World Journal Reports Harassment of San Francisco Falun Dafa Practitioner
On June 13, 2002, journalist Xu Minzi of the World Journal, from San Francisco, reported that a resident of San Francisco, Pan Jun, had been beaten and harassed because he practiced Falun Gong. At a press conference in front of the San Francisco Chinese Consulate, Pan Jun stated that he had been beaten a year ago because he practiced Falun Gong. Those who beat him had been "ordered" by a person who was often seen going in and out the Chinese Consulate.
The U.S. Congressional Human Rights Caucus conducted a Members' Briefing about the People's Republic of China's pressure to silence United States officials in their support of Falun Gong and related human rights issues. According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, the main topic of this hearing was the pressure by the People's Republic of China (PRC) to silence United States officials, and the PRC's harassment of U.S. citizens who practice and support Falun Gong. Chris Daly of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, and Stan Bogosian, Saratoga City Councilman and former Mayor of Saratoga, were among the witnesses. The witness statement of Pan Jun coincided with the briefing in Washington, D.C.
According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, when Mr. Stan Bogosian was the Mayor of Saratoga, and recognized Falun Gong through awards and proclamations, he was personally harassed by the PRC Consulate in San Francisco. The PRC Consulate sent representatives to his office to attempt to persuade him to accept China's propaganda about Falun Gong. When he refused, they asked him to at least refrain from publicly expressing his support of Falun Gong. Mr. Bogosian thinks the conduct of the Chinese government is interfering with U.S. local governments.
The news from the Falun Dafa Information Center pointed out that after Mr. Daly was elected to the Board of Supervisors, he received many complaints from his constituents and from Falun Gong practitioners, about the threats they had received from the Chinese Consulate. He introduced a resolution to support Falun Gong in October 2001, but was rejected because Chinese Consular Wang Yunxiang had written to each City Board Supervisor. Also, businessman Bai Lan, who has a close relationship with the PRC, actively canvassed the community to influence them against the resolution.
Pan Jun, who originally came from Beijing, told the media that he was practicing with fellow practitioners at San Francisco's Chinatown Garden. He was first harassed, then jumped and severely beaten by a gang of more than ten assailants. He suffered many injuries, his eyeglasses were broken, and his shirt was torn. Police questioned three offenders and detained one of them temporarily.
Pan Jun expressed that before the beating, he saw one young man whispering with three of the people who beat him. That young man was identified as one whom "had often been in and out of the Chinese Consulate." Pan Jun sued three of the perpetrators in a California Higher Court, but the case was withdrawn because the offenders signed a statement of "Respect for the Freedom of Falun Gong Practitioners to Practice the Exercises."
Pan Jun has been practicing Falun Gong since 1998 and says it has brought him good health and wisdom of life. "Falun Gong is a Buddha Law," so he and his wife always use $100 to $200 per month of their own money to print and distribute Falun Dafa truth clarifying materials.
The hostess of this press conference, Zhang Xuerong, is a Falun Dafa volunteer in the California Bay Area, and does post Doctoral research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. She told the media that the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Government has expanded from harassingá practitioners, to harassing U.S. Government officials. She pointed out that the three offenders who beat Pan Jun are also victims of the Chinese Government.
Ms. Zhang Xuerong stated that in April, fifty Falun Gong practitioners, as victims from all over the U.S., had already submitted their lawsuit to the Federal Court charging that the Chinese Embassy and CCTV have spread lies and hatred in the U.S. towards Falun Gong. She further stated that the actions of the PRC had resulted in numerous accounts of intimidation and/or harm to Falun Dafa practitioners ranging from incidents during group practice to incidents in practitioners' homes. Physical attacks against Falun Dafa practitioners occurred, as well as malicious acts, such as vandalism or burning of vehicles; illegal recording of private conversations; attacking or disabling Internet web sites and denying some practitioners the right to visit China.