S. Korea Asked to Stop Repatriations to China
Urged to end deportation of Falun Gong practitioners
Falun Gong practitioners from
South Korea to China. They stand outside the Consulate General of the Republic
of Korea in Midtown Manhattan on Wednesday.
(Amal Chen/The Epoch Times)
NEW YORK—New Yorkers appealed outside the Korean Consulate on Wednesday to
call for an immediate stop to deportations of Falun Gong practitioners from
South Korea to China, including a young Chinese couple who face imminent return
More than 70 people gathered with posters and signs in
response to the Sept. 6 arrest of Falun Gong asylum seekers Jin Jingzhe and Ma
Yue in South Korea. Several met with Assistant Consul Kying Ryun Park to inform
him of the latest development and deliver a letter.
government must stop it immediately,” said Seog One Ha, 28, a Korean citizen
studying at Columbia University. “It is
related to a person’s life. A person’s life is prior to any terms or laws.”
Ha delivered a letter to the consul
on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners in metropolitan New York. Park assured Ha
that the message would be delivered up the
ranks at the consulate.
According to the Korea Falun Dafa
Association, 100 Falun Gong practitioners have been denied refugee asylum in
South Korea and face deportation. The deportation of Falun Gong practitioners is
in violation of the United Nations Convention on the Status of Refugees and the
Convention Against Torture. South Korea signed both treaties.
to the letter addressed to the consul, Falun Gong practitioners risk
imprisonment, brutal torture, and death if they are sent back to
“Sending Falun Gong refugees back to China is inhumane, unjust,
and contrary to international law,” said a statement from Levi Browde, executive
director of the Falun Dafa Information Center. “We urge the
South Korean government to resist any pressure coming from the Chinese Communist
Party (CCP) and offer Falun Gong practitioners a safe haven from
The Falun Dafa Information Center has documented thousands
of deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in China since the CCP began waging a
nationwide campaign of propaganda, imprisonment, and torture in 1999. Falun
Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese practice of meditation,
gentle exercises, and application of the
principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance in daily
Young Couple on the Brink
A team from the
Korean Ministry of Justice went to the Seoul home of Jin Jingzhe, 26, and his
wife, Ma Yue, on Sept. 6. The couple was arrested on the grounds that they were illegal immigrants.
Jin was taken to a “foreigner’s protection detention center.” Employees at the
center informed Jin that he has seven days to write an appeal before being
“South Korea has stated that it wants to defend the rights of
North Korean refugees abroad—to not be deported back to North Korea—because they
understand that the situation in North Korea is that the refugees that are sent
to North Korea would be subject to torture and maybe even death and execution,”
said an American Falun Gong practitioner who attended the appeal. “It’s very
hypocritical of them to turn around and [deport] Falun Gong
Korean President Lee Myung-bak is scheduled to visit New
York City Sept. 20–22. The president will attend an Appeal of Conscience
Foundation ceremony to receive an award for his democracy and humanitarian
efforts. Myung-bak will also meet with United Nations General Secretary Ban
Ki-moon, who is well-known for his work on human rights.
ironic,” said Woo Kim, 19, a dual citizen of the United States and Korea. “I
have heard of other practitioners being deported to China—there’s been 10 people
so far. It’s not really surprising to me because I know how active the Chinese
Communist Party spies are in South Korea.”
Jin, who has less than two
days left before being deported, actively participated in peaceful Falun Gong
protests in South Korea, exposing the persecution of the practice by the Chinese
Communist Party. Jin also worked for New Tang Dynasty Television and covered
stories sensitive to the political regime in China.
The consulate general
of the Republic of Korea did not return calls by press deadline.