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Saturday, September 29, 2007

China Steps Up Repression as Communist Party Congress Nears

By JBS Staff
Published: 2007-10-01 05:00
New American: Citing the need for political and social stability and security, the Chinese government announced on September 9 a stepped-up crackdown on “criminals” and regime critics.

Public Security Minister Zhou Yongkang was quoted on the government’s official website as telling a meeting of the ministry’s party branch: “All should heavily boost surveillance, prevention, and severely attack hostile forces at home and abroad.” Zhou specified enemies as “ethnic separatists, religious extremists, violent terrorist forces,” and the Falun Gong exercise and meditation movement that China has banned as an “evil cult.”

“Ensuring a harmonious, stable social climate for the opening of the Party’s 17th congress is at present the primary major issue for public security organs across the nation,” Zhou said, referring to the Communist Party Congress, which begins on October 15. The Party Congress meets twice a decade to set policy priorities for the next five years.

Numerous news stories in the Asian and world press have documented the increased incidence of arrests of Chinese citizens for posting remarks critical of government policies and officials on Internet websites, or even sending innocuous satirical e-mail or cellphone text messages that communist censors consider treasonous.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Should the World Boycott the Beijing Olympics?

September 28, 2007 -
f digital: August 3, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, the Ranking Member on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights and Oversight, introduced a House Resolution to boycott the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing.

He explained, "The Olympics represent the noblest elements of humanity and the Chinese regime represents the opposite. The Olympic torch is supposed to be a beacon of light shining upon mankind's higher aspirations in the world and it's a travesty to have that torch hosted by a regime that is the world's worst human rights abuser."

Because she practiced Falun Gong, Ms. Wei Fengju was tortured to near death in the Heizuizi Forced labor Camp. Unable to recover, she passed away on July 11, 2007.

On March 28, 2007, actress Mia Farrow, a good-will ambassador for the United Nations Children's Fund, drew the world's attention to the Beijing Olympics when she and her son Ronan wrote an op-ed article for the Wall Street Journal [1]. In the article, Farrow launched a campaign to label the 2008 Olympics the "Genocide Olympics." Her forthright candor gave voice to the world's awakening shock at Communist China's ever-burgeoning atrocities, its total disregard for human values and its severe human rights violations.

Not only is China bankrolling Darfur's Genocide [2]; for more than eight years it has sought to eliminate Falun Gong, which in 1999 had an estimated 70 million practitioners in China; it has likewise abused democracy activists, lawyers, human rights defenders, religious leaders, journalists, trade unionists, Tibetan Buddhists, Uighurs, ''unofficial'' church members, and political dissidents.

In 2004, Asma Jahangir the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Extrajudicial, Summary or Arbitrary Executions stated, "The Special Rapporteur continues to be alarmed by deaths in custody in China. Reports describe harrowing scenes in which detainees, many of whom are followers of the Falun Gong movement, die as a result of severe ill treatment, neglect or medical inattention. The cruelty and brutality of these alleged acts of torture defy description."

After the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture, Manfred Nowak, completed his fact-finding mission to China he issued a press release on December 2, 2005, detailing some of the alleged torture methods the Communist regime uses on its victims. While too numerous to list, the most abhorrent include electric shock, cigarette burns, guard instructed beatings, submersion in sewage pits, exposure to heat or cold and deprivation of sleep, food or water. Nowak's 2005 report is here.

In March 2006, Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of the victims of alleged torture while in the Chinese government's custody.

When Zhang Xiaohong, 29, died after continuous torture, he weighed only 70 lbs.

The CCP is also known to subject its victims to forced brainwashing, rape while in police custody, and harvesting their organs on call, resulting in their deaths, so that their organs can be perfectly fresh for transplantations in order to make huge profits.

On March 20, 2007, in a more extensive report Nowak confirmed allegations of organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, stating "Organ harvesting has been inflicted on a large number of unwilling Falun Gong practitioners at a wide variety of locations for the purpose of making available organs for transplant operations."

According to Amnesty International, China continually holds thousands of political prisoners without charge or trial and is responsible for over 80 percent of all executions documented in the world.

