March 9, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin
Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China
News from Inside China
• FDIC Urgent Appeal: “Elderly Tianjin Resident Sentenced to Labor Camp for Distributing Falun Gong Leaflets, at Risk of Torture”
• FDIC Falun Gong Death Case Alert, Feb 15 – 21
• South China Morning Post: ‘Project 6521’—nationwide taskforces set up to crackdown on Falun Gong, among others
• The Comment Factory: “The story of William Huang, Falun Gong and human rights activist, imprisoned and tortured”
News from Outside China
• Ottawa Citizen and Epoch Times: Supporters Call for Release of Missing Activist Gao Zhisheng
• Weekly Standard: “The Administration Kowtows: Are the Chinese people alone now?”
FDIC Urgent Appeal: Elderly Tianjin Resident Sentenced to Labor Camp for Distributing Falun Gong Leaflets, at Risk of Torture
February 27: “An elderly resident of the city of Tianjin was sentenced earlier this month to over one year in a labor camp after police found her distributing leaflets about Falun Gong. She is one of 15 local adherents sentenced in recent months to this particular camp and is at grave risk of torture.
Ms. Zhu Lijin, a 61-year-old retired government worker and mother of a New Zealand citizen, was arrested from the streets of Tianjin on February 1, 2009 …. Within less than two weeks, on February 16, her family was notified that she had been sentenced for one year and three months without a trial. She is currently being held at Banqiao Women’s “Re-education through labor” camp.”
To read more: /article/872/?cid=84
FDIC Falun Gong Death Case Alert, Feb 15 – 21
February 25: This alert is a collection of available details for cases of Falun Gong adherents who died recently in China as they have been reported to the Falun Dafa Information Center. The deaths of those listed have occurred as a result of various forms of persecution, including torture in police custody. This installment of the alert includes reports of the deaths of six adherents, three of them during the month of February. The ages of the victims range from 40 to 77. Two of the deaths occurred in Hubei province and one each in Hebei, Heilongjiang, Shandong, and Liaoning provinces.
To read the details of the cases: /article/871/?cid=84
South China Morning Post: ‘Project 6521’—nationwide taskforces set up to crackdown on Falun Gong, among others
February 28: “Vice-President Xi Jinping has been put in charge of a massive public security campaign to prevent and respond swiftly to any possible social unrest this year… All provinces and municipalities have also been required to set up similar taskforces, headed by their deputy party secretaries and assisted by local police and law enforcement chiefs. The campaign’s apparent aim is to step up control over people or areas the authorities believe can cause trouble. It involves heightened surveillance of, among others, political dissidents, human rights campaigners and petitioners, and a tighter grip on the media and internet chat rooms.”
“Sources said some officials had described the campaign as ‘Project 6521’ – a reference to this year’s 60th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic on October 1, the 50th anniversary of the failed Tibet uprising in March, the 20th anniversary on June 4 of the suppression of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests and the 10th anniversary in July of the outlawing of the Falun Gong movement.”
To read more: http://www.scmp.com/portal/site/SCMP/menuitem.2c913216495213d5df646910cba0a0a0/?vgnextoid=bd25fee0158bf110VgnVCM100000360a0a0aRCRD (subscription required)
The Comment Factory: “The story of William Huang, Falun Gong and human rights activist, imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese Communist dictatorship”
March 5: “William (Kui) Huang is one of the people who spent their youth cutting open [pistachio] nut shells with pliers. During an interview he told me that he had to work at least sixteen hours a day. The work was done in Cell No. 27 of Zhuhai 2nd Detention Center, which according to Huang was less than twenty square meters in size and was home to over twenty people.
The room was full of products and the raw materials that they are made out of. To attend to natural calls one had to climb through these materials to reach the latrine pit in a corner which was not separated from the rest of the room. The room was never cleaned and the air was turbid. Huang witnessed a prisoner dying, not because he was beaten, but because he couldn’t stand the environment.”
Ottawa Citizen and Epoch Times: Supporters Call for Release of Missing Activist Gao Zhisheng
March 2: Supporters of a renowned human rights lawyer and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Gao Zhisheng, who was arrested last month, gathered on March 2 in front of the Chinese embassy in Ottawa to call for his release. Among those expressing concern were David Kilgour, former MP and Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific, Alex Neve, Secretary General of Amnesty International Canada, and Irwin Cotler, Canadian MP.
“I would walk a long, long way on a cold day to shake his hand,” Kilgour was quoted in the Ottawa Citizen. “He’s one of my heroes and I put him up with (Nelson) Mandela, (Mahatma) Ghandi and Abraham Lincoln. I can think of few people I admire more than him.”
According to the Epoch Times, Neve said “That [the term ‘human rights hero’] most certainly, aptly describes Gao Zhisheng, his brave defense of human rights and the grueling personal cost he has paid. Gao Zhisheng is a remarkable, inspiring human rights lawyer who has recently and repeatedly spoken out on behalf of groups and individuals in China whose basic rights have been viciously repressed, including Falun Gong practitioners, underground Christians and democracy activists.”
To read more: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/12969/ http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/Supporters+fear+missing+peace+activist/1343389/story.html
Open Letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper from Canadian Friends of Gao Zhisheng: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/13014/
FDIC statement calling for Gao’s release: /article/850/?cid=84
Weekly Standard: “The Administration Kowtows: Are the Chinese people alone now?”
“On the mainland, the Obama administration is giving the party a free hand exactly when they need it. The party must keep disparate forces–labor groups, Falun Gong, Christians, democracy advocates–isolated from one another. The tool is surveillance–using the Internet, phones, indeed, any electronic device that can track humans. (Many of these technologies originally came from American companies.) ….
Organ harvesting–particularly if the liver, kidneys, and corneas are surgically removed while a prisoner is alive–creates a foreign currency stream for the military. For the Chinese state it also solves a problem: Approximately 100,000 incarcerated Falun Gong, and an unspecified number of Eastern Lightning (Christians) will not give up their beliefs. Release is impossible; they are dangerous enemies of the state. In the marriage of the New China’s capitalism and the party’s unchanging authoritarianism, organ harvesting has become a profitable form of barbarism.”