Falun Gong News Bulletin: September 23, 2011

Falun Gong News Bulletin: September 23, 2011

Monitoring Falun Gong-related Developments in China and Beyond

23 Sep 2011

Quote of the month: “I’m going to die here. They beat me
everyday.”

– Ms. Ding Zhenfang to her husband when he visited
her in 2010 at Liaoning Women’s Prison where she was held for talking to people
about Falun Gong. On August 1, 2011, Ms. Ding died in custody.

HIGHLIGHTS


PHOTO GALLERY

Images smuggled from China
in August-September 2011

This photo gallery features 10 photos smuggled from China in August and
September 2011 and obtained by the Falun Dafa Information Center. The images,
sent abroad via the internet at great risk to the senders, provide a unique
first-hand glimpse at both the reality of persecution faced by Falun Gong
practitioners and their continued faith despite the repressive environment. The
images included range from samples of Mid-Autumn festival greetings sent from
China to Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi, to the entrance sign of a local
brainwashing center, to a series of photos of victims and their families taken
before they were detained and, in some cases, killed, including one of a
24-year-old woman who died earlier this month.

* FDIC, “Images smuggled from China in
August-September 2011”

ANALYSIS

Thousands in China send Mid-Autumn festival
greetings to Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi

Thousands of
greeting cards were sent this month via Falun Gong’s Minghui website to the
founder of Falun Gong Mr. Li Hongzhi in celebration of the Mid-Autumn festival.
The greetings, which typically represent collections of Falun Gong students in a
variety of geographic regions, provide insight into the resilience of the Falun
Gong community in China, despite over a decade of suppression. The Mid-Autumn
Festival is, along with the Chinese Lunar New Year, one of the most important
holidays in China and often a time for reunion with friends and family. This
year’s Mid-Autumn Festival greetings also included many submissions sent by
non-practitioners of Falun Gong, including from current and retired public
security personnel, military veterans, journalists, and lawyers. See this
bulletin’s photo gallery for samples from Chongqing, Shanghai, and Shandong.

* FDIC, Photo
gallery


Jamestown
China Brief: “The 610 Office: Policing the Chinese Spirit”

In
its September 16 issue, the Jamestown Foundation’s China Brief included an
article on the 610 Office, described as a “plainclothes CCP-based
extra-ministerial security force focused on suppressing the Falun Gong spiritual
group.” The piece, authored by researchers Sarah Cook and Leeshai Lemish,
analyzes the 610 Office from the perspective of the CCP’s tradition of
arbitrarily creating “leading groups” that operate at the behest of top cadres.
The authors argue that the agency is “a CCP-based, rather than a state-based,
security organization” that highlights the “revival of the use of security
agencies to enforce ideological compliance. Moreover, they say, “the 610 Office
signifies a systemic arrangement by CCP leaders to avoid the reach of legal
reforms when dealing with a perceived existential threat to their power. The
willingness and ability of CCP leaders to take such actions has implications not
only for how we understand the trajectory of rule of law development in China,
but also for how we might anticipate the regime responding to present and future
threats to its security.”

* China Brief, “The 610 Office: Policing the Chinese Spirit.”


DEATHS FROM TORTURE


Six new cases of Falun Gong deaths from torture
documented

At least six additional Falun Gong practitioners died
from abuse in custody between June and August 2011, according to reports
compiled by the Falun Dafa Information Center. Several of the victims died after
being released in poor condition from long-term abuse in custody. On the other
hand, in one case, a schoolteacher was killed within less than a month from when
she was taken into custody. These cases bring to 49 the total number of deaths
known to have occurred since January. The following is a list of the known
victims, though given the difficulty of obtaining information, the actual death
toll is surely higher. A more detailed account of each case is provided at the
corresponding link.

