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Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Beijing Resident Killed During Olympics for Practicing Falun Gong

Neighborhood security agent confirms death, wife still in labor camp

NEW YORK (FDI) – An elderly Falun Gong practitioner from Chaoyang district in Beijing, home to the Bird’s Nest Stadium, died from injuries incurred in custody two days before the close of the 2008 Olympic Games, the Falun Dafa Information Center reported on Wednesday.

Mr. Wang Chongjun (王崇俊), age 65, died at home on August 23, 2008 after being injected with an unknown drug in a Beijing labor camp, according to sources in China. His wife, Ms. Wang Zhiqin, remains illegally detained and is unaware of her husband’s death.

In a telephone call made to the Longzhuashu village community police working site near their home on September 9, a member of the neighborhood watch group confirmed Wang’s death.

“He died. Isn’t Wang Chongjun dead?” said a Mr. Li who picked up the phone. When the investigator asked if Wang’s family had received compensation, Li said: “I don't know. He died at home...I listen to my boss. I'm from out of town.” (see transcript excerpt and link to a recording of the phone conversation below)

The Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC) had first reported the arrest of Wang and his wife in July 2008 (news). The couple were among over 8,000 adherents detained in a nationwide round-up that occurred in the months preceding the Olympics and has continued since the closing ceremonies as well.

“The tragic case of Wang and his wife are typical of the horrific abuses Falun Gong practitioners continue to face in China, abuses that worsened with the Olympics” says Falun Dafa Information Center Spokesperson Erping Zhang. “While Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is speaking at UN headquarters this week in New York City, countless innocent Chinese citizens are languishing in labor camps and in grave danger. It is up the international community—including governments, media, and human rights groups—to ensure that the thousands of adherents still in detention don’t meet the same fate as Wang.”

Case Details

On the evening of April 14, 2008, local security agents raided Wang’s home without a warrant and arrested the elderly couple. The detention followed more than a week of intensified harassment and surveillance of the family, reportedly on the orders of Yang Fengling, head of the village 610 Office. Yang ordered the surveillance after Ms. Wang refused to renounce her practice of Falun Gong during a previous meeting. After their arrest, the couple was taken to Chaoyang District Detention Center. Their family was denied access to visit them.

On June 20, 2008, the couple’s family members received notices from the dispatch center at Beijing’s Tuanhe “Re-education through Labor” (RTL) Camp (more about Tuanhe Labor Camp). The documents stated that Wang Chongjun had been sentenced to two years of RTL on May 22, 2008, and was being detained in the First Ward of the dispatch center. His wife, Wang Zhiqin, had been sentenced to two and half years of forced labor on May 20, 2008, and was being held in the Tenth Ward.

According to sources inside China, while at the camp, guards injected Mr. Wang with an unknown drug, an increasingly common torture technique used on Falun Gong, that led to 11 deaths in 2007. The drug reportedly caused his skin to turn a yellowish color for him to become emaciated. Seeing that Wang was on the verge of death, the camp authorities released him so as not to be held responsible for his dying in their custody.

Upon receiving notice from the camp, Wang’s family picked him up and took him to the hospital for medical treatment. Nevertheless, Wang died at home on the afternoon of August 23, 2008. His wife had meanwhile been transferred to Shanxi Province RTL Camp not long before the start of the Olympics. According to sources close to the couple, she has yet to be informed of her husband’s death.

“We call upon the international community and media based in Beijing to use every resource available to investigate the facts for themselves,” says Zhang. “This persecution must end, lest more innocent people die.”

Transcript of call confirming Wang’s death:

The following is the transcript of a call made to the Longzhuashu village community police working site in Beijing’s Chaoyang district on September 9, 2008. An audio recording is available here (the voice of the investigator has been changed to protect their identity).

Male (A): My name is Li. I am on duty. I am not a policeman.

Investigator (Q): What is Wang Zhiqin's home phone number?

A: Her home phone is not working anymore.

Q: Did you go there when they arrested him in April?

A: I was probably there.

Q: Did you go to see him after his release?

A: He died. Isn't Wang Chongjun dead?

