EDITORIAL - Jul. 04, 2003 Falun Dafa Information Center [ http://www.faluninfo.net/ ]


What would Thomas Jefferson say about American citizen Charles Li being held in a Chinese prison for exposing the oppression of upright individuals?

NEW YORK (FDI) -- On this 4th of July, as we celebrate our liberty with our loved ones, one American is held against his will and beaten in a Communist Chinese jail (news). He won't be at his fiancée's side, celebrating this weekend at home in California. He has been deprived of this comfortable life because he wanted to help others regain their fundamental freedoms. On this 4th of July, why don't we examine what the author of Declaration of Independence would have said of Dr. Charles Li's actions and the persecution of Falun Gong in China? "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
(Thomas Jefferson: Declaration of Independence, 1776)

For nearly four years, the Chinese authorities have been denying tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners these "unalienable rights," torturing them to death, detaining them arbitrarily, and taking every measure imaginable to deny them an ancient practice that has restored their health, calmed their minds, and filled their hearts with compassion. (sources)

"The laws of [our] country... compel those who have knowledge of a fact to declare it for the purposes of justice and of the general good and safety of society. And certainly, where wrong has been done, he who knows and conceals the doer of it makes himself an accomplice, and justly censurable as such."
(Thomas Jefferson: Virginia Board of Visitors Minutes, 1825)

As the Jiang Zemin's regime spends billions of dollars to spread its fabrications and propaganda, concealing the torture and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners just as they did the spread of SARS, Charles Li felt that he could not remain silent. He was compelled to reveal the truth of Falun Gong to the Chinese people so that they would no longer be accomplices to the crimes against humanity that their leaders are committing.

"The God who gave us life gave us liberty at the same time; the hand of force may destroy, but cannot disjoin them."
(Thomas Jefferson: Rights of British America, 1774)

In its persecution of Falun Gong, the Jiang Regime has used various torture methods, brainwashing and blackmail force practitioners to give up their beliefs. However, Falun Gong practitioners have never responded to this violence with any violence, always using peaceful means to defend their freedom of belief and to counter the government's oppression.

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."
(Thomas Jefferson to Isaac H. Tiffany, 1819)

The Chinese government has never acted lawfully in its treatment of Falun Gong practitioners, creating laws and applying them retroactively to justify the persecution, forbidding lawyers to defend practitioners in court?and denying practitioners the rights accorded to them in the PRC's own constitution. Jiang Zemin's regime has used the law at "the tyrant's will" to violate the rights of millions of individuals. Falun Gong practitioners do not oppose the government in China, but want only to practice their faith in peace.

Charles Li is currently being detained and tortured for his desire to reveal the facts of the persecution to the Chinese people. As a practitioner of Falun Gong, which espouses the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, for him, as for Jefferson, "Truth is the first object." (Thomas Jefferson to Dr. Maese, 1809).

Unlike Jefferson, Charles Li is being mentally and physically abused, just for his belief in this principle. This is evident from the fact that since his arrest he has been forced to watch anti-Falun Gong films, has had his book Zhuan Falun confiscated, and will spend this "Independence" Day in a cell with four inmates who beat him each time he tries to practice the Falun Gong exercises.

It took a great amount of courage, compassion, and principle to do what Charles did. So what might Thomas Jefferson say about this? We can imagine what he might say:

"A Chinese penitentiary is the very last place this American belongs.
It is our duty to bring him home."

Our fellow American is still being held in a Chinese jail -- waiting for the United States to live up to the example set by its forefathers -- waiting for justice to bring him home.

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EDITORIAL - JuL. 04, 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.

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 748 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 917-501-4441, Levi Browde 914-720-0963, Erping Zhang 646-533-6147, or Feng Yuan 917-941-1097. Email: faluninfoctr@nycmail.com, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/