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Thursday, August 30, 2007

Speak out on Falun Gong, PM urged

Harper not afraid to raise issue, says spokeswoman

Mike de Souza, CanWest News Service

The Province: Published: Thursday, August 30, 2007

OTTAWA -- A coalition of MPs, human-rights activists and protesters converged on Parliament Hill yesterday to urge Prime Minister Stephen Harper to confront his Chinese counterpart about the alleged torture of Falun Gong practitioners.

The prime minister and Premier Wen Jiabao meet next week at the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit in Sydney, Australia.

The Falun Gong supporters urged the prime minister to raise their concerns at the conference.

Falun Gong protesters line the sidewalk outside the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street in Vancouver. The organization, which claims to have 100 million practitioners worldwide, is banned in China and there have been accusations that its members have been tortured in prison and others executed and their organs sold. Various human-rights groups and western governments have condemned China for the alleged abuses.View Larger Image View Larger Image

Falun Gong protesters line the sidewalk outside the Chinese Consulate on Granville Street in Vancouver. The organization, which claims to have 100 million practitioners worldwide, is banned in China and there have been accusations that its members have been tortured in prison and others executed and their organs sold. Various human-rights groups and western governments have condemned China for the alleged abuses.

Jon Murray, The Province

A small group staged a news conference with NDP MP Wayne Marston and Amnesty International. They told stories about Canadians who have relatives in China who have been persecuted, drugged, brainwashed and tortured because of their beliefs.

They said that in many cases, the people who were allegedly targeted spent years in prisons, losing their possessions and, in some cases, their memories of the past.

A spokeswoman for Harper said the prime minister wouldn't be afraid to raise the issue.

"Wherever he goes, he always has a balanced discussion with world leaders on human rights as well as democracy, rule of law, freedom and the economies that we're working with," said Sandra Buckler.

Meanwhile, Canadian officials are hoping that Harper can help broker a breakthrough in global negotiations on climate change at the summit.

The officials said the issue, along with trade and human rights, was likely to be raised at the meeting of the 21-member group from the Pacific Rim.

"On climate change and energy, the APEC meeting offers us an important forum in which to engage a range of countries," said one official.

With important players such as China, the U.S. and Russia at the table, the officials said the meeting could bring the world one step closer to getting firm commitments required for future negotiations.

But environmentalists have criticized an early draft version of the APEC leaders' statement on climate change because it talks about achieving long-term "aspirational goals" instead of committing to a new global pact to succeed the international Kyoto agreement with mandatory reductions in the greenhouse- gas emissions that are linked to global warming.

"We need countries to start putting hard commitments on the table as well as commitments to a process that would lead to a real UN-led continuation of Kyoto after 2012," said Dale Marshall, a climate-change policy analyst at the David Suzuki Foundation.

"There's been lots of talk and lots of meetings, and the last thing we need is one more where nothing gets resolved and it's just a discussion."

Following the summit, Harper heads to the Australian capital of Canberra for bilateral meetings with Prime Minister John Howard and to address Parliament.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Of U.S. Network Anchormen and Squid

CV: by John Kusumi August 26, 2007 01:56 PM EST

"America's network anchormen are squid, who can't pronounce 'Falun Gong'." Need I say more? Keen observers will have the background knowledge to agree with me, that U.S. network anchormen "resemble that remark." In addition to resembling that remark, they may also resent that remark. Hence I must explain it for those who need introduction to its background, and -- for network anchormen who become defensive or hacked off about it -- I must sound apologetic or soften the blow.

Really, I am the last one whom U.S. journalists should turn to for sympathy. I am the author of a book manuscript -- 'Genocidal Correctness' -- that when published will review the approach of U.S. journalists during a very dark time of U.S. history: that of political correctness, or PC-ness. It will in essence ream a new orifice for the U.S. journalism profession, along with the U.S. politics profession. At the same time that U.S. politics has become a sheer farce, I conclude that we in America have lost our news media -- to corruption.

A case study about the Chinese pro-democracy movement, U.S.-China policy, and the Falun Gong crackdown in China has become a vehicle with which to explore the decline of the U.S. politics and journalism professions. Besides the 'GC-ness' book, I have another project titled, "Nationhood, the DVD." Through exploring U.S. trade policy, I conclude that globalization is b.s., and that we in America have lost our nationhood. Does the word "America" still identify a group of people? Yes. However, the group is dysfunctional as a nation. America is challenged at its borders; at its all-but-forgotten economic boundaries; in its national security; and, by the appearance that America is too busy dismantling itself to defend its integrity as a nation and its respectability.

Did my study of Falun Gong teach me all of this? Not entirely -- two more good inputs are a study of trade deficits, and of the economic development of civilization. I am convinced that the input narratives, plus the analysis narratives, lead with intellectual rigor to the foregoing conclusion narratives. When I release "Genocidal Correctness, the book" and "Nationhood, the DVD," they will be solid, not sketchy. Someone such as Mr. Spock (the fictional half-Vulcan character on the original Star Trek TV series) will be able to kick the tires and to pronounce the reasoning to be logical.

On August 18, 2007, I took in the TV show, Fox News Watch. There, I learned that NBC's anchorman, Brian Williams, recently appeared on Sesame Street (a children's educational TV series). They played the clip, in which Mr. Williams was very concerned to identify squid for the watchful audience of children. I believe that he signed off by saying, "Good night and good squid." Hence, I learned that Brian Williams is able to pronounce the term "squid." I also learned that CNN's Anderson Cooper will follow down that trail, and will make his own appearance on Sesame Street in the near future.

Sesame Street is a place to get jazzed about things like "the number 9," "the letter M," and "squid." I wonder what term Anderson Cooper will pronounce? --Whatever term that is, I can predict that it won't be "Falun Gong." For those who need the backgrounder -- such as viewers of Brian Williams and Anderson Cooper -- let me say that Falun Gong is a spiritual group and practice that arose in China in 1992. It is a variant of traditional Chinese qi gong. Strictly translated, that means life force cultivation. Loosely translated, it means morning exercises. The exercise regimen is not far removed from Tai Chi, and just like Tai Chi, people used to do Falun Gong in the park every morning. In China, that's perfectly normal, and Falun Gong gained in popularity until about 100 million people were adherents. Then came the crackdown -- the persecution that Williams and Cooper won't tell you about.

Since 1999, the Chinese government has pursued a crackdown to eliminate this group. Within China, it is a genocidal rampage, and a holocaust of persecution that has been killing these people who became ensnared in the government's dragnet for Falun Gong practitioners. How deadly is this crackdown? --It is hard to fathom that this crackdown is larger than the one at Tiananmen Square in 1989. The China Support Network estimates that 3,001 people were killed in that earlier crackdown; the death toll in Falun Gong persecution is indeed larger, and continuing to rise.