All of these reports culminated, on August 3, 2007, in Congressman Rohrabacher introducing House Resolution 610 [3], aptly named because the "610 Office" in China is an extra-constitutional agency established by the former leader Jiang Zemin. It was specifically created to persecute Falun Gong and has absolute power over every level of the Communist Party and all political and judiciary systems.

Rohrabacher's H.Res. 610 expresses "the sense of the House of Representatives that the United States Government should take immediate steps to boycott the Summer Olympic Games in Beijing in August 2008 unless the Government of the People's Republic of China stops engaging in serious human rights abuses against its citizens and stops supporting serious human rights abuses by the Governments of Sudan, Burma, and North Korea against their citizens."

Rohrabacher proclaims, "In 1936, Nazi Germany hosted the Olympics giving Hitler a worldwide platform to showcase his fascist propaganda. It was wrong to support the Olympic venue then and it's wrong for the United States to support this prestigious event being held in a similarly fascist regime in 2008."

Communist China lost its bid for the 2000 Olympics because of its horrific human rights violations. Recognizing this concern, the Chinese regime explicitly promised to improve human rights [4] in order to win the 2008 Olympics Games. Its subsequent record belies its empty promise. Human rights in China have not improved; they have grievously deteriorated.

China announced "One World, One Dream" as the slogan for the 2008 Olympics. Do we really dream of a world in which freedom and China's human rights violations coexist?

We urge you to read Congressman Rohrabacher's Resolution and then contact the appropriate officials from your country. Ask them to do their part to end China's crimes against humanity.

Our dream should be a world without mind-boggling atrocities. Let us each do our small part to create that world. (more)

DIT Alleges Skype Redirects Users in China to Censorware Version

BUSINESS WIRE, September 24, 2007-

CARY, N.C.–(BUSINESS WIRE)– DIT (Dynamic Internet Technology Inc) alleges discovery of Skype’s cooperation with internet censorship in China, which DIT believes is an effort to stop the spread of DIT’s popular anti-censorship tool.

Skype (http://www.skype.com), an instant messaging, voice chat and file downloading tool, is very popular in China. On September 13, 2007, DIT established its presence on Skype, so users in China can talk to DIT over Skype to get DynaWeb url and download its popular censorship-busting software, Freegate.

DIT alleges that, on the morning of September 23, the company started to receive reports from concerned users in China that now when they try to download the Skype software, Skype’s website redirects them to Skype’s Chinese partner’s site, http://skype.tom.com, which doles out a modified Chinese version, instead of Skype’s official version as before.

DIT feels that such a version of Skype from a Chinese website is questionable, as some hidden capabilities can be built-in to censor Skype’s usage. In January, 2006, Business Week reported that “TOM and Skype now filter phrases such as “Falun Gong” and “Dalai Lama.” According to DIT, internet freedom activists in China have been warning people about the possibility that Tom.com’s versions have or will have more trojan capability to monitor and report users’ activities to Chinese government.

DIT has confirmed this redirection. DIT believes this move by Skype is the result of Chinese government’s pressure, targeting to curb Freegate’s wildfire-speed adoption in China.

Freegate is part of DynaWeb technologies. DynaWeb enable users to evade Internet censorship and to visit websites that are otherwise blocked. DynaWeb was first launched in March, 2002. It is developed and maintained by volunteers and personal contributions, and has enjoyed great popularity among users in China and Iran, despite Internet restrictions by the governments in these countries.

- Original report from BUSINESS WIRE

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Canada/China Hand in Hand Olympic Countdown

MWC: Letter to the Editor by Clive Ansley, President of CIPFG
Image

While China has recently been the target of severe criticism, not only because of its unsafe exports, but also for its appalling human rights record, I would like to draw your attention to an atrocity still little publicized in this country.

I refer to China's well-hidden eight-year persecution of Falun Gong -- an atrocity unmatched even by the Third Reich of Adolf Hitler. Mia Farrow and others have dubbed the 2008 Beijing Olympics the "Genocide Olympics" because of Beijing's support for the genocide being perpetrated in Darfur by the Government of Sudan. While I do not quarrel with Mia Farrow's stance, the supreme irony is that while she criticizes Beijing for the indirect support of genocide internationally, Beijing has been directly conducting a campaign of genocide against Falun Gong in China for the past eight years.

