Over 600 Lawmakers from 32 Countries Call for the Immediate End to the Chinese Regime’s 21-year “Systematic and Brutal” Persecution of Falun Gong
New York—643 lawmakers from 32 countries and across party lines have issued a joint statement calling on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to immediately stop the “systematic and brutal campaign to ‘eradicate’ the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong.”
Current and former ministers, senators, members of parliament, members of congress, and state-level lawmakers from 32 countries in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America are among the statement’s signatories. They express their deep concern for Falun Gong’s well-documented, 21-year-long struggle for freedom of belief in the face of violent repression at the hands of the CCP. They recognize July 20 as the day the persecution began more than two decades ago and note that Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa) is an ancient Chinese meditation practice based on the three principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.
“The persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the harshest campaigns against a faith group in modern times,” says the joint statement. “Since July 1999, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed without due process and many have been tortured and even killed.”
“We … urge the Chinese government to respect international norms and … to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to unconditionally release all detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.”
The joint statement is an unprecedented effort by parliamentarians who hail from across the political spectrum to condemn injustices committed by the CCP against Falun Gong. The signatories are current and former officials from the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Austria, Poland, Spain, Finland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Israel, Australia, New Zealand, Latvia, Norway, Argentina, Japan, Taiwan, Venezuela, the United States and Indonesia. Over 20 U.S. lawmakers and other officials have released separate personal statements calling for the end of the persecution of Falun Gong upon its 21st anniversary. These statements are available in full here.
The joint international statement notes past resolutions from the European Parliament and U.S. Congress condemning the persecution of Falun Gong, while referencing a recent Independent Tribunal in the United Kingdom that found that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply.”
The complete list of signatories is available here.
Select quotes from signatories
Several lawmakers issued additional comments alongside their signatures. Select examples are included here.
“As a National Deputy and a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Worship, you can count on my commitment to the defence of human rights, and I condemn the persecution of practitioners of the Falun Gong spiritual discipline.”Francisco Sánchez, National Representative, Argentina
— Francisco Sánchez, National Representative, Argentina
“The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, who have suffered oppression, torture and victimization, is one of the most appalling campaigns undertaken by the Chinese Communist Party. I will always stand in sympathy and support with those who practice this peaceful spiritual observance.”
— George Christensen, MP, Australia
“Rest assured that I will continue to support you in your goal of ending the inhumane persecution of Falun Dafa. I will not stop reminding the Chinese leadership that commitments such as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights also apply to dictatorships.”
— MP Dr. Ewa Ernst-Dziedzic, Foreign Policy Spokesperson, Austrian Greens
“My thoughts are with the relatives of Falun Dafa practitioners who have died as a result of torture, prison camps, or the illegal trade in organs. International attention can raise awareness of these problems and thus increase the pressure on the Chinese government to stop these practices.
“I would like to thank the Falun Dafa Information Center for its extensive educational work and hope that in the future everyone in China (and all over the world) will be able to practice the faith that is right for them without fear of consequences.”
— MP Petra Wimmer, Family Spokesperson, Social Democratic Party of Austria
“I call on the international community to speak up more forcefully and more publicly in denouncing the Chinese government’s continuing state-sponsored denial of fundamental human rights. We must continue to work and hope that China will one day respect rule of law, the freedom of speech, assembly, and religion; a day when the tenets of Falun Gong can be spoken loud in Tiananmen square: Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.”
— Hon. Peter Kent, MP, former Minister of the Environment, Canada
“I commend the Falun Gong practitioners for their unwavering commitment to safeguard the universal principle of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.”
— Hon. Judy Sgro, MP, former Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, Canada
“I would like to thank you for this opportunity to express the strongest support for [ending the persecution of Falun Gong] and other important initiatives which should be taken by states and civil societies in order to secure respect for human rights, fundamental freedoms, and especially for freedom of religion and belief.”
— Giulio Terzi, Former Foreign Affairs Minister, Italy
“On July the 20th, 21 years have passed since the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners first started. The free world is slowly becoming aware of the cruelty of the Chinese Communist Party toward its own people.
“I want to raise awareness of the many of Falun Gong practitioners who have been detained in “re-education through labour” camps, prisons, and other detention facilities as prisoners of conscience. There have been reports of torture and even forced organ harvesting. That is why this joint statement was initiated.
“In fact, the persecution of minorities in China is among the worst crime against human rights the world has ever seen. It has described as a genocide by some international observers and judicial authorities.
“We in the free world must stand up for the people of China. We need to stand together. This is why this joint statement is so important. The communist party of China needs to know what the free world wants. We want this persecution and all other persecutions to end. It needs to stop right now.”
