FDI: Rescuing Dr. Charles Li is a Matter of Morality and Justice
Press Statement from the Falun Dafa Information Center
NEW YORK (FDI) -- Regarding the arrest of U.S. Citizen, Dr. Charles Li, and the "show trial" he was ushered through last Friday, many unanswered questions have arisen, including why Dr. Li returned to China, whether he took equipment with him and whether he was planning to tap into the Chinese state-run television system.
For nearly four years, Jiang Zemin's regime has used the state-run television airwaves to broadcast anti-Falun Gong, hate propaganda. Since early 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in China have countered this propaganda by successfully tapping into local television signals to broadcast programs exposing the persecution against Falun Gong in China (press statement).
The programs provide information from human rights organizations, world media and other news sources that are readily available to those living outside China. Inside China, however, where people live under a regime that strictly controls what they see, read and hear about Falun Gong, these programs are often the first real glimpse they have of a horrific persecution happening in their own country.
Could Dr. Li have traveled to China to assist in broadcasting one or more of these television programs?
According to reports from China, during last Friday's "show trial," Dr. Li argued in his defense that he did intend to broadcast programs exposing the persecution and that such action is protected under Chinese law ("Article 21") in cases of "emergency."
The truth is, it cannot be known for sure what Dr. Li did or did not do until he is safely back in the U.S. and can speak openly and freely. What we do know, however, is that broadcasting programs over Chinese state-run T.V. that expose human rights abuses is a peaceful, just and noble act of civil disobedience.
Jiang Zemin's regime is severely persecuting Falun Gong in China with the intent of "Destroying the reputation of Falun Gong completely, exhausting Falun Gong practitioners financially, and eradicating Falun Gong..." (special report) Yet, during the past nearly four years, Falun Gong practitioners around the world have always used non-violent means to oppose the persecution.
Because the Jiang Zemin regime's persecution against Falun Gong violates the Chinese Constitution, he and his accomplices set up a series of "laws and policies" in order to justify their actions. Thus, through peacefully opposing the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have indeed "violated" the "laws" that the Jiang Zemin regime formulated after the large-scale persecution began. In fact, anyone in China would have already violated the "laws and policies" for merely persisting in practicing Falun Gong in the privacy of their own home. These so-called "laws and policies" were forced upon the Chinese people by Jiang Zemin in an attempt to cover up his crime of violating the constitution and trampling human rights.
Over 50 years ago, Gandhi first promoted non-violent resistance and violated the laws in the then-British colony. For this, he was put in jail.
Over 30 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King violated segregation laws in the southern United States when he peacefully fought for the human rights of African Americans. For this, he was detained on more than 20 occasions.
Peaceful resistance is aimed at correcting unjust and irrational laws and policies: Laws and policies that, at their very essence, are weapons for persecution and repression. Peaceful resistance pursues fairness and justice. Opposing and violating unjust and irrational laws is the necessary path for peaceful movements, and it is also a price that cannot be avoided. Gandhi and Dr. King both peacefully violated laws. But such disobedience does not diminish their goals. In fact, their peaceful and principled disobedience was the only possible path to their goals, and by strictly adhering to that path they proved the virtue of their cause.
Falun Gong practitioners are seeking to be treated justly, and are using peaceful means to do so. Dr. Li went to China as a Falun Gong practitioner. If he is arrested because he intended to "violate" the laws of China by interjecting the principle of human rights through the channels of the state-run hate propaganda machine, then this is only an extension of Jiang Zemin's unjust persecution.
Should we judge Gandhi with the laws imposed on Britain's colony, and should we judge Dr. King with the segregation laws of the southern U.S. in the 1960's? Or can we only understand their greatness and their achievement by appealing to more universal principles, ones by which all of humanity are judged in common? If we clearly know the answers to these questions, how can we answer in any other way concerning Falun Gong, the intended actions of Dr. Li, and the need to free Dr. Li today from the unjust detention he suffers?
PRESS STATMENT - Mar. 28,
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 640 deaths (reports / sources)
since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China,
however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that
figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000
being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER
Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-501-4441), Levi Browde (+1 914-720-0963), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Feng Yuan (+1 917-941-1097).
Fax: 646-792-3916 Email: email@example.com, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/
Mailbox of FalunInfo firstname.lastname@example.org