Car Tour Across the United States Exposes the Persecution and Calls for the Rescue of U.S. Citizen Dr. Charles Li
(Clearwisdom.net) American citizen Dr. Charles Li, who was illegally arrested in China last January, has been the victim of more and more intense persecution in the detention center in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. The U.S. state department has issued several requests to the Chinese Foreign Ministry to ensure Dr. Charles Li's personal well being. At the same time, Charles' friends and practitioners of Falun Gong in the United States began another round of activities to "Rescue Dr. Charles Li."
The plans to rescue Charles drew the media's attention in the Unites States.
Thirty-seven years old Mr. Charles Li came to the U.S. many years ago, got his degree here and became a U.S. citizen. He lived on the West coast and managed a Chinese medicine import business in Menlo Park, California. He is engaged to be married.
On January 22, 2003, Dr. Li was arrested by Chinese police in Guangzhou City's airport. The Chinese government accused him of "preparing" to broadcast videotapes exposing the facts about Falun Gong through the government controlled TV network in Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province. Charles Li was later sentenced to three years in jail and transferred to a prison in Nanjing City, Jiangsu Province. In the prison, Chinese police have subjected Charles to physical and psychological torture. Charles went on several hunger strikes to protest his persecution. During his hunger strikes, Charles received violent force-feeding by the police.
Since Dr. Charles Li's arrest, the U.S. State Department has issued many notices to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, requesting them to intervene in Charles Li's case and ensure his personal safety. In February 2003, Congresswoman Anna Eshoo (D-CA) along with 81 members of U.S. Congress urged the Chinese government to release Charles Li. They stated that Charles was being persecuted for his spiritual belief.
The Persecution Against Dr. Charles Li Intensified
Charles' fiancée Yeong-ching Foo's phone conversation with Georgia Hook of the American Embassy in China revealed that Dr. Li's situation has sharply worsened during his last few months in detention.
"On July 8, 2003, Charles refused to attend a brainwashing class. Under orders from a police guard, a criminal inmate twisted Charles's arms and struck him down to the floor. He was then dragged down stairs to the brainwashing class. The number of criminal inmates assigned to live with and monitor him increased from four to ten. Any time he tried to practice Falun Gong, they would beat him." Charles Li told the American Consulate that he had 29 injuries as a result of the beatings, including several very serious ones.
Ms. Foo said, "They are attempting to force him to give up practicing Falun Gong. He has been tortured over and over again. He had been forced to go to brainwashing sessions, and he has been deprived of all outside contact. He had been force-fed and beaten by criminal inmates."
Such evidence indicates that the persecution against Dr. Li has escalated. This month, on several occasions, the U.S. State Department has requested the Chinese Foreign Minister ensure Dr. Li's safety.
"We Will Keep Publicizing It Until They Release Dr. Charles Li"
Dr. Li's case is now well known across the United States. People across the United States are now aware that an innocent U.S. citizen has been arrested by the Jiang regime. Many Americans are personally offended by the arrest of Dr. Li. It is very painful to find that an innocent person who was once very close to you is now being brutally tortured.
Adam, one of Dr. Charles Li's friends in the U.S., said, "Charles didn't do anything wrong. The Jiang regime is shameless for daring to casually arrest and sentence a U.S. citizen to prison. We must expose what they have done. We will keep publicizing it until they release Charles."
Global Rescue Month
Since the beginning of this month, the U.S. State Department has notified the Chinese Foreign Ministry to ensure Dr. Li's safety several times. At the same time, Charles' friends and Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. again conducted activities around the United States to rescue him.
From August 13 to September 13, they have embarked on a national car tour to rescue Dr. Li. This effort is in conjunction with many other grass roots activities around the country such as signature collection campaigns, media events and photo exhibits. All of these activities are aimed at further clarifying the truth to local government, media and all levels of society, and to gain the attention and support of the American people in helping Charles to come back home to the U.S. as early as possible.
On August 13th, 2003, the nationwide tour began in San Francisco, California. The car tour traveled north through Oregon and Washington, then proceeded east across the United States. At the same time, Falun Gong practitioners from Texas commenced the Southern route of the journey through North Carolina and other southern states. The Car Tour Rescue teams from all areas will eventually meet in Washington DC.
Zhang Xuerong, a Falun Gong practitioner who participated this activity, said, "The car tour is a nationwide activity. We will pass through many states in the West, in particular. We are calling for U.S. government officials and people to help rescue Dr. Charles Li. We will continue with similar activities until Charles is released."
Zhang Xuerong continued, "Besides Charles Li, more than ten U.S. residents' relatives are detained in Chinese forced labor camps just because they are Falun Gong practitioners. The persecution against Falun Gong practitioners is extremely vicious. We will try to go to more cities and ask for the signatures and support of government officials and of the American people. We will then bring their signatures to Washington DC."
"We Won't Allow Victims to be Treated as Criminals."
China's unlawful persecution against Falun Gong has become the biggest stain on its human rights record. The U.S. State Department, Amnesty International and other international organizations have strongly condemned the Chinese regime's conduct in their human rights reports.
On July 22, 2003, Mr. Edward Troy, the chairman of the DC Statehood Green Party, spoke at a public rally on Capitol Hill to end the persecution of Falun Gong: "We won't allow victims to be treated as criminals."
"When people with high moral dignity have found a path to inner peace, at the same time, there are many others running in the opposite direction. It is those people who bring us much suffering and who threaten to destroy today's humanity. No matter who they are or where they are, what we say today is aimed at them. They know who they are. However, today, we shall let them know who we are. We can't continue yielding in matters of morality."
"Jiang Zemin Must be Held Responsible for This Persecution"
Charles Li's arrest, imprisonment, and torture have served to remind the people from another angle that since July 1999, Jiang's persecution against Falun Gong is still going on.
Mr. Zhou from the Falun Dafa Information Center said, "This persecution against Falun Gong is in fact initiated from Jiang's personal desire. The reason that this persecution could happen is because Jiang has political power. He manipulated the state apparatus to execute his plan."
"Jiang Zemin must be held responsible for this persecution." Mr. Zhou said, "The persecution that was initiated and completely supported by Jiang victimized not only the one hundred million Falun Gong practitioners and their family members, but also people worldwide. Many people have been misled by the propaganda that has been used to cover up the truth about the persecution, so they don't understand Falun Gong, and even have hatred towards Falun Gong with no justification. Many other people who have been deceived are used as tools to further carry out the persecution."
Falun Gong practitioners overseas have initiated efforts to bring Jiang Zemin to justice through lawsuits last year. In October 2002, while Jiang was visiting the U.S., persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and their relatives filed a genocide lawsuit against Jiang in U.S. District Court in Illinois. In April 2003, Terry Marsh, the attorney representing Falun Gong practitioners filed the criminal evidences and legal proceedings against Jiang Zemin and the "610 Office". This lawsuit is currently in progress.