Dec. 21, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

FDIC: Argentine Judge Orders Arrest of Top Chinese Communist Party Officials for Crimes Against Humanity
Landmark decision cites ‘genocidal strategy’ used against Falun Gong

News on Events Inside China
•    FDIC: Under “Rule of Law” Veneer, Hundreds of Falun Gong Practitioners Illegally Sent to Prison Camps for Up to 18 Years
•    The Epoch Times: Eyewitness Recounts Forced Organ Removal in China
•    FDIC: “Pioneering Lawyers in China Defend Falun Gong and Human Rights,” op-ed for International Human Rights Day by Levi Browde, FDIC Executive Director

News from Outside China
•    Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Study finds Chinese regime’s restrictions on religious freedom 4th most repressive in the world, including because of Falun Gong persecution
•    Deutsch Presse Agenteur: Falun Gong sues Chinese official in Taiwan court
•    Examiner.com: Protection of religious minorities is major theme of 2009 Human Rights Day News Conference
•    Taipei Times: “China rights violators should be tried: DPP”

FDIC: Argentine Judge Orders Arrest of Top Chinese Communist Party Officials for Crimes Against Humanity
Landmark decision cites ‘genocidal strategy’ used against Falun Gong
Dec 20: In a landmark decision, an Argentine judge indicted and ordered the local Interpol department to seek the arrest of two high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials on Thursday for their role in crimes against humanity committed against Falun Gong practitioners. The two defendants in the case are former CCP head Jiang Zemin, widely acknowledged as the chief instigator of the campaign to “eradicate” the spiritual practice; and Luo Gan, a former Politburo member who oversaw the 610 Office, an extralegal security agency that has led the violent campaign.

Following a four-year long investigation, Argentine judge Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid of Federal Court No. 9 issued a 146-page decision and related orders on December 17. The document offers a detailed and damning assessment of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and the role that the two top officials played.

“The genocidal strategy … comprised a broad range of actions arranged in total contempt for life and human dignity,” says Lamadrid’s decision. “The designated purpose – the eradication of Falun Gong – was used to justify any means used. Therefore, torment, torture, disappearances, deaths, brainwashing, psychological torture were everyday occurrences in the persecution of its practitioners.”

To read more: /article/935/?cid=84

FDIC: Under “Rule of Law” Veneer, Hundreds of Falun Gong Practitioners Illegally Sent to Prison Camps for Up to 18 Years
Dec 21: The Communist Party is using its influence over judges within China’s court system to send an unprecedented number of innocent Chinese to prison camps because of their religious belief, the Falun Dafa Information Center reported on Thursday. The Center released a list of 863 Falun Gong practitioners recently given prison terms of up to 18 years following sham trials. Cases were identified in 29 out of China’s 31 provinces and municipalities, including Beijing, Shanghai, and Xinjiang.

“The Party seems to be putting more energy into its ‘rule of law’ veneer surrounding the anti-Falun Gong campaign, while still enabling widespread and illegal incarceration of practitioners,” says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman Erping Zhang. “The bottom line remains, however, that these people never should have been picked up by the police in the first place…Although these Falun Gong practitioners are going before a judge ahead of being sent off to camps to face brutal forced conversion efforts, the automatic ‘guilty’ verdicts being issued render the process no different from the bureaucratic fiats used to send adherents to labor camps. Indeed, the main difference is that they are now being locked up for even longer.”

A closer analysis of the sample of 863 cases reveals the following patterns:
1. Over 60 percent “sentenced” to at least four years
2. Victims of all ages and professions
3. Many victims abducted from home or workplace
4. Many victims previously tortured, imprisoned
5. Routine disregard for due process

To read more, including the list of victims’ names, additional details of above five patterns to the mass sentencing, and a more detailed account of five verifiable cases, see full story

The Epoch Times: Eyewitness Recounts Forced Organ Removal in China
Dec 14: An eyewitness has recounted in vivid detail the story of a woman in China—a high school teacher in her 30s—who was detained, tortured, raped, and finally operated on to extract her organs while she was still alive….This testimony is the first eyewitness account of harvesting organs from a living Falun Gong practitioner. A 30-minute interview, in two separate conversations, was carried out by an investigator from the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG).

On April 9, 2002, two military surgeons came to the makeshift “black jail,”… according to the witness. One of the military surgeons was from the General Hospital of Shenyang Military Region of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA), and the other one was a graduate of the Second Military Medical University, he said. They took the woman to a hospital.

“At that time, we had been interrogating and severely torturing her for about a week,” he said. “She already had countless wounds on her body. Also, [we] used electrical batons to beat her. She had already become delirious.”

The policeman said he was on armed guard duty in the room while he watched the surgeons cut the woman’s chest open while she was still alive. No anesthetics were used, he said.

“At that moment, that doctor, that military surgeon, hesitated. Then he looked at me, then at our [policemen’s] superior. Then our superior nodded, and he continued to do the veins. … [Her] heart was carved out first, next were the kidneys. When her cardiac veins were cut by the scissors, she started twitching. It was extremely horrible.”

To read more, including a partial transcript of the witness’s account: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/26417/

FDIC: “Pioneering Lawyers in China Defend Falun Gong and Human Rights,” op-ed for International Human Rights Day by Levi Browde, FDIC Executive Director
Dec 9: “Sixty-one years ago—on Dec. 10, 1948—the U.N. General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), yet millions of ordinary citizens across China who practice Falun Gong remain in danger of arbitrary detention, torture, and death. And as more and more lawyers bravely step forward in their defense, they are meeting with a similar fate.

