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FISM's official statement regarding human rights issues in China



7th of April 2008

In the slipstream of the persistent protests against the recent situation in Tibet and other human rights issues in China, an anonymous PowerPoint presentation is circulating among magicians and magic societies.

Its main purpose is to discourage participation in the FISM World Championships of Magic 2009 in Beijing.

Although the FISM logo and some copy-right pictures owned by FISM are used (without FISM’s consent), the presentation is not originating from FISM and does not represent FISM’s opinion or policy.

The Presidium, representing FISM, prefers to distance itself from its contents and condemns its anonymous intrusion into the magic scene.

Although FISM is not a political body, whose task it is to fight against violations of human rights issues, it cannot and should not ignore the political opinions in a public debate. FISM should express its position clearly.

In discussions about the boycott of a sports event such as the Olympic Games or of a cultural event like the World Championships of Magic the antagonists for and against cannot convince each other, as their arguments are only correct and valid when one believes in them.

Belief systems of people can differ however.

FISM’s belief and policy are as follows:

First of all the Presidium strongly disapproves of any form of violation of human rights and of any restriction of democratic freedoms, by any group of people or by any country or its leaders.

Furthermore we believe that ignoring people with a different historical background and culture or countries situated in a different geopolitical environment, even when it comes to human rights issues, will surely not contribute to any improvement.

Remaining in contact, however, can potentially create possibilities for mutual respect and understanding and may open ways for the improvement of human rights issues.

We are not simply suggesting that entrusting the hosting and organization of the FISM World Championship of Magic to the China Magic Art Society will improve human rights issues in China.

We are convinced, however, that ignoring the Chinese magicians is not only contradictory to the spirit of the FISM but will certainly not contribute to any improvement to whatever situation in their country.

It is FISM’s responsibility to see to it that a FISM World Championship of Magic will be organized in the best possible way, in the true spirit of FISM and to the benefit of the Art of Magic and its performers.

We know that the China Magic Art Society and the Organizing Committee of the FISM World Championships of Magic 2009, have been working hard, diligently and positively and will continue to do so, to guarantee a respectful and truly wonderful World Championship of Magic.

ERIC ESWIN- International President

GERRIT BRENGMAN - International Vice-President

DOMENICO DANTE -  International Vice-President