Falun Gong News Bulletin: March 23, 2010
Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China
U.S. House of Representatives Passes Resolution on Falun Gong:
- FDIC: “U.S. House of Representatives Calls For End to Falun Gong Persecution in China”
- Agence France Presse: House resolution rejects anti-Falun Gong propaganda
- DC Human Rights Examiner: House resolution “encouraging” for persecution victims
News on Events Inside China:
- FDIC: “Falun Gong Practitioner Cited in Gao Zhisheng Letter Dies from Torture in Custody”
- New York Times: “China Fails to Dispel Mystery About Missing Dissident”
- The Epoch Times: Google Partially Unblocks Chinese Search, but Falun Gong Websites Remain Mostly Blocked
News on Events Outside China:
- United Nations: “Human Rights Council Concludes General Debate on Promotion and Protection of All Human Rights”
- United Nations: “Independent Expert on Minorities Presents Reports to Human Rights Council”
March 17: “The U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution Tuesday urging the Chinese Communist Party to end its decade-long campaign against Falun Gong and expressing solidarity with victims of persecution in China.
House Resolution 605 recognizes, “the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 11th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party campaign to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement and [calls] for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners.”
“The Falun Gong spiritual discipline is based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” said Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida, the Ranking Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and the resolution’s author. “Yet these innocents are brutally targeted by the Chinese regime, whose heinous tactics include harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners and violently harassing even those practitioners living in the United States.”
“The stark reality which this resolution addresses gives new meaning to the phrase ‘Butchers of Beijing.'”
[…] The resolution’s text provides a detailed timeline tracking events from the origins of the violent persecution through to the widespread arrests and deaths of Falun Gong practitioners that accompanied the 2008 Olympic games.
“The passage and specific wording of this resolution is especially significant for it demonstrates that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is as urgent today as it ever was,” says Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center.
For the full press release: /article/999/?cid=84
For the full text of the resolution: /article/998/?cid=76
For the full statements in support of the resolution made by seven members of the U.S. House of Representatives: /article/1001
March 17: “The US House of Representatives on Tuesday urged China to end its ‘persecution’ of the Falungong and rejected Beijing’s charge that the banned spiritual movement is an ‘evil cult.’
In a nearly unanimous vote, the House called on China to free thousands of practitioners who are said to be imprisoned and to abolish an office tasked with fighting the Falungong.
The House expressed ‘sympathy to Falungong practitioners and their family members who have suffered persecution, intimidation, imprisonment, torture and even death for the past decade solely because of adherence to their personal beliefs.’
A total of 412 lawmakers voted for the resolution. Only one voted against — Republican Representative Ron Paul of Texas. Paul, a maverick former presidential candidate, routinely opposes measures which he considers interference in another nations’ internal affairs.”
To read more: http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5gRd9Jpk7-3Iemgsf6_2xGgrozWMw
March 18: “This past Tuesday, the United States House of Representatives passed House Resolution 605 in support of Falun Gong practitioners in China, who have faced years of persecution and discrimination at the hands of the Chinese government.
[…] H. Res. 605 is particularly important for people like Jin Pang of Gaithersburg, MD, whose mother and aunt have been held by Chinese authorities since the Bejiing Olympics for their adherence to Falun Gong’s meditational practices. Although Pang has been unable to see her mother and aunt since they were taken away, she remains hopeful and views this week’s Resolution as a positive step in the right direction.
‘[The Resolution] is really encouraging news to the Falun Gong practitioners like my mom and my aunt who are still detained and imprisoned.’”
March 14: “An elderly Falun Gong practitioner, who was cited as a torture victim by prominent attorney Gao Zhisheng in an open letter to China’s leaders, died in January due to injuries incurred in custody. Ms. Liu Lihua (???), 61, is the second of Gao’s interviewees known to have subsequently died from abuse in custody. Gao himself has been ‘disappeared’ by Chinese security forces since February 2009.
Ms. Liu, a retired teacher from Shandong, died on January 28, 2010, after her release in September from a detention center, where she had been severely abused. Police detained her on March 24, 2009 as she was talking about the persecution against Falun Gong in public.
