May 26, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin
Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China
News from Inside China
- FDIC: Police Covering Up Falun Gong Death in Custody at Top Tourist Attraction; Man Dies within Days of Arrest for Writing “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good”
- China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group: Beijing lawyers Li Chunfu and Zhang Kai Beaten for Representing Re-education Through Labour Camp Death Case
- New Tang Dynasty TV: May 13th – Soul of a Nation
- China Digital Times: Baidu’s Internal Monitoring and Censorship Document Leaked
News from Outside China
- Voice of America editorial: Falun Gong Adherents and Defenders Should Not Be Persecuted
- Human Rights in China: Wife of Abducted Rights Defense Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Requests Urgent Help from U.S. Congress in Open Letter
- Canadian Prime Minister Sends Greetings for World Falun Dafa Day as Adherents Around the World Celebrate the 17th Anniversary of Falun Gong’s Introduction
FDIC: Police Covering Up Falun Gong Death in Custody at Top Tourist Attraction; Man Dies within Days of Arrest for Writing “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is Good”
May 20: “Security forces in Fujian and Hubei province are seeking to cover-up the death of a Falun Gong practitioner who was killed in custody last month two days after being detained while on a field trip with his workplace. They have reportedly arrested his family members, whose whereabouts are currently unknown.
Mr. Fu Ziming (???) died in custody on April 19, two days after being detained by police in the vicinity of Wuyi Mountain Scenic Area of Fujian Province, a popular tourist destination in southeast China and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
On April 17, while visiting the Mt. Wuyi area, Fu wrote in crayon on a rock “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” Fu’s actions were apparently recorded by a nearby surveillance camera and that evening, he was taken from his hotel by agents from the management department of the local police station operating under Wuyi Police Department. Two days later, he had died, reportedly from torture.”
Full story: /article/883/?cid=84
China Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group: Beijing lawyers Li Chunfu and Zhang Kai Beaten for Representing Re-education Through Labour Camp Death Case
May 14: “Lawyer Li Chunfu, from Beijing Globe Law Firm, and Lawyer Zhang Kai, from Beijing Yijia Law Firm, went to the home of Falun Gong practitioner Jiang Xiqing (???), 66, in Jiangjin District of Chongqing Municipality to discuss with his two sons about the medical examination report concerning the sudden death of their father. Jiang suddenly died in a local Re-education Through Labour Camp on January 28 this year. After they have chatted for about two hours, four public security officers suddenly came to question the two lawyers … Lawyer Li’s hands suffered many scratches after being handcuffed and his ears [bled] after his face was slapped by the public security officers…. Lawyer Zhang was kicked into another room where his shoes and belt was forcibly put off. He was pushed into an iron cage and he was handcuffed during the 30-minute interrogation.”
Full story: http://www.hrichina.org/public/contents/press?revision_id=164835&item_id=164831
See also statements from Chinese Human Rights Defenders: http://www.crd-net.org/Article/Class9/Class10/200905/20090514043236_15391.html; and Chinese Human Rights Lawyers Concern Group: http://www.chrlcg-hk.org/?p=419#more-419
New Tang Dynasty TV: May 13th – Soul of a Nation
May 12: An in-depth half-hour long documentary examines the practice of Falun Gong, its cultural and philosophical origins, and its growth in China in the 1990s. On the 10th World Falun Dafa Day, marking 17 years since the practice was first introduced to the public, the video features original footage from exercise sites inside China, commentary from leading Chinese scholars and experts, and interviews with Falun Gong adherents, including ones who were later tortured in custody, about how and why they began practicing.
To view: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/pg_ShortFilms/2009-05-12/186884195383.html
To view Part I of the four-part series examining different aspects of the Falun Gong story: http://english.ntdtv.com/ntdtv_en/pg_ShortFilms/2009-04-20/827612905672.html
China Digital Times: Baidu’s Internal Monitoring and Censorship Document Leaked
At the end of April, an employee from Baidu, China’s leading search engine company, leaked a compressed folder containing documents outlining the company’s internal monitoring and censorship policies. According to China Digital Times, “Baidu… has a long history of being the most proactive and restrictive online censor in the search arena.”
