Falun Gong News Bulletin: July 12, 2011

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News on Events Inside China

First-hand Accounts

Human Rights Lawyers

Media Freedom

News on Events Outside China

Upcoming Event

FDIC: Jiang Zemin, Architect of Falun Gong Persecution, Rumored Dead: Death of mass murderer an occasion to celebrate for many

July 6: “If rumors of former Chinese Communist Party head Jiang Zemin’s death prove true, in the coming days, the world’s media will debate his legacy. For hundreds of millions, Jiang will mostly be remembered as the architect of the most systematic, deadly, and protracted assault on Chinese citizens in decades: the persecution of Falun Gong. When the man who unleashed a campaign of violence, lies, and mass arrests leaves this world, his victims and many Chinese with a sense of justice will breathe a sigh of relief. Although his henchmen will likely continue the atrocities, at least Jiang will no longer be able to harm them. There will be one less bit of evil in the world.

[…] In response to Jiang’s role orchestrating the attempted eradication of Falun Gong, he has been the target of dozens of international lawsuits. In 2009, courts in Argentina and Spain indicted Jiang and other top Communist Party leaders on charges of genocide and crimes against humanity. Jiang Zemin’s death will not bring back to life the thousands of Falun Gong practitioners who have perished over the last twelve years because of his actions. Nor is it likely to diminish the ferocity with which Falun Gong practitioners across China continue to be jailed and tortured today. But Falun Gong practitioners around the world hope that it will open a new opportunity for people in China to follow their conscience and stop the killing.”

To read the full statement, see: /article/1142/?cid=84

FDIC: Nine new Falun Gong deaths recorded in June

From June 10 to July 10, the Falun Dafa Information Center obtained information on nine new cases of Falun Gong practitioners who died in 2011 due to persecution. The victims come from around the country and all strata of society, including a farmer from Shandong, a bookstore owner from Guangdong, and a retired accountant from Sichuan. Several of the victims were forcibly injected with unknown drugs while in custody that caused permanent mental and physical damage from which they never recovered. 

On May 30, the center published the details of 26 other individuals who died from abuse since January 1, 2011. The new cases bring this total to 35. Given the Chinese authorities’ efforts to cover up such deaths and the difficulty smuggling information out of China, the actual Falun Gong death toll is likely even higher. As rumors circulate in China that former Communist Party-head Jiang Zemin is brain dead or dead, these cases highlight the brutality of the campaign he launched, as well as its continuation nationwide even with Jiang incapacitated. 

For the names and case details of the nine victims, see: /article/1146/?cid=84
For the details of the other 26 known cases of deaths in 2011, see: /article/1138/?cid=84

FDIC Case Update: Prison refuses to release on time practitioner jailed for meeting EU official

According to sources inside China, as of May 30, Mr. Cao Dong (??), a Falun Gong practitioner arbitrarily sentenced to five years in prison after meeting with a European Union representative, was still being held at Tianshui Prison in Gansu. Cao’s five-year illegal prison term was scheduled to end on May 21, 2011, as it is exactly five years after the date of his arrest. However, his family was informed that the court decision had been changed so that the counting would begin on September 29, 2006, the date the verdict was announced. From May to September 2006, Cao was held in a variety of makeshift detention facilities and this appears to be an effort to cover up such extralegal acts and retain him in custody as long as possible. Cao was imprisoned in 2007 after meeting with European Parliament Vice President Edward McMillan-Scott and describing in detail the abuse of practitioners he had eyewitnessed, including the torture suffered by his wife in a labor camp. Cao’s wife passed away in October 2009 following ongoing harassment by the authorities even after her release. In 2008, several United Nations Special Rapporteurs submitted an urgent appeal on Cao’s behalf to the Chinese authorities.

“Olympics Unworthy,” by Edward McMillan-Scott: /article/501/
2008 Annual Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (excerpts): /article/784/

First-person account of Falun Gong brainwashing facility in Beijing

The Falun Dafa Information Center recently obtained a first-person account by a Beijing Falun Gong practitioner recounting her experience being abducted from her home and taken for nearly three weeks to an illegal detention center in Haidian for forcibly converting Falun Gong practitioners. The facility is one of thousands across China, which have formed a central component of the Communist Party’s campaign to eliminate Falun Gong. Since 2010, security agencies like the 6-10 Office have further intensified abductions of known practitioners from their homes for detention at such locations as part of a three-year campaign to meet centrally-imposed quotas for “transforming” Falun Gong practitioners.

The witness describes how the facility she was taken to is located in a building disguised as a normal home in a residential area of Beijing:  “The brainwashing center looked like an ordinary house. There was a road in front of the house, with more houses along the road. All the houses along the road looked alike, and the ‘Law Education Center’ was not distinct at all…Three guards watched us day and night… Four practitioners were detained there, separated into four rooms with each watched over by three guards. Practitioners were separated and could not contact each other. Studying [Falun Gong teachings] or doing the exercises was forbidden.” See the link below for the woman’s full account. Her name has been withheld for security reasons.

Beijing resident’s account: /article/1143/
Congressional-Executive Commission on China: http://www.cecc.gov/pages/virtualAcad/index.phpd?showsingle=154369&PHPSESSID=7f46f964fe6fd4a77df024703f93ad7f

Eyewitness account from Liaoning Women’s Prison

The Falun Dafa Information Center recently obtained an eyewitness account by Zhou Huijun, a Falun Gong practitioner from Liaoning Province. Zhou was detained in 2007 and sentenced in an unfair trial to prison, to be served at Liaoning Women’s Prison, where she was taken in December 2007. In her testimony Zhou recounts a range of violent tactics used not only by prison guards, but also by criminal inmates at the instigation of the guards, to force her to renounce her belief, such as the following incident: “Jiang Ping [a convicted murderer] forced me to squat barefoot in the cold, harsh wind on January 19, 2008. Wen Lianying brought a big steel case full of ice. They tied me up with rubber bands, taped my mouth, and threw me into the ice box, then poured water all over me.” Even following her release, Zhou reports suffering from headaches, blurred vision, and muscle atrophy. 

To read Zhou’s full account, see: /article/1145/

U.S. citizen called for questioning during China visit

Zhang Fengjuan, a Falun Gong practitioner and U.S. citizen living in Arkansas, recently returned to China for a brief visit to see her ailing mother, whom she hadn’t seen for 11 years. In late June, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette published a letter to the editor by Zhang recounting how she was called in for questioning in China: “Due to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party, I was afraid of going back to visit, but my mom’s health has deteriorated, and we missed each other. The visit began smoothly. However, on the fourth day of my stay, secret police called my family and insisted that I had to meet them before 12 p.m. in a hotel. During the meeting, they asked me to give them details about the Falun Gong activities I have been involved with in the U.S.A., which I refused to do. They further pressured me to stop participating in any activity related to Falun Gong; otherwise, they said, my name will be put on the blacklist and I can’t see my mom again. Apparently, due to my U.S. citizenship, they didn’t want to detain me, to avoid bringing more attention to the deplorable treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China…I am so thankful for the freedom I have here, and especially thankful for our elected officials, who speak up for those still suffering.”

Arkansaw Democrat-Gazette: http://www.nwaonline.com/news/2011/jun/29/letters-20110629/

Amnesty International, Freedom House touch on Falun Gong dimension of lawyer crackdown

On June 30, Amnesty International (AI) released a report documenting the deepening crackdown on Chinese human rights lawyers, many of whom have sought to defend illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners. According to AI, measures against lawyers “have made legal representation more difficult to find for those who need it most. These include people prosecuted for membership of unofficial religious groups including the Falun Gong spiritual movement.” A week earlier, on June 23, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China held a roundtable to discuss the crackdown. Freedom House Asia Researcher Sarah Cook, one of the expert witnesses, commented in her remarks that: “what is worth noting is that even during the earlier part of last decade when limited legal reforms appeared to be moving forward, in parallel, was an extralegal world, a world of makeshift detention centers, forced labor camps, and plainclothes police forces torturing with impunity. That is the world that tens of thousands of petitioners and Falun Gong practitioners have been experiencing for years…Thus, the current series of abductions cannot be viewed in a vacuum. Rather, what we’re seeing manifest in recent months is an expansion of suppression.”