“During the time I was in prison, the guards employed absolutely inhumane means to torture me,” Liu told Gao Zhisheng in 2005, as cited in his open letter to Communist Party leaders Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao urging them to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. “Once I was continuously handcuffed for as long as 43 days. With both of my hands cuffed behind my back, I was hung on a metal door and was beaten.”
To read more: /article/997/?cid=84
To read Liu’s full testimony as cited in Gao’s letter:/article/996/?cid=165
March 16: “At a Beijing news conference, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said … Gao Zhisheng, had been sentenced to prison for subversion. But Mr. Yang did not say whether he was referring to a new sentence or whether he was citing a suspended sentence that Mr. Gao had received in late 2006 after writing an open letter to President Hu Jintao alleging mistreatment of adherents of the banned Falun Gong movement.
On Tuesday, the United States Embassy in Beijing repeated its call for Mr. Gao’s release.
“We continue to call on the Chinese government to make Mr. Gao’s welfare and whereabouts known, to ensure that his treatment meets international standards, and to release him from custody,” said Susan Stevenson, an embassy spokeswoman.
The Falun Dafa Information Center, which tracks repression of Falun Gong adherents, said Sunday that an adherent cited in Mr. Gao’s 2005 open letter, Liu Lihua, had died of injuries believed to have been sustained at a detention center. Another adherent cited by Mr. Gao, Wang Yuhuan, was reported to have died in police custody in 2007.”
March 16: “Search engine giant Google is rumored to have lifted restrictions on its Chinese search engine on Tuesday.
MSNBC reported that ‘web sites dealing with subjects such as the Tiananmen Square democracy protests, Tibet and regional independence movements’ could be searched and accessed through Google.cn, the Chinese search engine that Google provides for its mainland Chinese users.
The Epoch Times performed their own independent search for keywords related to the highly sensitive Tiananmen Square Massacre topic and the found the photo and associated search elements to be accessible.
The Epoch Times also found that a search for ‘Falun Gong,’ the meditation practice that is being persecuted by the Communist regime in China, resulted in one image showing a photo of anti-torture exhibits held by Falun Gong adherents around the world to raise awareness of the persecution. A link to Tian Ti Books, which sells Falun Gong books to the public, also showed up in the top of the search results, but the official websites for Falun Gong were not visible on search results.”
March 15: “The Human Rights Council this morning concluded its general debate on the promotion and protection of all human rights, civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, including the right to development, after hearing from a series of non-governmental organizations. Speakers spoke about violations of human rights in a range of countries affecting minorities and others. […]
SHIZHONG CHEN, of United Rights Association of San Diego, said the Association urged the Council to end China’s continuing violation of the rights of the adherents of Falun Gong, in particular the use of nerve damaging chemicals to torture the practitioners of Falun Gong. Volumes of reports from the Council’s own Special Rapporteur had documented many cases of severe torture and killings of Falun Gong members by the Chinese authorities. Failing to break their wills with physical torture, the use of nerve-damaging chemicals had escalated to destroy their minds, killing and making many insane. China had also been asked to explain cases of organ harvesting from Falun Gong members. The international community should speak up against this.”
March 16: “The Independent Expert on minority issues, Gay McDougall, this morning presented her reports to the Human Rights Council, which was followed by an interactive dialogue with her. […]
SHIZHONG CHEN, of United Nations Association of San Diego, reiterated the support of the United Nations Association of San Diego for the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In China there was an escalation of prosecutions against human rights lawyers. Reports of United Nations Special Rapporteurs painted a different picture than what the Chinese Government was claiming. Professor Nowak had said that Chinese law was like a sword of Damocles and that it could be invoked to harass, intimidate and sanction lawyers. There were many cases of detentions of human rights lawyers. Those who dared to defend Falun Gong practitioners had been sentenced to serve prison sentences. The severe prosecution against human rights lawyers should bring the world to question China’s claims that it was ensuring the rule of law.”