Over 100 Chinese Officials Could Face Denial of Entry into U.S., Deportation for Severe Rights Abuses against Falun Gong
WASHINGTON DC (FDI) – Over 100 Chinese officials could be denied entry into the United States, or face deportation if they are already here, for their “particularly severe violations of religious freedom” according to two NGOs who submitted a report on the Chinese officials to U.S. authorities.
U.S.-based Friends of Falun Gong (FoFG) and World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) jointly submitted a detailed report to the U.S. Government yesterday, providing information on Chinese officials who have directed or physically carried out severe violations of human rights against Falun Gong practitioners. The violations documented in the report include arbitrary detention, widespread torture and death from torture as well as other extrajudicial executions.
The report lists individuals from many levels within the Chinese Government, from local police and labor camp officials, to provincial-level authorities and Central Government leaders.
The report, however, does not target the Chinese Government as a whole, says WOIPFG President, John Jaw. “The report targets only individuals known to have participated in the systematic campaign to exterminate the spiritual beliefs of 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China,” says Mr. Jaw.
Submitted to the Office of Religious Freedom within the U.S. State Department, the report requests that the named Chinese officials, including their immediate family, be denied entry to the U.S. or deported if they are already residing in the U.S.
According to the Immigration and Nationality Act as amended and the International Religion Freedom Act of 1998, any alien who – while serving as a foreign government official – was “responsible for or directly carried out particularly severe violations of religious freedom” are “inadmissible” to the United States. The U.S. Statute also says “spouse and children” of the violators can be barred from the U.S.
The report was also submitted to the Human Rights Violators Unit (HRVU) within the Department of Homeland Security. Recently established under the U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), HRVU was created to place a greater emphasis on investigating human rights cases and remove the violators from the U.S. According to ICE’s website, HRVU’s mission is to “deny safe haven in the U.S. to human rights violators by bringing to bear a full range of investigative techniques and legal authorities to identify, locate, investigate, and remove human rights violators, torturers and war criminals from the U.S., and through proactive efforts, to prevent the entry of such individuals into this country.”
ICE’s website says that HRVU is “quickly becoming one of ICE’s top investigative priorities.”
In a similar action, the names of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and other high-ranking officials were placed on a watch list with Canada’s Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program (CAHWCP) in January 2004 for their roles in the persecution of Falun Gong. (news)
Just the Beginning
According to Mr. Jaw, over the past 5 years volunteers in North America have documented details of more than 28,000 individuals in China who have engaged in the violation of human rights against Falun Gong practitioners.
“The report we submitted today is really just the beginning,” says Mr. Jaw. “The violent campaign to eradicate all Falun Gong practitioners in China has permeated all levels of society, and many people – deceived by Chinese state propaganda – have had a hand in the wrongful detention, torture, brainwashing or other acts of severe human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners.”
“We intend to bring each and every one of them to justice, and using relevant U.S. laws to ensure they do not find safe haven here in the U.S. is one of the steps we’re taking,” adds Mr. Jaw.
According to the ICE, HRVU currently has over 200 active cases it is investigating, and denial-of-entry actions have been taken by the U.S. State Department in the past.
In January 2004, the State Department placed senior Indonesian military officials on its VISA watch list (news) for the alleged atrocities resulting from their invasion of East Timor.