Q: Does anyone still live in his home?

A: He has a son who works somewhere else. I don't have his phone number.

Q: Have things been taken care of? Has his family gotten any compensation?

A: I don't know. He died at home. You can ask her . I listen to my boss. I am from out of town, I am not a local.

Q: How much do you get paid every day?
A: 20 Yuan per day.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Falun Gong News Bulletin

Highlights:

Other news on Falun Gong:

FDI: Olympic Clean-up Costs Another Life

A painter from Hunan province, arrested in a nationwide pre-Olympic roundup of Falun Gong adherents, died the day before the opening ceremonies from injuries incurred in custody. Detained in March, an emaciated Mr. Hu Heping (胡和平) from Yueyang city died August 7, 2008 according to recent reports received by The Falun Dafa Information Center. He was 55 years old.

To read more: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/805/?cid=84

Reuters/Los Angeles Times: Falun Gong Reports Torture

Two members of banned Chinese spiritual sect Falun Gong were tortured and died in police custody in Shandong province in July, the group said. Zhong Zhenfu, 58, died of injuries sustained in police custody after being held along with others from Pingdu, in Shandong, since May, the group said in a statement. Liu Xiumei, a woman from Zhucheng, Shandong, was detained in July and died 17 days later, it said, without giving further details.

Officials from Shandong province were not immediately available for comment.

To read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-briefs24-2008aug24,0,6642255.story

The article is based on the following release by FDI: “Two More Falun Gong Killed by Olympic Cleanup": http://www.faluninfo.net/article/799/?cid=84

New Statesman: Falun Gong featured in Faith Column series by Leeshai Lemish

  • Being a Falun Gong Practitioner: “A mundane incident brought me ... to Falun Dafa. One evening I was arguing heatedly with my father. I suggested we take a break. Sitting on the floor, I tried coaching myself into a better state of mind: 'Ok, what should I do? Well, this Falun Dafa book here says we should act with truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. I might be acting truthfully, but I'm not being very tolerant or compassionate. I'll try keeping these principles in mind'. I returned to the kitchen and within a minute we were hugging. Soon after, I went online and found the local Falun Dafa volunteer." To read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2008/08/falun-gong-dafa-rights-believe

  • Why is Falun Gong Banned: “'If Falun Gong is benign, why is the Chinese government afraid of it?' After nine years of persecution this basic question remains common. I'll try answering it here." To read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2008/08/falun-gong-party-chinese

  • China's Other World: “It was 2:00 am and we were sitting on the floor of a Bangkok slum. We had a flight to catch the next morning, but after interviewing Falun Gong refugees for a week we still couldn't pull away from what they were telling us. 'At first I thought it was just me. But then, one after another, more Falun Gong practitioners were brought into our cell', Chen Jie said. 'Their bellies, chest and backs were also covered with black bubbles from being shocked with cattle-prods.' To read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2008/08/falun-gong-practitioners-china

  • Defying the Odds: “If this persecution is so severe, why is it so rarely in the news and why isn't more being done about it? Last month, I sat down with a journalist in a Taipei pub. 'The media have a blackout on Falun Gong', he said. 'You mean Chinese or Western media'? I asked. 'Both'." To read more: http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/the-faith-column/2008/08/falun-gong-practitioners-china-2

Leeshai Lemish has researched and written about Falun Gong since 2001. He has spent the past year traveling around the world to interview its practitioners, including labor camp survivors, for a forthcoming book.

New York Daily News: The Chinese government is terrorizing my parents for practicing Falun Gong

On July 17, I phoned my parents to say hello. There was no answer. I kept trying; still, no answer. Finally, I called my brother and he told me the news: They had been detained after 20 policemen broke into their home and found materials related to Falun Gong... In 2001, they were each sentenced to a labor camp for three years. They had no trial, no lawyer and no opportunity to defend themselves. Their freedom was taken away. Intensive sleep deprivation, beatings, hard labor and brainwashing classes became their daily reality.