A review of the terms identified for censorship reveals a significant number dedicated to Falun Gong or related topics. Censored terms include coded variations on the practice’s name, terms related to the sale of organs and allegations of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, Freegate (a popular tool for circumventing internet censorship created by Falun Gong adherents based outside China), Gao Zhisheng (a Chinese lawyer known for calling for defending Falun Gong) and references to the Nine Commentaries (a series of editorials published by the Epoch Times that analyzes the CCP’s history and has sparked a wave of symbolic resignations from the party and related youth organizations; the publication is widely distributed in China by Falun Gong adherents as part of an effort to encourage people not to participate in the persecution by placing it within the broader history of the CCP’s brutality against the Chinese people). Also listed are general terms like ‘human rights protection,’ ‘freedom of expression,’ and ‘Communist Party.’
The above would indicate not only the degree to which Falun Gong is one of the most taboo subjects in China today, but the extent to which ordinary Chinese are barred from accessing even basic information on one of the largest-scale political persecutions in the country’s recent history.
To view the list in Chinese: http://chinadigitaltimes.net/2009/04/baidus-internal-monitoring-and-censorship-document-leaked/
For a preliminary translation into English: http://jonathanstray.com/what-china-is-censoring-this-week
Voice of America editorial: Falun Gong Adherents and Defenders Should Not Be Persecuted
May 20: In an editorial said to reflect the views of the U.S. government, Voice of America stated: “Chinese practitioners of the spiritual movement Falun Gong continue to be severely repressed in China. Tens of thousand of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily detained since the spiritual movement was banned as a “threat to social and political stability” in July 1999… Defenders of Falun Gong practitioners are also persecuted. Falun Gong members and their defenders should not be harassed, detained, or tortured by Chinese authorities for exercising their fundamental rights to freedom of expression, assembly, and religion.”
To read more: http://www.voanews.com/uspolicy/2009-05-20-voa1.cfm
Human Rights in China: Wife of Abducted Rights Defense Lawyer Gao Zhisheng Requests Urgent Help from U.S. Congress in Open Letter
April 23: “My husband is an honest lawyer. Due to his professional capabilities our family once had a good income and living standard. … In 2004, he investigated and exposed the government’s actions against Falun Gong followers in the biggest political persecution case in mainland China and wrote letters to Chinese leaders three times requesting them to stop their attacks on Falun Gong. Though his actions did not violate China’s laws, but rather, upheld them, he was still continuously threatened by the government at all levels and his lawyer’s license was revoked.
The problems he personally encountered made him realize that, without changing the political system of China, there would be no way to lawfully ensure the safety, interests, and dignity of citizens. Therefore, time and again, within the framework allowed by the Chinese Constitution and the law, he initiated peaceful citizen demonstrations and petitions to expose and protest the problems of corruption in government and tyrannical rule.”
Canadian Prime Minister Sends Greetings for World Falun Dafa Day as Adherents Around the World Celebrate the 17th Anniversary of Falun Gong’s Introduction
Practitioners from around the world celebrated World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, holding public events and sending greeting cards to Falun Gong founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. Participating in such activities were adherents from North America, Australia, and Western and Eastern Europe, from Indonesia, India, Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong in Asia, as well as from Israel, the UAE, and Iran in the Middle East. Most celebrations were marked by exercise demonstrations along with displays of traditional Chinese constumes, song, and dance. After breaking through the internet blockade, also sending greetings were adherents from dozens of towns and cities inside China.
Among government officials sending greetings to Falun Gong practitioners were Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Houston Mayor William White, and New York City Councilman and mayoral candidate Tony Avella. Harper stated: “As you celebrate the 17th anniversary of the introduction of Falun Dafa to the public, I commend the Falun Dafa Association of Canada for sharing your practices and traditions with the public. On behalf of the Government of Canada, I extend my best wishes for a joyous and memorable celebration.”
New York: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16557/
Hong Kong: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16754/
Commentary from adherent in India: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16650/
Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s greeting: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/16728/