May 13, 2010: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

May 13: Millions Worldwide Celebrate
Falun Dafa Information Center Statement for World Falun Dafa Day

News Inside China

News Outside China

May 13: Millions Worldwide Celebrate
On May 13, 1992, in a humble schoolhouse in northeastern China, Mr. Li Hongzhi began teaching Falun Gong (or Falun Dafa), introducing to modern China a practice with roots extending back thousands of years. By early 1999, there were 70 to 100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China alone, their slow-moving meditative exercises visible at dawn in parks across the country. 



Eighteen years later, Falun Gong has transcended cultural and national boundaries to bring physical health, joy, and peace of mind to millions of others around the globe....And so, on May 13, 2010, Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters around the world are celebrating World Falun Dafa Day, giving thanks to  Mr. Li for his teachings and the goodness they have brought to people’s lives. Among other celebrations, hundreds of colorful greetings have flowed from China to be posted on overseas Falun Gong websites.

Full statement: http://faluninfo.net/article/1050/?cid=84

FDIC: Shanghai Expo Fuels Falun Gong Crackdown, Over 120 Abductions
May 5: In the run-up to the World Expo opening in Shanghai this week, the Chinese authorities have engaged in a sweeping crackdown against local residents known to practice Falun Gong.

At least 127 Falun Gong practitioners have been abducted since February 2009, according to reports received by the Falun Dafa Information Center (full list). Over two dozen (26) of them have then been arbitrarily sent to prison or labor camps for up to 7.5 years (full list). Others have been taken to local “brainwashing” classes aimed at forcing them to renounce their belief in Falun Gong. Given the difficulty of obtaining information from inside China, the actual number of Falun Gong practitioners detained ahead of the World Expo is certainly higher.

Full story: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/1045/?cid=84

FDIC: Personal Stories Behind the Shanghai Expo Crackdown
May 7: “Xu Fengao and  Lu Gentao: As part of the Communist Party’s efforts to crack down on Falun Gong practitioners in Shanghai, at least two of the city’s central districts have reportedly been offering monetary incentives to citizens who report on Falun Gong practitioners.  Among those turned in to security forces is 60-year-old Ms. Xu Fengbao from Pudong District. On March 17, 2010, Ms. Xu was distributing information about the persecution of Falun Gong in a park. A bystander reported her, and she was taken into custody. Ms. Xu was previously imprisoned twice before amid the Communist Party’s suppression of Falun Gong; she has spent 6 of the last 11 years in a labor camp.

Ms. Xu’s husband, Lu Gentao, was also abducted by security forces as part of the city’s latest campaign against Falun Gong.  On July 23, 2009, security forces in Pudong district forced entry into the couple’s home and took Mr. Lu into custody.  He was sentenced arbitrarily to one year in a forced labor camp for sending instant message about Falun Gong online.”

To read the other four sample cases, including one involving Hong Kong residents imprisoned on the mainland, see: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/1047/?cid=84

FDIC: Eighth Falun Gong Practitioner Involved in Changchun TV Broadcasts Dies in Custody
May 7: A Changchun resident who tapped into Chinese state-controlled media in March 2002 to air footage exposing the persecution of Falun Gong died in custody on May 1, the Falun Dafa Information Center recently learned. Mr. Liang Zhenxing (梁振兴), 46, is at least the eighth practitioner detained in the broadcasts’ aftermath who is known to have died from abuse in custody.

Due to the widespread sympathetic response to Falun Gong that the incident sparked, Communist Party leaders responded with one of the largest scale sweeps of the campaign, imposing a security lockdown on the city and abducting at least 5,000 practitioners.

Liang was among those detained. He was subsequently “sentenced” following a show trial to 19 years in a prison camp. While being held at Siping prison camp, Liang was tortured severely, including being shackled for long periods of time, being shocked simultaneously with multiple electric batons, and pouring cold water over him in -20 degree weather… He died in Gongzhuling Central Hospital on May 1, 2010.

Full story: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/1046/?cid=84

Associated Press: 2 China rights lawyers slapped with lifetime ban
May 8: Two Chinese lawyers who represented a member of an outlawed spiritual movement have been banned for life from practicing law — a penalty they said Saturday is designed to scare other lawyers away from taking on sensitive human rights cases.

Tang Jitian and Liu Wei said during separate telephone interviews that Beijing judicial authorities informed them Friday that they had lost their credentials. The ruling is permanent, but both plan to appeal.

