On October 10, 2003, Falun Gong practitioners from North America, Europe, and countries of Asia and their districts held a large-scale candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese General Consulate in Houston to mourn Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death in China by Jiang Zemin's regime. They protested the killings and appealed to the international community to help end the persecution in China. This was one of the activities organized to commemorate the seventh anniversary of the first lecture in Houston on October 12, 1996 by the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi. Under the glow of candlelight Falun Gong practitioners looked solemn, serene, and peaceful. Some of the Falun Gong practitioners delivered flyers to passers-by that contained facts of the torture of Falun Gong practitioners in China. Many passers-by stopped to accept flyers, and many asked for the location of local practice sites. Bilingual Chinese and English display boards showing photos and articles of the truth of Falun Dafa were lined up along the sidewalks; eye-catching banners on the fences told people the topic of the day. Passing vehicles honked to show their concern and support.

In China, the current number of Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death for holding firm to their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" is close to 800. Owing to the tight information blockage by Jiang Zemin's regime, the actual death toll is estimated to be much higher. But this number is enough to show the cruelty and the insanity of the persecution. There is a sad story behind every death case.

The Atrocities of the Persecutor - Jiang Zemin's Regime

Jiang Zemin turned the military, police, and jails into his personal tools to enforce his dictatorship. The brutality of the persecution is shocking. They use over 100 methods to torture Falun Gong practitioners.

Inflamed, coerced, and encouraged by Jiang Zemin and his "610 Office,"* Falun Gong practitioners suffer unbelievable pains. Some are beaten until their bones break. Some are beaten until their bodies are completely covered in wounds, and their faces are distorted beyond recognition. Others have saltwater poured on wounds and are then shocked with electric batons. Some police officers shocked practitioners with over ten electric batons simultaneously, with voltage as high as ten thousand volts each, until their flesh sizzled. Female Falun Gong practitioners have been raped, gang-raped, or sexually abused in multiple ways. Torture as cruel as the "Horrible Tight Cloth" (a very tight binding around one's body causing extreme distortion and pain to all body parts) caused shoulders, arms, or wrist bones to break. At the same time, practitioners are forced to wear earphones and listen to broadcasts defaming Falun Gong while their mouths were stuffed with dirty clothes. Such long-term torture resulted in some practitioners' unbearably painful deaths. Other torture includes finger and toe nails being pricked with pointed bamboo sticks, being bitten by wolf dogs, snakes, or scorpions, and being injected with drugs that damage the neurological system. Many other forms of torture are not mentioned because of the extreme mental sufferings of the victims.

The only reason that Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted in China is because of their firm belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."

One Falun Gong practitioner at the candlelight vigil said, "We have discovered through our own channels, Jiang Zemin's regime and his '610 Office' persecuted over 70 million Falun Gong practitioners in every corner of the country. Over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners were sentenced to jail, 70,000 sent to the brainwashing sessions, over a hundred thousand have been sentenced to forced labor camps, over 2 million people were detained and fined without due process. Millions of families and relatives have been involved and threatened. History will remember the names, the suffering, and the glories of those Falun Gong practitioners who died while guarding their righteous beliefs. We hope people will come to learn with their own hearts the facts of these hardships and sufferings endured by these brave Falun Gong practitioners. We hope more kindhearted people will offer a hand to stop the brutal persecution which is still going on in China."

* "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.

October 11, 2003