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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Chinese persecution of Falun Gong: US Dept. Report

Oct. 26, 2009: The US State Dept’s Report on International Religious Freedom concerning China comments on the brutal treatment of the Falun Gong:

2009 report on religious freedom in China --

According to Falun Gong practitioners abroad, since 1999 several hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been detained for engaging in Falun Gong practices, admitting that they adhere to the teachings of Falun Gong, or refusing to criticize the organization or its founder. The organization reported its members have been subject to excessive force, abuse, rape, detention, forcible psychiatric commitment and treatment (including involuntary medication and electric shock treatment), and torture, and that some members, including children, have died in custody. Practitioners who refused to recant their beliefs were sometimes subjected to extrajudicial “legal education” centers after the expiration of their criminal sentences. According to former RTL camp detainees, Falun Gong practitioners make up a significant percentage of the RTL camps’ population.

Overseas Falun Gong organizations alleged a surge in arrests and deaths of Falun Gong practitioners carried out to prevent disturbances during the Olympic Games. They claimed that authorities arrested thousands of adherents and imprisoned hundreds, and that 100 practitioners died in 2008 as a result of persecution. Reports of abuse were difficult to confirm because the Government prevented Falun Gong members from meeting with foreign reporters and government officials. These organizations also reported that the Government harassed their members in other countries, including the United States, through threatening phone calls and physical harassment. The Government frequently used harsh rhetoric against Falun Gong. In May 2009, several attorneys who had represented Falun Gong practitioners did not have their licenses renewed by the Lawyers Associations in their localities.

In April 2009, Zhang Xingwu, a retired physics professor from Shandong Province, was sentenced to seven years in prison after police found Falun Gong literature in his apartment.

In November 2009, a Shanghai court sentenced Liu Jin to three and a half years in prison for downloading from the Internet and distributing to others information about Falun Gong.

In December 2009, Bu Dongwei left the country after serving two and a half years at a re-education through labor facility; he maintained that he was tortured because of his Falun Gong activities. Before his arrest, he worked for The Asia Foundation, a U.S.-based organization.

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Falun Gong Founder Awarded for 'Outstanding Spiritual Leadership'

NTDTV: 2009-10-6 10:15

The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation gives annual awards to individuals who are making a difference. On September 26, they gave a special award to the founder of Falun Gong. Albert Roman in Los Angeles has the story.

A packed ballroom of over 200 human rights defenders and supporters joined the Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation awards ceremony to acknowledge the efforts of nine individuals Saturday evening. Among them was Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of the Falun Gong spiritual practice.

Eight of the awards were given for outstanding work in the field of human rights. Among the recipients was Christian Pastor Eddie Romero, who was arrested in China in 2008 during the Olympics for protesting the Chinese regime’s human rights abuses. Dr. Yang Jianli, a Harvard Fellow and 2005 award recipient, also attended the event. Dr. Yang had been jailed for 5 years for helping Chinese labor unions employ non-violent strategies to advocate for their rights.

The award for “Outstanding Spiritual Leadership” was given to Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong. Last year’s recipient was the Dalai Lama.

Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is a practice that includes exercises, meditation, and a moral discipline based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

In 1999, China’s communist ruler Jiang Zemin launched a campaign to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, sending tens of thousands to labor camps. Amnesty International notes that Falun Gong is among the most severely persecuted groups in China.

The Asia-Pacific Human Rights Foundation found it noteworthy that throughout these past 10 years, Falun Gong practitioners have maintained a strictly peaceful approach to ending the persecution.

Youfu Li, chairman of the U.S. Southwestern Falun Dafa Association, accepted the award on Mr. Li Hongzhi’s behalf.

[Youfu Li, US Southwestern Falun Dafa Association]:
Youfu Li said, “Mr. Li Hongzhi taught the principles of truthfulness, compassion, tolerance around the world. He helped improved people’s morality. Over the past 10 years the Communist Party has persecuted many people. Falun Gong practitioners have used compassion to expose the Chinese Communist Party.”

Christian Pastor Eddie Romero had this to say about Mr. Li Hongzhi’s award:

[Pastor Eddie Romero]:
“I’m excited to be able to stand there and also to receive along with the Falun Gong leader the awards, because again, we’re standing on the same side of this issue, and to me, it’s important that we stand shoulder to shoulder on this issue and not become fractured over it because I’m not a Falun Gong member and I know he’s not a Christian, but we share this together because we’re sisters and brothers whether they’re Falun Gong or House Christians.”

Labor union advocate Dr. Yang Jianli also commented on the award.

[Dr. Yang Jianli, President of Initiatives for China]:
“I’m glad to learn that Mr. Li Hongzhi won this award, and I think he deserves this award. In the past 10 years, Falun Gong represents the most persecuted group in China. In this sense, I think Mr. Li deserves this award.”

The ceremony Saturday evening was a chance for individuals, human rights organizations, and Christian groups to unite, share ideas, and encourage each other to continue their pursuit of freedom for the Chinese people.

