December 22, 2008: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

Press Statement on International Human Rights Day:
* FDIC: Why It’s Time to Rally Behind China’s Unsung Heroes

News from China:
* Amnesty International Urgent Action: Ms. Xu Na, Prisoner of Conscience and Falun Gong adherent, at risk of torture
* The Epoch Times: Excerpt from Beijing Lawyer’s defense of Xu Na during trial
* The Age: Public Security Bureau agent says 2009 crackdown to come

FDIC: Why It’s Time to Rally Behind China’s Unsung Heroes
December 10: “The efforts of Falun Gong adherents 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 renown lawyers has risen to defend them, defying Party orders and risking their own safety (news). They plead their clients’ innocence with defenses based on the Chinese Constitution and the UDHR, as attorney Mo Shaoping did for Ms. Liu (news).

Nevertheless, the Chinese regime remains uncompromising in its policies against Falun Gong. Arrests and torture are still widespread and systematic. That is why now, more than ever, the support of the outside world is needed to end this injustice and brutality once and for all.”
 
To read more: /article/836/?cid=84
 
Amnesty International Urgent Action: Ms. Xu Na, Prisoner of Conscience and Falun Gong adherent, at risk of torture
November 28: “Falun Gong practitioner Xu Na is at risk of torture or other ill-treatment. She was sentenced to three years in prison on 25 November for ‘crimes’ related to her membership of an outlawed spiritual movement which has been targeted by the Chinese authorities. Amnesty International believes she is a prisoner of conscience, detained solely for the peaceful exercise of her right to freedom of conscience and religion.

Concerns for her safety are heightened by the fact that she told friends and family she had been subjected to torture during her first imprisonment, including beatings, sleep deprivation, forced-feeding, and being tied into uncomfortable positions for hours.

On 25 January 2008, Xu Na and her folk musician husband Yu Zhou were detained after a routine search, during which the Beijing police discovered they were carrying Falun Gong materials. Yu Zhou died in detention 11 days after being taken into police custody, raising concerns over police brutality towards individuals in detention. Xu Na’s parents have not been allowed visitation rights since her detention in January.”

To read more: http://www.amnesty.org/en/library/asset/ASA17/107/2008/en/8c3874e7-bd56-11dd-857f-c5541b902dd7/asa171072008en.html

The Epoch Times: Excerpt from Beijing Lawyer’s defense of Xu Na during trial
Statement dated October 17: “My name is Cheng Hai and I am a lawyer from Yitong Law Firm in Beijing City. I’m appointed by defendant Xu Na and her relatives as the defense lawyer for Ms. Xu’s first trial….

The defense lawyer believes, our country should protect freedom of religion. Falun Gong advocates Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and does not pose any danger to society. Falun Gong should be a new, legal religious form, and its followers’ religious activities should be protected by the law. In summary, the accusation against Xu Na is not based on facts and does not have legal basis.”

To read more: http://en.epochtimes.com/n2/china/falun-gong-musician-persecuted-lawyer-7694.html

The Age: Public Security Bureau agent says 2009 crackdown to come
December 15: “The Public Security Bureau, which bears primary responsibility for ensuring a ‘harmonious’ atmosphere, is standing ready to make a mammoth security clampdown.

A PSB officer told BusinessDay last week: ‘Next year will be the anniversaries of Tibet, Falun Gong and Tiananmen. It’s going to be much more tense than anything we saw this year. It’s not just me, everyone thinks so.’”

To read more see: “Anniversaries offer Beijing little to celebrate”: http://business.theage.com.au/business/anniversaries-offer-beijing-little-to-celebrate-20081214-6ybu.html?page=1