Government Officials Across Three Continents Stand in Solidarity to Resist 22-Year-Long Persecution of Falun Gong

July 20th Marks Anniversary of Falun Gong Persecution in China

Practitioners rallied at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on July 16, 2021, calling for an end to the 22-year persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP (The Epoch Times).

Practitioners rallied at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on July 16, 2021, calling for an end to the 22-year persecution of Falun Gong by the CCP (The Epoch Times).

July 20, 2021 marks the 22nd anniversary of the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in China. On recognition of this solemn day, government officials and nongovernmental organizations from the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand have sent letters, proclamations, video recordings, and participated in rallies to commend the practice and stand in solidarity against the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Statements from U.S. Officials

Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ); Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee

“I join the international community in calling on Beijing to respect the religious beliefs and practices of all its citizens, including its Falun Gong practitioners. No one should have to face prison, torture, or worse simply for how they choose to practice their religion. China should immediately release all Falun Gong practitioners it has detained, and allow them to practice their faith with dignity and respect.”

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)

“CCP officials have subjected Falun Gong practitioners to physical and sexual assault, forced labor, and torture to make them renounce their beliefs. Even more disturbing are the credible allegations of forced organ harvesting.”

Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA-19)

“My district of San Jose, California is home to a large community of Falun Gong practitioners…. By speaking out and protesting injustices, my district and the country as a whole are made stronger.”

Rep. Mike Doyle (D-PA-18)

“Peaceful practitioners of Falun Gong and their families have suffered from harsh government oppression for practicing their belief system. These human rights abuses by the Chinese Government are repulsive and unacceptable.”

Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-FL-12)

“My constituent Yu Zhu and his family have been victims of this persecution…I will continue to fight for Yu Zhongzhu [Yu’s father] and his unjust imprisonment, but sadly his story is just one of the many stories  … We must continue to hold China accountable and take a firm stance and tell China that further misconduct will no longer be tolerated.”

Rep. Vicky Hartzler (R-MO-4)

“It is absolutely imperative that these egregious violations of human rights come to an end and that all religious minorities in China are free from persecution. I commend you for your hard work and determination in advocating for this cause. Please know that I will continue to fight for human rights protections and religious freedom for all while serving in Congress.”

Rep. Tim Walberg (R-MI-7)

“No government has the right to deny individuals to peacefully practice their faith. But through your advocacy and continued efforts to shine a light on the human rights abuses in China, a better day will come, and people of faith will once again be able to practice freely.”

Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH-1)

“The People’s Republic of China (PRC) involuntary, state-sanctioned harvesting of organs and bodily tissue from practitioners is, however, by far the most heinous violation of their basic human rights…. This unspeakable crime demands justice for the countless victims who have suffered at the hands of the CCP.”

Rep. Bill Foster (D-IL 11)

“I join you in calling for an immediate end to the abuses against the spiritual movement of the  Falun  Gong and  the subjugation  of  peaceful  practitioners.  I  hope  that  the  Chinese government  will  recognize  the  importance  of  free  expression  for  all  its  citizens  and immediately end its persecutory activities.”

Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D-NY-18)
Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI-6)

“For  22  years,  the CCP has  sought  to  wipe  out  Falun  Gong  practitioners  through  political imprisonment,  torture,  and  the  abhorrent  practice  of  organ  harvesting.  Families  have  been  torn apart and many have lost their lives. I stand with you in condemning the CCP for these atrocious actions that violate universally recognized human rights.”

Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI-1)

“The CCP has been committing human rights violations for decades and we have a duty to shine a light on these atrocities. Religious persecution in any form cannot be tolerated, and it is my hope that Falun Gong practitioners can freely practice their religion without fear.”

Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN-3)

“Falun Gong value the principles of truth, compassion, and forbearance. Our world would surely be a more peaceful one if we centered those values in our daily lives. Thank you for your advocacy and activism on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in China.”

Rep. David Trone (D-MD-6)

“For far too long, China has oppressed dissenting communities and threatened religious freedom. I strongly stand against these threats, and I condemn any kind of human rights abuses. As a former member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, I will continue to raise my voice to address these issues around the world.”

Rep. Juan Vargas (D-CA-51)

“My warmest regards to the San Diego Falun Dafa Association and the Falun [Dafa] community as we reflect on the 22 years since the Chinese government launched a brutal campaign to eliminate Falun Gong… I am inspired by your unshakable commitment to human rights and religious freedom. Today I stand with you in solidarity condemning China’s 22-year oppression against the Falun [Dafa] Community”

Dr. Kurt Werthmuller, supervisory policy analyst of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

“At this 100th anniversary of its founding, the CCP must come to terms with its reprehensible history of persecuting religious believers.”