Amnesty International: http://www.amnesty.org.uk/news_details.asp?NewsID=19544
Statement of Sarah Cook, Asia Researcher and Assistant Editor, Freedom House at CECC roundtable: http://www.cecc.gov/pages/roundtables/2011/20110623/statement1.php

Taiwanese satellite firm renews contract with New Tang Dynasty TV

On June 27, Taiwan’s Chunghwa Telecom (CHT) and New Tang Dynasty TV (NTDTV), an independent station started by Falun Gong practitioners in North America to broadcast uncensored news to China, signed a contract to renew NTDTV’s broadcast to viewers in Taiwan and mainland China. On April 11, CHT, which is  partly owned by Taiwan’s Ministry of Transportation and Communications, announced that it would not renew a contract expiring in August with NTDTV, possibly because of growing business inside China. However, following domestic pressure within Taiwan and international pressure from U.S. Congress, the European Union, and press freedom groups like Reporters without Borders, CHT agreed to renew NTDTV’s contract.  The Taipei Times called the contract signing “a small victory for freedom.”

NTDTV: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/news_china/2011-06-29/ntd-ap-and-chunghwa-renew-satellite-broadcast-contract.html
Taipei Times: http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/editorials/archives/2011/06/28/2003506856

Hungary bars Falun Gong protest during Wen Jiabao visit

During a visit of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao from June 23 to 25, and under apparent pressure from the Chinese regime, the Hungarian authorities barred Falun Gong practitioners from peacefully protesting. According to the open letter by Fricskó Sándorné, president of the Hungarian Dafa Association, the association informed the Hungarian National Police of their intention to hold peaceful protests in Budapest on both days of Wen’s visit. However, the police on Wednesday afternoon informed the association that this would not be permitted and required the association to withdraw its request. If the association did not withdraw, all future requests by the Association to demonstrate would be denied, according to Sándorné’s letter. During Wen’s visit, several multi-billion dollar trade and debt cancellation deals were signed and Tibetans also reported being prevented from protesting. However, several Hungarian members of parliament complained to the government about the restrictions. This is not the first time that the Chinese regime has pressured a European government to limit Falun Gong practitioners’ freedom of assembly during a visit by a high-ranking Chinese official. Similar incidents occurred in Iceland in 2002 and France in 2004.

Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/hungary-bans-falun-gong-protest-of-wen-jiabaos-visit-58068.html
Tibet Post: http://www.thetibetpost.com/en/news/international/1834-wen-jiabao-visits-hungary-pro-tibetan-demonstrations-banned
“Arctic Host, Icy Visit,” by Herman Salton: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Arctic-Host-Icy-Visit-Iceland/dp/384336513X

Man in Germany convicted of spying on Falun Gong

On June 8, a German court in the city of Celle convicted Mr. John Zhou of spying on Falun Gong practitioners in Germany. Zhou was given a two-year suspended sentence and a fine of 15,000 euros ($21,530). According to the Epoch Times, Zhou was one of the earliest adoptees of Falun Gong in Germany, but his desire to visit his sick father in China in 2005 led him to get into contact with officials at the Chinese Embassy in Berlin. Zhou was later put in touch with members of China’s Ministry of State Security spy agency as well as the extralegal 6-10 Office. Over the next five years, he reportedly spoke with a high-ranking 6-10 official several times a week, and created an e-mail account that enabled Chen to to have access to the listserv of local Falun Gong practitioners in Germany. According to court documents, Zhou also produced a 100-plus-page report on Falun Gong practitioners’ “organizational structure” in Germany. For members of the Falun Gong community in Germany, Chinese and German alike, the revelation of Zhou’s actions came as a shock, both because of the personal sense of betrayal from him and because it revealed the high-level of espionage by the Chinese authorities on Falun Gong overseas.

Epoch Times: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/man-convicted-of-spying-on-falun-gong-in-germany-57571.html

Upcoming Event: Public rally in Washington DC marking 12 years of persecution

On Thursday, July 14, Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters will gather at the West Terrace Lawn of the U.S. Capitol, from 12:00-1:30pm for a public rally calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and celebrating the Chinese citizens who are taking a peaceful stand by rejecting the violence and inequity of Communist Party rule.

For more information, see: http://news.yahoo.com/public-rally-stop-chinese-communist-party-ccp-tyranny-184610853.html