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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Chinese Consulate Attempts to Influence City Council in Canadian Town

by Joan Delaney
May 29, 2008

Taking part in a Falun Dafa Day parade on May 10 2008, practitioners dressed in white carry wreaths dedicated to the memory of their counterparts who have been killed in the Chinese regime's crackdown on Falun Gong. (Jarrod Hall/The Epoch Times)
Taking part in a Falun Dafa Day parade on May 10 2008, practitioners dressed in white carry wreaths dedicated to the memory of their counterparts who have been killed in the Chinese regime's crackdown on Falun Gong. (Jarrod Hall/The Epoch Times)



The city council of a town on Vancouver Island has, for the first time in several years, failed to approve a proclamation for a meditation group — seemingly at the behest of the Chinese consulate in Vancouver.

As it routinely does each year, the Falun Dafa Association of Canada (FDAC) requested that council proclaim the month of May Falun Dafa Month in Port Alberni.

However this year, after a discussion on human rights in China, the vote split council three to four, with Mayor Ken McRae and two other councilors going on record as supporting human rights in accordance with the council's tradition.

Rather than being accepted, the application was merely received and filed.

A letter from Chinese Consul Yang Qiang, who visited Port Alberni in March, may have dissuaded some of the remaining councilors from endorsing the proclamation.

In the letter dated May 15 2008, Qiang defamed Falun Gong and urged Mayor McRae not to support Falun Dafa Month. Falun Gong is a meditation practice and spiritual discipline that has been brutally suppressed by the Chinese regime since 1999. Qiang wrote that Falun Gong is "a cult against the human race, science and society" that has been "deceiving people by concocting and spreading superstitious fallacies."

"I hope that, in light of the spirit of humanity and the good relations between our two countries, you won't support the Falun Gong's so-called "Falun Dafa Month"… and won't issue a proclamation…."

Mayor McRae says the letter didn't influence him because he's "always in favour of human rights" and Port Alberni has passed the proclamation in the past without any repercussions.

"I had no problem making that decision. I'm not going to let some country — because the consulate writes to me and says they don't want it done — change my mind. It's human rights and human rights is the number one thing in my category, always has been," says McRae.

Councilor Cindy Solda says she didn't vote for the proclamation simply because there was only one week left in May when the application arrived in front of council. The other councilors who abstained did not return calls seeking comment.

Councilor Jack McLeman says the Port Alberni City Council "has received letters from the PRC" other years as well. He says he would have voted to grant the proclamation.

"I don't like being threatened. I don't let people do that to me, I don't care who they are."

Winnipeg-based international human rights lawyer David Matas says the Chinese regime is "abusing its position in Canada" by trying to influence municipal governments.

"This is not the function of a foreign embassy to get involved in local government. As well, the people who voted against the proclamation are basically misinformed because they're relying on what the Chinese government says about the Falun Gong which is inaccurate and they shouldn't make decisions based on misinformation."

Matas adds that in some cases people's moral values "are being compromised by China's economic spread and what we see is a weakening of our commitment to human rights out of economic considerations and from my point of view that's really not appropriate."

According to FDAC, such letters from consulate officials are a common occurrence in Canada and other countries. In 2004 the Chinese consulate in Toronto wrote city councilors pressuring them to oppose a motion for the proclamation of a Falun Dafa Week.

The letter stated: "If passed, the motion will have a very negative effect on our future beneficial exchanges and cooperation."

The Toronto City Council ignored the threat and issued a proclamation, as did Andy Wells, Mayor of the City of St. John's, Newfoundland, in 2001.

Wells had received a letter from Mei Ping, the Chinese Ambassador to Canada at the time, defaming Falun Gong and asking him not to endorse an application for a proclamation.

In his reply, Wells, a member of Amnesty International, told Ping that the regime's "persecution of this innocent group exemplifies your government's moral and ethical bankruptcy.

"Thousands of innocent Falun Gong followers have been incarcerated, tortured, and some have been murdered by your government…. Why do you persecute harmless people? The answer is very simple. Your government has no democratic legitimacy, composed as it is by a self-appointed elite whose power rests on an illegitimate use of violence."

After Stan Bogosian, former mayor of Saratoga, California, issued a proclamation honouring the contributions Falun Gong practitioners had made to the community in 2001, he was asked by officials from the Chinese consulate in San Francisco to rescind the proclamation.

Not only did Bogosian refuse, he held a press conference to expose "this meddling in the affairs of our government," which he said bore an uncanny resemblance to the efforts of the Nazis in the 1930's to persuade the rest of the world that persecution of German citizens was not taking place.

"Today, as was also the case in 1930's Germany, major American corporations have significant investments in China. The temptation is to look the other way, to ignore what is happening because we are fearful of disrupting trade in an emerging market. If there is one lesson we should have learned from the 1930's, turning a blind eye to such events will cost us dearly in the long run," said Bogosian.

There are countless other examples of how Chinese embassy or consulate officials have tried over the years to interfere with Falun Gong practitioners and their activities and events.

According to the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, ways in which the Chinese regime has "mobilized its diplomatic missions abroad to export the persecution of Falun Gong around the world" include:

•Pressuring government officials and the public to withdraw their support for Falun Gong

•Refusing to renew passports or perform routine services for those who practice Falun Gong

•Supplying anti-Falun Gong propaganda to Canadian media

•Compiling and maintaining a blacklist of Canadian Falun Gong practitioners

•Sending hate-inciting materials to all levels of the Canadian government

•Inciting hatred in Chinese Canadian communities

•Physical assault

•Attempting to silence criticism of China's human rights abuses against Falun Gong practitioners

FDAC is still hoping that Port Alberni will grant the proclamation says spokesperson Marie Beaulieu, despite the fact that the month of May is almost over.

"It's not too late for the City of Port Alberni to reconsider awarding the proclamation for Falun Dafa Month. Whether it's close to the end of May or not is irrelevant — what really matters is the principle.

Reconsider Falun Dafa Month in Port Alberni


Westcoaster.ca (Editor’s note: The following is an open letter to Port Alberni’s mayor and council following Monday night’s regular meeting.)

