Nov. 10, 2009: Falun Gong News Bulletin

Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

News from Inside China

News from outside China

FDIC: Mr. Huang Lizhong Tortured to Death in Panjin City Prison
Oct 29: Mr. Huang Lizhong was arrested on February 25, 2008 at his home. He was subsequently sentenced in a show-trial to nine years in prison by the Lianshan District Court, and in September 2008 was taken to Panjin City Prison. On April 20, 2009, a guard named Wang Jianjun shocked Mr. Huang extensively with electric batons to the point that his internal organs were damaged.

At around 2 p.m. on October 20, 2009, Mr. Huang was helped into the visitation room by another prisoner to see his wife. Mrs. Huang hardly recognized him. His face looked very dry, he was as thin as a skeleton, his teeth were deformed, he had no energy to talk, and his whole body shivered. Over a period of only five months, Mr. Huang, a perfectly healthy 47-year-old had his physical condition deteriorate significantly.

Only five days later, at 9:30 p.m. on October 25, 2009, the prison authorities notified Mrs. Huang that Mr. Huang Lizhong had died in custody.

For the full case details, see: /article/922/?cid=6

NTDTV: Shanghai Falun Gong Practitioner Sues Police for Torture
Oct 28: “Plain-clothed police from the Shanghai Cangning Bureau of Public Security kidnapped 39-year-old Zhang Ying on September 8th outside her home. Her mother says Zhang was taken away because she practices Falun Gong.

[Ms. Cu, Zhang Ying’s Mother]: ‘The police illegally arrested her and beat her. Zhang Ying was hung up and beaten by three people until she fainted. Now we can’t see her. It’s been over a month, nearly two months now…. We can’t even fall sleep at night.’

[Zhang Chuanli, Zhang Ying’s Lawyer]: ‘Around September 22, at the Shanghai Prison Hospital where I saw Zhang Ying, she needed people to help her walk. She could not walk by herself and was extremely weak. She said police tortured her to get a confession, so now I’ve filed a law suit on her behalf.’”

To view the full story, see:

The Washington Times: Chinese lawyers want Obama to push for Beijing rights
Oct 30: “Five Chinese lawyers met reporters at the National Press Club on Wednesday to discuss their concerns ahead of the Obama visit [to China in mid-November].

Mr. Jiang [Tianyong], for example, has been placed several times under house arrest and lost his license to practice law in June.

‘I defended more than 20 cases involving Falun Gong practitioners,’ he said… ‘Physical torture was quite common. After their arrest, they were often beaten to the point of being paralyzed or [to death]. They had trouble gaining access to a lawyer, and even for the lawyer it was difficult to work: We would be stalked, harassed or beaten.’”

To read more:

Canada Leads with New Parliamentary Falun Gong Friendship Group
Oct 30: “An all-party group of senators and members of Parliament concerned about adversities facing followers of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline have founded a Parliamentary friendship organization to address those issues.

‘Our first goal is to make sure Parliamentarians are better informed about issues related to Falun Gong,’ said PFOFG [Parliamentary Friends of Falun Gong] chair Bill Siksay. ‘One of the key purposes of [PFOFG] is to encourage respect for fundamental human rights in China.’

Future activities may include sponsoring programs and events with FDAC [the Falun Dafa Association of Canada] on Parliament Hill such as the May 27 China human rights forum hosted by MP Scott Reid, a PFOFG director… The founding PFOFG membership comprises two senators and 18 MPs from all parties represented in Parliament.”

To read more:

Amnesty International USA: Open Letter to President Obama Highlights Religious Persecution
Nov 3: “On behalf of Amnesty International USA, I urge you to candidly address grave human rights concerns in the People’s Republic of China during your upcoming first official visit to China and press the President of China to make substantive improvements…

The scale of China’s human rights violations is staggering…. Thousands are suffering from brutal religious persecution and political repression. Religious persecution has led to the detention and repression of thousands of Tibetans, Uighurs, “unofficial church” members, and Falun Gong practitioners…

I further request that you establish the following benchmarks to assess improvements [including]: … A lifting of all restrictions and obstacles to freedom of worship. Thousands are detained for their religious activities.

Larry Cox
Executive Director”

To read more:

U.S. State Department: Religious Freedom Report 2009 Cites Arrests and Deaths of Falun Gong Practitioners
The Government also continued to restrict severely the activities of groups…including several Christian groups and Falun Gong…. There were widespread reports that employers, both Chinese and foreign, were discouraged from hiring members of Falun Gong.

Overseas Falun Gong organizations alleged a surge in arrests and deaths of Falun Gong practitioners…

In April 2009, Zhang Xingwu, a retired physics professor from Shandong Province, was sentenced to seven years in prison after police found Falun Gong literature in his apartment.

In November 2009, a Shanghai court sentenced Liu Jin to three and a half years in prison for downloading from the Internet and distributing to others information about Falun Gong.

In December 2009, Bu Dongwei left the country after serving two and a half years at a re-education through labor facility; he maintained that he was tortured because of his Falun Gong activities. Before his arrest, he worked for The Asia Foundation, a U.S.-based organization.

On August 8, 2008, Falun Gong practitioner Cao Changling disappeared while riding his bicycle. Two days later, his family was summoned to the Tenth Wuhan City Hospital, where they found him unconscious, with broken bones and bruises. Cao died on August 15 without regaining consciousness; his family maintained that the circumstances of the death were suspicious.

On January 26, 2008, Beijing police stopped musician Yu Zhou and his wife, poet Xu Na, for speeding. Police found Falun Gong materials in their car and detained the couple. Yu died in custody 11 days later. He was reportedly tortured; police refused to allow an autopsy. His wife was sentenced to three years in prison.

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Taipei Times: “Activists Call for Release of Falun Gong Practitioners”
Nov 5: “A number of Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) legislators, human rights activists and family members of two Falun Gong practitioners yesterday urged China to release the pair ahead of the fourth round of cross-strait talks.

At a press conference at the legislature, DPP Legislator Tien Chiu-chin said the two practitioners — 63-year-old Li Yaohua (???) and her daughter Zhang Yibo (???) — were arrested by police at their residence in Shanghai without any warrant in the middle of the night on June 4 because they distributed 30 Falun Gong flyers to their neighbors’ mailboxes.

Tien said Li, a Hong Kong citizen whose father is a Taiwanese national, and Zhang, a Chinese national, had been detained for more than five months without bail even though Li had been suffering from a chronic illness. Li’s son Zhang Yi-yuan said government agencies in Taiwan, including the Ministry of Justice and the Mainland Affairs Council, had sent letters to their Chinese counterparts urging the Chinese authorities to allow family members to visit Li and Zhang Yibo, but to no avail.

Pan said the DPP is also considering launching a legislative proposal to ban Chinese officials suspected of having persecuted Falun Gong practitioners from entering Taiwan.”

To read more: