"Friends of Falun Gong" Rally to Appeal for the Release of Charles Lee
On March 11, San Francisco Falun Gong practitioners and "Friends of Charles Lee" rallied outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco to urge the State Department to introduce a resolution condemning China's persecution of Falun Gong during the United Nations Human Rights Commission meetings. They appealed at the same time for the Chinese government to immediately release American citizen Charles Lee.
The World Journal on March 13 reported that members of "California Friends of Charles Lee" and "Friends of Falun Gong" rallied outside the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on March 11. They appealed to the State Department for the Chinese government to stop persecuting their fellow citizens, immediately release Charles Lee and cease violating Falun Gong practitioners' human rights. The 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights will be held in Geneva from March 15 to April 23.
Dr. Sherry Zhang, one of Dr. Lee's friends who works for the Berkeley National Laboratories, stated at the rally that it has been over a year since Dr. Lee was illegally arrested and detained by the Chinese government in January of 2003. He has been beaten, force-fed, forced to attend brainwashing sessions and forced to perform slave labor in prison.
The article quoted from Dr. Zhang's speech, "Investigation by international human rights organizations show that since the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999 in China, more than 900 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death, tens of thousands of practitioners have been detained in forced labor camps, jails and mental hospitals where they are beaten, shocked with electric batons and injected with drugs that damage the nervous system. Their human rights are being severely violated."
With respect to the appeal for the State Department to introduce a resolution during the UNHRC meeting condemning China's persecution of Falun Gong, Dr. Zhang stated, "America is a role model for protecting human rights. Thus, President Bush should address China's inhuman persecution of Falun Gong during the UNHRC meetings, and urge the immediate release of Dr. Lee. U.S. Congress passed a resolution on March 4 that urged President Bush to condemn the government of the People's Republic of China for its continued violations of human rights during the UNHRC meetings."