I learned from reading the Westcoaster.ca this morning that the City of Alberni has refused to award a proclamation honouring ‘May as Falun Dafa month’ after receiving a visit from the Chinese consulate in March along with a letter urging the council not to issue the proclamation.

This is very distressing as Port Alberni has signed proclamations for the past several years.

Unfortunately, it is common knowledge that the Chinese Consulate carries their hatred for the quasi-religious Falun Gong group in their mission abroad in the form of propaganda.

Perpetual harassment in the Falun Gong activities has become 'business as usual' and the Beijing bosses expect all Canadian officials to toe the harsh party line.

In a normal situation, these communist officials should be expelled for abusing their political power and going beyond their mandate by harassing Canadians in their own country. Openly reminding them of these factors sounds like the right thing to do.

The propaganda phase of the regime’s war began in mid-1999 against a then estimated 70-100 million Falun Gong practitioners across China. The party-state media demonized, vilified and dehumanized them in a manner somewhat similar to that used by the government of Rwanda against its Tutsi community prior to the genocide there in April-July, 1994. Both nationals and some outside China were thus persuaded to think of the community as disruptive to social harmony and even somehow less than human. This is called the Big Lie tactic.

It's not too late for the City of Port Alberni to reconsider awarding the Proclamation for Falun Dafa Month.

Whether it's close to the end of May or not is irrelevant. But what really matters is the principle.

Marie Beaulieu
Falun Dafa Association - BC Chapter

Naked photos? Outrageous! Naked dead bodies? Who cares?

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The Enquirer: How do you mend a broken heart? Call 1-800-CHINA. According to an investigation by Canada's former secretary of state, China is the Wal-Mart of warm body parts.

"We have fresh corneas," a Chinese transplant surgeon told investigators. "Just taken from bodies."

Another doctor promised beating hearts from live bodies. The price list: kidney, $62,000; liver, $98,000; kidney-pancreas, $150,000; lung, $150,000; heart, $130,000; cornea, $30,000.

A surgeon promised to obtain blood tests to match organs: "They will find a way. What do you worry about? These kinds of things should not be of any concern to you. They have their procedures."

He was asked, "Does the person know that his organ will be removed?"

"No, he doesn't," the surgeon replied.

Another question: "... And it was from healthy Falun Gong practitioners?"

"Correct. We would choose the good ones because we assure the quality in our operation."

Falun Gong, also called "Chinese yoga," is an Eastern religion involving healthy Tai Chi-style exercises and tolerance, compassion and truthfulness. It became so popular, the Chinese Communists declared war on it in 1999, rounding up thousands of religious prisoners.

"We believe that there has been and continues today to be large-scale organ seizures from unwilling Falun Gong practitioners," said the 2006 report by Canada's former Secretary of State David Kilgour and human rights lawyer David Matas.

It quoted a woman who said her husband removed corneas from at least 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners, who were murdered for organ harvesting, then cremated.

Recent reports by human rights groups describe torture, drug experiments, psychiatric detention and executions for body parts. They say half of China's organ donors are unaccounted for.

"We have to ask where this organ or body is coming from," said Dr. Wenyi Wang of New York.

She was in town last week for a discussion of "Bodies ... The Exhibition" at the Cincinnati Museum Center, which displays plastinated cadavers. All are Chinese. Most are young men. None gave consent. They were "unclaimed," according to Museum Center officials.

Wang says they may be Falun Gong believers. "Many of their bodies are unidentified because they didn't give up their names (when arrested), to protect their families," she said.

Wang, a human rights protester and surgical pathologist, was part of a panel discussion about the exhibit May 22 at the Freedom Center, focusing on religion.

"The body is entitled to reverence and respect, even after death," said Rabbi Gerry Walters of Shalom Temple. Using bodies to make money is irreverent, undignified, "even shameful," he said. "You should ask yourself as I did, would you want your loved ones put on display like this and stared at by thousands of people?"

The Rev. Rob Jack of Mount St. Mary's Seminary said Catholics agree. "We are much more than merely flesh and blood. There is something transcendent in us, both living and dead." But "cognitive dissonance" keeps people from realizing the moral implications, he said. "If it's at the Museum Center, we think it must be OK."

Wang said the exhibit defiles 5,000 years of Chinese belief that the body is a gift from heaven.

But some people don't care. They don't want to hear about religion. They don't want morals to interfere with their morbid curiosity. They don't want any ethics broccoli with their cheeseburger entertainment.

As I listened to the discussion, I wondered how we got here - with posters, billboards and vivid color ads of desecrated corpses all over town. We can't even go grocery shopping without being stared at by some poor Chinese man who has been sliced apart for our viewing pleasure.

A few have protested. But the same Cincinnati that famously popped a vein over photos of naked perverts and "artwork" at the county morgue has hardly twitched an eyebrow over a parade of naked corpses.

It must be the 11th Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Ask Inconvenient Moral Questions.

But here's one anyway, from the Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Parishioners in China. It fits "Bodies ... The Exhibition" like a pair of rubber gloves:

"The allegations here are so shocking that they are almost impossible to believe. The allegations, if true, would represent a grotesque form of evil which, despite all the depravations humanity has seen, would be new to this planet. The very horror makes us reel back in disbelief. But that disbelief does not mean that the allegations are untrue."

Or, as they say in China, "These kinds of things should not be of any concern to you."

Monday, May 26, 2008

[Video] Human Rights Torch arrives in Vancouver

HRTR via Global TV BC: May 25, 2008

Sun, May 25 Activitists rally in Vancouver to draw attention to human Rights


http://www.youmaker.com/

From: http://www.canada.com/globaltv/bc/video/index.html

Rights torch stops in Van


Metro: Protesters call for end to alleged abuses in China
BY KRISTEN THOMPSON
May 26, 2008 02:25

The Olympic Torch might not have stopped in Vancouver on its way to Beijing, but yesterday another flame, the Human Rights Torch, touched down in the city.


It was welcomed by around 100 protesters outside the Vancouver Art Gallery calling for an end to alleged human rights abuses in China before the Beijing Games in August.


Initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of the Falun Gong, the torch was lit in Greece in August, and will have visited 150 cities when it makes its final stop in Hong Kong on July 20.


