FDIC Urgent Appeal: Celebrity Musician’s Widow Faces Prison for Practicing Falun Gong
June 17, 2008 - The widow of Yu Zhou, a well-known musician and Falun Gong adherent who died from abuse in police custody in February, has been arrested and is at serious risk of being sentenced to a long prison term.
Xu Na, herself an award-winning artist, has remained in detention since the couple’s arrest. In April, her family was notified that she was to be charged with “using a heretical organization to undermine implementation of the law,” a vague provision of the penal code commonly used to sentence Falun Gong adherents to prison terms of up to 12 years.
In early May, Xu was transferred to the Chongwen District Detention Center, where she awaits trial at the Chongwen District Court.
For more information see: http://www.faluninfo.net/displayAnArticle.asp?ID=9531
FDIC: Top 10 Things You Should Know about the Beijing Olympics and Falun Gong
June 10, 2008 - With less than two months remaining until the Olympics, the FDIC released a list of 10 things that those interested in the games should be sure to be aware of, with the first five as follows:
- China’s Olympic Committee President was found liable for torture
- To prepare for the Olympics, Chinese security ordered a “strike hard” against Falun Gong.
- Falun Gong practitioners are being killed in custody faster and more frequently than before.
- Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners around China have been arrested “in preparation” for the games.
- Falun Gong practitioners are officially excluded from the Games because of religious belief, in clear violation of the Olympic Charter.
The remaining list and explanatory paragraphs for each item are available at: http://faluninfo.net/displayAnArticle.asp?ID=9530
Amnesty International: 2008 Annual Report cites Falun Gong adherents at high risk of torture
The following are excerpts from Amnesty International’s 2008 Annual Report, released in May:
“Falun Gong practitioners were at particularly high risk of torture and other ill-treatment in detention.”
“Millions of people were impeded from freely practicing their religion. Thousands remained in detention or serving prison sentences, at high risk of torture, for practicing their religion outside of state-sanctioned channels. […] During the year over 100 Falun Gong practitioners were reported to have died in detention or shortly after release as a result of torture, denial of food or medical treatment, and other forms of ill-treatment.”
Hong Kong: “Hundreds of overseas Falun Gong practitioners were denied entry to Hong Kong in the run-up to the [10th] anniversary [of its return to China].”
To view the full report, see: http://thereport.amnesty.org/eng/regions/asia-pacific/china
U.S. Senate Hearing on Global Internet Freedom: Testimony of Dr. Shiyu Zhou, Deputy Director, Global Internet Freedom Consortium
May 20, 2008 - “I am proud to stand before you today on behalf of the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, a small team of dedicated volunteers, connected through their common practice of Falun Gong, who have come together to work for the cause of Internet freedom. […] Our five existing tools – UltraSurf, DynaWeb FreeGate, Garden, GPass, and FirePhoenix — currently accommodate an estimated 95% of the total anti-censorship traffic in closed societies around the world, and are used DAILY by millions of users [including] 194.4 million in China. […]
In a 2002 Cisco PowerPoint presentation entitled ‘An Overview of [China's] Public Security Industry,’ a Cisco (China) official in the Government Business Department listed the ‘Golden Shield Project’ – the host project of China’s Great Firewall – as one of Cisco's major target customers. In this document, which apparently lays out the marketing strategy for Cisco (China) to sell products to the Chinese security police, one of the main objectives of the Golden Shield was to ‘combat the ‘Falun Gong’ evil cult’ – parroting the rhetoric of the Chinese authorities used to persecute Falun Gong.[…] Cisco can no longer assure Congress that Cisco (China) has not been and is not now an accomplice and partner in China’s Internet repression and, whether directly or indirectly, in its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and other peaceful citizens in China.”
For Zhou’s full testimony and other speakers at the hearing, see: http://judiciary.senate.gov/hearing.cfm?id=3369