Something is depraved about the craven indifference that U.S. networks have shown to this group (and, by extension, to the Chinese people and to Asians in general). Something is reprehensibly sociopathic about leaving a holocaust to be "business as usual." In U.S. newsrooms, they have done just that, and time and again, they have consciously chosen to bury the story of the Falun Gong. Is mine a strong term -- "reprehensibly sociopathic"? Yes, and I am coining another strong term -- "genocidally correct." The U.S. newsrooms have indeed been "GC," and through their omission they have arguably been tacit accessories to genocide.

Of course, opprobrium should also go to the U.S. Executive Branch, where they run a "GC" China policy that is akin to leaving the Jews in the gas chambers. I realize that what is at hand is not entirely the fault of America's network anchormen. They might feel better if they know that I have also referred to three recent U.S. Presidents as bent, craven, depraved, and as "wuss bunnies of moral cowardice." Beginning at the time of Tiananmen Square, they should have called evil by its name. After Tiananmen Square, China's bloodbath of human rights abuse did not stop -- it merely went indoors. That means the killing went "out of camera range." It has occurred in the prisons, in the labor camps, and in the Laogai system that is to China what the gulags were to Soviet Russia.

My point being that the killing did not stop, and China did not become better on human rights. America is a place where an outfit can be sorry and saddening, but then advertise itself as fair and balanced. American viewers of these "fair and balanced" networks might have the impression that China solved its human rights problem, because Jennings, Brokaw, and Rather stopped mentioning any Chinese human rights problem. Today, Williams and Cooper follow in the footsteps of Jennings, Brokaw, and Rather. I remain unaware of whether or not they are able to pronounce the term "Falun Gong," but I saw Brian Williams do a good job with the term "squid."

I could ask of these anchormen: Precisely what is "fair and balanced" about entirely omitting the other narrative about China? Perhaps some media moguls like Rupert Murdoch decreed that "China's sh*t doesn't smell, and keep with that narrative." However, that is so divorced from reality that it makes a network sorry and saddening as they deliver pretend and make-believe news -- with a sanitized (read fake) view of China. Heck, if anchormen are now going over to Sesame Street, I think they should stay there. Somehow, I relish the thought of anchormen, popping their heads out of trash cans. If they don't live in a trash can, they've missed their calling!

Before we lose all sense of perspective, let me say that my criticism of network managing editors is incidental to my criticism of the Chinese Communist regime, and to my advocacy on behalf of the Chinese democracy movement. (Chinese dissidents still exist -- now with more strength than in the 1990s -- and they too were "cut out" by Jennings, Brokaw, and Rather.) I would value it if America's network anchormen would put the lie to my article's opening. They could apply this occasion to prove me wrong -- or, I could simply be "right again, as usual."

I know that the anchormen can pronounce these terms: Chandra Levy, Jennifer Wilbanks, Natalee Holloway, Anna Nicole Smith, Paris Hilton. In each case, they have changed the format of their networks and gone "wall to wall" with coverage of those young women. The summer of Chandra Levy was actually a summer of protest against globalization. But the anchormen didn't tell you that, and neither did they tell you that the Falun Gong death toll was going up.

I am still making up my mind as to how I will conclude my book, "Genocidal Correctness." It may in fact be my conclusion that I call upon ABC, CBS, and NBC to shut their news divisions. I haven't quite decided yet. For now, I will simply speak their language and say: Good night, and good squid.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Letter: Freedom comes first

Taipei Times: Friday, Aug 24, 2007, Page 8

Taiwan should be commended for standing up for its citizens. The illegal mass deportation of Taiwanese ("HK returns Taipei's letter of protest in immigration dispute," Aug. 19, p2) , for the most part Falun Gong adherents, during the Hong Kong hand-over anniversary events speaks volumes.

This case is by far the largest deportation case in Hong Kong's history and cannot be simply brushed off. Using this incident as a barometer, I agree that Taiwan's stance of rejecting China's autocratic policy under the guise of "one country two systems" is the right thing to do. Needless to say that Hong Kong's uncouth and rude treatment of Taiwanese sends the wrong message to the international community and is nothing but a reflection of Bejing's tyrannical grip.

After all, why should Taiwanese be treated as second-class citizens just because Beijing said so? Make no mistake -- upholding non-communist values of freedom and democracy is truly what is at stake here.

Marie Beaulieu

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

A. Halpern's Letter to Canadian Parliament Members

FoFG board member Abraham Halpern urges the Canadian Parliament to boycott the 2008 Olympics

August 20, 2007

By Abraham Halpern, MD, FACP
FoFG USA board member Dr. Abraham Halpern

Dear Parliamentarian,

I am a professor emeritus of psychiatry at the New York Medical College. After serving in the Royal Canadian Navy during WW2, I attended medical school at the University of Toronto and then rejoined the Royal Canadian Navy and served as a medical officer aboard a destroyer during the Korean War.

I am writing to ask that the Parliament of Canada call for a boycott of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August, 2008, unless the Chinese government stops engaging in human rights abuses against its citizens.

No doubt you are aware of the countless reports of serious human rights violations in the People's Republic of China, in some cases clearly constituting crimes against humanity, particularly the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents. Falun Gong adherents, innocent in all respects, have been abducted, confined in jails, prisons, work camps and maximum security psychiatric institutions, tortured and brutalized and subject to removal of body organs in connection with a widespread organ transplant program in China. Many of these atrocities are fully documented in comprehensive reports by David Kilgour, former long-term member of the Canadian Parliament and Secretary off State (Asia- Pacific), 2002-2003, and David Matas, a distinguished Winnipeg attorney. (See their reports titled "Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China" and "Bloody Harvest: Revised Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China")The reports have resulted in protests in many countries around the world. Regrettably, the protests have thus far failed to bring about any meaningful change in the barbaric actions of the Chinese authorities.

A resolution adopted by the Parliament of Canada recommending that the Canadian Government take immediate steps to boycott the Olympic Games in China next year will warm the hearts of the thousands of persecuted Chinese citizens and give them hope. It will also encourage protesters everywhere to redouble their efforts.

I hope you will take this important step and show the world that Canada continues to be in the forefront of the struggle for fundamental human rights everywhere.

Sincerely yours,

Abraham L. Halpern, M.D.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Letter: Stay Home

Edmontonjournal.com: Published: 7:12 am, 16 August 2007.and Ottawa Citizen August 17, 2007 in response to this.

Unlike John Reynolds, I'm thrilled that David Kilgour and others took on the noble task of calling for a boycott of the Beijing Olympics. This affirmative action is much needed to beam the spotlight on the Communist regime's torturing and murdering of its own people for their organs and their beliefs, especially the Falun Gong group, which has been hit the hardest.

Had Reynolds talked with the farmers in the countryside for a couple of hours, he would know that the Chinese people are now calling for a boycott en masse under the slogan: "Human rights wanted, not Olympics."

It is Communist China that has it wrong - to not include human rights in this equation, which is a fundamental part of the Olympic charter, is where the real politicization that violates the spirit of the Olympic movement really lies. How long can we ignore all the poison emerging from China these days, let alone the killing of innocent people for their faith? Would we not all boycott the Games if they were given to Sudan or Zimbabwe?

Canada should be a true friend to China and keep our athletes home.
Marie Beaulieu, Victoria

Thursday, August 16, 2007

China can do no wrong

by Peter Worthington - Toronto Sun - August 13, 2007

How things have changed! In 1979, some 28 years ago, then-U.S. president Jimmy Carter urged that because of the Soviet Union's invasion of Afghanistan, the 1980 Moscow Olympics should be boycotted.

When the International Olympic Committee rejected Carter's proposal that the Moscow Olympics be switched to Greece, the U.S. Olympic Committee sided with the president and announced American athletes would not be attending.

Ultimately, the decision whether to attend the Moscow Olympics was left to individual Olympic committees. In Britain, for example, the government supported the boycott, but its Olympic Committee opted to compete -- as did France, Italy and Sweden.

GAMES A DISASTER

The 1980 Moscow Games were a financial and international disaster. Some 60 countries boycotted Moscow, where Soviet athletes won 195 medals, of which 80 were gold.

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The great Russian dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, scolded that awarding the 1980 Olympics to Moscow was: "humanitarianly, a despicable act, legally, a crime."

A psychologically wounded but defiant Soviet Union announced it would boycott the following Olympics in 1984, hosted by Los Angeles. Few followed Moscow's lead.

A record number of countries competed, including China, for the first time in over 30 years.

Salt was rubbed into Soviet wounds when of 174 medals won by U.S. Olympians, 83 were gold. For the first time in its history, the Games showed a profit.

That was then, this is now. Although there are several campaigns underway urging that the Beijing Olympics be boycotted, that ain't going to happen. Maybe it should, but China is confidently celebrating that one year from now, the Games will be underway.

As if to mark the occasion, two young Canadians briefly disappeared into the maw of the Chinese judicial system for protesting on behalf of Tibetans that the Games should be boycotted. Melanie Raoul and Sam Price were two of six protesters who unfurled a banner on the Great Wall of China proclaiming: "One World, One Dream, Free Tibet 2008." They were quickly expelled, to the relief of their families and the Canadian government, but the message was clear: No protests in China.

Groups like Reporters Without Borders and the Committee to Protect Journalists, as well as Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International, have documented various human rights abuses by the Beijing regime. China has jailed more journalists than any other country for criticisms of the system.

GENOCIDAL PRACTICES

Also offensive is China's moral, financial and economic support of the Sudanese government, largely responsible for the genocidal practices underway in Darfur.

There's some irony in the 1980 Moscow Olympics being boycotted because of the USSR's invasion of Afghanistan, while today American, British, NATO and other soldiers are in Iraq and Afghanistan with no mention of boycotts.

China can violate civilized ethics with greater impunity than even the former Soviet Union did.

When it was bidding for the 2008 Olympics in 2001, China promised to ease human rights restrictions -- and then reneged on its vows almost immediately after it won. Again, no protests.

I would argue it's not just the continued repression of Tibet that should offend the civilized world, nor the branding of those it kidnaps and falsely convicts of terrorism (like Burlington, Ontario's Huseyin Celil), nor its repression of the usually peaceful Uighur people.

No, the greatest scandal being committed by China is the "harvesting" of organs from political dissidents and those sentenced to death for various crimes. Evidence is piling up of dissident Falun Gong adherents (a benign, apolitical creed of meditation and exercise) being imprisoned and kept alive until their organs - livers, hearts, cornea, kidneys, lungs, whatever - can be sold to rich and needy recipients with hardly any wait time. The evidence for these accusations is largely anecdotal, but the numbers of organ transplants is high enough to trigger warning bells.

But so what? China is a burgeoning market for Western investment, and that's the priority of the moment. Let the Games begin.

Author of “China Organ Harvesting Report” Wins Human Rights Award

By Dane Crocker, Epoch Times Calgary Staff, Canada, Aug 14, 2007-

Winnipeg human rights lawyer David Matas was selected as the recipient of the Walter S. Tarnopolsky Award on Monday, August 13. Administered by the International Commission of Jurists (ICJ), the annual award was given to Matas in recognition of his outstanding contribution to both domestic and international human rights.

“David has a long and impressive track record of advocating for human rights, both on the national and international levels,” said Paul D.K. Fraser, Q.C., president of the Canadian section of the International Commission of Jurists.

“He has worked tirelessly at promoting the Canadian vision of human rights abroad and defending of those rights at home.”

For three decades, Matas has maintained a private practice in which all his case work has, in his words, “revolved around human rights.” During this time he has also served as the Director of the International Defence and Aid Fund for South Africa in Canada, Director of Canada-South Africa Cooperation, Director of the International Centre for Human Rights and Democratic Development, and Director of the Manitoba Association of Rights & Liberties.

He was part of the Canadian delegation to the United Nations General Assembly and the UN Conference on the International Criminal Court in 1998, and has also been actively involved with Amnesty International, B’nai Brith Canada, the Canadian Bar Association, the Canadian Jewish Congress, and the Canadian Council for Refugees.

This list of associations and positions reflects what Matas believes to have been the major human rights issues of the last few decades: apartheid, war crimes, refugees, torture, and the crimes of communism, to name but a few.

Yet Matas explains his devotion to human rights causes in simple terms. “I feel I have a contribution to make,” he says.

Among some of his more notable legal efforts, Matas has taken on the government of Iran over torture and incitement of genocide, and filed a criminal lawsuit against the former president of China for sanctioning the torture of a Canadian citizen.

But none of Matas’ efforts have garnered as much attention as a report he co-authored last year with former Liberal Cabinet Minister David Kilgour. That report, released in July 2006, investigated and confirmed allegations that the Chinese regime had been removing and selling the organs from thousands of Falun Gong prisoners of conscience, killing them in the process.

Since the findings were released, Matas has spent much of his time traveling the globe in a campaign to bring pressure to bear on China to stop the practice of organ harvesting. In the process, he has established himself as a champion for the Falun Gong, a Buddhist meditation discipline that has been violently persecuted in China for eight years.

Yet the process of securing human rights for the world’s disenfranchised remains an uphill battle. The international system remains largely anarchic, and international human rights laws are often toothless when it comes to combating injustices. Yet the biggest challenge, Matas says, is indifference.

“There is a massive problem getting people engaged. For example, Canada is far away from many of these issues, so it is tough to get the public’s attention drawn.”

- Original report from the Epochtimes : Canadian Bar Association Recognizes David Matas for Human Rights Work

No inconsistency: David Matas

The Ottawa Citizen -Published: Thursday, August 16, 2007

Re: Former MP pushes for Beijing Games boycott, Aug. 9.

The Citizen reported that researchers for the U.S. Congress concluded that some of the key allegations in the report David Kilgour and I wrote on organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China "appear to be inconsistent with the findings of other investigations." Yet there are no such other investigations.

The Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress, which the article quotes, footnotes its conclusion. But the footnote cites the U.S. Department of State Country report for China for 2005, written long before our report was published.