Apaak Clement, president of Canadian Students For Darfur and one of 15 speakers at the event, said the campaign isn’t against the people of China.


“This is supporting the people,” he said.


Sue Zhang, an organizer of the event, said China was awarded the Olympics on the condition it improve its human rights record.


“We are not against the Olympics. We are happy that China is able to host them. But … it’s more than sport. There is a spirit behind it,” she said.


“The Olympic charter is to encourage and promote the peace and dignity of all different nations and people.”
-kristen.thompson@metronews.ca

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Global Human Rights Torch Relay visits Vancouver as last North American stop

May 25, 2008

CP: VANCOUVER — The Global Human Rights Torch Relay made a stop in Vancouver on Sunday.

The visit is part of a campaign to highlight China's record on human rights prior to the start of the Olympic Games in Beijing in August.

Several politicians and human rights lawyers spoke out against the Games being held in China, which they say has an appalling human rights record.

Winnipeg-based lawyer David Matas and Vancouver's Clive Ansley alleged China has been harvesting organs for transplant from followers of the banned Falun Gong, an accusation that China denies.

About 200 people watched a white-clad woman carry the torch into the Vancouver Art Gallery.

The relay started in Athens last August.

When it wraps up July 20 in Hong Kong, it will have been through 40 countries and an estimated 150 cities.

Vancouver is the last of a dozen Canadian cities the torch has visited prior to its departure for Malaysia.

Form there it goes to Taiwan, Japan, Korea and Macau before arriving in Hong Kong.

It wasn't the only rally concerned with the Olympic Games in Vancouver this weekend.

On Saturday, a rally was held on the city's East Side calling for greater social legacy from the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games.

Activist Am Johal called for increases in social housing and for the more government involvement in stopping evictions of tenants by landlords looking to cash in on the hot Olympic accommodation market.

When the relay visited Parliament Hill in Ottawa May 14, the protesters found a reception they weren't expecting.

They ran right into the middle of scores of Chinese tourists.

The reaction of Chinese tourists to the Parliament Hill protest was mixed. Some showed passive interest in placards declaring human-rights abuses, while others ran away when protesters tried to hand them information pamphlets.

One did accept a brochure, took a look at it and muttered "garbage" in Chinese as he walked away.

The relay group has condemned Beijing's crackdown in Tibet, the alleged arrests of nearly 2,000 Falun Gong followers, and it support of the governments in Burma, Darfur, North Korea and Zimbabwe.

It also claims persecution of Christians, lawyers, reporters and "all who have suffered as a result of Beijing's pre-Olympics whitewash."

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Chinese Consul General Boasts of Organizing Violent Mob against Falun Gong in New York

NEWS - May 23, 2008 Falun Dafa Information Center [ http://www.faluninfo.net/ ]

Chinese Consul General Boasts of Organizing Violent Mob against Falun Gong in New York

Assailants Arrested as Mob Surrounds, Assaults Falun Gong

NEW YORK – The Falun Dafa Information Center has obtained a recorded phone conversation with New York City’s Chinese Consul General, Mr. Peng Keyu, in which he confirms his role in organizing a mob of several-hundred Chinese immigrants to assail Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing, New York, over the past four days.

The recording was made on Thursday May 22 by an undercover investigator and lasts for 5 minutes and 7 seconds. During the conversation, Peng appears to boast of his involvement, saying “Oh indeed, we have done it.”

“They [overseas Chinese community leaders] came over after they fought with Falun Gong and I shook hands with them one by one and thanked them.”
-- Keyu Peng, New York Consul General for the People’s Republic of China
Consul General Peng continues, offering some details of the event: “I went there [the site in Flushing where the mob was harassing Falun Gong practitioners] the day before yesterday, and also three days ago, because we have to be very careful with this kind of thing!,” Peng told the investigator, whom he apparently believed to be an admirer. “Otherwise, people will say the Chinese consulate is behind it, agitating people. Some [Chinese community leaders] were among the crowd and they talked to me afterwards... Because I showed up at the scene, everyone was very excited.”

During the four days of harassment and violence, several adherents of Falun Gong, including U.S. and Canadian citizens were physically assaulted by the pro-communist crowds. Others received direct threats on their lives. (news) At least two arrests have been made by Queens police, who also arranged a police van to safely transport Falun Gong adherents from the area on Wednesday for fear they would be followed by members of the mob.

“We were surrounded by hundreds of people yelling and cursing at us, and even threatening to kill us because we ‘are Falun Gong’” said Scott Chinn, a Falun Gong practitioner and New York City resident who witnessed the scene on Tuesday.

Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson, Ms. Gail Rachlin says the actions of the mob constitute a hate crime. “In this country, when you see a mob like that attacking a group, beating people and saying things like ‘we’ll kill you Falun Gong,’ it’s a hate crime. The fact that it’s occurring openly on the streets of New York City and instigated by a foreign Communist government is outrageous.”

During the recorded conversation, Consul General Peng described the Consulate’s influence with Chinese Community leaders and its frequent use of that influence to attack Falun Gong on U.S. soil. “I have done it very frequently…I would say I have kept a very good relationship with them [Chinese community leaders]... I pay them personal visits frequently... For example, they came over after they fought with Falun Gong and I shook hands with them one by one and thanked them.”

Since the Chinese Communist regime banned Falun Gong in China and launched a campaign to “eradicate” the traditional Chinese practice in 1999, Falun Gong adherents in the U.S. and other countries have reported dozens of incidents of harassment, intimidation or assault at the hands of Chinese nationals believed to be hired or encouraged by local Chinese consulate officials to attack Falun Gong.

Similar mobs have appeared alongside human rights rallies in the U.S. in recent months.

This most recent violence is part of a larger pattern of violence perpetrated against Falun Gong activists by Chinese agents in the United States.

