symbol?
A: We will first report it on our website; with assistance from lawyers, we will report it on magazines in legal circles; in the meantime, we will distribute a press release to a wide selection of German news media through our Falun Dafa Information Center. When holding Dafa activities, we will show the court verdict to the government authorities concerned, and proudly display the Falun symbol according to the requirments of the activity, such as Dafa information day, parades, etc. In a nutshell, we will let more people know the Falun symbol through various forms.
Q: What did you think of the entire legal proceedings?
A: What impressed me most was that, as Master Li mentioned, a single thought will lead to different result. When receiving the notice of indictment, I was shocked, but I had a very strong righteous thought: There would definitely be no problem, and it would be a good opportunity for us to explain the facts. In addition, I felt that cooperation among our fellow practitioners was very good. We did our work calmly and helped each other without the mentality of showing off. Furthermore, when receiving the court verdict sent by the judge (who is also the head of the District Court,) I was really moved, and felt delighted to have such a good judge in Germany. I also appreciated him very much for ushering in a bright future for German people.

Chinese version available at http://www.yuanming.net/articles/200403/30080.html

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