The only studies or investigations independent from our own that have looked at the matter -- those of Kirk Ellison of the University of Minnesota and Tom Treasure, a British transplant surgeon writing in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine -- have come to the same conclusion as we have; that this foul practice is happening.

David Matas, Co-author of Bloody Harvest
Winnipeg

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Human rights group lights torch for Beijing games boycott

A woman, playing the role of a priestess, raises a torch during the lighting ceremony of a global human rights torch relay in Athens, August 9, 2007. Hundreds of human rights activists and spectators gathered in central Athens to launch the relay urging the boycott of next year's Beijing Olympics over what they said was China's dismal human rights record. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis
A woman, playing the role of a priestess, raises a torch during the lighting ceremony of a global human rights torch relay in Athens, August 9, 2007. Hundreds of human rights activists and spectators gathered in central Athens to launch the relay urging the boycott of next year's Beijing Olympics over what they said was China's dismal human rights record. REUTERS/Yiorgos Karahalis

Karolos Grohmann, Reuters - Published: Thursday, August 09, 2007

ATHENS (Reuters) - Hundreds of human rights activists from across the world gathered in central Athens on Thursday to launch a global torch relay urging the boycott of the 2008 Beijing Olympics over China's human rights record.

Beijing has been under fire for what groups say are extensive human rights violations, including against the spiritual group Falun Gong, ahead of next year's Games.

China classified Falun Gong as a cult and banned it in 1999. Since then the group has campaigned from abroad against what it says is brutal persecution of its followers in China.

Organizers of the event in the central Syntagma square, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), said Beijing was involved in systematic "organ harvesting" from jailed Falun Gong members and other dissidents.

"We want to put enough pressure on China to stop killing its people and selling livers and kidneys to people around the world," former Canadian junior foreign minister David Kilgour told Reuters.

Kilgour, co-author of a report on Chinese "organ harvesting," said the International Olympic Committee was turning a blind eye to violations of its own charter.

IOC President Jacques Rogge on Monday fended off criticism saying the Games were a force for good but were no panacea.

"That's garbage," said Kilgour. "Jacques Rogge should know what the Olympic charter states. It talks about human dignity."

The global human rights torch relay will stop over in 25 countries and more than 100 cities in Europe, Asia, North America and Australia, organizers said.

Among the speakers were former Olympic athletes, including the 2006 Olympics luge bronze medalist Martins Rubenis from Latvia.

"The Chinese Communist Party has not fulfilled the promise to adjust the situation of human rights," Rubenis said.

Beijing marked the one-year countdown to the Games on Wednesday with spectacular celebrations in Tiananmen Square.

© Reuters 2007

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

David Matas Reflects on Organ Harvesting

Lawyer David Matas gestures as he speaks during a press conference. (Woody Wu/AFP/Getty Images)
Lawyer David Matas gestures as he speaks during a press conference. (Woody Wu/AFP/Getty Images)


Epoch Times: August 6, 2007 - The Epoch Times caught up with David Matas, the co-author with David Kilgour of "Bloody Harvest: Revised Report into the Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China," on June 20, after he had given a speech at the University of Minnesota, where he graciously agreed to an interview.

ET: Mr. Matas, could you tell us what you are doing here in Minnesota?

David Matas: I came here to speak at a hospital at the University of Minnesota—"Organ Transplants in China" that's the title of the speech. And also while I'm here I've met with various people, the staff of Senator Coleman and the staff of Senator Klobuchar. So that's basically what I'm doing.

ET: And who invited you to come and speak on this?

DM: It was the University of Minnesota hospital transplant center. [The U of M Program in Human Rights and Health cosponsored the event.].

ET: I would like to ask you what prompted you to take on this project of organ harvesting in China initially?

DM: I am a human rights lawyer in Winnipeg. I was asked to do it by a non-governmental organization, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong. I am interested generally in human rights and I was familiar with the persecution of Falun Gong. I knew they were being persecuted in China.

I also knew by the very nature of the allegation that it would be a difficult one for human rights organizations to come to grips with because normally human rights organizations like witnesses, and don't like to act unless there are witnesses, but by the very nature of the allegation, [I knew] there were not going to be any witnesses. So I thought that I could maybe make a contribution to this. And I have done similar things in the past—human rights reporting and writing.

ET: Are you a Falun Gong Practitioner?

DM: No, and I have not been paid to do this report by the Falun Gong community. And we [David Kigour and David Matas] are not necessarily doing what the Falun Gong wants, but are forming our own independent judgment and using our own words. We are acting on our own behalf. Although both of us belong to many organizations, we are not speaking on behalf of these organizations. We are trying to be independent, outside experts. We do not try to accommodate anybody else.

ET: I have read some criticism about certain pieces of evidence in the report "Bloody Harvest." Are there portions of the investigation that you would consider incontestable?

DM: In coming to the conclusion that we did, all of our evidence is independently verifiable. There is nothing in that report that somebody who wants to do their own research cannot check and see for themselves. In fact most of the evidence comes from the government of China, from their websites and their statistical reporting. So I would say that the evidentiary foundation is incontestable. I suppose that what you could debate are the analysis and the conclusion. We conclude that based on the evidence, that this is what is happening [organ harvesting]. Somebody else may want different, or more, evidence.

Also, because I am a lawyer, I am used to hearing disagreements. In a typical day, as soon as I argue in court, somebody gets up and disagrees with everything that I say. So I am quite used to hearing people disagree with me, and I am well aware of what is a plausible disagreement and one that is implausible. And I have heard many disagreements with our report, but none of them are what I would call tenable. Most of the disagreements, if not all, come from the government of China or from people who are somehow identified with the government of China and are being supported or prompted by the government of China. This in itself does not undermine the points that they are making, but I think it does show that these people are not disagreeing with our investigation out of intellectual analysis, but out of a set position.

And the kinds of arguments they come up with are hard to take seriously. One of the common forms of argument that I hear, and I've heard this over many months, and in many different forms, is that they will put something in quotations, say that we said it, and then disagree with what is in the quotation, but you can look in our report, its not there, what they quote us as saying. So when people say "David Matas said this", and I don't say it, then that is not a serious argument, but a very common argument.

For example, I was just in Israel speaking about this issue at a hospital there, and the Chinese embassy circulated some material in opposition to our report at the hospital where we were speaking, and I read it. And what it said is that our report is based on rumors. What they would do is quote something from our report, but then add to the quote the phrase "it is said that," but that phrase, "it is said that," is not in our report. This phrase "It is said that", gives the appearance that we are relying on something without identifying the source, when in fact, in the report, we do identify the source. So what they do is remove the source, replace it with the phrase "it is said that," and then accuse us of fomenting rumors.

This will not convince anybody who is seriously interested into looking into the merits of the report.

ET: Earlier today at the office of a senator, you mentioned that there were three incontestable points of evidence…

DM: When I say incontestable…What very often happens when I am dealing with governments, politicians, parliamentarians—these are people who don't have the time or the energy to sit down to go through the report, and they are not sure whether or not it is true.

