August 23, 2008: Falun Gong News Bulletin
- Times Union: A quest for freedom spans the oceans
- Globe and Mail: Chinese turn a blind eye to facts under their noses
- FDI: 70 Miles Outside Beijing, A Cultural Revolution Time Warp
- The Guardian: The reality behind China’s Olympic image of modernity
- Urgent Appeal: Retired Professor Arrested in Pre-Olympic Purge for Printing Underground Newsletters
- ABC: China toughens security, rounds up dissidents
- The Australian: PM Kevin Rudd to press China on human rights record
Daughter in Albany working for release of mother, held in China
Annie Li, a resident of Albany, NY, is concerned about her mother’s situation after being sentenced to a forced labor camp in China for nothing more than practicing Falun Gong. Excerpt: “I’m so worried and sad about my mother, I can’t bring myself to watch the Olympics,” Li said. She’s been seeking help from state legislators and New York’s congressional delegation. She has collected more than 1,000 signatures on a petition demanding her mother’s release.
I was trying to follow the so-called journalists’ “Walking Guide to the Persecution of Falun Gong in Beijing,” … and was looking for the Beijing Municipal Prison for Women, where at least a couple of the most recent Falun Gong detainees are believed to be incarcerated. They are in jail; it’s just that this being China, it is not always easy to determine which one. Daxing it turns out is as famous for its prisons as it is for its watermelons, and when my interpreter asked a man eating at the table across from us where the women’s city hoosegow was, he grinned and shrugged, “There are lots of prisons here.”
Police dragnet forces travelers to stomp on Falun Gong founder’s image
NEW YORK – At train and bus stations 70 miles from the heart of Beijing, police have been placing photos of Falun Gong founder Mr. Li Hongzhi on the ground. To exit the station, all travelers must stomp on the spiritual teacher’s image. Those who refuse are presumed to be Falun Gong adherents and taken away. According to reports received by the Center, at least two Falun Gong adherents in Hebei province’s Chicheng city (70 miles from Beijing) and Huailai county (100 miles) were rounded up this way in late July.
To read more: /article/796/
While watching the games, remember they are designed to benefit a regime responsible for appalling abuse of human rights
By Edward McMillan-Scott, vice-president of the European parliament
Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch are in agreement that far from honouring their pledge to improve human rights as a result of hosting the Olympics, the Chinese authorities have used the games as an excuse to intensify domestic repression. … One of the groups that [attorney] Gao has been most prominent in defending has been the religious movement, Falun Gong. Members of this group have been on the receiving end of some of the most brutal abuse imaginable. Many foreign observers are easily frightened off by the Chinese government’s designation of it as an “evil cult”, but Falun Gong is a harmless Buddha-school set of spiritual exercises that is persecuted mainly because its popularity is deemed to pose a threat to the “guiding role” of the Chinese Communist party. A decade ago it had up to 100 million adherents.
New Yorker’s elderly father faces long sentencing and torture
New York—As Olympic sailing competitions continue in Qingdao, a retired professor and his wife face imminent sentencing in nearby Jinan for practicing Falun Gong and printing underground leaflets. Official documents obtained by the Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC) corroborate the detention of the elderly couple, who remain at risk of severe abuse in custody. Mr. Zhang Xingwu, a 67-year-old retired physics professor at Jinan Normal University, and his wife, Ms. Pinjie Liu were arrested from their home on July 16, 2008.
To read more: /article/797/?cid=84
Chinese police have increased security in the country’s north-western Xinjiang province amid claims that thousands of Falun Gong followers have been rounded up elsewhere in the country in the run-up to the Olympic Games. … “There are reports from different sources, from rights groups that they were rounded up in the run-up to the Games and they have been sent to a place nobody knows,” [Mr. Epring Zhang[ said. “Even the family members cannot identify the location.”
KEVIN Rudd will use his visit to China for the Olympic Games opening ceremony to again raise Australia’s serious concerns over human rights abuses. Mr Rudd leaves today on a three-day visit to Beijing, where he will attend tomorrow’s ceremony and meet President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao. He said he would not be put off by the sensitivity of the issue during this important time for China. “That’s part of a mature, responsible relationship with the Chinese Government,” Mr Rudd said. “We’ve raised concerns to the Chinese in the past about human rights in general and about the Falun Gong in particular – I’ll continue to do so.”
To read more: http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,24140048-5013871,00.html