Aug. 12, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News from Inside China

News from Outside China


FDIC: “Falun Gong Practitioner Killed within Days of Arrest”
August 7: A middle-aged man in northeast China has died just sixteen days after being detained by security agents while speaking to passers-by at a shopping mall about the persecution against Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center recently learned. Mr. Yang Guiquan (???) was reportedly brought to a local hospital on July 5, 2009 in critical condition with bruises and scars from electric batons visible on his body. Doctors pronounced him dead on arrival. He was 45-years-old.

Upon hearing of his arrest, Mr. Yang’s family members and employer went to the public security bureau on multiple occasions to request his release, but were repeatedly turned away and refused access to him.

To read more: /article/897/?cid=84

U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture: Falun Gong One of Largest Groups in Labor Camps, Chinese Regime Ignores Request for Organ Transplant Information
The following are selected excerpts from an interview conducted with Manfred Nowak, U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and published on August 5 in the Epoch Times:

On labor camps: “The majority of the inmates in these [forced labor] camps were Falun Gong members. And that is so frightening, because none of these people were ever given the benefit of a trial. They were never charged…. [They were sent there] in the same way the officials deal with prostitutes or with those that exhibit ‘other socially damaging behavior.’ One can say that a relatively big part of the inmates in these camps are Falun Gong persons. It definitely is one of the largest groups…. Nothing seems to have changed for the better.”

On organ harvesting: “The Chinese government has yet to come clean and be transparent [related to allegations of organ harvesting],” said Nowak. “It remains to be seen how it could be possible that organ transplant surgeries in Chinese hospitals have risen massively since 1999, while there are never that many voluntary donors available. [The allegations] were denied, but the Chinese government has not invalidated them, but on the other hand they haven´t been proven either. This makes for a difficult dilemma—one that only be resolved if China is willing to cooperate. And that is what is lacking.”

To read more:

Taipei Times: “Falun Gong Practitioner Home After China Ordeal”
August 8: Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner Shao Yuhua (???), who was arrested in China late last month, was released and returned to Taiwan on Thursday.

Shao, a former Chinese national who moved to Taiwan 11 years ago after marrying a Taiwanese and who now holds Republic of China (ROC) citizenship, traveled to China last month with her daughter to visit her family in Nanyang, Henan Province. On the morning of July 31, several Chinese state security agents arrested her at her sister’s house, where she was staying.

“[Shao told me] that she was tortured in detention — Chinese state security agents tried to keep her awake all the time, forced her to write self-criticisms, tried to brainwash her and threatened to hurt her family,” [Lawyer] Theresa Chu said. Chu said Shao’s release was the result of international attention as well as strong protest from Falun Gong practitioners worldwide.

To read more:
For FDIC alert calling for Shao’s release: /article/895/?cid=84

Epoch Times: “South Korea Deports Falun Gong Refugees”
July 26: After Mr. Wu’s refugee application was rejected, he was sent to a detention center. On July 1 the Korean government deported him to China… Mr. Wu and 31 other Falun Gong practitioners have been denied refugee status by the Supreme Court. [This despite] Article 3 of the United Nation’s Convention against Torture [which] says, “No State Party shall expel, return or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” Korea signed this UN convention in 1995.

The Korean government recently detained 4 more Chinese Falun Gong practitioners. Their refugee applications were denied by the South Korean government. They are in detention centers and are at risk of being deported to China. Bok Hee Chang speculates, “To make a long story short, it’s not whether or not the government has a law to protect the refugees, but whether or not the policy makers have the will to execute the law.” Bok is a Professor of International Refugee Law.

To read more:

Providence Journal: “Falun Gong Survives Assault by China”
July 27: “For its savagery and irrationality, the persecution offers a rare, but sobering, glimpse into a country in flux. It highlights the totalitarianism perpetuated by the current regime that tends to be shrugged off by people obsessed with China’s seeming prosperity…Nobody now knows how many persevered in their practice after the crackdown; nobody can write off the Falun Gong, either. Its organization estimated that millions of users accessed its Web site regularly. Ten years onward, Falun Gong has survived the lethal wrath of July 1999. By Chinese standards, this is an unprecedented miracle, since no mandated public enemy has ever done this before.

On April 25, 1999, thousands of followers gathered outside the government’s petition office (incidentally, close to the leadership compound) for release of jailed fellow practitioners. The event thrust the Falun Gong into the international spotlight, and some believe, precipitated the persecution. They were wrong. Investigations by Public Security, always a prelude to an official crackdown in China, started as far back as in summer 1997. On my visit during that summer to a Falun Gong practitioner, also a high-ranking party official, she said her local practitioners had carefully stashed away their Falun Gong books and paraphernalia for fear of police harassment. In retrospect, with or without the April 25 protest, the persecution would have taken place… As long as the current regime is in power, Falun Gong’s crusade has to go on, it seems.”

John Li is a professor of economics at Hunter College, part of the City University of New York.

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