Tortured Falun Gong Practitioner Released Under International Pressure

LONDON, March 14, 2002 (European Falun Gong Information Centre)- Zhao Ming, a student at Trinity College, Dublin in Ireland was released from prison in China on Tuesday 12 March 2002 following pressure applied from the Irish Government, the students at Trinity College and other politicians and non-governmental organisations from Europe and around the world.

Reports from China indicate that, although Ming has been released and is now being cared for by his family, he is very frail after the abuse he has suffered in the labour camp.

After contacting the Irish Foreign Affairs Office, Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Dai Dongxue commented, “the Foreign Ministry has confirmed that Zhao Ming has been released”. Later, Ms. Dai added, “I called the Chinese Embassy in Dublin, they also confirmed that he has been released. But we haven’t been able to talk to his family yet, so we can’t say he is really safe yet.”

It has also been revealed that during the last few weeks of detainment, Ming’s oppressors intensified the physical and mental torture against him. In relation to this, spokesperson for the European Falun Gong Information Centre, Mr. Brian Trought, commented that: “The news received about Ming’s situation in TuanHe was horrific. We had previously heard that he had been deprived of sleep, endured beatings and electric shocks and other forms of torture. If it wasn’t for the support from the Irish government and kind-hearted people, Ming might still be detained.”

When questioned about the release, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman in Beijing confirmed to The Irish Times that Zhao’s “treatment” was complete and he had finished his “re-education.”

Mr Trought also commented, “Ming’s release is a clear indication that, under pressure, the Chinese government will release those who have been unjustly detained. It’s time the international community spoke out and asked for the release of all Falun Gong practitioners and to stop the current shoot to kill policy being implemented by Jiang Zemin.”

The European Falun Gong Information Centre has verified details of over 375 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600. Over 100,000 have been detained, with more than 20,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps without trial.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE EUROPEAN FALUN GONG INFORMATION CENTRE– Irish Contacts: Dai Dongxue 353 87 959 6370, Brian Trought 353 87 9911 892 or Leo Harris 353 507 35672
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