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March 15, 2011: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News Inside China
News Outside China
 
FDIC: Violence Against Women—A Communist Party Tool of “Transformation” 
Mar. 6: A 25-year old kindergarten teacher unable to walk after being sexually assaulted with a broom in a Hebei labor camp. A once-brilliant Tsinghua University student driven to insanity by sexual abuse and rape. A woman from Hunan in her eighth month of pregnancy given a forced abortion and then sent to a prison camp for six years. These are three of the reports the Falun Dafa Information Center received in the last year from friends and relatives of female Falun Gong practitioners in China. 

In honor of International Women’s Day on March 7, the Falun Dafa Information Center issued a statement analyzing the root cause of the systematic violence, including sexual abuse, inflicted on female Falun Gong practitioners: top-down orders and incentives to use every means possible to force adherents to denounce their faith and pledge allegiance to the Communist Party.


FDIC: Hebei Falun Gong Practitioner Dies from Labor Camp Torture
Feb. 28: Sources inside China report that Mr. Pei Yangqing (裴彦庆) was sent home on February 16, 2011 from Qinhuangdao Re-education Through Labor Camp in Hebei province. His chest was covered in bruises and he was incontinent. Four days later, unable to recover from the torture inflicted on him in the camp, Pei passed away.

Police abducted Pei on September 1, 2010, after a fellow village resident, Mr. Zhu Hongwei, reported to police that Pei had spoken to others about Falun Gong and the human rights abuses suffered by practitioners.  It is not uncommon for Falun Gong practitioners to be picked up by uniformed and/or plainclothes police for simply talking about Falun Gong. 

 
NTDTV: Chinese Authorities Illegally Sentenced 550+ Falun Gong Practitioners in 2010
Feb. 24: In its eleventh year of persecution against Falun Gong, the Chinese Communist Party is reported to have sentenced at least 550 practitioners to multiple-year prison sentences, according to a list published on the Chinese-language Minghui.org website. In one case a 72-year-old practitioner from Sichuan Province was illegally sentenced to 12 years in prison. At least 94 practitioners were given prison sentences of more than seven years. Such sentences are typically imposed by judges under the influence of the Communist Party and in sham trials that lack due process, contravene Chinese law, and last less than a day. Since the Olympics, the Falun Dafa Information Center has noted an increase in the use of prison camps to hold practitioners and recorded over 1,300 sent to such camps in 2008 and 2009 for up to 18 years. Together with hundreds of thousands of adherents in labor camps, they comprise the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China. 

To read more: 
For more information on imprisonment of Falun Gong practitioners and a list of cases from 2009, see “Large Scale Abductions and Imprisonment,” FDIC 2010 Annual Report: http://faluninfo.net/article/1024/  

New York Times: In China, Security Muffles Calls for Change
Feb. 1: The New York Times described an elaborate system of autocratic controls enhanced in recent years to “maintain stability.” The article points to how orders to persecute Falun Gong practitioners trickle from top Communist Party officials down to individual neighborhoods: 

”Over the past five years, stability maintenance, known as ‘weiwen’ in Chinese, has become a multiagency juggernaut that relies on a sophisticated menu of Internet censorship, the harassment of blacklisted troublemakers and an industrial complex of paid informants and contractors. The vast bureaucracy extends from the Politiburo Standing Committee’s chief law enforcer, Zhou Yongkang, to neighborhood ‘safety patrol’ volunteers on the lookout for Falun Gong members and low-level clashes that can mushroom into large-scale disturbances.”

 
Freedom House: “Error Message” for Falun Gong on Chinese State-run Search Engine 
Mar. 3: As part of its weekly China Media Bulletin, Freedom House conducted a test comparing the results of different terms on three Chinese-language search engines: Google.hk, Baidu, and the recently-launched Panguso, run by the Communist Party-run Xinhua News Agency. Among the terms tested was “Falun Gong.” They found that on Google only 6 of the 20 top results were from Communist Party sources (the remainder were Falun Gong websites or sites collecting information on Falun Gong from multiple sources). By contrast, on Baidu, a private company known for its robust censorship, 19 of the 20 results were from party sources, all anti-Falun Gong. On Panguso, no results were displayed as an error message was immediately returned upon entering the term “Falun Gong.” While not surprising, these results highlight the extent to which average Chinese internet users are cut off from independent sources of information or the opportunity to read for themselves what Falun Gong practitioners have to say.


FDIC: Chinese Agents Send Fraudulent Falun Gong E-mails to Western Governments
Mar. 10: In an elaborate attempt to discredit Falun Gong in the eyes of Western politicians, individuals in China sent e-mails to a U.S. senator's office as well as officials in New Zealand disguised as messages from Falun Gong representatives. 

One message sent to a U.S. senator's office, which contained threatening and irrational language, was sent from an IP address traced to a government complex in Hubei province. The message dated January 12, 2011 was disguised as having been sent by Erping Zhang, one of Falun Gong's main spokespersons. 
 
 
Epoch Times: NY Man Arrested for Attacking a Falun Gong Banner in a Lunar New Year Parade
Feb. 14:  In a New York City Lunar New Year parade on Feb. 12, a Chinese man jumped the sidewalk railing and muscled away a 16-foot wide banner held by two Falun Gong practitioners at the front of their parade procession, breaking its pole in the process. Three policemen immediately rushed over and arrested him with handcuffs. Individuals who witnessed the incident speculated that the man had either directly or indirectly been sent by the Chinese Communist regime to carry out the attack. 

Earlier in February, a similar incident occurred during a Lunar New Year parade in Mexico City. This is also not the first time adherents have encountered violence and harassment in New York. For several weeks in 2008, large crowds besieged Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing distributing information about the persecution. A recording later emerged of Peng Keyu, the Chinese consul-general, boasting at how the crowds were organized by the Chinese consulate.

To read more:

Taipei Times: New Alliance Targeting CCP ‘Villains’
Feb. 17: Several groups including the Falun Gong Human Rights Lawyers Working Group, have formed an alliance in Taiwan. Calling themselves the “No CCP Villain International Alliance,” they have compiled a list of more than 11,000 Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who have reportedly participated in human rights abuses in China. The alliance—comprised of Falun Gong practitioners, Tibet supporters, businesspeople who have been victimized in China and human rights activists—is urging that these individuals should be barred from visiting Taiwan. In early December, the Taiwanese legislature passed a resolution requiring government authorities such as the National Immigration Agency and the Mainland Affairs Council to deny CCP officials known to be involved in human rights abuses entry into Taiwan. 
 

FDIC: Ukrainian Court Issues Decision to Allow Falun Gong to Hold Activities in Kiev City Square
Feb. 17: On May 13, 2010, Kiev police dispersed Falun Gong practitioners appealing for an end to the persecution in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ukraine.  The Falun Dafa Association of Ukraine learned that the police action was a result of provocation by the Chinese Embassy and subsequently filed an appeal. On February 17, 2011, a court ruled in favor of the Falun Dafa Association, reportedly assuring them that “you can submit applications for your [public] activities at your discretion any time in the future” and that the “[Ukranian authorities now] know the real situation.”