In February 2006, Mr. Yuan Li, a computer engineer actively involved in Falun Gong human rights advocacy, was assaulted at his suburban Atlanta home. The assailants forced their way into his home, wrapped Li in a blanket, beat him about the head and face, and left him bloody and nearly unconscious in his living room. The assailants took a computer and some files, but no valuables were stolen. (news)

In 2003 the U.S. Congress passed House Congressional Resolution 304, stating, “over the past 5 years China's diplomatic corps has been actively involved in harassing and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in the United States.” In 2002, about 50 Falun Gong followers filed a lawsuit in the D.C. district court against two ministries of the People’s Republic of China government, alleging a systematic campaign of criminal activities designed to intimidate, harass, injure, limit, and terrorize U.S. citizens and residents who practice Falun Gong. (news)

The Falun Dafa Information Center is calling upon federal and local authorities to investigate the roles of the Chinese consulate in instigating the recent violence in New York City and other areas, and to hold all responsible Chinese officials fully accountable for these acts of harassment and violence.

To listen to the recorded conversation with Consul General Peng, click here.

An English translation of the transcript is available here.

# # #

NEWS - May 23, 2008
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net


Background
Founded in 1999, the Falun Dafa Information Center is a New York-based organization that documents the rights violations of adherents of Falun Gong (or “Falun Dafa”) taking place in the People’s Republic of China. In July of 1999 China’s autocratic Communist Party launched an unlawful campaign of arrests, violence, and propaganda with the intent of “eradicating” the apolitical practice; it is believed certain leaders feared the influence of the practice’s 100 million adherents. The campaign has since grown in violence and scope, with millions having been detained or sent to forced labor camps. The Center has verified details of over 3,000 deaths and over 63,000 cases of torture in custody (reports / sources). Falun Gong is a traditional-style Buddhist “qigong” practice, with roots in the Chinese heritage of cultivating the mind/body for health and spiritual growth.


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/

Friday, May 23, 2008

Human Rights Torch Comes to Vancouver May 25


MWC: Vancouver - Activists will take to the streets and focus attention on human rights abuses in China before the Beijing Olympics when the "human rights torch" arrives in Vancouver on May 25.

Initiated by the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), Apaak Clement said, the torch relay is not looking to cause problems or interruptions. “It’s a very peaceful group who are against human rights violations. They’ve got lots of support from world leaders.”

The Human Rights Torch Relay is a global grassroots effort to raise awareness of the Chinese communist regime's human rights abuses. It strongly condemns the Chinese regime’s ruthless crackdown in Tibet; the underwriting of genocide in Darfur; the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong and arrest of nearly 2,000 followers since January 1; its support of corrupt regimes in Burma, N. Korea and Zimbabwe; and persecution of Christians, lawyers, reporters and all who have become ‘prisoners of the Olympics’ as a consequence of China’s pre-Olympic whitewash.

The message behind the relay, Clement said, is that “the Olympics and crimes against humanity cannot co-exist in China.” Since it was lit on Aug. 9, 2007, in Athens, Greece, the torch has traveled to 115 cities across the world; Vancouver is its last stop in Canada.

“We invite everyone concerned with human rights in China to join in the relay at the Art Gallery, Georgia Plaza. We will start at noon with speeches from VIPs followed by the Torch Walk and a celebration with 4 local bands interspersed with speeches from NGOs and wrap up around 5pm”, Clement said.

He stressed that it is not “a campaign against the people of China. This is just [protesting] the government’s role in human rights abuses. This is supporting the people of China.”

The relay, which follows the Olympic torch relay route in some areas, plans to span five continents, 40 countries and 150 cities.

Since May 4, the torch has traveled throughout Canada from Halifax to Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Kingston, Calgary, Edmonton and Winnipeg. http://www.humanrightstorch.org


Global Human Rights Torch Relay
Vancouver Art Gallery ~ Georgia St. Side
May 25, 12pm-5pm

12pm – 1pm - Torch Receiving Ceremony

  • Apaak Clement, MC
  • Goddess of Freedom

Guest Speakers:

· Bill Siksay, Member of Parliament

  • David Matas, International Human Rights Lawyer

  • Simma Holt, Former MP and journalist

  • Clive Ansley, Chair of CIPFG and China Country Monitor for Lawyers Rights’ Watch Canada

  • Nazanin Afshin-Jam, Int. HR Activist, Recording Artist

  • Jim Stephenson, Federal Candidate for the Green Party

1pm – 2pm - Torch Walk—Start and finish: Art Gallery

2pm – 5pm –Live music interspersed with more speeches

  • Guo Guoting, Attorney from China and China Expert
  • Dan Grice, Green Party Candidate in recent Quadra By-Election
  • Shahram Vahdany, Founder of Media with a Conscience
  • Kyi Min Saw, Representative of Burma
  • Tenzin Lhalungpa, President of Canada Tibet Committee
  • Gao Qiaomin, Representive of Falun Gong
  • Apaak Clement, President of Canadian Students for Darfur
  • Message from Jeremy Frimer, world renowned mountain climber, Team Darfur

  • Music: Bocephus King ~ Darker the Sky ~ David Newberry ~ Innocent Bystander ~ Sarah Wheeler
“With our combined efforts, we can bring the true Olympic Spirit to the Chinese people”: CIPFG

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Who is setting Canada's foreign policy?

Published: Wednesday, May 21, 2008

National Post: George Jonas asks why democracies such as Canada do Beijing's bidding when it comes to democratic Taiwan. Why did Foreign Minister Maxime Bernier declare that a March 22 referendum in Taiwan on applying for membership in the United Nations "needlessly escalates tensions across the [Taiwan] Strait," but had no similar reprimand for China's 1,300 missiles aimed -- and some fired -- at Taiwan? Why does Canada feel it has any right to declare Taiwan to be a part of China when Taiwan has never been part of the PRC? How would Canada feel if, for example, the Australian prime minister signed a "One America Policy" with George W. Bush, declaring Canada to be part of the United States?

Is trade the trump card that China uses to keep Canada in line? Unlikely, considering that the huge imbalance of trade is an ace in Canada's hand, and China would die economically without our raw materials to feed her factories. However, there are a few Canadian companies whose profits depend on pleasing Beijing, and these companies have proven influential across several governments. Their interests are represented by the Canada China Business Council (CCBC), an influential pro-China lobby group whose Web site (www.ccbc.com) is sponsored by Power Corporation. CCBC directors are drawn from the ranks of politicians, diplomats and bureaucrats, and Power Corporation is an owner of CITIC Pacific, one of China's largest companies, whose interests include steel, property, aviation, civil infrastructure and coal-fired power plants (whose carbon emissions are conveniently exempt from Kyoto restraints).