•    Mr. Guan
Zhenyuan
, 58, from Gansu, was a father of two who died on June 2,
2011 after 8 years of torture.
•    Mr. Pan
Benyu
from Heilongjiang died on July 17, 2011 as a result of
prolonged torture
•    Ms. Huang
Tao
, 55, from Yunnan never recovered from forced labor and died on
July 28, 2011
•    Ms. Zhuang
Shuling
, a schoolteacher from Heilongjiang, died on July 30, 2011
only 25 days after being taken into custody.
•    Mr. Feng
Qi
, 48, from Anhui was tortured to the point of disability and
passed away on July 31, 2011
•    Ms. Ding
Zhenfang
, 62, a bookstore owner from Liaoning died on August 1,
2011 from nonstop beatings at a women’s prison


TORTURE,
DETENTIONS AND OTHER ABUSES

Bo
Xilai intensifies Falun Gong crackdown in Chongqing

In recent
weeks and months, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in Chongqing has
intensified under the direction of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) head Bo Xilai.
According to information obtained from CCP insiders, Bo apparently seeks to
capitalize on the crackdown to advance his political ambitions and show that he
is capable of wiping out Falun Gong in his jurisdiction. Bo already has a long
track record of directing attacks on Falun Gong practitioners in Liaoning
province where he previously served as a top CCP official. Although Falun Gong
practitioners in Chongqing have been persecuted since 1999, recent months have
witnessed an intensification of the campaign against them with the following
features:

  • Increased abductions: According to records
    collected by Minghui, the main Chinese-language Falun Gong website, during 2009,
    there were 188 cases of Falun Gong practitioners in Chongqing being abducted
    because of their beliefs. By comparison, during the first seven months of 2011,
    already 224 detentions have been reported.
  • Physical and psychiatric torture at brainwashing
    centers:
    In recent weeks, Chongqing authorities have reportedly
    set up 13 new brainwashing centers for illegally holding Falun Gong
    practitioners and trying to force them to renounce their beliefs. Several local
    residents sent to these makeshift detention facilities report being served
    strange smelling water, which caused intestinal disorders, numbness, nightmares,
    and slowness of the mind indicating to them that it had been laced with some
    kind of psychiatric drug. Physical torture has also been reported.
  • Cutting off utilities: Police have been cutting
    off electricity and water supplies to practitioners’ homes in an effort to force
    them to surrender and be taken into custody for “transformation.”

Hunan woman sentenced to seven years in prison for reading Falun
Gong literature at friend’s home

A court in Hunan province
recently ordered that 61-year-old former bank employee Ms. Xiang Huaixiang be
sent to a prison camp for seven years because she practices Falun Gong. Ms.
Xiang was abducted by security agents on July 19, 2010, while gathering in
private with eleven other elderly practitioners to read Falun Gong teachings and
share their spiritual understandings. Suddenly, agents from the 610 Office and
police raided the home and detained them. Four of the practitioners were
released because they were over 80 years old, but others remained in custody.
Between November 2010 and April 2011, Ms. Xiang had four sham trials, including
one at which a court-appointed lawyer pleaded guilty for her against her will.
At the last trial, a judge from Suxian District Court in Chenzhou announced she
would be sent to prison for seven years. In 2000, Ms. Xiang’s daughter, Ms. Chen
Lijuan was detained for practicing Falun Gong and rendered mentally unstable due
to the torture she suffered in custody.  She never recovered and died in 2004.
She was only in her 20s. For a photo of the elderly Ms. Xiang, see photo
gallery.

Brainwashing center opened at Anhui University of
Science and Technology

In August 2011, Chinese Communist Party
officials and 610 Office agents set up a center for forcibly converting Falun
Gong practitioners at the Anhui University of Science and Technology hotel. At
least seven Falun Gong practitioners have reportedly been held there over the
past month. In one case, Mr. Zhang Jinguo, an employee of Huainan internal
revenue service, and his wife were tricked into going to the center on August 4,
and held there. In several other cases, practitioners were reportedly taken to
the hotel in an ambulance. The center is one of countless such makeshift
detention facilities across the country where Falun Gong practitioners are
pressured to renounce their belief, often with physical and psychiatric torture.
The centers numbers have increased as part of an intensified three-year campaign
to “transform” Falun Gong practitioners launched in 2010.