—July 16 Rally in Washington D.C. calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong

Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.)

“Falun Gong practitioners have suffered mercilessly at the hands of the Chinese government for over two decades…. The only crime of those who practice Falun Gong is to be born into a society of intolerance… We must fight to raise awareness of those persecuted in China who cannot raise awareness themselves.”

 

Other officials also expressed their support for Falun Gong practitioners earlier on World Falun Dafa Day (May 13) this year. 

 “While we here in the United States we are fortunate to be able to practice freedom of religion and speech, we also remember that other countries are not as fortunate. Millions of Falun Dafa practitioners in China have been subjected to illegal imprisonment, torture, and forced organ harvesting. Their struggle will never be forgotten and must in turn fuel our efforts for change.”

— U.S. Senator Thomas R. Carper from Delaware

 “The heart wrenching trials borne patiently by Falun Gong practitioners in the face of a genocidal and dictatorial Chinese Communist Party (CCP) stand as a testament to the indomitable will of those who aspire to live in freedom.”

— U.S. Representative Scott Perry from Pennsylvania

“Falun Dafa practitioners’ determination and courage to stand up for Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance while facing severe persecution from the Chinese Communist Party has shown the world the value of life and the preciousness of human dignity.”

—County Executive Steven M. Neuhaus of the Orange County in New York

Officials in some states also bestowed special honors.

In May this year, the Missouri cities of O’Fallon, St. Peters, St. Charles, and Wentzville issued proclamations to honor Falun Dafa Day.

Three lawmakers in Michigan, Richard Steeenland of the 22nd district, Lori Stone of the 28th district, and Senator Paul Wojno,also co-signed a special tribute and expressed their support for Falun Dafa practitioners’ efforts to resist the CCP’s persecution.

Find the comprehensive list of recognitions here.

Statements from members of European Parliaments

Officials and dignitaries from Germany, the United Kingdom, and Ireland offer statements of support. 

Jürgen Braun, member of the German parliament (Bundestag)

“The Communist Party of China is a threat to the movement of human rights in the world. [Therefore,] every victim of the Communist Party of China deserves our total support.”

— International Religious Freedom Summit from July 13-15, 2021.

Lord Mackenzie of Framwellgate, OBE, UK Parliament

“The evidence of re-education camps, gang rape, organ harvesting, torture and killings in China is overwhelming and is a clear policy of the CCP. This onslaught on freedoms, including the rights of the Falun Gong to practice their beliefs are an unacceptable attack on basic human rights in any so-called civilised country and I am glad to speak out with many others in calling for the taking of positive action by the world to bring these atrocities to an end!”

Wera Hobhouse MP, UK Parliament

“A society in which human rights and the freedom of religion is not protected is undemocratic and will never be free. Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance are the antidotes to the oppression of the Chinese Communist Party and I commend Falun Gong for standing up to these principles.”

Kerry McCarthy MP, UK Parliament

The persecution of those who practice Falun Gong – a faith based on the peaceful principles of tolerance and compassion – is appalling to see. I appreciate the efforts of those who have gathered today to highlight what is going on in China. We must bring an end to the attempted erasure of religious minorities, with the help of Magnitsky-style sanctions.”

Raymond Hervey Jolliffe, 5th Baron Hylton, ARICS, DL, UK Parliament

“Nearly all non-Party religious groups are now under severe persecution in China. This is true of Christians, Muslims, Falun Gong/Dafa and no doubt others. The terms of the Sino-British Agreement on Hong-Kong are being violated by the Government… We should all pray for a change of heart and mind amongst those in power.”

Professor David Patrick Paul Alton, Baron Alton of Liverpool, KCSG, KCMO, UK Parliament

“Over the past two decades, and more, the Chinese Communist Party has waged a vicious war of attrition against Falun Gong practitioners… The international community should stop kow-towing, raise its voice, and demand that the persecution ends. The CCP regime must be held to account for its pernicious and brutal campaign against Falun Gong practitioners and others.”

Professor Margot Ruth Aline Lister, Baroness Lister of Burtersett, CBE, FBA, FacSS, UK

“‘Truthfulness, compassion and tolerance’ are important principles not just in everyday life but also in politics. I’m therefore pleased to send you this brief message of support for Falun Dafa.”

Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, The Lord Bishop of St Albans, UK

“The continued tragic persecution of Falun Gong members along with other religious minorities across China is a situation of the deepest regret. Religious freedom is a human right deserving of universal respect. The Chinese Communist Party’s practise of faith based oppression ought to be collectively condemned in the strongest terms by those nations who profess and abide by the doctrine of human rights.”

