Hong Kong Reporter Attacked, Arrests and Harassments in China Surge
YOU KNOW YOU’RE OVER THE TARGET when the anti-aircraft guns start blazing. The Hong Kong Epoch Times offices have been vandalized by thugs multiple times, and its reporters violently assaulted, this latest with a baseball bat. Clearly, their fearless reporting on human rights violations committed by the CCP, including the on-going persecution of Falun Gong, is on target.
Inside China, firsthand accounts from March and April show a shocking 300% spike in cases of harassment against Falun Gong practitioners, a trend that seemingly continues through May.
This newsletter also exposes the CCP’s demands for Apple to silence Falun Gong as well as the draconian “Zero-Out Campaign” in Yitong County.
In addition, the U.S. State Department delivered to Congress its annual Report on International Religious Freedom, where they cognizantly note the directing role of Beijing in the longstanding persecution.
And finally, a comprehensive report from Minghui.org, which runs the largest information network throughout China, received a well-deserved award for their ground-breaking report, The 20-Year Persecution of Falun Gong.
Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center
On May 11, 2021, Ms. Sarah Liang was assaulted by an unidentified man wielding an aluminum softball bat. She suffered multiple bruises on her legs, and told the media that the same man had tried the assault before on May 8 at the same location in front of her home.
Liang is a long-time reporter for the Epoch Times, one of the last few beacons of free media in the country along with Apple Daily. The incident is the latest in a string of attacks on Epoch Times facilities and its reporters in Hong Kong— all suspected of being organized by the Chinese regime as part of its campaign to silence the outlet’s uncensored and pro-democratic coverage.
The Hong Kong Journalists Association (HKJA), in a statementon its Facebook page, condemned the violence against Liang and “solemnly urged” the police to quickly bring the attacker to justice.
Compared with the first two months in 2021, March and April saw a sharp surge in persecution cases. Among the arrests made in March and April alone, 546 of the 826 practitioners (66%) remain in custody at the time of writing. A total of 232 (28%) of the arrested practitioners and 80 (5% of 1,459) of the harassed practitioners had their homes ransacked.
This trend seems to be continued through May. Recent reports illustrate large arrest operations are underway across the country, like the one carried out on May 12, where twenty-six residents of Tangshan City, Hebei Province were detained in one sweep for their faith in Falun Gong.
In it, the U.S. Department of State again stresses the depth of human rights abuses and unfair detainments that thousands of Falun Gong practitioners faced over the last year.
The report declares that the “CCP maintains an extralegal, party-run security apparatus to eliminate the Falun Gong movement and other organizations. The government considers Falun Gong an illegal organization” and thereby utilizes this status to continue its persecution.
This follows closely behind Antony Blinken’s sanction of Yu Hui, the former director of the Central Leading Group on Preventing and Dealing with Heretical Religions in Chengdu. A recent Minghui report describes how he spearheaded the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in the Sichuan Province.
The entrance to Apple’s new data center, which the company hoped to complete this month. (The New York Times)
Court filings and internal documents show that Tim Cook has increasingly given in to Beijing’s Orwellian demands, with tens of thousands of apps disappeared from Apple’s Chinese App Store and tools for organizing pro-democracy protests and skirting internet restrictions blocked on all devices.
The New York Times published a new report last month on the specific guidelines that Apple is required to follow as it enters the Chinese market. Apple’s so-called “China Sensitivities List” includes Falun Gong, among other sensitive topics like the 1989 Tiananmen Square massacre, the Dalai Lama, and independence for Tibet, Taiwan, and Hong Kong.
Acting in compliance with the CCP makes Apple “a cog in the censorship machine that presents a government-controlled version of the internet,” said Nicholas Bequelin, Asia director for Amnesty International.
Authorities in Yitong County have harassed a thousand people in their campaign to reduce the number of Falun Gong practitioners to zero. Since August 2020, an estimated two to three hundred practitioners have been threatened by officials to sign statements renouncing their faith. Using an elaborate eight-step plan, the local authorities have gone to great lengths to ensure the oppression of residents who practice Falun Gong is complete.
These eight tactics include deception, manipulation, incarceration, torture, and repeated brainwashing. Reports show that brainwashing sessions were held regularly in July 2020, and three more sessions occurred between December 2020 and January 2021.
The Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) announced “Minghui Report: The 20-Year Persecution of Falun Gong in China” among the winners of the 2021 Benjamin Franklin Award.
Citing firsthand evidence and testimonies from Minghui, The 20-Year Persecution of Falun Gong provides many details that illustrate the scale, severity, and nature of the persecution. From detention and brainwashing centers to the suffering of children targeted by the CCP, from torture methods to psychiatric abuse and organ harvesting, this book is the first of its kind to expose the modern-day terror in its entirety.
Today the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) wields influence over so much of American life. Our Hollywood movies, Wall Street firms, Big Tech companies, our media institutions, our universities, and even our own government leaders; so many of them have significant financial ties to the CCP. So what does this mean for us, and how might we face this challenge?
First and foremost, we need to understand the nature of the CCP.
This acclaimed documentary tells a David and Goliath story in five parts, revealing in gut-wrenching detail the lengths that the Chinese regime has gone to in order to violently suppress, silence, and eradicate a group of meditators. It also explores the impact of Falun Gong’s peaceful resistance.
It is through these stories that we see what the CCP is really all about… and the challenge it poses to all of us.