To date, three independent studies have determined that large numbers of Falun Gong prisoners are kept alive as unwilling organ donors, then killed on demand so that their organs may be harvested for international sale to wealthy patients in need of organ transplants. Killing on demand for organ theft is only one, though admittedly the most horrific, component of the genocide, which has been implemented against Falun Gong practitioners over the past eight years.

A massive propaganda machine supported by Communist Party controlled media, harsh internet censorship, a sham legal system, a network of prison and slave labour camps, abusive psychiatric hospitals, a Gestapo-like agency with unlimited power to oversee the persecution, and huge financial resources have enabled the Beijing Communist regime to continue its persecution unabated. These human rights violations are well documented by Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Human Rights in China, Lawyers' Rights Watch Canada, the UN and others.

A 2006 Amnesty International report raised concerns that, "the official campaign of public vilification of Falun Gong in the official Chinese press has created a climate of hatred against Falun Gong practitioners, which may be encouraging acts of violence against them." This is but one of many eerie parallels to the 1936 Berlin Olympics. It is clear that China has not lived up to its promise to improve human rights when awarded the Olympics in 2001. In fact, the situation is substantially worse today than it was then.

To date, we have failed to persuade the Chinese regime to stop the persecution and free all prisoners of conscience; we therefore wish to focus the international Olympics spotlight on China's own genocide by calling for a boycott of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. We hope that the alternative global human rights torch relay that we launched on August 9 in Athens will provide the international community with the opportunity to join us in this Olympic boycott effort.
(http://www.humanrightstorch.org/)

When the horrors of Auschwitz and Buchenwald were exposed in 1945, decent people everywhere opined that the 1936 Olympics should never have been awarded to Berlin. "If only we had known!", said many. Today, though there has been a regrettable lack of mass publicity to date, the knowledge, the research and the evidence is available. This time the world will not be able to say, "We had no idea that this regime we were showering with glory was contemporaneously implementing genocide and mass murder for the purpose of organ theft."

It is most distressing that Canadian governmental bodies and other organizations are fully supporting the promotion of the 2008 Olympics right here in Canada through a series of cultural performances co-hosted by CCTV, the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) mouthpiece, and the CBC. Previous Olympics devolved into propaganda bonanzas for dictatorial hosts, such as the Nazis in 1936 and the Soviets in 1980, rather than promoting the universal celebration of peaceful competition and sport for people of all colours and creeds in accordance with the Olympic ideal.

Steven Spielberg announced recently that he's considering quitting his advisory role in the Olympics if Beijing doesn't soon address the issue of its support for the Sudanese government.

It's not too late to join the chorus of voices calling for a boycott. Beijing cannot possibly expect to freely continue with rampant political oppression, mass executions, forced abortions, illicit organ harvesting, religious persecution and a slew of other human rights abuses. Perhaps with our combined efforts we can bring the true Olympic spirit to the Chinese people.

Sincerely,

Clive Ansley
CIPFG President
The Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gere in plea to China over human rights

Yahoo News: Richard Gere has called for China to address its human rights record ahead of the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

The Hollywood actor called for a "declaration of truth" about the country's oppression of the Tibetan people and followers of the Falun Gong spiritual movement.

Richard is a long-standing supporter of exiled Tibetan leader the Dalai Lama.

Speaking at the Venice Film Festival, he said of the Beijing Games: "I'm not really calling for a boycott - what I do call for is a declaration of the truth.

"If China wants to be a host of the Olympics they also have to be open enough to discuss what's going on there - the destruction of Tibetan culture, abuse of minorities including the Tibetans and Falun Gong. China has a horrendous human rights situation and it has to be talked about.

"I don't believe in isolating everyone, that's counter-productive and foolish. The fact that the media and the international community is coming to Beijing is important for the evolution of China.

"But you can't participate in the Olympics and not talk about what's going on negatively in China."

The Pretty Woman and American Gigolo star is in Venice to promote new film The Hunting Party.

He plays a TV news reporter who sets out to track down Bosnia's most wanted war criminal.