Centennial Celebrations Spell Crackdown for Falun Gong

Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death in the first half of 2021. Upper row (left to right): Gong Piqi, Liu Xiufang, Ding Guiying, Mao Kun, Lu Guanru. Lower row (left to right): Lu Songming, Li Hongwei, Xie Dewen, Li Caie, Zhang Cuicui.

Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death in the first half of 2021. Upper row (left to right): Gong Piqi, Liu Xiufang, Ding Guiying, Mao Kun, Lu Guanru. Lower row (left to right): Lu Songming, Li Hongwei, Xie Dewen, Li Caie, Zhang Cuicui.

Dear Reader,
 
THE MONTH OF JULY REPRESENTS A HARROWING TIME for Falun Gong practitioners, something entirely antithetical to freedom and independence celebrated here in the US. Persecution of faith-based groups annually intensifies exponentially in this month due to sensitive dates– like the July 20th anniversary of the launch of the anti-Falun Gong campaign. This year, the crackdown was exacerbated by the centennial anniversary of the CCP itself.


Additionally, we have a complimentary pair of organ harvesting reports– one by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former American diplomat Callista L. Gingrich representing the policy angle, while the other embodies the problem at stake through a true account from the family of Mr. Pan Xujun, whose death they suspect is a product of organ harvesting. 

Wrapping up this week’s newsletter is the June list of film festivals that awarded and nominated Defiance and Gao Rongrong, two documentary shorts that were produced by Falun Info. 

Elie Wiesel once said, “Take Sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim.” I’d like you to take that into consideration as you’re reading through our carefully selected collection of stories today. 

Sincerely,

Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center

OVERALL PERSECUTION TREND

Large-Scale Arrests Orchestrated Ahead of Centennial Anniversary
In preparation for its centennial celebrations on July 1, the Chinese Communist Party orchestrated large-scale arrests of Falun Gong practitioners and their families under the pretense of “maintaining social stability.” First launched in late May, the increased efforts to oppress and silence Falun Gong are part of the Safety July 1 campaign.

The spike in persecution is a precaution the CCP is using to safeguard its power, as Tang Jingyuan, an U.S.-based China affairs commentator, explains:

In the past decades, Falun Gong practitioners have revealed the persecutions that they suffered in China, and exposed the crimes the CCP committed when faced with calls to end the persecution, inside and outside of China. This scares the CCP.”


Behind the profligacy of the centennial lies a path lain by innocent lives.
#CCP100 is nothing to celebrate.
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OVERALL PERSECUTION TREND

First Half of 2021: 42 Deaths, 67 Overall Reported

Falun Gong practitioners persecuted to death in the first half of 2021. Upper row (left to right): Gong Piqi, Liu Xiufang, Ding Guiying, Mao Kun, Lu Guanru. Lower row (left to right): Lu Songming, Li Hongwei, Xie Dewen, Li Caie, Zhang Cuicui.

From January to June 2021, there have been 42 reported deaths of Falun Gong practitioners. Twenty-five of the reports happened prior to January 2021. As a whole, the ages of the practitioners were between 46 and 85, with an average age of 64.

A total of 4,660 deaths have been documented by Minghui.org as of June 30, 2021. But due to the strict censorship of information in China, the actual number is most likely to be much higher.
Twenty of the new confirmed cases took place in 2020, which raises the total number of deaths last year from 83 to 103. Five of the cases occurred between 2017 and 2019. 

The four provinces with the most reported deaths were Liaoning, Jilin, Heilongjiang, and Henan. These same provinces were also among the five regions with the highest recorded death tolls in 2020. 
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STOP FORCED ORGAN HARVESTING ACT

The Tragic Truth: Organ Harvesting in China
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former ambassador to the Holy See Callista L. Gingrich highlight the magnitude of the bipartisan and bicameral Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act in a June 27 report.

China’s $1 billion organ transplant industry is reportedly fueled by the exploitation of “prisoners of conscience”, especially Falun Gong practitioners. Tens of thousands of annual procedures can only be explained by this inhumane killing procedure, a gruesome systematic industry that simultaneously silences dissidents while profiting from foreign patients (Americans included). 

Mr. and Mrs. Gingrich posit, “The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act will mandate annual reporting of forced organ harvesting, authorize the U.S. government to deny or revoke passports from those who illicitly purchase organs, and sanction those who engage in forced organ harvesting. The Stop Forced Organ Harvesting Act will expose the cruelties of forced organ harvesting and hold perpetrators accountable.
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PERSONAL ACCOUNT

Schoolteacher Dies Ten Days Before Release from Custody, Family Suspects Organ Harvesting

Mr. Pan Xujun (undated photo)

On November 8, 2020, ten days before Mr. Pan Xujun’s scheduled release from Hongzehu Prison, his family was summoned to the prison to visit him. However, when they arrived, his body was already in the mortuary. Although a prison doctor claimed Pan died of stroke, his family suspect that he was actually killed for his organs because he had been subjected to intensive examinations and tests during his first prison term between 2002 and 2010.

During that period, Pan was subjected to beatings, long-term sleep deprivation, restricted restroom use, and force-feeding. In the winter, police also drenched his clothes and shoes with cold water, and poured boiling water on his bare feet.

In addition, Mr. Pan Xujun was regularly taken by guards to the Suqian City Hospital for health tests, especially for the function of his liver. Nurses frequently drew his and other inmates’ blood in prison while guards stood next to them with electric batons. Prison guards never explained the reason for his taking the tests and the doctors never discussed the results with him.
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DOCUMENTARY SHORT AWARDS

Falun Info Documentary Shorts Advance in Film Festival Contention

Defiance” has won Silver for Short Documentary in the Hollywood Gold Awards. The documentary has also been nominated for the London Shorts, contending as a finalist at the Paris International Film Awards and semi-finalist at the AltFF Alternative Film Festival, as well as selected preliminarily for the APEX Film Awards, Golden Short Film Festival, Eastern Europe International Movie Award, and Paris Film Festival for the short documentary category. The 8-minute film produced by Falun Info depicts a remarkable, true story of a group of six ordinary people who gather in secret to plan an extraordinary task: to break into the television broadcasting system of the most tyrannical regime on earth– that of the Chinese Communist Party.

Their goal was to expose one of the gravest, state sponsored, lies in Chinese history. A single lie used to justify the persecution of millions of people. It was an event that sparked an information revolution that challenged oppressive regimes around the world, from Beijing to Tehran, and continues to reverberate today.

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The 3-minute short “Gao Rongrong” has also been nominated as a semi-finalist at the AltFF Alternative Film Festival, and officially selected in the London Shorts and Golden Short Film Festival. Ms. Gao Rongrong, a 37-year-old accountant at an art college in Shenyang, China had a radiant smile, and joyful disposition. All that changed when she was unlawfully detained and tortured as part of the nation-wide campaign to crush Falun Gong. 

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