The way we come to our conclusions is to accumulate a lot of relevant evidence, and then look at it altogether to come to our ultimate conclusion. All the relevant evidence is incontestable. But for someone to determine if all of this is real depends on sitting down and going through all of this, and it takes a bit of time and effort.

What I say to them to short circuit this process is "you don't have to worry about this, we did the work and you can check it if you want" and we have had people who have done that, including [University of Minnesota's Dr.] Kirk Allison, and others. But if they don't have the time to do that, there are three things that are clear, simple, and obvious. One is that the Falun Gong are being persecuted, the second is that the source of the majority of all organs in China is prisoners.

ET: And how do you know that?

DM: Because there is no system of organ donation in China. And also we have the deputy minister of health of the government of China, Huang Jiefu, who makes a statement in a conference in China, and this is in our report, that apart from a small portion of traffic victims, most of the organs from cadavers are from executed prisoners. He also goes on to say that under the table business has to be banned.

And the third incontestable point is that the precautions that should be in place to prevent this type of practice are not in place, not in China, nor around the rest of the world.

ET: If the situation of organ harvesting does indeed not exist, would it be possible for the government of China to step forward and say, "here is the evidence, this phenomenon does not exist"?

DM: Well sure, they would presumably know where the organs come from. They would have a far better likelihood of explaining the source than we would, and it's one of the strange things, although I've seen many Chinese government responses to our report, none of them touches that issue. They never say, "The organs do not come from Falun Gong, they come from somewhere else". They never say that. That would be the simple and obvious way to refute the report, if indeed the report is refutable.

The sheer feebleness and silliness of the Chinese government's response to our report does nothing to undercut our convictions that our conclusions are true and in fact does reinforce them.

ET: I've also read that this report is somehow anti-China or insulting to the Chinese people, how would you respond to that?

DM: Well, what is China? China is its people and China is its territory, but primarily China is its people. It's certainly not insulting to the people of China. Quite the contrary, the people of China are the victims. It would be insulting to the Chinese people to ignore their victimization. It is, of course, critical of the Chinese Communist Party, but the Communist party is not China. The communist party is a government that rules by force, is not elected, does not represent the people of China, and violates human rights. This is a communist tactic, to identify the communist party with China itself. The Communist party is very different from China. Because it does not represent China, It only represents itself.

ET: What has been the response of the medical community regarding this issue.

DM: Well the medical community on the whole is horrified, because it is an abuse of their profession. The transplantation society has issued an ethical statement basically saying, no transplants from prisoners period. They do, though, seem to put the onus on anybody claiming that there is harvesting from prisoners. In other words they want proof that this is happening before they cease contact, where it should be the other way around. As long as there is suspicion or reason to suspect that there is this organ harvesting, there should be no contact. And since the reality is that virtually all organ harvesting in China comes from prisoners, then there should be no contact with China, that should be the ethical principal. No contact in the transplantation area with China. And that is not the current stance.

With the World Medical Association, I know that they are actively considering expelling China from the WMA, its on the agenda for the meeting coming up in October, in Copenhagen, but they have not expelled China yet and I think they should have, but at least they are actively considering it.

I have been going to a lot of hospitals at the invitation of doctors who are very concerned. I've spoken at hospitals in Montreal, Israel, Belgium, in Mumbai and here as well, so we are getting a fair amount of medical concern, but I think there could be more.

ET: Is your investigation continuing? And is there going to be a third revision to the report?

DM: Well yes it is continuing because we continue to get more evidence. So we are talking about a third version. But my view is that we should do the third version in a book form. The report is geared more toward parliamentarians, government officials, and politicians and there is a real pressure to keep it very short. I thought it would be useful to have a version that deals with the issue in a more expansive form. One that tries to answer all the questions rather than trying to just get people's attention who don't have a lot of time. And it should also be more accessible to the general public and the general reader than our current report is.

ET: When the first evidence of organ harvesting came to light. The U.S. Embassy in China took a tour of the "scene of the crime" in a hospital in Sujiatun and found nothing suspicious and this piece of evidence has been frequently used to discredit the entire report. How do you respond to that?

DM: Well the first reaction by the Chinese government came out the very same day as our report did. And their response was that it was all untrue, when they obviously could not have even read it. Their second reaction was after they read it and all they had to say was that there were two errors in the report, that we got two names of cities wrong in two provinces, which we corrected, and it has nothing to do with the allegation. What happens is people pick up on silly little things because they just don't want to deal with it. Obviously the government of China does not want to deal with it. And others as well, for other reasons. There is a lot of economic interest in China. If you accept our report as true, it is hard to sit back and do nothing, and so many people find an easy excuse to do nothing.

Our report is not about Sujiatun, it's about what is happening in China generally. The reason Sujiatun arises is because the ex-wife of a surgeon with the pseudonym "Annie" said that her husband had been harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners from 2001 to 2003. Now when someone goes there in 2006, almost three years later, the fact that they don't see anything does not mean anything. Indeed, even if they were to go there a week later or even an hour later, the operating room would be cleaned up and I would not expect anybody to find anything there, especially after its in the papers and the Chinese government has a chance to put on a show.

There is another thing to mention about Sujiatun, There was an unfortunate mix up that we write about in our second report, we have an appendix about it. There was a sequence of stories in the Epoch Times, I think on 3-16 and 3-23 of 2006. The 3-16 story interviewed an individual with the pseudonym of "Peter", who talked about a detention area in Sujiatun where Falun Gong practitioners where being held, and he said that their organs were being harvested and he went on to describe the detention area…a three meter tall brick wall with barbed wire on top with a steel door and so on.

In the second week there was a follow up story, an interview with "Annie," who talks about her husband doing operations in a hospital in Sujiatun. Now you can read the stories and see that although "Peter" and "Annie" are talking about two different facilities, the reporter in the second story assimilates the two, and although "Annie" is talking just about the hospital, the questions are being asked about the concentration camp, and Annie did not correct the questions, she just answered the questions, so these questions in the interview had the assumption built into them that the facility that "Annie" was talking about was the same facility that "Peter" was talking about. And although they are both talking about organ harvesting, they are talking about two different places.

Then the U.S. Consulate goes to the hospital and they can see that there is no wall around the hospital and they can say "not as described," anybody can see that. But if someone wanted to deal with this issue seriously I think they could pierce through this. In any case this confusion caused a problem, and created an easy way out for anyone who did not want to deal with this issue.

ET: You have recently returned from a trip to Israel, and before you returned I heard it reported that you made a request to the Israeli ministry of foreign affairs to expel the first secretary of the Chinese embassy for incitement of genocide, is that correct?

DM: I raised this issue at a meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The reason this came about was created by a strange sequence of events. The Chinese embassy had heard about this event held at an Israeli hospital and asked the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry to ask the hospital to cancel it, which they did not. They also asked the Foreign Affairs Ministry to ask the hospital to cancel the invitation to me, which again, they did not. Finally they asked the Israeli Foreign Affairs Ministry to cancel the invitation to a Falun Gong practitioner, who was to sit on the panel, which in this case, they did.