"There are some judicial authorities who are very conservative and quite obstinate," Tang said. "Perhaps in making this ruling, they are trying to send a warning to other lawyers to make them afraid of also ending up like this."

To read more, see: http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5juW3doKQEHiiiPnUGe7SqcUQwS3QD9FIIHSG0
For additional information on rights lawyers defending Falun Gong and the Communist Party’s retaliation, see: “In the Words of Chinese Human Rights Lawyers”: http://faluninfo.net/article/1039/ ; "Denial of Fair Public Trial and Perscution of Defense Attorneys” http://faluninfo.net/article/1025/

New York Times: Chinese Rights Lawyer Disappears Again
April 30: Gao Zhisheng, a prominent human rights lawyer whose 13-month disappearance at the hands of Chinese security agents stirred an international outcry until he resurfaced in March, has again vanished, his friends said Friday.

Associates said Mr. Gao failed to return to a Beijing apartment on April 20 after spending more than a week in Urumqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region in western China, where he had been visiting his father-in-law. Mr. Gao telephoned his father-in-law as his plane left Urumqi, saying he would call upon his arrival in Beijing, they said. That appeared to be his last contact with the outside world.

Full story: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/world/asia/01gao.html

FDIC: Human Rights Dialog with Chinese Officials Must Raise Falun Gong Publicly
May 12: While the Falun Dafa Information Center welcomes any constructive discussion aimed at ending human rights abuses in China, we caution against the exclusive use of private meetings with Chinese officials. Such meetings almost never yield any real progress, and certainly not in terms of Falun Gong.

… this persecution [of Falun Gong practitioners], which has left thousands dead and hundreds of thousands, if not millions, illegally held in labor and prison camps throughout China, has no place in the modern world. This must be made clear to the Chinese officials during any dialog, but we encourage this be done openly and publicly so the substance of the discussion is in the public domain.

Full story: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/1048/?cid=84

Washington Post: The Mystery of Falun Gong
May 12: Who are Falun Gong and what drove them to build anti-censorship software?

The Government of China recognizes five beliefs and bans all others, including Falun Gong. Falun Gong is a modern update and blending of two religions China does recognize - Taoism and Buddhism, combined with a simple set of exercises. Of all the banned beliefs, none is treated worse than Falun Gong, banned in July 1999. Practitioners of Falun Gong represent two-thirds of the Chinese torture victims and half the people in detention in re-education through labour camps. The documented yearly arbitrary killings and disappearances of Falun Gong exceed by far the totals for any other victim group.

[…] The problem for the Communists was not just that Falun Gong is so authentically Chinese; it is also that Communism is so patently foreign. Communism is a Western ideological import into China. Communists saw a widespread, popular Chinese-based ideology as cutting out from under them the very ground on which they stood.

Tolerating the Falun Gong would not have meant the collapse of the current regime. But it would have meant the disappearance of whatever ideological presence the Communist Party had in the hearts and minds of the Chinese people.

David Matas, co-author of "Bloody Harvest: Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China," is an international human rights lawyer based in Winnipeg, Canada, and a nominee for the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize.

Full story: http://newsweek.washingtonpost.com/onfaith/guestvoices/2010/05/the_mystery_of_falun_gong.html

The Epoch Times: World Falun Dafa Day Celebrations Begin
May 12: This past weekend in cities around the United States practitioners of Falun Gong began celebrating World Falun Dafa Day.

World Falun Dafa Day marks both the birthday of the founder of Falun Gong Mr. Li Hongzhi and the approximate date that he began publicly teaching the spiritual practice of Falun Gong in the northern city of Changchun, China, in 1992. The holiday officially falls on May 13, but Falun Dafa adherents took advantage of the weekend to gather together for activities of different kinds.

In New York City, adherents gathered for six hours at Union Square where they had musical performances, singing, and a lion dance and a dragon dance. They practiced the Falun Dafa exercises together, and spoke as individuals about the significance Falun Dafa held for them.

The Falun Gong Clearwisdom website quoted an unnamed Englishman in his late twenties on the significance of the holiday: “World Falun Dafa Day means celebrating my starting to practice Falun Dafa. I experienced so many benefits right from the start such as increased energy, a more peaceful demeanor, and a better life as my family felt I became a nicer, more thoughtful person.”

To read more, see: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/35245/; http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/35078/