Communist Party leaders and state-run media claim that Falun Gong has been crushed. But this raises the question–why then would a nationwide apparatus like the 610 Office remain active and growing? Why would labor camps continue to fill with practitioners? … The reality is, today Falun Gong practitioners across China continue to resist Party efforts to “eradicate” them.

Falun Gong practitioners’ efforts are starting to bear fruit with the result that practitioners are no longer fighting the battle to end the persecution alone. A generation of daring, world-renowned lawyers has risen to defend them, risking their careers and physical safety to defy Party orders. They plead their clients’ innocence with defenses based on the Chinese Constitution and the UDHR. Some have published open letters challenging the legality of the persecution as a whole. In so doing, they are blazing a trail in China that so many lawyers have carved out elsewhere to challenge unjust regimes.…China and the world will be a better place thanks to their efforts.

To read more: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/26242/ 

Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life: Study finds Chinese regime’s restrictions on religious freedom 4th most repressive in the world, including because of Falun Gong persecution
Dec 16: The report “Global Restrictions on Religious Freedom” was released December 16. Drawing on a range of sources, the report ranked countries by two measures: government restrictions on religion and restrictions due to violence or intimidation by non-state actors.

China scored a 7.7 on the government restrictions measure, making it the fourth worst performer among the 198 countries included. Only Saudi Arabia (8.4), Iran (8.3), and Uzbekistan (8.0) scored worse.

According to the report: “Among the countries with “very high’ levels of government restrictions on religion are several that are frequently cited for the limits they impose on minority faiths. China is in the highest category primarily because of its restrictions on Buddhism in Tibet, its ban on the Falun Gong movement throughout the country, its strict controls on the practice of religion among Uighur Muslims and its pressure on religious groups that are not registered by the government…. The primary sources for this study report numerous cases of imprisonment, beatings and torture of members of these religious groups by Chinese authorities.”

For more information see: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BF5BC20091216
For the full report see: http://pewforum.org/newassets/images/reports/restrictions/restrictionsfullreport.pdf

Deutsch Presse Agenteur: Falun Gong sues Chinese official in Taiwan court
Dec. 15: “Buddhist meditation group Falun Gong filed a criminal complaint with a local court Tuesday against a visiting Chinese official, accusing him of persecuting the [group]. The complaint against Xu Chunguang, former Communist Party secretary-general of Henan province, was filed in Taiwan’s High Court by Falun Gong spokesman Chang Ching-hsi and lawyer Teresa Chu. Xu, party chief of Henan from 1999-2008, arrived in Taiwan Monday for a week-long visit as head of a provincial trade delegation.”

Epoch Times: “The lawsuit charges that during Xu’s tenure as secretary, more than 1,100 Falun Gong practitioners were persecuted in Henan and more than 100 practitioners died from torture they endured in police custody. Xu is said to be directly responsible for the spread of hate propaganda that sustained the persecution of Falun Gong. As head of the State Administration of Radio, Film and Television at the time, he was responsible for an 18-minute special broadcast by CCTV’s ‘Focal Point Interview’ in which Falun Gong was vilified.”

To read more: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/news/article_1519253.php/Religious-sect-sues-Chinese-official-in-Taiwan-court#ixzz0a0dGVeJc
To read more: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/26604/ 

Examiner.com: Protection of religious minorities is major theme of 2009 Human Rights Day News Conference
Dec 10: DC-based human rights activists and advocates commemorated Human Rights Day 2009 with a well-attended Human Rights News Conference sponsored by Responsible for Equality And Liberty (REAL) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

… The final speaker, Lisa Tao of Falun Dafa turned the conference’s focus in a different direction. Giving a heartfelt presentation in her native language, Tao described the human rights abuses she faced as a young girl at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party.

“My father was tortured to death. I was called ‘a child of the Five Black Categories. My life was full of humiliation and I had to struggle for many years just to stay alive.”

Tao, who is now an American citizen, explained that she and her husband began practicing Falun Gong to help them heal from the torture they suffered in China. Tao’s translator, 25-year old Pang Jin, relayed the recent arrest, torture, and prolonged detainment of her mother and aunt for their adherence to Falun Gong.

“My aunt was abducted on July 9, 2009 and has been detained since then. On October 18, I was informed that the Weifang City district court, after delaying for a year, sentenced my Mom, Cao Junping, to 10 years.”

To read more: http://www.examiner.com/x-31575-DC-Human-Rights-Examiner~y2009m12d10-Womens-rights-and-the-protection-of-religious-minorities-are-major-themes-of-2009-Human-Rights-Day

Taipei Times: “China rights violators should be tried: DPP”
Dec 11: “[Opposition party] DPP lawmakers and human rights activists yesterday urged prosecution of Chinese officials who have been charged for crimes against humanity in other countries if they visit Taiwan. Democratic Progressive Party Legislator Tien Chiu-chin and the activists made the call at a press conference…

“The Chinese Communist Party’s [CCP] Chongqing committee chief Bo Xilai, for example, may visit Taiwan next year on the invitation of Taiwan External Trade Development Council chairman Wang Chih-kang,” Tien said. “He has been accused of torturing thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and engaging in live organ harvesting when he served as China’s Liaoning Province chief [from 2000 to 2003].”

Tien said lawsuits had been filed against Bo in a dozen countries, including the US, the UK, Poland, Russia, Chile, Peru, Spain, South Korea, Australia, Finland and Canada.

To read more: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2009/12/11/2003460632
See also: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/26455/