June 15, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News from Inside China

News from Outside China

FDIC: “‘China’s Gestapo’ Marks a Decade”
June 9: Ten years after its creation by fiat on June 10, 1999, the extralegal 6-10 Office continues to lead the Chinese Communist Party’s violent campaign to eradicate the Falun Gong spiritual group, the Falun Dafa Information Center said on Tuesday.

Testimony from torture survivors, human rights lawyers, and defectors, as well as official Chinese government websites, highlight the exceptional powers still exercised by the largely secret agency. Official Chinese Communist Party websites from 2008 and 2009 discuss the strengthening of 6-10 operations with the purpose of “handling” and “disposing of” Falun Gong.

“The 6-10 office is just like Hitler’s Gestapo,” says Guo Guoting, a Chinese human rights lawyer in exile. “They are powerful and they got enough financial support from the government so…they secretly control all the Falun Gong practitioners in their local areas.”

To read more (including links to original Chinese official websites): /article/886/?cid=84

Christian Science Monitor: “China guts budding civil rights movement”
May 28: Twenty of China’s most courageous and outspoken civil rights lawyers face being disbarred next Monday, as judicial authorities reject or delay their applications to renew their professional licenses, according to three of the lawyers affected. Forbidding them to practice after a May 31 deadline would, at a stroke, decapitate the budding “rights protection movement” that is at the heart of activists’ efforts to build a civil society in China.

“If these 20 lose their licenses it would be the biggest step back in legal reform for 20 years,” warns Nicholas Bequelin, a researcher with Human Rights Watch based in Hong Kong. “It would be really very dramatic.”

The lawyers who have reported problems having their annual licenses renewed have all represented plaintiffs or defendants in politically sensitive cases over the past year, such as members of the banned Falun Gong religious group.

“They are worried that I will take more Falun Gong cases,” says Mr. Wei [Liangyue, from] the northern city of Harbin, who recently served 30 days in prison in connection with the defendant, accused of belonging to Falun Gong, whom he is representing.

To read more: http://www.csmonitor.com/2009/0528/p06s04-woap.html

Human Rights in China: “Chinese Rights Defense Lawyers Under All-Out Attack by the Authorities”
June 4: … In recent days, the Chinese authorities have used various procedural obstacles, harassment, and even kidnapping to launch an all-out attack on rights defense lawyers. As of June 1, at least 17 Chinese rights defense lawyers did not receive their “annual licensing inspection and registration” approval from the Lawyers Association in their localities, a requisite for lawyers to continue to practice law… As a result, these rights defense lawyers and law firms have lost their right to continue to practice, and the cases they are currently representing will not be able to proceed.

Most of the 17 lawyers have represented cases involving Falun Gong, HIV/AIDS, peasants who have lost land, the tainted milk powder scandal, Reeducation-Through-Labor, house churches, forced evictions, or have advocated direct elections for the Beijing Lawyers Association.”

To read more: (including an appeal letter from the lawyers, their contact information, and a list of cases): http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/press?revision_id=169806&item_id=169791

FDIC Editor’s note: In their defense of Falun Gong adherents in recent months, many of the above lawyers have made strong constitutional arguments in court for their clients’ acquittal, including questioning the legality and justice of the whole campaign. See for example: http://www.peacehall.com/news/gb/china/2008/08/200808152350.shtml

Boston Globe: “China’s ‘socialist road’ to misery”
June 3: “It is 20 years since the Tiananmen Square massacre, and China’s communist regime hasn’t budged an inch…Perhaps nothing today so exemplifies the totalitarian implacability of China’s rulers as their ruthless persecution of Falun Gong… By civilized standards, it is incomprehensible that anything so innocuous and peaceable could provoke bloody repression. But China’s uncivilized government fears any movement it does not control, and Falun Gong – with its uplifting values so different from the regime’s Stalinist ethic – has attracted tens of millions of adherents, independent of the Communist Party.

There is nothing subtle about Beijing’s decade-long campaign to suppress Falun Gong. … the Falun Dafa Information Center describes several of the torture techniques the government uses to break Falun Gong practitioners. Burning, for example. In hundreds of reported cases, police or labor camp authorities have used cigarettes, car lighters, or red-hot irons to sear Falun Gong believers on their faces, torsos, and genitals.”

To read more: http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2009/06/03/chinas_socialist_road_to_misery/

Amnesty International Annual Report: Falun Gong among most harshly ersecuted groups
May 28: “Falun Gong practitioners were among those most harshly persecuted by the government. In the run-up to the Beijing Olympics, thousands were reported to have been arrested, with hundreds imprisoned or assigned to Re-education through Labour camps and other forms of administrative detention where they were at risk of torture and other ill-treatment sometimes leading to death.

On 25 January, Yu Zhou, a well-known folk singer, graduate of Beijing University, and reportedly a Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested in Tongzhou District, Beijing, along with his wife, Xu Na, a poet and painter. On 6 February, the authorities from the Qinghe District Emergency Centre told his family that Yu Zhou had died from either diabetes or from a hunger strike, although the family maintains he was healthy at the time of his arrest. The staff at the Emergency Centre refused the family’s request to view the body and for an autopsy. On 25 November, Xu Na was sentenced to three years in prison for “using a heretical organization to undermine the implementation of the law”. She appealed against the sentence and is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment in detention.”

To read more: http://thereport.amnesty.org/en/regions/asia-pacific/china

Jakarta Post: Ancient Meditation Takes to the Streets
May 28: Shimmering around them is a sense of well-being and complete calm; buses and motorbikes charging by and streets crowded with shoppers and onlookers do not disturb their meditation.

These are the Falun Dafa practitioners in Bali who follow the ancient laws of the universe – Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance – based on ancient Buddhist and Taoist teachings…. Falun Dafa is a series of gentle movements and meditation aimed at helping people become more calm and generous of spirit, according to Denpasar Police officer and Falun Dafa convert, Roby, who goes by one name only.

“I’ve been following Falun Dafa since 2003. I started when I saw that it increased people’s moral, mental and intellectual abilities. I felt if I followed the laws of this philosophy it would make me better able to serve the public in my role as a police officer and also as a citizen,” says Roby, adding that there are several other practicing Falun Dafa followers within the Denpasar Police force.

“There are five active followers and many others have read the books about this form of exercise and meditation. I believe it makes us more willing to help people and reduces egoism and selfishness — it makes us more patient in our work with the public. We are not arrogant and know we are here to help society.”

Touching on allegations of corruption within Indonesia’s police force, Roby points out if more police and other civil servants followed Falun Dafa, those allegations could be crushed overnight. “If all police followed the laws of honesty, they would never take the wrong road.”

To read more: http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2009/05/28/ancient-meditation-takes-streets.html

Epoch Times: Thousands of Falun Gong Adherents Parade Through New York City (Photo Essay)
Falun Gong adherents from around the world participated in a parade in New York City celebrating the practice and exposing the brutal persecution its adherents in China have endured for ten years.

To view photos: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/17832/