When the Chinese embassy found out that the event was continuing and that I was speaking, they asked to come to reply, and they did, and I have no problem with that, and they attacked me and again I have no problem with that, but they also attacked the Falun Gong, spewing out this anti Falun Gong propaganda that we see all the time, "Falun Gong is an evil cult," Falun Gong is responsible for mass killings, and so on. To me, this is incitement to hatred, which is in turn leading to these killings of the Falun Gong.

We have identified by name, 3000 different individuals who have been killed by torture, in addition to the tens of thousands, by our estimation who have been killed due to organ harvesting, all because they are Falun Gong. So in my view this is genocide and this type of propaganda is the incitement to genocide. So I have reason to believe that Israel has good reason to be displeased with this individual and that he should be expelled.

ET: You mentioned earlier some recommendations that the U.S. State Department could make to travelers to China for medical transplant, could you explain that?

DM: The U.S. State Department has a travel advisory for China, You can go to its website and see it. It talks about a wide variety of things to alert travelers going to China. But when it comes to Organ Harvesting, nothing—nothing is there, and it should be there. I would say there should be a link to our report. I would say there should be a statement that organs are coming from Falun Gong practitioners, or at least a statement that organs are coming from prisoners and that prisoners are non-consenting. If you get an organ transplant in China, someone is being killed. I think there should be warning like that.

ET: Speaking of consent, is there such a thing as consent for organ donation from a prisoner?

DM: No and this is something that the Transplantation Society has been very good at. They have put out a statement saying that there is no such thing as meaningful consent from a prisoner. Because of the restrictions of liberty in a prison environment, it is impossible to ascertain whether prisoners are truly free to make independent decisions, and thus an autonomous and informed consent for donation cannot be obtained. Therefore the Transplantation Society is opposed to any use of organs from executed prisoners. Obviously if you are dealing with Falun Gong practitioners, there is no consent, but whether it is a Falun Gong practitioner held prisoner or a death row inmate, it is unethical to take organs from either one of them.

ET: My final question, are you advocating a boycott of the Beijing games?

DM: Well what I'm advocating is an end to organ harvesting in China from Falun Gong practitioners. Now, I'm prepared to support any effort that would help that. If a boycott of the Olympic Games is used for that purpose, to advocate an end to this practice, I would say yes. To me it is inconsistent to the Olympic spirit to ignore this. There are different ways the Olympic games can be used to put the issue across, I would like to see the Olympic committee… well, as you know, there are a number of people in China who cannot participate in the Olympic games in any way, including Falun Gong practitioners. They can't compete, they can't coach, they can't attend, they can't even be in the neighborhood. I think the Olympic committee should be protesting that.

The Olympic games represent a form of contact with China, I think that we should take advantage of that contact to raise this issue, no matter who is being contacted and no matter in what context. This is happening because the people in China and the government of China are allowing it to happen, and if there is enough protest from enough people, both in and outside of China, it'll stop. The Olympic Games represent a way to get the message in or out—that this is happening. I think a boycott is one way of doing this.

ET: Thank you very much.

Countdown to Olympics Fails to Stop Killing in China

Twenty Falun Gong adherents reported dead in June
(8/7/2007 2:22)

NEW YORK(FDI) – During the month of June the Falun Dafa Information Center has recorded the deaths of 20 Falun Gong adherents as a result of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of the practice. Some of the deaths took place as early as January 2007 but only became known in June due to the difficulties and dangers involved in obtaining such sensitive information from inside China.

The deaths took place across ten provinces and cities throughout China, with over three quarters of them occurring in the northeastern part of the country. Fourteen of those killed were women, who also account for 70 percent of the overall confirmed death toll, which now stands at 3,073. Estimates place the actual death toll at over ten times this figure, as many thousands remain missing and earlier killings continue to be uncovered.

Of the deaths reported in June, eight of the victims were over 50. The youngest, Liu Liang from Shandong province’s Jiaozhou city, was 24 years old.

According to several media reports, including a 2005 article by Intelligence Online, Deputy Public Security Minister Liu Jing has been assigned the responsibility of eradicating Falun Gong before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (news) The orders presumably came from top leaders, like politburo member Luo Gan, who remain committed to Jiang Zemin’s anti-Falun Gong policy. Sources in China corroborate these reports, saying Liu has issued orders to police departments throughout the country, demanding concerted efforts to achieve the goal of making Falun Gong disappear before the Summer Games almost exactly a year away.

Among the 20 death cases recorded in June is Wang Minli; back in 2003 United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture Theo van Boven had expressed concern over her arrest and torture. In a 2006 document authored by his successor, Special Rapporteur Manfred Nowak, 66 percent of the reported victims of torture in custody were Falun Gong practitioners.

Common torture methods include shocks administered by electric batons, beatings, sexual torture including rape, hanging by handcuffs from the ceilings, being tied spread eagle for days, and sleep deprivation for weeks, along with forced labor of as many as 20 hours a day and brainwashing sessions known euphemistically as “re-education.” All are for the purpose of forcing Falun Gong adherents to renounce their belief and disclose information about other practitioners.

Moreover, there is evidence of large-scale harvesting of kidneys, hearts, livers and other body parts from Falun Gong practitioners; the organs are then sold for profit, as documented in the independent Kilgour-Matas report (link).

“Today, Falun Gong adherents continue to suffer extreme human rights abuses by the Chinese regime. It is not over and it is crucial that western media continue to shine light on these atrocities,” says Joel Chipkar, Canadian spokesperson for the Falun Dafa Information Center.

“Every report published puts pressure on the regime to stop killing for fear of being held responsible. Otherwise, our silence inevitably aids in the deaths of more human beings.”

Below are a few of the death cases compiled during the month of June:

Teacher Dies from Torture and Neglect


Wei Fengju before being tortured (top), and on July 11, 2007, the day before she passed away (above).
Wei Fengju was a well-respected teacher at Dongfeng County’s No. 4 Middle School in Jilin province. She started practicing Falun Gong in the late 1990s. On December 30, 1999, five months after the communist regime began persecuting Falun Gong, she went to Beijing to petition to Chinese government to reverse its policy. She was illegally sentenced to the First Division of the Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp for a year where she was forced to work for 17 to 20 hours a day and was shocked with electric batons on her breasts and mouth causing her mouth to become disfigured.

After being released in March 2001, police continued to harass her and her school refused to reinstate her. Her husband divorced her, leaving the unemployed Wei alone to care for their 15-year-old son. In January 2002, Wei was arbitrarily arrested again and sent to Changchun city’s Heizuizi Forced Labor Camp for over three years.

In October 2005, she was again sent to Heizuizi, this time for one and a half years. While she was detained, her mother passed away, but Wei was not allowed to attend the funeral. The camp also never allowed her 70-year-old father to visit her.

