March 27, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News from Inside China:
•    FDIC: Falun Gong adherents sentenced to long prison terms in Hunan, Liaoning

News from Outside China:
•    Washington Times: Chinese Spy who Defects Tells All
•    Prof. Jerome Cohen in South China Morning Post: Beijing Must Reveal Fate of Human Rights Lawyer
•    David Matas in National Post: “China’s Stooge”

FDIC: Falun Gong adherents sentenced to long prison terms in Hunan, Liaoning

Ms. Luo Hong, Hunan Province – Ms. Luo was reportedly sentenced to four years in prison on March 3, 2009 at the Shigu District Court of Hengyang City, Hunan Province. Ms. Luo was detained in 2008, after local police and agents of the “610 Office” broke into her home and found books of Falun Gong’s spiritual teachings and other materials related to the group. The most recent information available indicates she is being held at Hengyang City No.1 Detention Center. Since 1999, Ms. Luo has been imprisoned several times before because of her beliefs for a total of nearly two years.

Mr. Xi Changhai, Ms Wang Sumei, Mr. Sun Yushu, and Mr. Hou Defu, Liaoning Province – These four Falun Gong adherents were reportedly sentenced between October and December 2008 to eleven, ten, eight, and six years in prison, respectively, at a series of trials held at Shenbei New District Court in Shenyang. Beijing lawyer Mr. Tang Jitian has since accepted to represent Xi and Wang on an additional appeal, after a first one filed by them was dismissed. Tang has conducted his own investigation into their cases, is reported to have mailed appeal letters on behalf of the adherents to Bian Fuxue, Head of the Intermediate Court in Shenyang at the end of February. The most recent available information on the adherents indicates that Mr. Xi is being held at the New District Detention Center in northern Shenyang; Ms. Wang is at Zaohua Detention Center; Mr. Sun and Mr. Huo are at Xihu Prison in Benxi.

Washington Times: “Chinese Spy who Defects Tells All”
March 19: “A veteran Chinese intelligence officer who defected to the United States says that his country’s civilian spy service spends most of its time trying to steal secrets overseas but also works to bolster Beijing’s Communist Party rule by repressing religious and political dissent internally… Two groups in China that are a main focus of the MSS are unofficial Christian churches and the outlawed Falun Gong religious group, he said.

Together, the Chinese services are estimated to have several thousand trained operatives working around the world, most posing as diplomats, journalists, business representatives and academics. Thousands of other Chinese nationals also function as semiprofessional information gatherers.”

See also:

South China Morning Post: “Beijing Must Reveal Fate of Human Rights Lawyer”
By Prof. Jerome Cohen, March 19
“It is 43 days since the most recent “disappearance” of Gao Zhisheng, China’s most famous human rights lawyer, who boldly sought to use the law to battle corruption, overturn illegal property seizures, expose police abuses and defend religious freedom…

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, which has many times condemned China in other cases, is reportedly pursuing Gao’s case… Unfortunately, Gao’s situation has become so grave that it should easily warrant an urgent appeal for the prevention of loss of life by the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions….

Nothing similar to habeas corpus exists in mainland legislation or practice. But the UN Convention against torture, which Beijing ratified two decades ago, and its other international human rights commitments, obligate it to come clean about Gao. It is time for the court of world opinion to insist: “Show us the prisoner and justify his detention.””

For FDIC release on Gao’s disappearance, see: /article/850/?cid=84
For an interview with Gao’s wife about the family’s ordeal, see:

National Post: “China’s Stooge”
By David Matas, international human rights lawyer, March 18
“When it comes to covering Falun Gong, both the English and French branches of CBC have adopted a view of the world disturbingly similar to that of the Communist Party of China…. Radio Canada preyed on the ignorance of the Canadian public to propagate the Communist Party line, blaming the victims for protesting their victimization, adding to the propaganda by describing the Falun Gong as “little known and bothersome,” “whose presence creates malaise.”

Why are CBC and Radio Canada behaving as a mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party? Is it the identification of one bureaucracy with another? Is it nostalgia for the socialist values that the Communist Party used to embody? Whatever the explanation, the distortions the public broadcaster brings to China and the Falun Gong are regrettable.”