January 14, 2011: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News on events inside China:

News on events outside China:

FDIC: Retired Accountant and National Model Worker Killed Within Weeks of Abduction for Practicing Falun Gong

Dec. 26: “Two middle-aged women, from Hunan and Henan provinces, died in late November, within weeks of being abducted by the authorities for practicing Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center has recently learned.

Ms. Peng Donglian (???)

Peng, a retired accountant from Changde in Hunan province, was abducted by police without a warrant on November 9, 2010 for practicing Falun Gong. She was taken to Li County Detention Center and her family was denied the right to visit her. Nine days later, her family received formal notification acknowledging Peng’s detention. Two days after that, on November 20, police informed Peng’s family that she had died that afternoon.

Ms. Zhu Ying (??)

Zhu, a former member of the National People’s Congress and a national model worker from Xinxiang in Henan province, was tricked by police into leaving her home and abducted on September 27, 2010. Zhu was taken by officer Wei Guanglei and others to Xinxiang City Detention Center. According to sources inside China, she was killed in custody at 4a.m. on November 30 (less than five weeks after being taken from her home). To cover-up evidence of abuse, her body was cremated at the local crematorium on December 2.”

To read more and view photos of the victims: /article/1101/?cid=84

FDIC case update: Family of Practitioner Imprisoned for Meeting with EU Official Denied Access

December: The family of Mr. Cao Dong, a Falun Gong practitioner arbitrarily sentenced to five years in prison after meeting with a European Union representative, has lost contact with him and is concerned about his well-being. Cao is being held at Tianshui Prison in Gansu. His family has not heard from him since August 2010. When calling the prison, guards have not allowed them to speak with Cao, instead issuing vague assurances that he “is doing well and will be released soon.”

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.

To read more on the case, see:
“Olympics Unworthy,” by Edward McMillan-Scott: /article/501/
2008 Annual Report of the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture (excerpts): /article/784/
Open letter by Cao’s wife detailing events following his detention: /article/723/

Deutsche-Presse Agenteur: Eyewitness says Falun Gong practitioners a majority in Beijing Women’s Labor camp

Jan. 13: “Wang Ling witnessed many abuses and suffered violence from guards and other prisoners during her 15-month imprisonment at a women’s ‘re-education through labour’ centre. Wang, 55, was sent to the Beijing Women’s Re-education Through Labour (RTL) camp a few days after she was taken into police custody in November 2007 after she had filed complaints with the government.

[…] At the women’s RTL centre in Tiantanghe Farm in Beijing’s outlying Daxing district, Wang Ling spent many of her days gluing medicine boxes and envelopes. About two-thirds of the 400 other women held in her section of the camp were followers of the banned spiritual movement Falun Gong, she said.

‘The most pitiful were the Falun Gong [members],’ Wang said, alleging abuses including sleep deprivation, gagging, hooding and unannounced overnight transfers.”

To read more: http://www.monstersandcritics.com/news/asiapacific/features/article_1611423.php/Activists-suffer-as-China-holds-on-to-labour-camps-Feature

Freedom House: Falun Gong practitioners targeted for crackdown in 2010

Jan 13: The following is drawn from the overview essay of Freedom House’s annual survey of political rights and civil liberties, Freedom in the World, released on January 13: “In 2010,..conditions for ethnic and religious minorities remained harsh, and in some cases worsened… Falun Gong practitioners were a key target of crackdowns ahead of the Shanghai World Expo as well as a reinvigorated three-year forced conversion program. It is noteworthy that despite such pressures and often at great personal risk, many of China’s bloggers, journalists, legal professionals, workers, petitioners, and members of minority groups continued to push the limits of permissible activity in increasingly sophisticated ways.”

To read more: http://freedomhouse.org/images/File/fiw/FIW%20Overview%202011–FINAL.pdf

Global Voices: 200 Falun Gong terms allegedly censored in text message controls

Jan. 5: “Elaine Chow from Shanghaiist reports on an alleged list of banned SMS by major mobile companies in China in 2010. The documents, distributed by @zuola via Twitter, are claimed to be composed by a SMS service company, Boer, which tried to inform their users on all the banned terms adopted by major mobile companies including China Mobile, China Telecom and China Unicom.  The terms can be grouped into 6 major categories including… around 200 Falun Gong related terms.

As Elaine Chow points out “there’s some doubt to whether these words are actually anything close to an official black list, or if they were just compiled by netizens gleefully supposing what the relevant bureaus would want to censor.” Since the censorship criteria and mechanism is non-transparent, different companies may have a slightly different set of filtered terms in different period of time, ordinary citizens are kept in the dark and it is very difficult to get hold of the full picture.”

To read more: http://advocacy.globalvoicesonline.org/2011/01/05/china-an-alleged-list-of-banned-sms-terms/ 

Associated Press: Gao Zhisheng described torture before disappearing

Jan. 10: “The police stripped Gao Zhisheng bare and pummeled him with handguns in holsters. For two days and nights, they took turns beating him and did things he refused to describe. When all three officers tired, they bound his arms and legs with plastic bags and threw him to the floor until they caught their breath to resume the abuse.

The beatings were the worst he said he ever endured and the darkest point of 14 months, ending last March, during which Gao was secretly held by Chinese authorities. He described his ordeal to The Associated Press that April, but asked that his account not be made public unless he went missing again or made it to ‘someplace safe’ like the United States or Europe.

Two weeks later, he disappeared again. His family and friends say they have not heard from him in the more than eight months since. Police agencies either declined to comment or said they did not know Gao’s whereabouts. The AP decided to publish his account given the length of his current disappearance. Gao had been a galvanizing figure for the rights movement, advocating constitutional reform and arguing landmark cases to defend property rights and political and religious dissenters, including members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.”

To read more: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/10/gao-zhisheng-missing-chin_n_806998.html

Jakarta Globe: After Fleeing China, Falun Gong Practitioners Find Safety in Indonesia, Though Worries and Wishes Remain

Jan. 9: “The words came quickly as Wen Ling recounted being hunted by the Chinese government and living in hiding for more than 11 years. But when asked about her son, whom she hasn’t seen since 2004, there was a long pause. … It was a full two weeks before she was ready to speak to the Globe again about how she managed to be briefly reunited with her son in 2004 […].

After spending years as a fugitive, Wen left China for Indonesia last August in a bid to tell the world about the suffering that Falun Gong practitioners have endured in her native country…Falun Gong is booming in the country [Indonesia] and has spread to more than 15 provinces, with dozens of small but close communities in Jakarta and Bali.”

To read more: http://www.thejakartaglobe.com/home/after-fleeing-china-falun-gong-practitioners-find-safety-in-indonesia-though-worries-and-wishes-remain/415977