To read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/opinions/2008/08/24/2008-08-24_the_chinese_government_is_terrorizing_my-3.html

Irish Times: UCC student fears for arrested parents

A 21-YEAR-OLD Chinese student living in Ireland has spoken of his concern for his parents after they were arrested by police in China. “They took both of them to the police station and they held my mother there, and then took my father to my home. I was there at the time and they searched everywhere and busted things up and took everything about Falun Gong – DVDs, books. I haven't seen my parents since."

To read more: http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/ireland/2008/0827/1219680032112.html

Columbus Dispatch: OSU student felt China's persecution first-hand

As a Falun Gong practitioner in China, William Huang …served five years in a detention center, where he says he was beaten and forced to labor alongside other prisoners for at least 16 hours a day. Huang, 33, now speaks openly about his persecution. It's a freedom he has embraced since leaving China on a six-year visa this past spring to study at Ohio State University. A Ph.D. scholarship in mechanical engineering brought him to Columbus.

To read more: http://www.dispatch.com/live/content/local_news/stories/2008/08/24/osuchina.ART_ART_08-24-08_B4_SNB4D4S.html?sid=101

Silicon Valley Insider: Another Olympics Gold Medalist: Falun Gong

China appears to have done a thorough job of suppressing overt protests…but it appears Falun Gong has managed to use the newfound focus on China to their advantage.

The group had 13 videos among the top 100 most-viewed during the first week of the Beijing Olympics, netting 3.5 million views. And it had four videos among the top 100 the following week, netting 1 million views. That's according to TubeMogul, which tracks video views across 20 sites, including YouTube, Revver, Dailymotion and Metacafe.

To read more: http://www.alleyinsider.com/2008/8/another-olympics-gold-medalist-banned-chinese-sect-falun-gong

Thursday, September 04, 2008

CNN: Death for you is fine by them

Op/ed News: Diary Entry by John Kusumi





I suppose that my unfinished book, Genocidal Correctness, will explain in depth what I can only summarize now: Journalism in the United States is a bifurcated pursuit. Those who go to journalism at a state or local level tend to be competent journalists, qualified by training to get the story, whether that is fire, flood, crime, the school board, city hall, or the state house. I don't question their veracity. I've seen lots of metro and affiliate journalism that is a credit to the profession.

That's well and good, but U.S. journalism also has its federal, or network, level. While local journalism may be reality-based, network journalism is reality-agnostic. It is a place where stories are taken merely on the word of an authority who "says so." It is a place where questions are perilous to ask, and second opinions are frowned on. If a second opinion is sought, one might have one's patriotism questioned, or lose one's job. And in political commentary, it is a place where "black is white, and night is day."

If I were Adolph Hitler and putting together a propaganda department, I would want Peter Jennings, Tom Brokaw, and Dan Rather on the team. (If Jennings is unavailable, substitute Ted Koppel.) They could teach the Nazis a thing or two. And, from its upper echelons, America could contribute many more names to that roster.

It was bad enough when, late in August, I observed that China has a crime against humanity going -- Falun Gong organ harvesting, a story which gets more and more solid as time and investigation bear out the story. With recent new evidence added into the hopper, we should take it that the story is confirmed. In a recent article, I chided CNN for sitting on the story since 2006. In light of recent revelations, there is a right thing to do, which is to break the story to the audiences who watch CNN. Alternatively, there is a morally reprehensible thing to do, which is to continue to sit on the story.

It is bad enough that they continue to sit on that story, because there is a modern-day holocaust occurring in China. If you are a civilian in China who wants to practice religion, or politics, or journalism, or law, CNN is clearly signalling that "Death for you is fine by them." On September 3, I fielded an interview with a Chinese broadcaster who was following up about my article. In many different ways, the question was asked, "What is the problem with the mainstream media?" I tried to field the question in a way that leaves open some room for change. Perhaps, pendulums also swing back, and the MSM may yet come around and reflect humanity on this story.

So, I didn't tell the Chinese audience that "death for you is fine by them." I hemmed and hawed and made some excuses, explaining that for political reasons, U.S. mainstream journalists want to carry water for the powerful. I added that "pendulums also swing back," as for example after Watergate -- a time when America had an independent media. I also said that the Chinese Communist regime has been experiencing a run of good fortune, but that their luck would run out.