— Ann-Sofie Alm, Member of Parliament, Sweden
“Any situation that results in active discrimination of minorities from any government must be condemned, and the Chinese Government can be said to be responsible for not only horrendous discrimination but cultural genocide to many of the minorities in its own borders.
There is a worrying trend developing in China in its domestic and foreign policy with respects to human rights abuses more generally including historically in Tibet and against those practising Falun Gong. Practitioners of Falun Gong have been subject to deplorable persecution from the Chinese Government that has sought to eradicate those that observe the spiritual discipline since the 1990s.
All people have a right to freedom of expression and religion, and China must respect that. We will continue to commit to upholding Human Rights everywhere and any Government that sanctions or allows violations on its citizens (or indeed others) must be held to account and face the response of the international community.”
— Tommy Sheppard, MP, UK
“The Chinese state continuously engages in human rights abuse against the citizens of China and it is vital that we speak out against that whenever possible.
Freedom of religion, thought, speech, movement, assembly, and association are all repressed in China. As China increases its campaign of repression against the Uyghur people and those practices of Falun Gong we need to increase our protests.
I am therefore happy to sign the statement and express my solidarity with all those in and out of China who are fighting against the repressive actions of the Chinese state.”
— Kate Osamor, MP, UK
“Thank you for your email regarding this year being 21 years since the Chinese Communist Party’s campaign to “eradicate” the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong. I will certainly make representations on your behalf. Rest assured I will continue to pay close attention as to how the situation develops.”
— Sir David Amess MP, UK
“These are humans who are being slaughtered, something inhumane, something very barbaric. In my opinion therefore, a legal process must be undertaken to end it.”
— Drs. H. Guspardi Gaus, M.Si., Member of House of Representatives, Indonesia
“Every human deserves dignity, they should have control over their body and freedom of belief. The purpose of Government is to protect these freedoms, not to persecute them.”
— David Seymour, MP, New Zealand
“Since my early days in politics I have followed and critisized the oppression of the Chinese citizens at large, national minorities, religious groups, human rights activists, political dissidents and Falung Gong. …I have high respect for the Chinese people. Only human rights and democracy can bring prosperity, peace and stability to China. Falun Gong as a peaceful spiritual movement can contribute to that.”
— Mr. Hans van Baalen, former MEP and former MP, President of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) and President of Honour of Liberal International, Netherland
““Taiwan can at least check the identity of those who persecute Falun Gong … and classify them as persona non-grata or investigate if they have illicit funding in Taiwan. If this becomes a common practice around the world, we’ll let the Chinese Communist Party know that if you persecute Falun Gong, you will have nowhere to go in the world, nowhere to hide. One day, if there’s a prosecution, you’ll have nowhere to hide.
“Falun Gong, as a faith, has been persecuted for a long time with large number of people being targeted. The techniques accumulated through this persecution have been used on the Catholic, Christian, Taoist, and Uighur people, so solving the Falun Gong issue is fundamental in solving all these problems.
“I hope that China will ‘remove the Communist Party’ and give its own country and people a chance.”
— Wang Ting-Yu, Member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan
Joint Statement of 643 Parliamentary Signatories Calling for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong
We are deeply concerned over the ongoing human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners in China.
We understand that Falun Gong (a.k.a. Falun Dafa) is a spiritual meditation practice based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. The 20th of July 2020 marks 21 years since the Chinese Communist government launched a systematic and brutal campaign to “eradicate” Falun Gong. Since July 1999, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed without due process and many have been tortured and even killed. At the very least, thousands have died as a result of such torture and other abuses in police custody.
These atrocities have been well-documented by human rights organizations, governmental bodies, and the United Nations. The 2007 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report stated, “[the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred] Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in government custody.” Amnesty International’s 2017/18 report said, “Falun Gong practitioners continued to be subjected to persecution, arbitrary detention, unfair trials and torture and other ill-treatment.” The persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the harshest campaigns against a faith group in modern times.
In 2013, the European Parliament passed resolution 2013/2981(RSP), “expresses its deep concern over the persistent and credible reports of systematic, state sanctioned organ harvesting from non-consenting prisoners of conscience in the People’s Republic of China, including from large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners.” In 2016, the U.S. Congress unanimously passed a similar resolution, H.Res.343. In 2019, an Independent Tribunal in the UK, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, concluded that “forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one—and probably the main—source of organ supply.”
We, the undersigned, therefore urge the Chinese government to respect international norms and the United Nations International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which China is a signatory to, and to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to unconditionally release all detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.