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Dec. 30, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

December 30, 2009 | 06:44 am

Lawsuit in Argentina:

News on events inside China:

News from Outside China: 

FDIC: “Media Coverage of Argentine Lawsuit is Overlooking the Most Important Aspect: the Evidence”
Dec 25: Last week, an Argentine judge indicted and ordered the local Interpol department to seek the arrest of two high-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, for their role in crimes against humanity committed against Falun Gong practitioners. Subsequent media coverage of the decision has exhibited a tendency to frame the lawsuit, the judge’s decision, and the CCP’s response in relativistic terms. That is, framing the story as one of allegations being thrown back and forth between Falun Gong (or the judge) and the CCP with little evaluation of the credibility of the source or the evidence presented to support either position. Such coverage is unfortunate and inaccurate.

[…] Judge Lamadrid clearly took his investigative task seriously and has made an independent assessment of the situation – therein lies the importance of what he has done. […] Falun Gong practitioners have not filed this and other lawsuits as a political or public relations effort to make the Chinese authorities lose face. The suffering that is happening in China is very real, well-documented, and ensconced in a climate of impunity. The use of universal jurisdiction to file overseas lawsuits is a last resort. Falun Gong practitioners who tried suing Jiang inside China were themselves arrested, imprisoned, and tortured.

See here for  the full statement: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/943/?cid=84

Reuters: “Argentine judge asks China arrests over Falun Gong”
Dec 22: “An Argentine judge has ordered the arrest of … Jiang Zemin and another top official for “crimes against humanity” in the … persecution of the Falun Gong spiritual movement. Falun Gong hailed it as a historic human rights ruling on Tuesday … Federal Judge Octavio de Lamadrid on December 17 asked Interpol to issue an arrest warrant against Jiang and former security chief Luo Gan after four years of investigating charges of torture and genocide against the Falun Gong group.

In his ruling, the judge said ‘if universal jurisdiction is not admitted we would find ourselves allowing impunity, which is what the international community wants to avoid.’

Alejandro Cowes, an Argentine lawyer representing Falun Gong, said: ‘It’s a historic ruling because for the first time we’re opening a universal jurisdiction to investigate crimes committed abroad.’ […]

‘I think this lawsuit is such great news because if (people in China) see that somebody is saying that this is wrong, even here in Argentina, they will be able to think that maybe what the government is telling them is not right,’ said Liwie Fu, president of the Falun Gong Group in Argentina, who brought the lawsuit.”

To read more: http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSTRE5BM02B20091223 

Epoch Times: Chinese democracy activists applaud overseas court rulings
Dec 27: “News of the Spanish court’s acceptance of the lawsuit against five Chinese officials for the genocide and torture of Falun Gong practitioners and Argentine judge Octavio Araoz de Lamadrid’s arrest warrant for Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan have spread among Chinese intellectuals and citizens. […]

‘The actions of Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan do not simply harm the Falun Gong community, but they plunder and encroach upon all of civilized humanity,’ said Song [Xiangxian, a democracy activists from Hubei province]. ‘Their crimes must be met with a corresponding punishment.’

‘This arrest warrant is a warning to high ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, warning them to not persecute Falun Gong practitioners and democracy activists. I think this is very good, very good,’ [said Guizhou democracy activist Mr. Chen Defu]. ‘Now everyone is talking about this, so it is a form of encouragement for the disadvantaged groups being suppressed inside China.’

To read more: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/27042/

United Nations: Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions cites 16 Falun Gong deaths in annual report
“We would like to bring to your Government’s attention information we have received regarding the cases of 16 deaths of Falun Gong practitioners due to injuries allegedly sustained in custody in China. While the circumstances under which the deaths occurred differ, all the victims were Falun Gong practitioners and they all died under the supervision of law enforcement officers or soon after their release from custody. Concern is expressed that the arrests and deaths of these individuals were solely connected with their activities as Falun Gong practitioners. In the Annex of this letter, we have reproduced detailed information on each of the 16 cases [7 male, 9 female].

[…] Ms Chen Yumei, resident of Shenyang City, Liaoning Province

On the evening of 3 July 2008, officers from the Chang’an Police Station in Dadong District, Shenyang City, arrested Chen Yumei on Pangjiang Street. During the arrest, they beat and kicked her. Her family was asked to identify her in the ambulance, at around 9 p.m. of the same day, before she was taken to #463 Military Hospital. Having detected bleeding in her skull, the doctor had to perform an operation, for which the family paid. Her arms and legs were covered in bruises, and there were deep scratches on her body. Doctors said the marks were caused by beating or dragging. She died at around 8.30 p.m. on 4 July 2008 [only one day after she was initially arrested].  

To read the other 15 cases cited and the Rapporteur’s comments, see: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/944/?cid=81

For the full report, see: http://daccess-ods.un.org/TMP/3067876.html

South China Morning Post: Top Chinese security official warns ‘strike hard’ against Falun Gong and others will not let up
Dec 29: “A senior mainland police official is warning against ‘hostile forces’ at home and abroad, vowing the crackdown on people or groups [perceived to] pose a threat to communist rule will not be relaxed in the year ahead. In a speech on December 18, reported yesterday, [Vice-Minister for Public Security Yang Huanning] told security officials across the country they must “strike hard against the destructive work of hostile forces inside and outside the country.”

[…] Police forces must also raise their vigilance and diligently collect intelligence about their political foes, he said. They must “strike hard against hostile forces” at home and abroad, target … religious [groups] such as the banned Falun Gong … Police should also step up efforts on gathering intelligence over the internet and strive to finish building an intelligence network by the end of next year. The second phase of the “Golden Shield” internet censorship project must also be speeded up.”

To read more (subscription required) see here.

NTDTV: Beijing lawyer says CCP Political-Legal Committee interfered in his defense of Chongqing Falun Gong practitioner
Dec 22: The case involves a Falun Gong adherent named Kuang Xinrong [from Chongqing]. … Lawyer for the case Liang Xiaojun went to the Jiang Jin City People’s Court to defend Kuang earlier this month. A hearing was scheduled, but when Liang arrived that day, court officials refused to give him a copy of the legal files. Then they withdrew the summons for the hearing and denied Liang’s request to meet with his client.

[Liang Xiaojun, Beijing Lawyer]: “All of a sudden they notified me that I wasn’t allowed to see him. The reason was that the Political and Legal Commission had called (the detention center), telling them that I cannot meet him. It said this was a sensitive case—it was a Falun Gong case, and I’m not allowed to meet with him.”

Liang says the city’s Political and Legal Commission has violated Kuang’s constitutional right to a defense…. In a public statement published online, Liang [called] on the Chinese regime to safeguard the basic rights of its citizens and uphold the rule of law.

To read more: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/ns_china/2009-12-22/223394560080.html

Washington Post: “On issue of human rights, don’t just blame President Obama”
Dec 25: “Joshua Kurlantzick made a good point about President Obama in his Dec. 13 Outlook commentary […]. But Congress tends to be soft on human rights, too. One obvious example is the resolution introduced in June to mark the 10th anniversary of the Chinese government’s brutal persecution of adherents of Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual practice that is Buddhist in nature and involves meditation, exercise and moral teachings. Though the resolution has 79 bipartisan co-sponsors, House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman (D-Calif.) still hasn’t marked it up, apparently out of concern for U.S.-China relations.

The concern is misplaced. U.S.-China relations are about not only our relationship with China’s regime but also about our relationship with the Chinese people, which is more lasting. Second, strength on human rights does not necessarily damage economic interests. On a recent visit to China, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper was strong on human rights while winning several important trade deals. By making concessions on human rights, the United States loses important leverage on issues where it needs China’s cooperation.”

Larry Liu, Gaithersburg

See: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/12/24/AR2009122402754.html

Central News Agency: “Silent protest in Taichung hopes to be the loudest”
Dec 21: “When the motorcade carrying Chen Yunlin, China’s top negotiator with Taiwan, arrived at a Taichung hotel Monday, he was welcomed by loud air horns and chants of ‘Taiwan, China — one nation on each side.’ What he did not hear but could definitely see were numerous banners held high by Falun Gong practitioners, who comprised the bulk of the protesters…

‘We’re here to voice our opinion and express our views that Falun Gong practitioners are still being suppressed in China. And it’s a wrong thing to do,’ said a protest leader surnamed Chen… ‘We probably don’t say much publicly, but our determination is strong.’

Coming from different parts of Taiwan, the Falun Gong demonstrators were easily differentiated from the so-called ‘political protesters,’ who can be identified by their loud chants….The group remained silent for much of the day, standing roadside and holding banners up to 10 meters long reading “Stop suppressing Falun Gong,” “The world needs truthfulness, compassion and forbearance” and “High-ranking Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials were prosecuted by a Spanish judge.” A huge balloon also flew outside the hotel with an attached banner saying “stop suppressing Falun Gong.” According to the U.S. State Department, there are 600,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan, making it the largest contingent of practitioners outside of China.

To read more: http://www.etaiwannews.com/etn/news_content.php?id=1138098&lang=eng_news

For more on Falun Gong in Taiwan, see “What a Difference a Strait Makes”: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/519/

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