Rt Hon Sir Desmond Swayne TD MP, UK Parliament

 “[I am sending a] message of support to Falun Gong and all Chinese people in their struggle for freedom of association, thought and belief.”

Baroness Cox, Independent member of the House of Lords, UK Parliament

“We are here at this rally to remember the millions of Falun Gong practitioners who continue to experience persecution from the Chinese Communist regime merely because of their faith. I am deeply concerned by the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and I have great respect for Falun Gong… [and] please know that I stand with you in your quest for the freedom to practice your beliefs in China.”

Norman Beresford Tebbit, Baron Tebbit, CH, PC, UK Parliament

“I offer my support and send a message of goodwill to the people of Falun Gong in their struggle to live peaceably in their Chinese homeland.”

Marian Harkin TD, Irish Parliament

“Those who practice Falun Gong as well as many other minorities continue to suffer oppression at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party. Ireland calls on the Chinese government to respect human rights.”

Joe O’Brien TD, Minister of State for Community Development and Charities, Irish Parliament

“I am very cognizant of the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and I would strongly support calls for these practices to end, and for the Chinese government to release anyone who has been detained for their religious practices, and to allow for freedom of worship for all,”

—July 14 rally in Dublin, Ireland calling for end to the  persecution of Falun Gong

Mattie McGrath, independent TD, Irish Parliament

“I believe in your right to practice freely. I believe in your right to your self-determination. I believe in your right for meditating, whatever helps people—what’s not harming to any person. And, I believe that is from the womb to the tomb. All life is precious to me. I am here to support you.”

—July 14 rally in Dublin, Ireland calling for end to the persecution of Falun Gong

Cian O’Callaghan TD, Irish Parliament

“Freedom to practice religion is a human right and one that must always be upheld. Ireland and the international community stand with people who practise Falun Gong and I condemn any and all religious persecution in the strongest possible terms.”

 —July 14 rally in Dublin, Ireland calling for end of persecution

During World Falun Dafa Day celebrations in May, the European Falun Dafa Association also received congratulatory letters from many government officials, including 23 Irish federal MPs and from officials from the UK, Germany, Switzerland, and Geneva. Read their statements here.

Statements from Canadian Officials

In honor of the World Falun Dafa Day this year, 140 Canadian officials sent greetings and congratulatory messages.

Officials were of all levels—federal, provincial and municipal—and they lauded Falun Gong practitioners peaceful resistance of the persecution and the positive impact practitioners had on society.

 “It is my honor to be able to send best wishes to every practitioner of Falun Dafa on this year’s Falun Dafa Day, in their pursuit of Truth, Compassion, and Forbearance, in the face of ongoing persecution, and in a world which has so much to learn from the values that you represent.”

— MP Scott Reid

 “The great compassion and forbearance demonstrated by Falun Dafa practitioners under the Chinese Communist Regime’s most severe persecution have touched every kindhearted human being.”

— Mayor Steve Clarke of Orillia 

 “As you continue to lead the struggle against oppression and tyranny, I wish you much success and safety. Thank you for your contribution to making our country and our world a more peaceful and prosperous place.” ؙ

— MP Ed Fast of Abbotsford, Shadow Minister for Finance

“Your commitment to Compassion, Truthfulness, and Forbearance in the midst of very challenging circumstances has been an inspiration to me and to many others.”

—MP Garnett Genuis, co-chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China

“Falun Dafa is an ancient practice that transcends barriers and embraces people from all walks of life – guided by principles of ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance’. Sadly, innocent practitioners of this peaceful discipline continue to be persecuted on ethnic or religious grounds by the Chinese Communist Party. We must continue to stand in solidarity with adherents of Falun Dafa and all other oppressed religious minority groups, such as Tibetans and Uighurs.”

 —Sen. Thanh Hai Ngo

“I stand with you against the human rights violations committed by the Chinese Communist Party against Falun Gong practitioners. As you come together today, I hope this virtual celebration of Falun Dafa Day brings you hope for brighter days ahead.”

—MP Marty Morantz

“Despite the challenges they have faced over the years, practitioners of Falun Dafa have remained committed to their principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. These are values that are shared by all Canadians,” he explained, “And we stand with you as you stand up to tyranny and suppression.”

—MP Ziad Aboultaif

, said in her letter, “I am pleased to extend warmest congratulations to the Falun Dafa community as you gather to celebrate Falun Dafa Day. I stand with you not only in celebration but in solidarity as you fight to protect your right to your spiritual practice.”

— Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament (MP) and Parliamentary Leader of the Green Party of Canada

“There is no question the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China by the Chinese Communist regime in Beijing needs to be called off. Those who are responsible for committing the atrocities such as the human organ harvesting have to be sanctioned, if not charged with crimes against humanity,”

—James Bezan, Member of Parliament and Shadow Minister for National Defence

More Statements can be read here.

Statements from Members of Australian Parliament

The following is a collection of support statements from Australian government officials beginning from November 2021 to the present.

Tim Wilson, Member of Victoria Parliament

“As a government that holds onto its power through violence and social pressure, the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong is especially outrageous. With regard to the CCP’s barbaric actions to enforce cultural supremacy, all free, democratic countries in the world should ensure that all places and everyone enjoy the rights to freedom of religious belief.”

Bernie Finn, Victorian Member of Parliament

“Falun Gong practitioners are all good people, very kind. There are few governments in the world like the CCP that vilely persecute human rights. The Chinese government is not only an enemy of Australia, it is also an enemy of its own citizens and everyone.”

Tammy Franks, Member of the SA Parliament

“I stand together with you today as well as everyday afterwards, fighting against the CCP’s persecution. We know there is no legal basis for the CCP’s persecution and it is extremely brutal and unjust. No one should be oppressed for their belief. As always, we will continue to oppose such human rights violations.”

Lyle Shelton, incoming Member of the NSW upper house Parliament

“The CCP has been brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners and Christians for many years. Since the pandemic, the world suddenly awakened to how evil the regime is. I am especially grateful to the Falun Gong organization for spreading the truth and hope to people as well as the contribution its members have made to human rights and peace in Australia.”

Read more statements here.

Statements from Members of New Zealand Parliament

On July 6th, Falun Gong practitioners in New Zealand held a rally to raise awareness of the 22 year long persecution of Falun Gong in China. The event was attended by several parliament members, including Parliament members Louisa Wall (Labor Party) and James McDowall (ACT Party).

Parliament members James McDowall (center) and Louisa Wall (second from right) at the July 6 Rally in Wellington, New Zealand

Wall thanked practitioners for their courage in shedding light on the CCP’s crime in public and said New Zealand parliament would pay attention to persecution evidence practitioners submitted to the international tribunal.

She also condemned organ harvesting and said the government needed to pass laws stopping New Zealand citizens from obtaining organ transplants sourced from China.

McDowall reiterated the Chinese regime’s terrible human rights records and said it was important for events such as the practitioners’ rally calling an end to the persecution to bring attention to the New Zealand Parliament. He assured practitioners officials and citizens were listening and ended his speech wishing practitioners well.

In support of a rally on July 10 in Christchurch, New Zealand, former vice president of ACT New Zealand, Trevor Loudon and New Conservative Party member Helen Houghton also sent their greetings.

“For a free China, for a free New Zealand, for a free world, God bless all those who fought for freedom! I wish Falun Dafa practitioners in Christchurch and all those who participated in this rally a success.”

—Trevor Loudon

“I speak today to defend human rights, for the freedom of all people, and the freedom described in the New Zealand Bill of Rights. The New Zealand government must take the issue of human rights in China and other countries seriously. It is not acceptable to maintain trade relations at the expense of people’s lives.”

Helen Houghton

Read more about the Wellington and Christenback rallies.

Statements from NGOs

At a public rally held in Washington D.C. on July 16 to stop the persecution of the Falun Gong, many non-governmental organizations also expressed their support to Falun Gong practitioners.  

Annie Boyajian with Freedom House, speaking at the July 16th Rally

Annie Boyajian, director of advocacy with Freedom House, criticized the CCP for conducting “the most sophisticated global and comprehensive campaign of transnational repression in the world.” She said, “We commend the US government for working with the UK, Canada, and the EU who has coordinated sanctions against CCP officials involved in violating human rights, including some who were involved in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

“Freedom House stands in solidarity today with Falun Gong practitioners and all those persecuted by the CCP. We thank you for your bravery, and we look forward to the day when all in time are able to freely exercise their fundamental rights, including the right to freedom of religion and belief,” added Boyajian.

Nina Shea, a senior fellow and director of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute, said the CCP has denied and covered up forced organ harvesting for the past 15 years, “but now it’s absolutely irrefutable.”

She cited a report by United Nations Human Rights experts on June 14 this year confirming forced organ harvesting: after blood samples and ultrasound checks, surgeons extracted detainees’ and believers’ hearts, kidneys, livers, and corneas. “This is essentially surgical execution without any due process for China’s live organ transplant business,” Shea said.

Read more statements from the July 16th Rally.