Could the profitability of a few well-connected companies be the reason why Canada is selling out the democratic will of 23 million Taiwanese?

Alastair Gordon, president, Canadian Coalition for Democracies, Toronto.

Rights Group Says Cisco Helps China Repression

Newsfactor: By Richard Koman
May 21, 2008 1:41PM

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The Global Internet Freedom Consortium showed a Senate subcommittee a PowerPoint presentation of Cisco working with China to control Internet information. Shiyu Zhou of the consortium said Cisco helps run China's Golden Shield Project, or Great Firewall. Chairman Dick Durbin said the industry is "intolerably slow" on self-regulation.

The last time Congress put a spotlight on an Internet company collaborating with China's policies of censorship and repression, it was on Yahoo and CEO Jerry Yang. Tuesday, it was Cisco's turn.

At a hearing before a Senate subcommittee that focuses on human rights and the Internet, Chairman Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) focused on a PowerPoint presentation that discussed China's "combat" of "evil religious groups," such as Falun Gong, which the Chinese government has banned since 1999.

Shiyu Zhou, deputy director of the Global Internet Freedom Consortium, testified that it had obtained the presentation titled Cisco Opportunities [in the Golden Shield Project], which showed Cisco working closely with the government on an elaborate scheme to control what information is available on the Internet in China.

Smoking PowerPoint

"Cisco offers much more than just routers; it offers planning, construction, technical training, and operations maintenance for the Golden Shield," Zhou said. "Our research shows that the infrastructure Relevant Products/Services of China's Great Firewall coincides with the layouts in Cisco (China)'s PowerPoint document."

Zhou charged that "Cisco can no longer assure Congress that Cisco (China) has not been and is not now an accomplice and partner in China's Internet repression and, whether directly or indirectly, in its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and other peaceful citizens in China."

Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler said he was "appalled" to see the reference to Falun Gong in the slide presentation and asserted that Cisco merely sells generic network equipment Relevant Products/Services to China without customizing it to work with the Golden Shield.

Voluntary Agreement 'Intolerably Slow'

"We disavow the implication that this (presentation) in any way reflects Cisco's views," Chandler said. He added that "employees who would customize our products in such a way as to undermine human rights" would violate the company's "extensive code of conduct."

The industry has been working for two years on a voluntary code of conduct for doing business in China, and Durbin signaled that congressional patience is wearing thin. Industry negotiations are "intolerably slow," he said.

As in previous hearings, the industry argued that for all the constraints of operating in China, Internet giants do more good by "being there than by staying out," in the words of Google deputy general counsel Nicole Wong. "It isn't perfect, as we know, but we do think that something about being there is right," Wong said.

Echoes of South Africa

Something about that argument is starting to ring hollow, Durbin said. "I heard that argument when companies were doing business in South Africa during apartheid," the chairman said.

The House is moving forward a proposal by the late Rep. Tom Lantos (D-Calif.) to regulate industry operation in China, requiring companies to log government requests to censor information, among other proposals. Durbin said he would work with Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) to write companion legislation on the Senae side.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Cisco File Raises Censorship Concerns

Document Implies Support for China Washington Post Staff Writer
Tuesday, May 20, 2008; Page D01

Cisco Systems, seeking to penetrate the Chinese market, prepared an internal marketing presentation in which it appeared to be willing to assist the Chinese Ministry of Public Security in its goal of "combating Falun Gong evil cult and other hostile elements," according to a translation of a document obtained by congressional investigators.

The Cisco presentation will take center stage today at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Committee on the Global Internet Freedom Act, which aims to defeat Internet censorship. The Washington Post obtained a copy of the presentation, the authenticity of which was confirmed by Cisco.

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement that has been harshly repressed by the Chinese government, which claims the group is engaged in illegal activities.

In its PowerPoint presentation, Cisco referred to the Chinese government's project to control the Internet, including its use by groups such as Falun Gong. After a slide referencing the crackdown on Falun Gong, the next slide proclaims: "Cisco Opportunity: High start-point planning, High standard construction, Technical training, Security and operation maintenance."

A Cisco spokeswoman said the document was six years old and was intended only for internal use by Cisco's Chinese employees, not as a marketing tool to entice business from the Chinese government. "The inclusion of the statement was not appropriate," said Jennifer Greeson Dunn. "It was simply a restatement of the government's objectives. It has nothing to do with Cisco's objectivity and Cisco's technologies. We are very much for freedom of expression."

Still, Cisco has sold the Chinese Ministry of Public Security what Greeson Dunn called "generic routing and switching technologies" designed to make the communications infrastructure more efficient. She said Cisco has not sold any equipment meant to "identify dissidents or hostile elements."

Mark Chandler, senior vice president and general counsel for Cisco, will testify at the hearing held by the human rights subcommittee of the Senate Judiciary Committee, as will Google and Yahoo executives. Lawmakers will seek to determine whether Cisco is just selling off-the-shelf technology or is helping China apply that technology to control dissent.

A committee staff member, speaking on condition of anonymity because the hearing had not yet been held, said that despite Cisco's claims of innocence, the presentation "raises troubling questions about what they are doing." He noted that Cisco, which provides the hardware that governments such as China use for firewalls and surveillance systems, has regularly assured lawmakers that it does not know how its products are used and does not market products for censorship. Now, he said, "we don't know what the truth is."

The House Foreign Affairs Committee has passed the Global Online Freedom Act to curtail the ability of U.S. companies to help foreign governments censor the Internet. The bill, which has been endorsed by many human rights groups and is squarely aimed at China as host of the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, makes it a crime for U.S. companies to turn over personal information on their users if the government intends to repress the citizens. But opponents criticize the legislation as taking a simplistic approach to a complex international issue, putting private companies in the middle of a dispute between governments.

Sen. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.), who is chairing the hearing, has not endorsed the House legislation but is seeking more information for possibly proposing his own legislation.

