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Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bulletin: Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

FALUN GONG NEWS BULLETIN
Monitoring the Falun Gong Human Rights Crisis in China

Center for Investigative Reporting: “Beijing Olympic Chief Linked to Torture”
April 24, 2008 – “The president of Beijing's Olympic Organizing Committee was once found liable for torture in a U.S. federal court, a review of court records by the Center for Investigative Reporting has found.”

“…In an extensive legal opinion, the U.S. District Court in San Francisco determined in 2004 that Liu Qi was responsible for the illegal detention and torture of two Chinese nationals and a sexual assault against a French woman in China….The lawsuit alleged that as mayor, Liu directed security forces to violently crush the Falun Gong. The plaintiffs claimed that Liu’s forces subjected them to severe beatings, sexual abuse and ‘electric shocks through needles placed in [the] body.’”

For more information visit: http://centerforinvestigativereporting.org/node/3625
For a summary of the case and relevant legal documents visit: http://www.cja.org/cases/liuqi.shtml

15-Year-Old Orphaned as Mother Dies in Custody for Practicing Falun Gong
May 8, 2008 – The Falun Dafa Information Center has learned of the death of Falun Dafa practitioner Ms. Zhou Huimin (???), based on reports from her son and corroborated by sources from within China. Ms. Zhou passed away at Qingyang District People’s Hospital in Chengdu city, Sichuan province on March 15, 2008. She was 44 years old.

“Just a few days ago, I turned 15. [Also] just a few days ago, my kind and healthy mother was tortured to death,” wrote Zhou Hanyang, the son of Zhou Huimin, in a letter received by the FDIC last month. “During the 198 days since my mother was arrested, we worried and feared for her day and night. With great sorrow, I remember the days I spent together with my mother and mourn her.”

Full story: http://www.faluninfo.net/displayAnArticle.asp?ID=9521

MSNBC: China’s Organ Harvesting Questioned Again by UN Special Rapporteurs
May 8, 2008 – Two United Nations Special Rapporteurs have reiterated their previous findings on China's organ harvesting. Once again, they requested the Chinese government to fully explain the allegation of taking vital organs from Falun Gong practitioners and the source of organs for the sudden increase in organ transplants that has been going on in China since the year 2000.

Citing recently published 2008 annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteurs, the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FalunHR) applauds the joint request that Ms. Asma Jahangir and Mr. Manfred Nowak, the UN Special Rapporteurs on Freedom of Religion or Belief and on the Question of Torture, sent to the Chinese government.

Full story: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/24516546/

Prisoner of Conscience Cao Dong’s Wife Writes Open Letter Detailing Official Torture, Family Harassment and Lack of Due Process
April 8, 2008 – Yang Xiaojing, the wife of prisoner of conscience Cao Dong, published a letter addressed to the international community. Cao is a Falun Gong practitioner who was sentenced to five years in prison for meeting with European Parliament Vice-President Edward McMillan Scott in Beijing to discuss rights abuses.

“…right after his meeting with Edward McMillan-Scott, [Cao] was arrested and detained in the Beijing Security Bureau Detention Center. He was handcuffed to a chair for more than a month. The cruel torture caused massive hemorrhaging in his stomach,” writes Yang in the letter.

“…As his wife, I started to look for a defense lawyer for him in August, 2007...I consulted lawyer Li Heping. …Lawyer Li Heping was beaten up by police for several hours. All the materials that I gave him were taken away…My home was ransacked. Although the police didn't find any Falun Gong materials, they still took me away to a hotel. They interrogated me…”

Complete text of letter: http://www.faluninfo.net/displayAnArticle.asp?ID=9522

Human Rights Watch Report: Lawyers Who Defend Falun Gong Face Harassment
April 29, 2008 – “Chinese lawyers who take cases seen by the government as politically sensitive or potentially embarrassing face severe abuses ranging from harassment to disbarment and physical assaults,” Human Rights Watch said in a new report. Among the cases highlighted in the report were lawyers such as Gao Zhisheng and Yang Zaixin who had defended Falun Gong practitioners and subsequently faced threats, disbarment, beatings, and/or detention.

“…On October 19, 2005, one day after Gao [Zhisheng] published a scathing open letter to the top state leaders about abuses against religious and Falun Gong practitioners, he received an anonymous threat by phone: ‘We know where you live and we know where your daughter goes to school.’ The next day Gao and his wife verified that their 12-year-old daughter was indeed followed by plainclothes police officers…” (pg. 34)

“…An attorney from impoverished Guangxi province, Yang Zaixin, was dismissed from his law firm in January 2006 after he took a series of sensitive cases, including those of defendants accused of being members of the banned Falun Gong.” (pg 48)

For more information visit: http://www.hrw.org/english/docs/2008/04/28/china18656.htm

USA Today: “In China, a battle over web censorship”; Falun Gong adherents among ‘hacktivists’ cracking ‘Great Firewall’
April 23, 2008 – “If an Internet user in China searches for the word ‘persecution’, he or she is likely to come up with a link to a blank screen that says ‘page cannot be displayed.’”

“…It's a reflection of the stifling, bizarre and sometimes dangerous world of Internet censorship in China….Fighting the censors every step of the way is an army of self-described ‘hacktivists’ such as Bill Xia, a Chinese-born software engineer who lives in North Carolina…Invoking the hit science-fiction movie The Matrix, Xia has compared what he does to giving Chinese Web surfers a ‘red pill’ that lets them see reality for the first time…”

“…Xia admits he had little interest in politics until the Chinese government banned the spiritual group Falun Gong in 1999 and started persecuting its members. Xia is a member of the group.”

Full story: http://www.usatoday.com/printedition/news/20080423/1a_cover23.art.htm


FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER- Contacts: Gail Rachlin 917-757-9780, Levi Browde 646-415-0998, Erping Zhang 646-533-6147, or Joel Chipkar 416-709-8678. Email: contact@faluninfo.net, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/

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