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Saturday, December 31, 2011

Russian Court Bans Falun Gong Books, Human Rights Report

The main text of the spiritual practice Falun Gong is studied in 114 countries around the world, has been translated into 30 languages, and was a runaway best seller in Beijing, but last week a regional appeals court in Russia banned it. Human rights activists and Falun Gong practitioners say the ban is due to pressure on Russia from the Chinese regime.

The main Falun Gong text, “Zhuan Falun,” along with two Falun Gong leaflets, and human rights investigations—two reports and one book—detailing the forced, live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China were banned nationwide by a court in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar in October. On Dec. 22, an appeals court decision upheld the ban.

In a report on Monday, Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF), a nonprofit based in Brussels, Belgium, suggested that the court decision was influenced by China. The report said that Moscow has been helping Beijing in its fight against Falun Gong on the basis of two treaties: the 2001 Treaty of Friendship between Russia and China, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a mutual-security organization founded in 2001.

The harassment of Falun Gong practitioners in Russia has included the forced repatriation to China of Chinese nationals who practice Falun Gong, banning public activities by Falun Gong practitioners, and the refusal by authorities to register new Falun Gong organizations.

More at the Epoch Times

Friday, December 30, 2011

China's crackdown

This editorial ran in Wednesday’s Washington Post:

China's Communist rulers are ringing out December in a flurry of paranoia and repression, a fitting coda to a year of steadily decreasing tolerance for open dissent and discussion.

On Friday, authorities sentenced Chen Wei to nine years in prison. Chen's “crime was heinous, and influence vile,” the judge declared. And what was his crime? Writing essays. Because he advocated democracy — and has done so since he was first imprisoned for his role in the Tiananmen Square protests of 1989 — a judge found Chen guilty of “inciting subversion.”

On Monday another dissident writer, Chen Xi, was sentenced to 10 years, also for “incitement.” His crime: 36 essays that he wrote and posted online.

These sentences would have been considered unusually long until recently, but in the current crackdown the regime has sentenced Nobel peace laureate Liu Xiaobo to 11 years and Liu Xianbin to 10 years. Their crimes also consisted of writing.

China's Communist rulers do not feel compelled to account for their actions, so the motivation for the crackdown is a subject of speculation. Most China-watchers believe the authorities have been spooked by the popular uprisings in the Middle East. They may also be more nervous than usual as they prepare for an equally opaque leadership change next year. A top security official reportedly said that crackdowns on “hostile forces” (government code for peaceful advocates of democracy) and “illegal religious organizations” (code for Christians, Falun Gong followers and others who choose to worship without government approval) will be a priority in the coming year.

The human rights crackdown has drawn relatively little attention or condemnation from the West. Perhaps this is because the allure of Chinese investment and the Chinese market is too strong. Perhaps the crackdown seems so out of keeping with popular images of bustling, modern, capitalist Shanghai that outsiders have a hard time believing it is going on.

But those who think the anxieties of China's rulers are irrelevant to its foreign relations would do well to read a Dec. 25 account by Washington Post correspondent Andrew Higgins about official attacks against U.S. ambassadors to China and, most recently and most personally, against the U.S. consul to Hong Kong, Stephen Young, whose transgression was to ignore “solemn warnings” to keep mum about democracy. The gibes are a reminder that China's rulers, to bolster their position without the legitimacy of popular election, are quick not only to imprison their countrymen and censor their press but also, when convenient, to stoke the fires of nationalism.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

'Extremist' writings of ex-Canadian MP, lawyer banned in Russia because of book on organ harvesting of Falun Gong

Train Riders in China Must Identify Themselves

China’s Ministry of Railways will enforce a real-name authentication system for train tickets, starting on the first day of next year, according to an announcement last week.

More at The Epoch Times

A 'Real' War on Christmas? Police Across China Attack Christians for Celebrating Christmas (VIDEO)

On Christmas Day, police across China tear gassed and beat down Christians for worshiping at "unofficial" Christmas services, according to an American aid group in the region. However, according to Slovenian philosopher, Slavoj Zizek, the Chinese government prefers religions that “sustain social stability,” like Confucianism, over Christianity, Tibetan Buddhism, and sects like Falun Gong, which try to operate independently of authorities and end up causing “social disintegration.”

More at The Christian Post

Why isn't the West reacting to China's crackdown?

