In the fall of 1999, with the first reports of deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in China just surfacing, the United States Congress passed what would be the first of four resolutions condemning the persecution of Falun Gong. Three other resolutions followed, including one expressing concern over attacks and harassment of Falun Gong adherents and their supporters by Chinese agents within the territory of the United States. During floor debates and annual rallies held in Washington D.C., Members of Congress have reiterated their opposition to the Chinese Communist Party’s policy of banning Falun Gong and particularly, at the brutal methods used to force Chinese citizens to renounce their peaceful spiritual beliefs.
U.S Congressional Resolutions (pertaining to Falun Gong)
In addition to Congressional attention, the Department of State and Congressional-Executive Commission on China's annual human rights report has regularly detailed large scale arbitrary detention, sexual abuse, torture, and death of Falun Gong practitioners at the hands of Chinese security agencies. It has also closely followed threats to Falun Gong practitioners’ rights in Hong Kong and Macau, including instances of discrimination and restrictions on entry into the territories.
A close reading of these reports reveals consistent patterns of abuse meted out by the Chinese authorities against citizens who choose to continue to practice Falun Gong. Among the recurring themes cited in almost every report since 1999 are:
- Between several hundred and several thousand deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in custody, reportedly as a result of torture.
- Widespread torture of Falun Gong adherents—including abuse—in prisons, “re-education through labor” camps, detention centers, and psychiatric hospitals.
- The detention of tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in prisons, “re-education through labor” camps, and mandatory anti-Falun Gong study sessions.
- The use of special re-education centers to detain Falun Gong adherents who had completed labor camp terms but who refused to recant their beliefs.
- Subjecting adherents such detention and harassment for mere private belief in Falun Gong, even without public manifestation of its tenets.
- The expulsion of CCP and PLA members for being identified as Falun Gong practitioners.
- Denial of passports to Falun Gong adherents wishing to leave the country and refusing reentry to practitioners based abroad