Video: FGM TV News - 10/15/2002
- Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries, but relentlessly persecuted in China.
- The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world.
- While China continues to block information about the persecution, FGM TV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to the FGM TV weekly news review on October 15, 2002
I'm David Tompkins
In this week's update from China...
- The number of Falun Gong practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 499, with details of 8 more confirmed deaths received in the past week. Reliable sources inside China put the actual death count in the thousands.
- In the last 7 days, reports of persecution have come in from 20 provinces and from the cities of Beijing and Tianjin.
- 316 people declared as void all statements they had made under torture and at times when their minds were not clear. They said they intend to continue to practice Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
- The head of the People's Republic of China will visit the United States and will be met with the righteous thoughts of Falun Gong practitioners from around the world.
And some of our other stories:
- Hong Kong stands at the brink of enacting a law which would open the door to persecute Falun Gong in that region
- A woman is murdered by police in Central China
- A man is murdered by police in Northern China
- Family members of practitioners who are persecuted form a global action committee
- And people in Germany and Ukraine learn about Falun Gong.
- The head of the PRC will be visiting the United States from October 22nd to October 25th, and will then hop to Mexico to attend the APEC meeting on the 26th and 27th, and then hop back to San Francisco on the 28th.
- Senators, Congressmen, and concerned citizens from the United States and around the world have urged President Bush to speak publicly and forcefully about the persecution.
- One letter from Senator Richard G. Lugar said, "The United States should not remain silent about the issue of human and religious rights in China."
- In an article in that appeared in the Washington Times, he said, "Above all, we cannot remain silent about the latest round of human rights abuses because our attention has been diverted or because we fear our commercial contacts will be jeopardized. The President ... must continue to express our moral outrage and opposition to ... repression."
- Earlier this month a commission of U.S. lawmakers and administration officials issued a scathing report accusing the Chinese government of "persistent violations" of the human rights of its people.
- The 78-page report criticized Chinese officials for blocking religious expression, jailing political opponents and workers' rights advocates, and setting tight controls on press freedom and the access of Chinese citizens to the Internet.
- The report was the first annual review of China's human rights record by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, a panel of nine senators, nine House members and five administration officials.
Among the commission's findings:
- While China officially recognizes five religions -- Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism -- government officials have cracked down on religious practitioners at churches not sanctioned by the state. In attacking unsanctioned spiritual groups such as Falun Gong, officials have arrested thousands of practitioners and sentenced some religious leaders to death.
- Chinese authorities have repeatedly broken up demonstrations by workers asking for better conditions, outlawed labor unions and imprisoned those who have tried to organize workers.
- The government bars criticism of the Communist Party and has demoted or fired journalists who have reported on sensitive topics. Authorities regularly block access to international news Web sites, and Chinese law imposes fines and jail time for anyone who posts information on the Internet that, in the government's view, "harms social stability."
- Chinese police and prosecutors regularly use torture to extract confessions from suspects, though the practice is officially banned. Authorities often detain criminal suspects and political dissidents for long periods without a trial and deny them access to a lawyer.
- Bush plans to meet Oct. 25 with the head of the PRC at his ranch in Crawford, Texas. White House officials said the main topics of discussion are the war on terrorism and non-proliferation.
A most horrifying situation is rising in Hong Kong
- Reuters reported that the anti-subversion bill proposed by the Hong Kong government is a powerful weapon that gives the head of the PRC in Beijing full latitude, allowing practitioners of Falun Gong to be persecuted the same as in China.
- Article 23 of Hong Kong's basic law says the regional government will have to enact laws "on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the central people's government, or theft of state secrets."
- For five years they have deferred enactment on it.
- Recently, however, the head of the PRC has been impatient and has reminded Hong Kong of its obligation to legislate.
- Secretary for Security Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee disclosed that Hong Kong had held consultations with Beijing and both sides have agreed that Article 23 legislation will be passed by July.
- In late September a consultation document was released that laid out the general principles for the law.
- Alan Leong, chairman of the Hong Kong Bar Association, said the proposed law had too many grey areas and would threaten basic freedoms in the territory.
- He said, "If all that is contained in the consultation paper is implemented...what it simply means is the law enforcers will have very, very wide discretion in picking and choosing whom to prosecute, when to prosecute, for what to prosecute."
- Falun Gong practitioners know the enactment of this law is being twisted to serve the purposes of the head of the PRC in Beijing. His intention is to be able to persecute Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong.