Organized Chinese Crowds Attack New York's 'Quit Chinese Communist Party Service Center'

By Li Ming
May 19, 2008

A bespectacled elderly Chinese man with black cap shouting insults and profanity raised a fist at volunteers at the service center, threatening to attack and smash the camera of an Epoch Times reporter. (The Epoch Times)



Flushing, NY–A group of Chinese crowds, suspected to be organized by the Chinese Communist regime, attacked the service center for withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in Flushing, NY and volunteers at the center on Monday morning, following a similar attack to participants at a rally to celebrate the growing trend of withdrawals from the CCP on Sunday.

A group of 400 some Chinese men and women suspected to be hired by the Chinese Communist regime besieged the service center in Flushing. The Chinese Communist regime's official media surprisingly appeared on time at the scene of the attack.

Today the volunteers of the service center for withdrawing from the CCP arrived at the Flushing Public Library as usual. After they set up the table and displayed photographs and print materials of The Epoch Times' The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and reports of over 36 million people that have withdrawn from the CCP and its two affiliated student leagues, the volunteers began to distribute free newspapers and print materials to passersby.

People suspected to be hired by the Chinese Communist regime shouting insults and curses. (The Epoch Times)

Mr. Zhang Derong, a resident in Flushing and a Falun Gong practitioner, said, "This attack is similar to the one on Sunday. Tens of people quickly surrounded volunteers at the service center. They closed in and they meant trouble. Then they started a verbal attack. They pointed at our poster display and shouted very nasty things. The rest of the crowd cheered them on. Some shouted, 'Get out! Get out! Kick them out of the place!'"

Several with cameras and TV cameras moved about among the mob, shooting footage. A female reporter told someone at the crowd that she is from Changchun TV Station.

Another Flushing resident Ms. Wu Hua said, "This is apparently a plotted and organized attack. Several men surrounded the volunteers at the service center, shouting insults. They didn't come here to collect donations for the earthquake in China. They were attacking us in the same way the Chinese Communist Party suppresses Falun Gong practitioners in China. They insulted us and shouted profanity. Before the police arrived, the mob attacked two volunteer ladies. They wouldn't dare without someone backing them up."

A man in the crowd started cursing when he saw the photo displays about The Epoch Times' Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. (The Epoch Times)

Another resident in Flushing Ms. Shi Rongfeng recalled, "I tried to reason with some people peacefully, but a woman refused to listen. She kept cursing and started to attack. She had a menacing look. If somebody didn't stop her, she would have kept on attacking us."

Eventually about 400 people surrounded the volunteers of the service center. In order to protect the personal safety of about ten volunteers at the service center, including several elderly folks among them, the police asked the volunteers to leave the scene. The police interviewed several witnesses of the attack and made a report for further investigation.

About 400 Chinese people suspected to be hired by the Chinese Communist regime to disrupt the service center. (The Epoch Times)

A similar attack also took place yesterday. According to a witness, Monday's crowd was the same mob from the attack on Sunday. In fact, a group of Chinese disrupted a public assembly celebrating the trend of withdrawals from the CCP on Saturday, leading many to suspect that the Chinese Communist regime might be the mastermind of the series of three attacks.

According to Falun Dafa Information Center, Zhou Yongkang is suspected of organizing China's overseas student and scholar associations, as well as Chinese hometown associations, to instigate overseas Chinese people's hatred against Falun Gong practitioners, to attack practitioners, and to obstruct practitioners' civil rights.

About 400 Chinese people suspected to be hired by the Chinese Communist regime to disrupt the service center. (The Epoch Times)

The Chinese Communist regime's official media seemed to possess an amazing foresight of the three attacks because they had their TV cameras set up before each of the three attacks and then broadcast the footage to the audience in China.

Following the earthquake in Sichuan, the Chinese Communist regime's media in China have repeatedly ran reports against Falun Gong practitioners, accusing practitioners of refusing to donate to the earthquake relief. These reports effectively aided in the regime's hate propaganda against Falun Gong.

The people that led the mob attacks allegedly have criminal records in the U.S. Some of them are currently under investigation. Falun Gong practitioners are asking the U.S. authorities to release these Chinese agents' personal information and to deport them from the U.S.

Click here to read the original article in Chinese

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Speech by Lizhi He - Human Rights Torch Relay

Remarks delivered by Lizhi He
Kingston Human Rights Torch Relay
Sunday, May 18

Good afternoon ladies and gentlemen,

I am a Falun Gong practitioner from Toronto. Two months ago I started to work in the beautiful city of Kingston. This is one more reason why I would like to share my story with you today.

I used to be a senior structural engineer with the Ministry of Construction in China, working in the examination center for professional engineers. I also received an award of excellence as an engineer for good performance and my project won a gold medal for national engineering design. As a Falun Gong practitioner since 1995, I strive to be a good person following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance.

However, disaster befell upon me on July 21, 2000. Several strong guys claiming to be State Security Agents who forced me into a car suddenly broke into my office. My office and home were ransacked and then I was sent to a detention center and held in a gloomy dark cell. I was arrested because I sent personal letters in an effort to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to my fellow engineers and friends before I was about to move to Canada. I did not realize that I was followed, monitored, videotaped in the post office.

I was deprived of communication with anybody and thus became a missing person to all my family and friends, including my coworkers. For a whole month, my wife didn’t know what had happened to me and where I was. She was not allowed to visit me in prison until seven months later when I was tortured so severely, close to the point of death, and then I was moved to a prison hospital. The inhuman torture almost ruined my health and everyday I felt faint and struggling for life, with ongoing high fever for months, coughing blood, urinating blood along with my breathing capacity being considerably reduced. The X-rays were unable to show a clear image of my lungs. I was doing heavy exhaustive slave labor in the field and I was shocked with 30,000-volt electric batons.

