February 6, 2003

We are writing to you regarding the imprisonment of a U.S. citizen, Mr. Charles Li, in China. Mr. Li was arrested right after his arrival at China's Guangzhou Airport on January 22, 2003, on charges of "sabotaging television and radio broadcast systems", accusations which he vehemently denies. Mr. Li maintains that he has been arrested solely because he is a Falun Gong practitioner.

Our organization, World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong ("WOIPFLG"), is dedicated to protecting the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners around the world and to investigate and expose violations of those rights. We find the Chinese authority's claims unacceptable at best and have reason to fear for Mr. Li's well-being and safety.

On February 4, WOIPFLG launched a special investigation into the crimes of killing practitioners of Falun Gong. From August 16, 1999 to February 4, 2003, the verified death toll of practitioners (with names) is 526. However, according to internal government statistics, the actual death toll had reached 1,600 by the end of 2001.

The existing public security and judicial departments in China have failed to demonstrate the ability and the moral courage to impartially and professionally investigate any of these death cases or other forms of illegal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. It is well known that China routinely denies Falun Gong practitioners due process, and when they are tried the verdict is predetermined. Clearly, we cannot stand by to watch Mr. Li being trapped in this flawed Chinese legal system and allow the People's Republic of China to mistreat a citizen of our nation. For this reason, we urge you to do everything possible within your power to ensure that Mr. Li is released immediately and returned to the United States safely and promptly. Your voice will make a difference. We have a recent successful case to attest to this.

Nancy Chen, an Australian Falun Gong practitioner, was kidnapped by the Chinese National Security Department in Chengdu, China on the same day of Mr. Li's arrest. She was released eight days later on January 30 as a result of the tremendous rescue effort put forth by her family and friends, the local and international communities, and the media. Most notably, the elected government officials and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Australia played a key role in securing Mrs. Chen's release.

Our organization is following Mr. Li's case closely. It is absolutely essential that we send a clear message to the Chinese authorities that the United States will not accept their blatant violation of the rights of Falun Gong practitioners, and that Mr. Li must be released immediately and unconditionally.

Thank you for your attention to this most urgent matter.

Very truly yours,

John Jaw