Albert Roman, NTD News, Los Angeles.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Court backs students in TAU row over Falun Gong exhibit the university removed

Court backs students in TAU row over Falun Gong exhibit the university removed

Jerusalem Post: A Tel Aviv District Court judge on Wednesday ruled that Tel Aviv University had "violated freedom of expression and succumbed to pressure from the Chinese Embassy" when it took down a student exhibition last year that focused on the oppression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement at the hands of the Communist Chinese government.

The exhibition, which featured 25 paintings by 17 artists from around the world, depicted Falun Gong spiritual practices and the torture and executions its members have reportedly been subjected to in recent years.

The movement, which is based on an ancient Chinese meditation method that aims to bring its practitioners to higher spiritual enlightenment, was outlawed in China in 1999. Some of the artists, who are survivors of China's hard labor camps, had endured the very tortures portrayed in the paintings.

The exhibition was originally approved by the head of the Asian Studies department at TAU, Prof. Yoav Ariel, along with the university's administration, which allotted nearly two weeks in March 2008, for the presenters to show the paintings inside the central on-campus library.

But after just two days, organizers were told that the exhibition had to be removed. After initially protesting the move, they were given an additional three days to hold the exhibition, but were then told it had to come down.

The two students who had organized the exhibition, Yaniv Nitzan and Itay Tamuz, were incensed, and claimed that the decision to shut down the exhibition had been made after TAU was pressured by the Chinese Embassy in Tel Aviv, the two took the matter to court.

Nitzan and Tamuz filed the petition against both TAU and the university's student union, both of whom appear as defendants on the court documents. According to a student union member close to the case, the pair had been under the impression that because the student union had refused to take sides in the matter until a legal ruling was issued, it, too, opposed the exhibition.

Nonetheless, after more than a year of legal battles, Judge Amiram Benyamini ruled on Wednesday that TAU had

"succumbed to pressure from the Chinese Embassy, which funds various activities at the university, and took down the exhibit, violating [the students'] freedom of expression."

Benyamini also stipulated as part of his ruling that the exhibition be given another week to be shown, and ordered TAU to pay some NIS 45,000 for the students' court costs.

TAU declined to comment on the matter Wednesday afternoon, and a spokesman at the Chinese Embassy refused to comment, telling The Jerusalem Post that it was "a holiday" before hanging up the phone.

The TAU student union, however, which was not affected by the ruling, issued a response expressing its solidarity with the students, and called on the university to "encourage pluralism and freedom of expression amongst the student body."

"As part of this, the student union will assist the organizers in their efforts to present the exhibition on campus. From the moment that the university decided to do away will the exhibition, the union waited for the legal ruling of the court. After receiving the judge's ruling, we are now standing with the students who initiated the exhibition, and will assist them in any way they might need to present the exhibition anew."

(video) China Review: 60 Years of Killing

Compliments of Status of Chinese People Blog. Many Thanks!

This is the seventh of Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, Video by NTDTV via Youtube -

Video part 2

Foreword

The 55-year history of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is written with blood and lies. The stories behind this bloody history are both extremely tragic and rarely known. Under the rule of the CCP, 60 to 80 million innocent Chinese people have been killed, leaving their broken families behind. Many people wonder why the CCP kills. While the CCP continues its brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and recently suppressed protesting crowds in Hanyuan with gunshots, people wonder whether they will ever see the day when the CCP will learn to speak with words rather than guns.

Mao Zedong summarized the purpose of the Cultural Revolution, “…after the chaos the world reaches peace, but in 7 or 8 years, the chaos needs to happen again.” [1] In other words, there should be a political revolution every 7 or 8 years and a crowd of people needs to be killed every 7 or 8 years.

A supporting ideology and practical requirements lie behind the CCP’s slaughters.

Ideologically, the CCP believes in the “dictatorship of the proletariat” and “continuous revolution under the dictatorship of the proletariat.” Therefore, after the CCP took over China, it killed the landowners to resolve problems with production relationships in rural areas. It killed the capitalists to reach the goal of commercial and industrial reform and solve the production relationships in the cities. After these two classes were eliminated, the problems related to the economic base were basically solved. Similarly, solving the problems related to the superstructure [2] also called for slaughter. The suppressions of the Hu Feng Anti-Party Group [3] and the Anti-Rightists Movement eliminated the intellectuals. Killing the Christians, Taoists, Buddhists and popular folk groups solved the problem of religions. Mass murders during the Cultural Revolution established, culturally and politically, the CCP’s absolute leadership. The Tiananmen Square massacre was used to prevent political crisis and squelch democratic demands. The persecution of Falun Gong is meant to resolve the issues of belief and traditional healing. These actions were all necessary for the CCP to strengthen its power and maintain its rule in the face of continual financial crisis (prices for consumer goods skyrocketed after the CCP took power and China’s economy almost collapsed after the Cultural Revolution), political crisis (some people not following the Party’s orders or some others wanting to share political rights with the Party) and crisis of belief (the disintegration of the former Soviet Union, political changes in Eastern Europe, and the Falun Gong issue). Except for the Falun Gong issue, almost all the foregoing political movements were utilized to revive the evil specter of the CCP and incite its desire for revolution. The CCP also used these political movements to test CCP members, eliminating those who did not meet the Party’s requirements……. (more details)

Video part 2