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26.2.

2004 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 51 E/243

In the context of ‘internet pharmacies’, such function could fall upon governmental or semi-governmental
institutions of the Member States that control pharmacies periodically on site as well as the scientific
qualification of the personnel by checking their certificates of education. Sealing of quality could be a
solution, which however needs to be developed and applied in close co-operation of Member States,
European institutions and other stakeholders like health care professionals. The conditions of awarding
such quality seal should be based on coherent standards throughout the Community to guarantee a high
level of health protection in all Member States and to improve the Single Market of medicinal products.

(2004/C 51 E/264) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2358/03


by Maurizio Turco (NI), Marco Pannella (NI),
Marco Cappato (NI), Benedetto Della Vedova (NI), Gianfranco Dell’Alba (NI)
and Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission

(17 July 2003)

Subject: Violation of religious freedom in China  further arrests of priests of the ‘clandestine’ Catholic
Church

International press sources report that five priests belonging to the ‘clandestine’ Chinese Catholic Church
were arrested on Thursday 3 July at Baoding, in the northern republic of Hebei, about 100 kilometres
south of Beijing. According to reports by the Cardinal Kung Foundation, a Catholic human rights
organisation based in Connecticut, the priests Kang Fuliang, Chen Ghuozen, Pang Guangzhao, Joseph Yin
and Wang Lijun, all of them between 25 and 31 years old, were arrested whilst on their way to visit
another member of the clandestine church, Lu Genjun, who had recently been released after three years’
forced labour. Furthermore, Father Lu Xiaozhou, another member of the Roman Catholic church was also
arrested last June.

Can the Commission say whether it has any further information about these serious incidents? What kind
of diplomatic pressure will it bring to bear to put a stop to this violent campaign against Catholic clerics,
who are ‘guilty’ only of recognising the authority of the Pope?

Does it intend to convey to the government in Beijing its firm condemnation of these acts of intimidation
and, more generally, the systematic restrictions of religious freedom imposed on Chinese citizens, together
with a forceful request to respect Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which
recognises every individual’s ‘freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private,
to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance’?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(12 August 2003)

The Commission takes note of the events reported by the Honourable Members.

Freedom of religious belief is one of the topics discussed in the EU-China bilateral dialogue on human
rights.

The European Union will make the Chinese authorities aware of its concerns about the situation of the five
Chinese Catholic priests arrested on 3 July in Baoding through this dialogue, as it has often done in similar
cases in the past.