Saturday, August 30, 2003

By Leejun Ivie

Dr. Charles Li, an American citizen, is detained in China for what Falun Gong practitioners call an effort to expose the Chinese government's lies. The Chinese government claims Dr. Li intended to sabotage radio and television equipment, a charge he denies.

I find it hard to believe that he would travel all the way to China to damage some equipment. It is far more likely that he wanted to tap into a local broadcast (which can be done without damaging equipment) to expose the brutal persecution.

Since Dr. Li's arrest last January, he has been beaten, tortured and deprived of his rights as an American citizen. He has also been subject to anti-Falun Gong brainwashing classes.

When hearing about the plight of Dr. Li, one might ask, "Why did he go to China, knowing how dangerous it could be?" Undoubtedly, Dr. Li knew the risks involved. But, like the 9/11 firefighters who lost their lives trying to save others, he probably didn't give it a second thought.