Liang Tang 21, is a food science student studying in Cork City University. When he returned to China last June his mother was arrested for distributing copies of The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. Mr Tang has urged Taoiseach Brian Cowen to ask for his mother’s release when he visits China this week.
The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party are an award winning series of articles authored by the Epoch Times that expose the dark past, up to the present of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They expose a series of facts that most ordinary Chinese people have never heard. The Commentaries are illegal in China and distributing them can lead to severe punishment.
Tang Liang's parents were caught by the authorities distributing the Commentaries on June 16th 2008. His mother and father were both arrested but his father has been subsequently released. Both of Mr Tangs parents are Falun Gong practitioners.
Mr Tang explains, "It was on the evening of June 16th 2008. My parents were seen by a plain clothes police officer when they were distributing a DVD of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. They were arrested and detained.
"Since then none of my relatives have seen my mother. My mother's lawyer has seen her once, but now even he is not allowed to see her.
"According to the detention centre staff, my mother has collapsed due to high blood pressure. My family wanted my mother's Attorney to see her at the detention centre but were refused. They don’t allow anyone to see my mother."
Since arriving in Ireland Mr Tang has become aware that the Irish Government has a history of raising individual cases of Falun Gong practitioners who are being persecuted in China.
In 2002 Trinity College student Zhao Ming was released from a labour camp in China and allowed to return to his studies in Ireland. The Irish government, the former President of Ireland Mary Robinson and the provost of Trinity College all raised the issue with the Chinese authorities and eventually won Ming’s release. In 2004 Dun Laoghaire student Liu Feng was released from a labour camp after a similar high profile campaign and he too was allowed to return to Ireland.
Zhao Ming who has finished his degree in Trinity and is now a spokes person for the Irish Falun Gong Association said, “We believe if the Taoiseach intervenes on Aiqin Wang’s behalf the mother can be released and Tang Liang can continue his studies without worrying about his mother."
Distributing the Nine Commentaries
Ming explained why Falun Gong practitioners are distributing the Nine Commentaries when they face the risk of detention and even torture, “Over the years we [Falun Gong practitioners] have been trying to clarify we are not what the communist party said. We have found it difficult to convince the Chinese people because they believe what the CCP said is correct. So we resorted to telling the truth more thoroughly and telling people the real history and nature of the communist party.”
Falun Gong was banned in China in 1999 after its popularity frightened the CCP. At the time one hundred million people in China practiced Falun Gong. Since then the CCP has used all the media in China to demonise the practice.
Ming said, “We are Falun Gong practitioners, the core principles of the practice are Truth, Compassion, Tolerance, we do not accept the persecution but we don’t use any violent methods to try and stop it. So the best way of stopping the persecution is to let people know the true nature of the Communist regime and they will thus not believe them anymore. This series of articles has factually started to dissolve this regime.”
Ming said that he believes the Irish government can successfully win the release of Mr Tang’s mother if the issue is raised to the Chinese Premier.
Ming also said that he hopes the Irish government will raise the issue of organ harvesting of living Falun Gong practitioners with the Chinese premier. To date a number of independent reports have been published on the issue leaving a number of questions that need to be answered by the CCP.
In 2006 and 2007 the UN raised this issue to the CCP and the most basic question is yet to be answered. Why was there a surge in organs available for transplant between 1999 and 2007?
The former member of Canadian government David Kilgour who presented his report on Organ Harvesting to the Irish government in 2006 recently said in a Canadian newspaper called The Diplomat that he believes beyond any doubt that not only did organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners take place in China, it is still occurring today.
Ming who also believes organ harvesting is taking place said, “This should be top of the agenda. It must be stopped.”