* See photo gallery for photo of outside
of the center.
* On the transformation campaign, see FDIC report and analysis from the
Congressional-Executive
Commission on China

MEDIA AND INTERNET FREEDOM

Urgent Appeal:
Elderly woman facing imprisonment for distributing Falun Gong
DVDs

A 72-year-old woman from Heilongjiang province could be
brought to court for a sham trial and potential imprisonment at any time, simply
because she practices Falun Gong and distributed DVDs about it to others. Ms.
Zhang Hongyi was abducted by police in March 2011 while she was handing out DVDs
related to Falun Gong and human rights abuses at a bus stop in Mudanjiang.
Several days later, police raided her home, confiscating books of Falun Gong’s
spiritual teachings and two computers. Police attempted to detain her longer
term but the detention center refused to accept her because of her advanced age.
Since then, Zhang and her children have been repeatedly harassed and called in
for questioning. The family recently discovered that on August 12, Gao Lianshun
from the procuratorate had sent an indictment to Xi’an District Court, which has
accepted the case. Given the CCP’s record of illegally imprisoning Falun Gong
practitioners, Zhang and her family fear she could be sent off to a prison camp
for years. The Falun Dafa Information Center calls on press freedom groups and
democratic governments to raise Ms. Zhang’s case with the Chinese authorities,
pressuring them to drop all charges and allow her to exercise her rights to
freedom of belief and expression without fear of reprisal.

Indonesia radio station manager sentenced to jail for
broadcasts on human rights in China

On September 6, a judge in
Batam, Indonesia handed down a six-month jail sentenced to the manager of a
radio station that had aired broadcasts about human rights in China, including
the persecution of Falun Gong. Gatot Machali, manager of Radio Era Baru, was
also fined 50 million rupees ($5,800) and has said he will appeal the decision.
Press freedom groups have strongly condemned the trial and sentencing, urging
the Indonesian government to resist CCP pressure to silence critical voices
within its borders. The entire case has been marred with concerns of selective
enforcement and fears that the charges result from Chinese pressure, including a
2007 letter from the Chinese embassy to Indonesia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs
demanding closure of the station and noting Machali by name. Reporters without
Borders wrote immediately to the Indonesian President and Minister of Law and
Human Rights asking them to intervene on Machali’s behalf. Radio Era Baru is an
affiliate of Sound of Hope, a radio network founded by Falun Gong practitioners
with the mission of providing uncensored news to Chinese audiences around the
world.

* Reporters
without borders

* Jakarta
Globe

* Freedom House

Video showing cyber attack on
Falun Gong removed from state-run TV

After catching the
attention of the international community, a video clip that inadvertently
admitted Falun Gong websites are a target for military cyber attacks has been
removed from state-run China Central Television’s (CCTV) website. Cybersecurity
analysts and international media took notice of the clip because it was a rare
admission by the CCP that the many cyber attacks originating from China against
human rights groups, government departments, and businesses in the United States
and Europe indeed have official backing. The clip is still available on the
U.S.-based video-sharing website YouTube.

* The Washington Post
* YouTube clip from CCTV program


OUTSIDE
CHINA


U.S. Confucius Institutes import discrimination
against Falun Gong

Confucius Institutes that are located at
U.S. universities are indirectly importing the CCP’s employment discrimination
against Falun Gong practitioners, according to a recent investigative report by
The Epoch Times. The paper discovered that the hiring policy used to
choose which Chinese are sent to teach at such institutes, non-profit cultural
centers sponsored by the Chinese government, explicitly cites the following
qualifications: “Aged between 22 to 60, physical and mental healthy, no record
of participation in Falun Gong and other illegal organizations, and no criminal
record.” Disturbingly, when reporters brought this policy to the attention of
administrators at 9 U.S. universities hosting Confucius Institutes, the latter
expressed little disapproval, asserting instead the CCP’s right to vet institute
teachers according to its own criteria, even if those would be illegal in the
United States. Other commentators, including legal experts and religious freedom
advocates, viewed the hiring practices as unethical and clear religious
discrimination. One Canadian pundit took his critique a step further saying,
“That would be like if in the 1930s, if we had a German Institute in
universities saying you have to be healthy, 22 to 60, and ‘No Jews
Allowed.’”

