An American Is Being Persecuted in Communist China for His Beliefs
Falun Dafa Information Center Editorial
Ever since Dr. Charles Li was arrested upon arrival at China's Guangzhou Airport earlier this year, the Chinese regime has maintained he was detained and prosecuted for "preparing to sabotage" state-run television (news).
Throughout the ordeal, Chinese authorities have repeatedly denied that the arrest of Dr. Li is connected with his personal beliefs or his practice of Falun Gong because they know such a connection would classify his case as one of religious persecution, and thereby provoke intervention by the United States government. Freedom of belief, after all, is one of the cornerstones of our nation.
The facts of the case, however, demonstrate such intervention is both justified and necessary.
According to reports from the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai:
- Dr. Li is being physically assaulted every time he tries to practice the Falun Gong meditation and exercises.
- Dr. Li has been stripped of all books related to Falun Gong, and forbidden to read them.
- Dr. Li is being forced to attend anti-Falun Gong brainwashing sessions in an attempt to coerce him to renounce his beliefs. When Dr. Li refused to attend one session, an inmate, encouraged by prison guards knocked Dr. Li to the ground and then dragged him down a flight of stairs.
For a Falun Gong practitioner, being denied the right to study the book Zhuan Falun (the core teachings of Falun Gong) is like denying a Christian the right to study the Bible. For a Falun Gong practitioner, being denied the right to practice qigong (standing and sitting meditation) is like denying a Buddhist the right to meditate.
For anyone, being forced to attend brainwashing sessions that demonize one's spiritual beliefs is a violation of fundamental human rights.
Thus, despite the Chinese regime's best efforts to cloak this case in charges of "sabotage" and "disrupting social order," the simple fact remains that a U.S. citizen is being persecuted for his beliefs in a Chinese prison -- beliefs that are accepted and welcomed in over 50 countries around the world.
Dr. Charles Li is well regarded by people who know him in the U.S. as a man of integrity and principles. Dr. Li did nothing but prepare to broadcast news about the persecution of Falun Gong -- news that is readily accessible to the free world, but censored in China.
broadcasts harm neither people nor equipment, and brings transparency to a
ruthless persecution campaign. Thus, the only "sabotage" it could do is to
sabotage the Chinese regime's campaign to kill or condemn to forced labor
camps all those who would practice or support Falun Gong.
Still, if the sole purpose for arresting and imprisoning Dr. Li was for preparing to "sabotage" television, why such violence and coercion to force him to give up his beliefs?
Let's call it what it is -- an American is being persecuted in Communist China because of his beliefs.
For interviews with Dr. Li's fiancée, Ms. Yeong-Ching Foo, in California, please contact Ms. Sherry Zhang 415-845-5295 or Mr. Leeshai Lemish 909-217-8440.
- Jul. 21, 2003
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 757 deaths (reports
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).
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