I was only just one of tens of millions of Chinese citizens whose right to belief in Falun Dafa was illegally banned since July 1999. Out of envy of the enormous popularity of Falun Gong during the first 7 years of its inception in 1992--with practitioners outnumbering the membership of the Communist Party—Jiang Zemin, the then head of CCP, initiated the persecution. According to a speech taped on video that I was once forced to watch, the Head of the CCP's Religion Administration Bureau stated that, the "ultimate objective" of Communism is to eliminate religion from the earth and wipe out the concept of Gods from the human mind. And the current policy on religious affairs in China is to minimize any spiritual believers until they totally vanish and all become atheists. This official speaker disclosed that to reach their goal, in the past 50 years of ruling China, the communist party invited all previous religious leaders to Beijing from provincial areas and granted them high official ranks and leisurely lives; to relentlessly suppress those who aren't submissive; enforce atheist education into the school system at a very young age and force future generations to abandon their beliefs. By all these insidious means, the communist regime has transformed all the existing religious groups into its political components.

From this revelation, it is not difficult to understand why the Dalai Lama fled China and what the Tibetans have been suffering and there is no question that this is why there are "Approved" or "Official" religious groups in China and why the independent Christians or family churches are persecuted. The enormous popularity of Falun Gong with their uncompromising adherence to the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance"--rather than communist ideology--showed the regime's spiritual suppression to be an utter failure.

Thus Falun Gong was targeted by the Communist regime as a top enemy. The persecution of Falun Gong is not only an issue of human rights abuses, but one of anti-humanity and genocide. This genocide is different from other cases known to the world. It is characterized by two evil extremities: massive live organ harvesting - the new form of evil on this planet as concluded in the investigation by Mr. David Kilgour and David Matas - and extensive destruction of human conscience and spirit.

In China, the Communist regime formed the 610 office, a superstructure nationwide controlling the media and legal system dedicated to eliminate Falun Gong. Anyone practicing Falun Gong can be arbitrarily abducted into a “brainwashing class”, detention center, labor camp, mental hospital, jail, or other unknown secret places funded by the regime and where the state machinery is authorized to torture, kill, or even murder via live organ removal. All the brutalities are aimed at a forced denunciation of practitioners’ beliefs. All the brutalities are targeting their beliefs and conscience. While practitioners were abducted and sent to mental hospitals and injected with drugs to destroy their nerves, there were also a national team composed of psychological researchers investigating the means used to destroy the practitioners' spirit and make them totally submissive physically, mentally, and spiritually. This is how all the hard-to-believe and beyond-imagination atrocities have come to light. In the prison, a police official and a communist party branch head said with shameless complacency "I know what I am doing now but, as long as the CCP rules China, I will never fear of going to hell regardless of whatever I have done." Such a statement makes it brazenly clear how the evil communism turns a human being into a merciless murderer.

I was imprisoned for 1278 days and suffered tremendously. I eventually survived the torture but many of us were killed. Still hundreds of thousands were jailed. Countless are still homeless or missing. Unknown huge numbers were killed through crimes of live organ harvesting.

The Olympics was supposed to help China's human rights condition, however, it has only been exploited by the regime to posture itself and to justify its crimes against humanity. I still remember that during my imprisonment, every time in the past years when the regime escaped the condemnation of human rights abuses by failing the resolution on China in Geneva, the state media would celebrate this national triumph. All the prisoners were forced to write a statement that China had the very best human rights conditions and that all the criticisms were groundless which thus again had been evidenced by the failure of an anti-China resolution. Imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners were forced to write that being jailed was a salvation by the communist regime, and the international community supported the crackdown on Falun Gong. The Olympics has been greatly abused thus far.

As a structural engineer, I may know more than others about the seismic design of buildings. This very realization caused me much pain when I see how so many students were simply buried by the disastrous earthquake in Sichuan on May 12. The gruesome pictures revealed that there was no required minimum reinforcement seen from the collapsed building components. It is really shocking but not surprising that the government office buildings stayed upright. How much would be needed to offer students safer buildings that satisfied the seismic design code? Merely a tiny bit of the 50 billion USD spent on the regime's image engineering of the Beijing Olympics.

Let's see what the regime - who assume the identity of the Chinese government - is doing around the earthquake.

Days before the earthquake, it was appeasing the "rumor" from local regions that there would be an earthquake coming soon - in order to maintain the so-called societal stability and harmonious environment for the Beijing Olympics.

After the earthquake, during the critical rescue period, the help from professional rescue expert teams from foreign countries was denied - every Chinese know the reason, which is for fear of revealing the real damage to the outside world.

Without immediate action to save victims, what on earth is the regime exactly doing while the earthquake caught the heart of the entire world.

In Beijng, a new round of desperate arrests of Falun Gong practitioners is going on unabated. 23 friends known to fellow practitioners in Toronto have been confirmed arrested within the first three days of the mass arrests -including Ouyang Wen, a female practitioner and former colleague of my previous workplace when I was abducted in the year of 2000.

The earthquake is disastrous and the communist regime is at the root of all disasters. Simply because of the Olympics, the regime has gone crazy committing more and more crimes as part of a pre-Olympic white wash. It must be stopped and as all bad things must come to an end--the regime is no exception. Let raise the human rights torch high and move on. Peace and justice will prevail.

Thank you.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Crackdown on Falun Gong intensifies ahead of the Olympics

Crackdown on Falun Gong intensifies ahead of the Olympics

Vancouver practitioners appeal for the rescue of relatives recently arrested in Quangzhou

MWC: Vancouver - The Falun Dafa Association is calling a press conference on May 16 at
12 pm at the Art Gallery (Robson Plaza) and will march to the Chinese Consulate at
3338 Granville to appeal for the release of two Falun Gong practitioners, namely Suming Gao and Qinming Gao. Over a dozen policemen who broke into their home in the early morning of April 15 in Guangzhou, China leaving behind an 83-year-old father at home alone kidnapped the two practitioners. Both practitioners are the elder sisters of Vancouver Falun Gong practitioner Qiaoming Gao.

Apparently officials from the 610 office searched their house and confiscated private property including their computers. The police, who claimed that they did so to prevent the sisters from interfering the Beijing Olympics, also removed their computers at their work place. It was reported that about 30 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested at the same time.

This wave of repression is part of the pre-Olympic white wash, which has seen nearly 2000 practitioners arrested since January 1, 2008.