A top security official reportedly said that crackdowns on “hostile forces”(government code for peaceful advocates of democracy) and “illegal religious organizations” (code for Christians, Falun Gong followers and others who choose to worship without government approval) will be a priority in the coming year.

More at the Washington Post

Friday, December 23, 2011

Vietnam's Falungong under pressure

Hanoi (AFP) Dec 23, 2011 - In silent meditation, the Falungong members did not flinch when a shirtless, tattooed man slapped them on the head, ...

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

China-Based Hacking of 760 Companies Shows Cyber Cold War

In one of the earliest attacks on a company, cyberspies hacked into the computer networks of POSCO, the South Korean steel giant, in July 2006, Alperovitch said. The intrusion took place the same month that the steelmaker, the third largest in the world, initiated a takeover of a large steel mill in eastern China, according to the U.S.-based Epoch Times, founded by supporters of the dissident Falun Gong spiritual sect, which first noted a link between the two events.

More at BusinessWeek

Cambridge University Disbands Chinese Students and Scholars Association

He is a Falun Gong practitioner, and learned that his emails about Falun Gong were not permitted on the CSSA-CAM email list.

More at The Epoch Times

Protester dies in jail. Riots over confiscated land on the rise

Falun Gong members, bishops and priests die in prison for torture. "Mass incidents" that see clashes between police and demonstrators grew to 180 thousand in 2010.

More at

Gao Zhisheng To Serve Three Year Prison Sentence

The high-profile and galvanizing Chinese human rights figure Gao Zhisheng, held by Chinese security forces almost continually since late 2006, has been officially sentenced to [...]

More at The Epoch Times

The town that dared to defy Beijing

The last time the government really marshalled its forces against opposing forces was in the 1990s when the Falun Gong spiritual movement began to organise millions of opponents, and it cracked down harshly on what it sees as an ...

More at The Independent

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Report: Systematic Psychiatric Torture of Falun Gong Practitioners in Hospitals

New Report and Call for Action
For Immediate Release

Alarming evidence is summarized in a new report released by Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group (FGHRWG) on the eve of the globally celebrated Human Rights Day on 10 December. The report "China: Systematic Psychiatric Torture of Falun Gong practitioners in hospitals" and listing of over 150 Chinese hospitals known to use this torture against Falun Gong practitioners can be obtained here and here.

"One of the most inhuman and notorious torture methods used in China in the attempt to eradicate Falun Gong practitioners is psychiatric torture," according to the FGHRWG report. "This form of torture is used routinely by staff of detention centers, labor camps and jails to coerce Falun Gong practitioners to give up their beliefs."

"These horrifying acts are also regularly occurring in modern, reputable hospitals, by or overseen by, professional and skilled staffs who are trained to heal - not to hurt."

Evidence demonstrates the systematic and horrifying use of psychiatric torture on mentally and physically healthy Falun Gong practitioners in hospitals in China.

The overall outcomes of psychiatric torture, on 1,089 Falun Gong confirmed victims, often resulted in irreparable mental and physical states and even death. Many are reduced to insanity, a semi-comatose, "zombie," lifeless state, or cannot walk, talk, or care for themselves along with other mental and physical health problems not present prior to torture.

This form of torture was once prevalent in communist Russia and created global outrage from psychiatric and mental healthcare fields in the 1980's. Current evidence indicates these practices are even more widespread in China than the former Soviet Union.

"This evidence is basically being ignored," Dr. Shizhong Chen, spokesperson of FGHRWG, said. "In the past few years, 80% of all reported persecution cases of Falun Gong practitioners in China that we have received included some form of psychiatric torture."

According to the report, in order to break the free will of the practitioners, "the Chinese authorities have conducted on Falun Gong practitioners extensive psychiatric torture, including a combination of forced ingestion or injection with massive amounts of psychiatric drugs, unknown drugs or toxic substances; undergoing a massive number of electroshock procedures (also known as electro-convulsive shock); or the use of electric needles at the temples to shock the brain and produce seizures."

"The time is now not later to call attention to and to stop these atrocities," Dr. Chen said. "We are asking concerned individuals, professional associations, agencies and organizations in the health fields, human rights organizations and world governments to get informed, take actions and issue sanctions."

See the report for details on possible actions recommended by FGHRWG.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Report offers evidence for massive organ-harvesting program in China

Many of the victims were alive when their organs were harvested for domestic and foreign transplantation. “Up to three million Falun Gong practitioners ...

More at Catholic Culture