Thousands Rally in Over 30 Cities Around the World As Falun Gong Holds Worldwide 3-Day Vigil

Twenty Reports of Killings in the Past Twenty-Two Days; Falun Gong Practitioners Expose Criminals' Names and Phone Numbers to the Public; Call for Support

NEW YORK, January 11, 2002 (Falun Dafa Information Center) – Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters are gathering today in front of Chinese Embassies and Consulates around the world to launch a 3-day vigil to condemn the recent rampage of arrests, torture, and killings of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and to expose the criminals involved.

Press conferences and the 3-Day Worldwide Vigil are being held in over 30 cities around the world, including New York, Boston, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Toronto, Ottawa, London, Paris, Geneva, Stockholm, Taipei, Tokyo, and Hong Kong.

These activities were instigated by reports of 20 deaths in the last 22 days of Falun Gong practitioners who died due to torture and mistreatment while in police custody in China.

Four Deaths Reported Yesterday

The deaths of four more Falun Gong practitioners in police custody were reported yesterday. Among the deaths was Mr. Wang Tiesong, 32, an employee of Jilin Province Forestry Bureau, who was tortured to death by police earlier last month. According to reliable sources inside China, police brought Wang’s body to the hospital after he had died and kept his lifeless corpse on emergency respiratory equipment for 11 days. This was an apparent attempt by local police to avoid responsibility for his death by claiming emergency efforts had been undertaken to save Wang. By the time Wang’s body was put on the respiratory equipment, however, the pupil of one of the eyes was already dilated and the other eye had rolled back into the head.

Two days ago, reports surfaced of the death of Mr. He Xingzong of Hubei Province who was assaulted and then strangled to death on the streets of his hometown while posting flyers that revealed human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners. In response to a phone call from one reporter, an official at the local police department claimed, “he died from posting flyers” and then hung up.

The Eyes of the World are Watching

Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Adam Montanaro discussed the purpose of the global appeal activities: “Through these events we seek to expose the recent atrocities and inform those who follow Chinese President Jiang Zemin to assist in carrying out this persecution of Falun Gong practitioners that their evil deeds are not going unnoticed…the eyes of the world are watching.” Mr. Montanaro continued, “Great efforts have been made to document the names of those responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, including their personal information and details about the crimes committed. We will distribute this information to the public and invite people to call the perpetrators and let them know what we think of their crimes. We will also publish this information on our websites.”

Mr. Montanaro pointed out that a young woman was recently released from a Chinese forced labor camp after phone calls from concerned individuals overseas were made to call for justice.

Legal Retribution is Underway

Legal action against those believed to be responsible for or aiding in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China has begun in both the United States and Canada. In New York, a United States District Court handed down a judgment against the Head of Public Security for Hubei Province, Mr. Zhao Zhifei, for his role in instigating and carrying out the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. Included in the charges against Zhao were “wrongful death, torture and crimes against humanity.”

On January 7, 2001 in Montreal, Quebec Superior Court Judge Reynald Fréchette became the second Canadian Judge to issue a Court Order against Les Presses Chinoises Chinese-language newspaper to cease the publication of materials deemed slanderous to Falun Gong. The paper had reprinted Chinese state propaganda used by the Chinese Embassy in Canada to defame Falun Gong. Judge Fréchette commented that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China was a factor in the decision and that the right of Falun Gong practitioners’ reputation exceeded any claims of “freedom of the press”.

“These court decisions demonstrate that what is happening to Falun Gong practitioners in China is illegal and unjust,” Mr. Montanaro commented about the legal actions. “When this persecution caves in on itself, which it inevitably will, those who’ve aided in these crimes against humanity will certainly have to pay their dues…we’re asking those people to think for themselves about which side of this issue they want to be on when the full truth about this grave injustice comes to light.”