The Falun Dafa Association calls on the Canadian government to urgently rescue Suming Gao and Qinming Gao and to urge the Chinese regime to stop its brutal persecution of Falun Gong now in its ninth year.

“It is unconscionable that a country that is hosting the Summer Olympics behaves without any scruples 3 months before the Games,” said Sue Zhang, spokesperson for the Association. The Olympic Charter, which is founded on human dignity, must be respected by Beijing instead of using the Olympics as an excuse to persecute Falun Gong practitioners and other repressed groups.”

Vancouver Falun Gong practitioners have maintained an around the clock vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate on Granville since 2001 to call for an end to the persecution.

Falun Dafa Association – BC Chapter
For more information: http://www.faluninfo.net

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Letter: Acknowledge persecution of Falun Gong

CSM: Regarding the May 2 article, "Cheers outweigh protests at Hong Kong's Olympic torch relay": From this article and others, I have noticed that it is common to characterize Falun Gong "as a "spiritual movement banned elsewhere in China as a deviant cult." But this is not an accurate characterisation of the situation.

Falun Gong is not just "banned," it is mercilessly persecuted in China. Adherents are tortured to death, shocked with electric batons, put into psychiatric facilities, and injected with nerve-damaging drugs. They are put into forced labor camps for years without trial, their houses are ransacked, their families destroyed, and there is evidence that they are systematically killed for their organs to be sold, on a mass scale.

To say the practice is merely "banned" is ridiculous. If Falun Gong were only banned there would not be such a mass movement around the world to stop the persecution.

Besides that, when you refer to the Dalai Lama, you would use a neutral description. You would definitely not use the violent language of the Communist Party to describe him.

Matt Robertson
Wanniassa, Australia

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tulip Festival extends apology to Falun Gong

By Joan Delaney
May 13, 2008

Tian Guo Marching Band at the Montreal Canada Day parade last July. (Courtesy of Tian Guo Band)
Tian Guo Marching Band at the Montreal Canada Day parade last July. (Courtesy of Tian Guo Band)


Related Articles
- 'O Canada'—Censored Monday, May 05, 2008


Organizers of Canada's Tulip Festival have formally apologized for abruptly pulling a performance by a marching band whose members practise Falun Gong.

Having invited the Tian Guo Marching Band to perform "O Canada" at the festival's opening ceremony on May 2, organizers cut the band just minutes before they were to take the stage, and called on police to have band members removed.

Statements from festival staff at the time suggested the group was dropped to avoid upsetting Chinese embassy officials who had a tent at the festival, which runs to May 19.

After the incident whipped up a media storm, festival organizers changed their tune and on Tuesday issued an official apology.

In a statement to media, festival chair David Luxton and president Teri Kirk expressed regrets over how the incident was handled.

"Unfortunately, the Festival's decision was made in haste in the moments before the official Opening," Ms. Kirk said

At the time, festival reps had taken issue with the band member's uniforms, which included the words "Falun Dafa," a spiritual group persecuted by the Communist regime in China. Falun Dafa is also known as Falun Gong.

Tian Guo band members pose in their uniforms with a 'Falun Dafa' banner. This image appears on the homepage of their website. (Tian Guo Band)
Tian Guo band members pose in their uniforms with a "Falun Dafa" banner. This image appears on the homepage of their website. (Tian Guo Band)
In comments to media, the festival's director of marketing Doug Little claimed the band had "deceived" organizers with the intent to "embarrass us and embarrass the Chinese embassy."

"If they had told us who they were, they would never have been asked to perform," Mr. Little told the Metro newspaper.

But band members pointed out that they had provided the festival organizers with materials and photographs that showed their uniforms. They had also provided their website, which states clearly that band members are Falun Gong practitioners.

They added that they only intended to play music and expressed no political or human rights message. They said that being excluded from the event on the basis of their practise of Falun Gong amounted to discrimination.

"Comments in the media attributed to festival staff dealing with the incident exacerbated the feelings of grievance by band members, which the festival regrets," said Luxton.

Little also apologized for his comments to the press.

"I am very sorry that my remarks have not reflected well on band members, on Falun Gong or the festival. I extend my heartfelt apologies to the Tian Guo Marching Band and to each one of its members," said Little.

A Tian Guo Band member accepts 'The Canada Day Parade President's Trophy' in Montreal in July 2007. (Tian Guo Band)
A Tian Guo Band member accepts "The Canada Day Parade President's Trophy" in Montreal in July 2007. (Tian Guo Band)

The festival also "re-extended its invitation" to the band to perform at the Festival, giving them the 1–2:00 pm slot on Sunday at Dow's Lake.

"We certainly support the right of religious groups to bring forward diverse views." said Kirk.

The Tian Guo band accepted the apologies after meeting with the festival's executives over the weekend.

In response being dropped from the opening ceremony, Tian Guo said in a news release that for a civic festival to exclude "ordinary Canadian citizens from participation in order to please a foreign repressive government is not only discrimination, it also gives the impression that the festival condones the severe human rights violations committed by the repressive regime."

The band also said that "the actions of a few Tulip Festival officials … caused great distress and loss of dignity to both our band and to Falun Gong practitioners in general. These actions have also damaged the reputation and integrity of the Tulip Festival."

The Tulip Festival is sponsored by all three levels of government.

Speaking in the Ontario provincial legislature on Monday, MPP Randy Hiller said that, "the Ottawa Tulip Festival, in partnership with the Embassy of China, banned Falun Gong."

"This government gave the tulip festival $300,000 and with it they became the latest voice of silence," said Hiller.

On Tuesday, he applauded the decision to allow Tian Guo to perform.

"It is important when people do the wrong things that sensible honest people tell them that they are wrong and encourage them to do the right thing," he said. It's a minimum for them to apologize for their wrongdoings."

Tian Guo has performed in about 40 parades in the past 18 months and has won numerous prizes including the top award of "The Canada Day Parade President's Trophy" in Montreal in 2007 and "Best Band" in the Ottawa St. Patrick's Day parade in March.

"We know that Festival audiences will enjoy both the visual and musical appeal of this large and colourful marching band," said Ms. Kirk.

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/