However, it becomes onerous and burdensome to have any optimism about the U.S. press. (Again, I'm speaking of the federal / network level of the press, not the metro print, radio, and affiliate media which are on the other side of this bifurcated journalism profession.) It may be simpler to report that "death for you is fine by them," and now there begins to be yet more evidence at hand that other civilians -- Americans, not just Chinese -- are also getting the same signal.

They are setting us up for World War III.

First John McCain, and then Rudy Giuliani made the absurd claim to Americans that, "We are all Georgians now." Excuse me? I am not a Georgian. Nor would I escalate that conflict into World War III. Georgia began that conflict by committing atrocities against civilians. Previously, Georgia turned away from freedom to the extent that it imposed severe limits on opposition and shut down free media. Georgia's President very likely belongs in the International Criminal Court, on trial for crimes against humanity.

But, look at the mainstream spin, which CNN passes along: "We are all Georgians now." I beg your pardon? We are all being set up for World War III now. And why? It's because, "Death for you is fine by them." I'm sure that CNN is prepared to report on World War III, and prepared to be quite chipper as usual. There may be an upcoming Britney Spears trial, so perhaps World War III will never get mentioned at all! Boy, isn't that a clean way of handling the story -- not at all! The CNN audience could all move into refugee camps, and that too would go unreported. I'm sure they would be equally as chipper and cheerful when they broadcast to refugee camps. Remember, death for you is fine by them....

John Kusumi ran independently for U.S. President in 1984, as the teenager going up against Ronald Reagan and Walter Mondale. He was the first Generation X politician in U.S. federal elections, and Ronald Reagan's youngest political opponent ever.

In 1989 Kusumi launched the China Support Network, a grassroots organization of Americans supporting the Chinese democracy movement - amid outpouring of response to the massacre of college students and other civilians in and around Tiananmen Square.

In 1994 Kusumi launched Xcalibur Development Co., incorporated in 1995 as XDC, Inc. The firm creates software and technical services, generally in the B2B (business-to-business) space of contracting and specialized consulting, with a Fortune 500 clientele.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Doctors join push to end organ trade

Annabel Stafford
August 28, 2008

The Age: AUSTRALIAN doctors will dob in Chinese hospitals that sell the organs
of executed prisoners to Australian patients as part of a global push
to stamp out the illegal trade in human organs.

At a meeting of transplant doctors in Sydney this month, the
Australian president of the International Transplantation Society
promised that his members would alert Chinese authorities when a
non-Chinese person travelled to China to buy an organ and would ask
the authorities to explain.

Society president Jeremy Chapman stressed that the society would not
be dobbing in patients but hospitals, which under recent changes to
Chinese law are banned from buying or selling organs.

Last year, China banned the trade in human organs and ruled that
consent must be obtained from an organ donor, after facing widespread
condemnation over the use of executed prisoners' organs for
transplant. Before those changes, there was "no doubt" Australian
patients had been buying organs taken from executed prisoners,
Professor Chapman said.

As well as the ban on organ trade, the Chinese Ministry of Health has
ruled that foreigners can get transplants in China only with
government approval, according to the BBC.

China's "determination to improve its connections with the world" had
coincided with its moves to improve human rights, particularly when it
came to the use of prisoners' organs, Professor Chapman said.

"We need to continue to assist the Chinese transplantation program to
enter the mainstream of transplantation globally through the use of
brain dead and living donors," he said.

"Certainly (China) has taken significant steps to make changes and
we're optimistic the change process will be strong and will reduce the
use of executed prisoners for transplants, which we are against under
any circumstances.

"The open question remains: what will China be like post-Olympics?"

Professor Chapman estimated about five Australians a year had received
organs from executed prisoners before the law was changed. He had
treated three patients he believed had bought organs taken from
executed prisoners. While none of them had admitted receiving a
prisoner's organs, he said: "They never ask the question, they just
buy a kidney."