- Under the proposed law, those found guilty of acts of treason, secession, subversion or sedition could be imprisoned for life.
- The consultation paper on the new law contains only the broadest outlines of the proposal, leaving many residents to fear the worst - that the government will keep the law vague to interpret in any way it wishes.
- Leong urged the government to hold another round of public consultations when the bill is drafted with more details.
- This past week the government ruled that out.
- Justice Secretary Elsie Leung said it would proceed straight to a final draft, which would then be put to the legislature.
- The only public consultation then will be feedback over the next two months on the consultation paper released in September.
- This is a grave situation when the Special Region of Hong Kong stands at the verge of making a most horrifying choice that will effectively allow the head of the PRC to persecute Falun Gong in Hong Kong.
A 45 Year old woman is murdered by police in Central China
- Witnesses report that Ms. Guo Xiumei was found on the Southwest Road of Huaiyang County, Henan Province in the early morning hours of September 23rd.
- She was doubled over from pain, her face, neck, and chest were swollen with injuries, and her left eye socket was collapsed, bearing a fist-shaped bruise.
- Xiumei was still alive when the police arrived. However, instead of treating a beaten woman, they spread Falun Gong literature all around her, then photographed and videotaped the scene.
- They then walked away and reported that she had died from illnesses while distributing literature about Falun Gong. The official cause of death was recorded as heart disease and cerebral hemorrhage.
- Xiumei had gone out at 9:00 pm the evening before to distribute flyers clarifying the true facts of the persecution.
- Her death like so many others was the result of torture at the hands of authorities.
In Northern China
- Falun Gong practitioner Sun Jihong was an employee of the Hua'nan County Forestry Bureau in Heilongjiang Province.
- On January 7, 2001, he was forced to leave home in order to avoid further persecution.
- He began doing truth-clarification work in Beijing.
- On February 4, 2002, the day dedicated as Beijing Falun Gong Day, he went to Tiananmen Square to appeal for Falun Gong.
- Shortly after he unfurled his banner, he was arrested.
- He went on a hunger strike to protest and was released 14 days later.
- On the night of May 10, 2002, some one reported him to the police.
- He was taken away from the place where he lived, and the place was ransacked.
- While in detention, he firmly resisted the persecution and again went on a hunger strike.
- The police failed in their attempts to force feed him.
- On the ninth day, there happened to be some policemen from Hua'nan County Forestry Bureau who came to Beijing to pick up another practitioner.
- Beijing police had intended to send Jihong to a labour camp.
- However, seeing they could not shake his firm belief in the Great Law no matter what means they tried, they let the Hua'nan police take him back.
- On the way back to Hua'nan County, he kept a righteous mind and successfully jumped out of the train and escaped.
- At around 6 p.m. on September 25, 2002, while Jihong was changing buses in Beijing, he was kidnapped by the police.
- Afterwards, the Fengtai District Police Department called the Hua'nan County Forestry Bureau asking for information about him.
- At the end of September, Jihong was tortured to death.
- When his family was finally permitted to see his body they found the corpse in a horrifying condition.
- On October 2, 2002, police had his body immediately cremated without the family's permission.
- The police are now blocking any news about his murder.
- The "Global Action Committee for Rescuing the Family Members of Falun Gong Practitioners" persecuted in China, was founded on September 28, 2002. It is comprised of more than fifty volunteers from ten countries.
- Because of the escalation of the persecution of Falun Gong in China, there are already more than one hundred thousand practitioners illegally detained in jails and in forced labour camps across the country. They are relentlessly tortured.
- Even after some have been released and returned home, they still endure 24-hour surveillance.
- Practitioners with family members who are imprisoned or under surveillance in China have actively joined together to establish this action committee. To date, the participants in this global action committee come from Canada, the United States, Brazil, Ireland, Holland, Germany, Australia, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong.
- The committee is planning a series of activities, including making appeals to the leaders of various countries, as well as to those who will attend the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, to be held October 2002 in Mexico.
- The committee will encourage international delegates at APEC to direct their attention and concern toward the persecution of Falun Gong, and urge the head of the PRC to not only cease the persecution of their family members, but to completely end the campaign of persecution against Falun Gong.
In Nuremburg Germany
- Practitioners attended the annual German International Human Rights Conference in Nuremburg to draw attention to the persecution of Falun Gong.
- They practiced the exercises outside the meeting room, which moved the representatives attending the Conference. They also collected signatures for a petition, and asked people to write to the German Chancellor and President to urge the head of the PRC to immediately stop the brutal persecution.
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