* The
Epoch Times

Urgent Appeal: Chinese refugees in Korea
facing imminent deportation

A young Chinese couple who practice
Falun Gong and live in South Korea are facing imminent deportation back to
China, which would put them at risk of illegal imprisonment, torture, and death.
On September 6, immigration officials raided the home of Mr. and Mrs. Jin
Jingzhe, and detained Mr. Jin, taking him to a protection center for migrants.
The couple had applied for asylum and their application was rejected, part of a
pattern in South Korea in recent years. Despite being a signatory of the UN
Convention against Torture, which forbids deportation of people to a country
where they would face torture, the Korean government, under possible pressure
from the CCP, has sent 10 Falun Gong practitioners back to China since 2009. In
July 2011, three Falun Gong practitioners were repatriated. The Korean Falun
Dafa Association has submitted a complaint about the matter to the office of the
National Human Rights Commission of Korea and the UN High Commission for
Refugees. Roger Helmer, a member of the European Parliament, wrote on September
9 to the South Korean Ambassador in the United Kingdom, voicing his concern for
the couple and requesting assurance that Korea would fulfill its international
obligations to asylum seekers. According to The Wall Street Journal, at
least 23 members of the U.S. congress have also written to the Korean
government.

* FDIC
* The Epoch Times
* The Wall Street Journal

Swiss musician
dedicates album to Falun Gong persecution victims

Swiss musician
and activist Michael de Salem released his debut album “Something Getting Wrong”
last month. An avid environmentalist and human rights activist, he has dedicated
the album to exposing the suppression Falun Gong practitioners face in China. De
Salem was reportedly deeply touched by the story of a Chinese family who lost
their lives as a result of the persecution. The song entitled “Higher” on the
debut album was written especially for Falun Gong victims in China who have
“suffered tremendously for simply wanting to improve their lifestyles and attain
higher levels of consciousness.” The album is available for sale in record
stores and online shops such as Amazon.

* PRWeb


TAKE
ACTION


Petition urges U.S. Senators to co-sponsor Falun
Gong Resolution

A new petition launched in early September on
Change.org is urging U.S. Senators to co-sponsor Senate Resolution 232. The
resolution, introduced on July 13, 2011 by New Jersey Senator Robert Menendez
and Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn, aims to recognize the continued persecution of
Falun Gong practitioners in China, call for an immediate end to the campaign
against them, and take note of the Tuidang movement whereby Chinese citizens
renounce their ties to the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliates. The Falun
Dafa Information Center encourages readers to sign the petition or otherwise
reach out to Senators during the month of September to urge them to co-sponsor
the resolution.

* Change.org petition
* Text of Senate Resolution 232

THE
BASICS

Since 1999, the Chinese Communist Party has carried out a
widespread, brutal campaign of persecution to eradicate Falun Gong, a
traditional Chinese spiritual and qigong practice, whose adherents in China
still number in the tens of millions. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese who
practice Falun Gong remain in captivity, rendering them the single largest group
of prisoners of conscience in China (article). The United
Nations, Amnesty International, Chinese human rights lawyers, and Western media
have documented Falun Gong torture and deaths at the hands of Chinese officials
(reports). In its annual report released in early 2011, Amnesty
International stated that Falun Gong practitioners who refused to renounce their
beliefs “are typically tortured until they co-operate; many die in detention or
shortly after release." The Communist Party’s campaign and its implementation
are in violation of Chinese law and, contrary to common reporting, Falun Gong
was not banned as an “evil cult." (analysis)

Falun Gong
FAQ

Persecution
FAQ

Key
Statistics

Journalist’s Corner

http://faluninfo.net/article/1170/

廣告

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