Practitioners of Falun Gong protest in Parliament Square over the 10 year persecution of their spiritual discipline by the Chinese Communist Party on July 20, 2009 in London, England.
CJA: Religious persecution has been a noted feature of the human rights landscape in China. Religion is highly regulated by the Chinese government and those believers who wish to practice outside of state-controlled venues for the five officially recognized religions—Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, Catholicism and Protestantism—face official harassment, possible imprisonment, and in some cases torture and execution. Every year since 1999, the U.S. State Department has designated China a "Country of Particular Concern" under the International Religious Freedom Act. Certain ethno-religious minorities, including the Muslim Uighur of Western China as well as Tibetan Buddhists, face state-sanctioned violence. Since 1998, persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has been particularly severe.
Falun Gong is a religious practice that fuses traditional Qi Gong meditative techniques with a modern set of moral teachings introduced by Li Hongzhi in 1992. Drawing on centuries-old traditions, Falun Gong’s popularity grew exponentially. By 1998, the Chinese government estimated that there were more than 70 million practitioners.  As government criticism of Falun Gong increased, practitioners organized demonstrations culminating in a silent protest in Beijing in 1999 attended by over ten thousand.
The government responded by banning Falun Gong, declaring it a “cult and false science.” The practice was violently suppressed. Reports by Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have documented the use of torture, incommunicado detention, confinement in labor camps and forced psychiatric treatment. In 2006, an investigation led by MP David Kilgour—a Canadian former Secretary of State for the Asia Pacific Region—documented the harvesting of organs from live political detainees, in addition to the acknowledged practice of harvesting organs from the bodies of executed prisoners. The Chinese government has denied the allegations. Nonetheless, human rights organizations continue to document and collect evidence of ongoing torture and religious persecution against Falun Gong.
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NOTES 2008 Report on International Religious Freedom, Under Secretary for Democracy and Global Affairs, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, U.S. State Department. 2008. Available at: http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2008/108351.htm Accessed: August 18, 2009.
 Number of Falun Gong practitioners in China in 1999: at least 70 million, Falun Dafa Information Center, June 8, 2008. Available at: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/517/?ci=5 Accessed August 18, 2009.
 The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called ''heretical organizations'', Amnesty International, AI INDEX: ASA 17/011/2000. March 23, 2000. Available at: http://web.archive.org/web/20030711022606/http://web.amnesty.org/library/Index/engASA170112000
 Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China [PDF], MP David Kilgour and David Matas, July 6, 2006.