WITH ALL THE LOCK-DOWNS ACROSS CHINA, one would think the Chinese Communist Party would ease up on persecuting religious minorities. Sadly, we’re seeing the exact opposite. Comparing November 2019 with November 2020, there was a 100% increase in the number of people arrested for their Falun Gong faith and over a 1,000% increase in the number of people harassed by police, which typically takes the form of police intimidation at home or work, the ransacking of homes, or extortion of money. Organ harvesting has not stopped, either. That’s why a bi-partisan bill in U.S. Congress is aiming to stop the gruesome crime and punish its perpetrators.
In this newsletter, we take a closer look at these trends, and how the CCP’s “Zero-out” campaign is driving increases in persecution cases. We also highlight a few specific cases of illegal imprisonment and torture.
Lastly, we feature a supportive statement from Canada’s opposition leader, as well as a variety of insights provided by experts in the area of Chinese human rights during a panel held on International Human Rights Day.
Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center
A Democrat and two Republican Congressmen introduced a bill to stop forced organ harvesting of innocent people in China by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They cited a London tribunal that examined evidence of organ harvesting against people who practice Falun Gong and issued a unanimous “guilty” verdict.
“Under our bill, organ harvesters and traffickers, who often prey on vulnerable populations like political prisoners or minorities, will be identified and exposed by the State Department with the goal of punishing perpetrators,” says co-signer Rep. Chris Smith (R-New Jersey).
“Members of the Chinese Communist Party must be held accountable for these unspeakable actions,” says Rep. Tom Suozzi (D-New York). “Forced organ harvesting has no place in our world.”
Mr. Guo Yunqing, his wife Du Hongfang, and their son Guo Fengqing of Jilin Province, used to be a happy family. But since the CCP began the persecution of the couple’s faith in Falun Gong in 1999, security forces abducted the husband multiple times. They wrongfully sentenced him to 14 years after his latest detention in 2007. His wife became paralyzed after being jailed and tortured for eight years. And their son was forced out of school and faced discrimination everywhere he went.
Ms. Yu Wenze passed away on September 11, 2020, after suffering two decades of harassment, extrajudicial arrests and detention for upholding her faith in Falun Gong. The authorities threatened to arrest her family and deny her grandson from going to school if they disclosed her unlawful sentencing to international media.
The Honorable Erin O’Toole is the Leader of Canada’s Conservative Party who commemorated International Human Rights Day with a message of support for Falun Gong and a warning to the CCP who harasses and persecutes religious minorities.
“Freedom of worship is a pillar of our democracy,” O’Toole says. “It’s a natural extension of Canadian values… Canada must defend religious freedom around the world including standing up for the Falun Gong. Hundreds of thousands have suffered forced labor, torture and execution since 1999 without any cause or justification. And here in Canada Chinese agents have posed to students, tourists and workers in order to get into our country and threaten those who practice Falun gong.”
In November 2020, at least 754 Falun Gong practitioners were unlawfully arrested and 1,284 harassed for their faith, bringing the year-to-date confirmed arrest and harassment cases to 5,933 and 7,192, respectively. Its likely many more people were harassed and detained but no report could be made about their mistreatment due to the repressive environment in China.
Among the 2,038 people arrested and harassed, 285 had their homes ransacked. Twenty-six practitioners and their relatives had a total of 689,110 yuan (USD $106,418) confiscated by the police, ranging from 1,000 yuan to 220,000 yuan each, with an average of 10,302 yuan per person (USD $1,590). A total of 144 targeted people, including 64 arrested and 80 harassed, were over the age of 65, with the oldest above 90 years old. Thirty-one practitioners were in their 80s.
The Chinese regime is threatening and bullying minorities and dissidents in free countries such as Canada, according to a 2020 report by Amnesty International. On the occasion of International Human Rights Day, six experts explored how this troubling situation came about, how the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong affects everyone in the West, and what can be done to stop it.
The following speakers took part:
Alex Neve, former Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada (Speech Notes)
Hon. David Kilgour, former Canadian MP and Secretary of State (Asia-Pacific) and co-author of Bloody Harvest, Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China (Speech Notes)
David Matas, international human rights lawyer, co-author of Bloody Harvest (Speech Notes)
Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center (Speech Notes)
Garnett Genuis, Canadian MP, Conservative Shadow Minister for International Development and Human Rights, and Canadian Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (Speech Notes)
Hon. Irwin Cotler, Chair of the Raoul Wallenberg Centre for Human Rights, Canadian Co-Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China, and former Minister of Justice (Speech Notes)
From ancient roots extending back thousands of years, to a house-hold name in China during the Qigong boom in the 1990s, to the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world, this is the complete story of Falun Gong…