After the prolonged detention, Wei began feeling severe pain in her abdomen and could not eat. She asked to see a doctor, but her request was denied and labor camp officials neglected her. She was released on April 30, 2007, extremely emaciated. Her condition rapidly deteriorated and blood began appearing in her urine. She died at 4:15 p.m. on July 12, 2007, at the age of 50.

Officials responsible for Ms. Wei’s death:

Zhang Baocheng, the local political-legal committee secretary: 86-437-6216968, 86-437-6210265
Zhang Zhiting, Dongfeng Police director: 86-437-6222794, 86-13904375928 (Cell)
Pan Dong, Dongfeng County Police Deputy director: 86-437-6224393, 86-13504375166 (Cell)
Li Wensheng, director of the Dongfeng 610 Office: 86-13504372728 (Cell)
Gu Jiahai, National Security Team Chief: 86-13904371222 (Cell), 86-437-6215022

Woman Dies after Family Told She Would Not be Released before the Olympics

Wang Minli, 43, was the former secretary of the Communist Youth League at the Jilin City Fur Factory in Jilin province. She had been arrested and persecuted many times since 1999. A United Nations Special Rapporteur had previously called for her rescue on May 21, 2003.

On March 15, 2007, Wang was arrested again by a group of officers from the National Security Division at Changyi District Police Department led by Du Xingze. They detained her at the Yueshan Road Police Dog Training Base in Jilin city where National Security agents beat her. They poured mustard oil in her eyes, causing blindness in one eye, and broke one of her legs by beating her with wooden sticks.

Her family went to the National Security Division following her arrest to inquire about her condition. The officials said they would neither sentence her nor would they release her until after the 2008 Olympic Games. Wang suddenly died at 2:00 p.m. on June 19, 2007.

58-year-old Woman Dies after Two Weeks in Custody

Falun Gong practitioner Fu Guiju, 58, died on June 18, 2007. She was a retiree from the Zhangjiakou city Petroleum Corporation in Hebei province. For eight years she and her husband suffered from beatings and persecution in and out of detention centers.

On May 12, 2007, when Fu was reading a Falun Gong book inside the home of an elderly fellow practitioner, authorities suddenly arrived and seized them. Fu was locked up at the Shisanli Detention Center in Zhangjiakou city. She was tortured severely until her life was in danger.

On May 21, 2007, her family members were allowed to take her home. Before she was able to recover, however, Meng Gang, Guo Long and other officers from the Qiaoxi District Police Department kidnapped her from her home on the morning of June 4. On June 19, 2007, the South Mingde Police Station notified her family that Fu had died the previous day.

According to insiders, the Shisanli Detention Center officials ordered Fu to be force-fed. This torture method involves prison guards or inmates inserting a hard plastic tube through the nose or the mouth, down the throat, and into the stomach. Then various solutions ranging from diluted porridge to salt water to human urine and feces are poured down the tube and into either the stomach or the lungs, depending on how the tube is inserted. Approximately ten percent of all recorded deaths of Falun Gong practitioners from torture in custody have come as a result of this torture method. While details remain incomplete, it appears that this was the cause of Fu’s death as well.

Responsible individuals and organizations:
Zhangjiakou City Police Department: 86-313-8681234, 86-313-8688888
Command Center: 86-313-8682110
Zhangjiakou City Qiaoxi Police Station head: Zhang Yifan
Security Division head, Zhong Senlin: 86-313-8687325 (Cell)
Procuratorate head in the Qiaoxi district, Zhangjiakou city, Zhang Liang: 86-13703136881 (Cell), 86-313-8038126 (Office), 86-313-4081158 (Home)
South Mingde Police Station: 86-313-8072502 (head Meng Gang; deputy head Guo Long)
Xinhua Street Police Station: 86-313-8032977
Zhangjiakou City Detention Center head, Cui Weidong: 86-313-4021947

# # #

NEWS - Aug. 07, 2007
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net

China: Protests and Beijing's Olympic Conundrum


Stratfor: August 07, 2007 17 38 GMT

Summary

A brief demonstration by representatives of Reporters Without Borders in Beijing on Aug. 6 gave shape to the Chinese government's concerns a year before the 2008 Summer Olympics. Chinese officials, security forces and researchers have been dreading the start of high-profile protests and demonstrations in the run-up to the Olympics. Numerous interest groups see the games as a perfect time to gain publicity and leverage in pressing their causes to, or against, the Chinese government. As Beijing scrambles to get a grip on just how big the problem could get, China's leaders are finding their options are extremely limited.

Analysis

Four representatives of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) staged a brief demonstration and an unauthorized press conference in Beijing on Aug. 6 outside the offices of the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Olympic Games, coinciding with the visit of International Olympic Committee President Jacques Rogge to the Chinese capital. The four wore T-shirts depicting the Olympic rings made out of handcuffs, accused Beijing of reneging on promises about media freedom and called on Beijing to free detained journalists, activists and Internet users. The RSF representatives returned to their hotel after the event, but journalists covering the press conference, held on a pedestrian overpass, were detained for some two hours and questioned in a nearby parking lot before being released.

For Beijing, this is just the sort of demonstration and public attention it is working so hard to avoid. The Chinese government has taken several preventative measures to try to improve its image in the years leading up to the Olympics. These have included steps such as promising freer media access, curtailing donations of executed prisoners' organs, and working behind the scenes with foreign academics, researchers, government officials and corporations to gain public support for China and help manage its image. But the Chinese government is far from complying with all its detractors' demands, and has little interest in following many of their demands anyway.

For the Communist Party of China (CPC), many of the demands are seen as blatant attempts to undermine CPC rule (quite a few actually are). Beijing often feels it needs more time and a gradual approach in order to manage the domestic repercussions of change, even regarding the demands it is willing to implement (or interested in implementing). With Beijing's unwillingness or inability to meet all the demands from various nongovernmental organizations and interest groups, China's government and security forces are looking for other ways to mitigate the impact of protests and demonstrations.

Though Beijing repeatedly has warned that potential militant acts by Xinjiang separatists are a major threat to the Olympics -- and justification for a massive increase in security including the use of People's Liberation Army (PLA) troops to secure Beijing and surrounding areas and other Olympic venues -- one of the government's biggest fears long has been the ability of various groups (ranging from Amnesty International to the Falun Gong to Taiwanese intelligence) to disrupt the games or shift international attention away from the Olympics to China's political and social system. Officials particularly fear the self-immolation of a Falun Gong protester during the Olympics, for example.

But this public relations concern is compounded by a deeper fear: the spread of anti-government ideas and activities to the Chinese themselves. Beijing is struggling with an uncontrolled (and potentially uncontrollable) economy. Social pressures are building, expectations are rising and moves to streamline the economy and regain central guidance if not control over economic and social policies are stirring opposition from provincial and local leaders, who see their own area's interests as much more significant and relevant. Though there is an expectation that China's masses will be burning with nationalism during the Olympics (an assumption yet to be proven), the CPC fears "foreign elements" will use the Olympics to stir anti-government protesters in China, or will passively inspire Chinese groups to stage demonstrations or protests themselves.

But the problem for China's leaders is that no matter how big their concern, they have few viable options to deal with the threat. Beijing's first step is to try to limit the number of potentially disruptive individuals entering China. This will include increased scrutiny of visas and changed visa fees -- as well as identification of journalists who might write negative reports on Chinese governmental or social policies during the Olympics and of groups or group members who might plan protests or other disruptions of the Olympics. Beijing is seeking foreign research assistance in compiling the list of potential agitators, but the effort will fall far short of identifying everyone. Even when it does identify someone, blocking access to China simply gives the activist more proof that Beijing is a repressive regime.

And this is the catch-22 for China's leaders. Blocking entry to China, preventing demonstrations, or arresting protesters and activists all bolster the activists' claims against the Chinese government, giving them plenty of media attention and pictures of Chinese security forces dragging them away. The training many activists have undergone and the methods they have employed in campaigns around the world mean they are quite skilled at making it extremely difficult for the security forces to hush up or easily remove them from the scene. But if Beijing allows the demonstrations to take place, it risks both the public relations damage and the potential that activists could be inspired by the lack of response -- prompting them to hold even larger and longer rallies. This also could begin attracting Chinese activists, paving the way for another Tiananmen Square -- this time with journalists from the world over in town for the Olympic games.

The RSF press conference was only a small, early taste of what Beijing can expect with increasing frequency and scope in the coming year. And if the government response to this small demonstration is any indication, Chinese officials have yet to find a new way to deal with such incidents that does not put the Chinese government in a bad light or involve taking a big gamble on its own social control.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Gunman Attacks Falun Gong Follower in Vancouver

By Joan Delaney
Epoch Times Victoria Staff
Aug 03, 2007

"A man pointed a gun at my head and shouted in English, 'Don't stay here, go away!'" Raymond Zhang says in a media interview. (The Epoch Times)

It was about 5:30 this morning when Raymond Zhang's meditation in a hut outside the Vancouver Chinese consulate was violently interrupted.

Three men approached on foot and began to tear down signs and a banner from the consulate fence. They then put a gun to Zhang's head, pulled the trigger repeatedly and started to punch him in the face and head.

"The gun was pointed at my left temple," says Zhang. "The guy pulled the trigger constantly and yelled 'Get way from here! Don't stay here!'"

The other two men joined in the assault, kicking holes in the side of the hut and punching and kicking Zhang in the stomach and head. The attack left Zhang, 33, with a fractured bone on the left side of his face, internal bleeding, and bruising.

The men were all Asian, and Falun Dafa Association of Canada (FDAC) spokesperson Sue Zhang says there's no doubt that the "cowardly act" was instigated by the communist regime in Beijing. The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) initiated a crackdown on Falun Gong in 1999, and has since been conducting a large-scale persecution of practitioners in China, says Zhang.

Howard Chow of the Vancouver Police Department says that by the time police reached the protest site the attackers had already fled, and an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

Zhang believes the assault is yet another example of the "long arm of Beijing" reaching into Canada, continuing a pattern of "intimidation and harassment against overseas practitioners."

The attackers broke the door and kicked holes in the outside walls of the hut which is part of the round-the-clock peaceful appeal outside the Chinese consulate. (The Epoch Times)
The attackers broke the door and kicked holes in the outside walls of the hut which is part of the round-the-clock peaceful appeal outside the Chinese consulate. (The Epoch Times)

"This is the Chinese Communist Party's way of expanding the persecution into Canada," she says. "This very violent and physical attack is another attempt to try to remove us from the consulate."

Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners have been holding a round-the-clock peaceful appeal outside the consulate on Granville Street for over six years now, and last August Raymond Zhang was again attacked and punched by Asian thugs, who then fled in an SUV. Other practitioners keeping vigil at the site have had eggs thrown at them from passing cars, and one was sprayed with an unknown liquid.

Across the country, incidents of assault, intimidation and harassment toward Falun Gong practitioners have been reported over the years. These incidents often involve the Chinese embassy and consulates directly, or involve persons in the community directed by the Chinese officials, according to FDAC.

In 2001, Mr. Xueliang Wang was beaten inside the Ottawa embassy for taking a picture of a hate-display against Falun Gong. Rob Anders, MP, was roughed up in the House of Commons by Chinese embassy staff because he wore a t-shirt calling for an end to the persecution in China.

Reports filed at local police stations across the country detail barrages of harassing phone calls and email attacks originating in China to homes of practitioners in Canada. Practitioners say they have also been deprived of their legal rights and benefits, such as refusal or delay on the part of the consulates in issuing visas or renewing passports, and loss of membership in certain overseas Chinese organizations.

In March of this year, Ms. Jiyan Zhang, the wife of a Chinese diplomat in the Chinese embassy in Ottawa, defected and exposed the existence of a political office inside the embassy specifically for spying on and attacking Falun Gong and others considered dissidents in Canada.

"The Chinese Communist Party are thugs—they've proven that over and over again. They have no respect for human life and they believe they can bully people into doing anything," says Brian McAdam, ex-foreign diplomat and Asian organized crime expert.

Falun Gong adherents in Vancouver hold up a sign outside of the Chinese consulate after the attack. (The Epoch Times)
Falun Gong adherents in Vancouver hold up a sign outside of the Chinese consulate after the attack. (The Epoch Times)

McAdam says that with the sort of violence inflicted on Raymond Zhang, it's "crucial" that governments at all levels—particularly the City of Vancouver—provide protection to the Chinese community in Canada.

"There have never been any consequences for the Chinese government's behaviour in Canada," says McAdam. "The incredible thing is the Canadian government hasn't taken a hard stance on their activities, and they have to. They can't allow a foreign government to carry out this kind of intimidation."

Police are probing claims that a Montreal newspaper, Les Presses Chinoises , is inciting hate against Falun Gong in Canada. Despite two Quebec court orders telling them to stop, the newspaper has published four special editions condemning and demonizing the meditation practice.

On a recent visit to Canada, Chen Yonglin, a former diplomat at the Chinese consulate in Sydney, Australia, warned that Chinese spies and front organizations are widespread here, including those targeting groups persecuted by the regime in China.

The consulate appeal site has also earned the disapproval of Vancouver's mayor, Sam Sullivan. In June 2006, Sullivan, announced that the signs on the fence and the hut the practitioners use for shelter from the elements breached a city bylaw and ordered them removed by August 16.

However, the Falun Gong say they were initially given verbal permission by the city to hold the 24/7 vigil, and are seeking a full trial instead of the summary-type process the city wants. A spokesperson from the mayor's office says he can't comment on today's assault since it is under police investigation.

In a press release, FDAC is calling on the Canadian government to demand that the "Chinese consulate officials immediately stop harassing, distributing hatred, and attacking Falun Gong practitioners in Canada, or face expulsion."

Zhang, whose mother and sister have been imprisoned in China because they practice Falun Gong, says he will continue to maintain a presence at the consulate, despite the assault.

"They are still torturing and killing innocent practitioners in China, so I will keep coming until the persecution is over."