China Crisis News Bulletin #92 - 08/02/2001
- SENDING OUT AN "SOS" TO THE WORLD, MARKING 2 YEAR ANNIVERSARY
- CHINESE OFFICIAL SUED ON U.S. SOIL FOR CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY
- CHINA BREAKS PROMISE, ANGERS POWELL
BBC, July 20: Chinese police have prevented followers of the outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement staging protests in Beijing. The protests were staged in Tiananmen square on the second anniversary of the ban imposed by the Chinese authorities. Eyewitnesses reported seeing police arrest up to eight people in the square as they unfurled protest banners. They were bundled into police vans and taken away from the square... Earlier in the week, police set up roadblocks on roads into Beijing to deter Falun Gong supporters from congregating in the capital.
CNN, July 20: Thousands of Falun Gong adherents gathered in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Australia and the U.S. to mark the anniversary. Around two thousand followers gathered in Washington, including 500 from Taiwan. "We came here to try to send out an urgent call to rescue Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China," said organizer Lisa Nappi. About a dozen members of the U.S. Congress -- whose voices have been raised in protest against China's human rights record -- also attended the rally. Among them was Republican Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida, who introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives on Wednesday condemning China's treatment of Falun Gong followers.
CTVNEWS.com, Nielsen report, July 21, 2001: The third week of July marks a somber anniversary for Falun Gong practitioners around the world. Two years ago, China began its persecution of the movement's adherents. Ever since, it's been a brutal and relentless campaign against what Beijing's authoritarian regime sees as a threat to its power. It's ironic timing. The grim anniversary happened just one week after the International Olympic Committee awarded China the right to host the 2008 Olympics. Many interpreted the decision as a message that the IOC, at least, is willing to gloss over China's human rights abuses... Just days after the Olympic announcement, China's vice-premier re-iterated his government's determination to stamp out Falun Gong.
AP, July 19, NEW YORK -- A senior Chinese law enforcement official has been sued in U.S. federal court for allegedly directing the torture and deaths of practitioners of Falun Gong... Zhao Zhifei, head of the public security bureau for the Hubei province in China, was served the civil complaint on Tuesday at a New York hotel, said Carey R. D'Avino, a lawyer for the plaintiffs. The lawsuit, which seeks $50 million in damages, accuses Mr. Zhao of crimes against humanity, including murder, torture and falsely imprisoning members of the spiritual movement. It was filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan on behalf of Peng Liang, whose brother and mother were allegedly killed by Mr. Zhao's officers. "Today in New York, we remind Chinese officials that United States can and will hold them responsible for violating international law," Mr. D'Avino told about 80 members of Falun Gong protesting outside the hotel where Mr. Zhao is reportedly staying... Under U.S. law, foreigners accused of crimes against humanity or violations of international law can be sued in federal court, Mr. D'Avino said. The accused individual, however, must be served a civil complaint in the U.S... Mr. Zhao is second-in-command of a special task force set up by the Chinese government to crack down on Falun Gong in Hubei. Officers under his command are accused of burning, torturing and killing practitioners.
CHINA RENEGES ON AGREEMENT DURING POWELL VISIT
Reuters, July 31, 2001: WASHINGTON: Chinese television reneged on an agreement to air an interview with United States Secretary of State Colin Powell in full last week, cutting out comments on human rights and Taiwan, the State Department said. The US embassy in Beijing made a strong protest against the editing decision by the state television station CCTV, US State Department spokesman Charles Hunter said yesterday. "We had a clear and explicit agreement with CCTV that the interview would be carried in its entirety ... They chose to renege on that agreement," he said. "The decision not to broadcast the full message was counterproductive. We consider the decision unwise." In the deleted section, about a fifth of the total interview, General Powell defended US criticism of China's human rights record. "You should continue to move forward ... with respect to the treatment of people with different religious beliefs or different ways of practising their faith," he said, according to a State Department transcript. "We think it's important for us to point out where improvements are appropriate - rule of law, having standards with respect to international law and trying to meet those standards that are expected ... with respect to freedom of ... religion and various human rights." MP IRWIN COTLER & SCOTT REID JOIN VIGIL OUTSIDE THE CHINESE EMBASSY
OTTAWA, MONTREAL - August 1, 2001, under the burning sun, Professor, MP and human rights lawyer Irwin Cotler and MP Scott Reid and their assistants joined Ms. Jinyu Li and her vigil outside the Chinese Embassy from 12:30pm to 1:30pm to demand the unconditional release of Jingyu's husband Shenli Lin, a prisoner of conscience. Sixty people from Montreal and Ottawa joined the vigil as well.
For 18 months Jinyu Li, a Canadian citizen from Montreal, has petitioned for her husband's release. Her husband Mr. Shenli Lin has been suffering in a Chinese labor camp for the past 18 months for being a Falun Gong practitioner. He was due to be released on July 23rd. However, his sentence was arbitrarily extended on that day with no reason given. Jinyu's dream to reunite with her husband in Canada was shattered. Since July 25, Jingyu has been holding a round-the-clock vigil in front of the Chinese Embassy in Ottawa to appeal for her husband's release. Four others of her family members have been arrested a total of 14 times in the past year in China for being Falun Gong practitioners. Shenli's brother was recently sent to the same labor camp, with two years term.
"There are three reasons we are here today," said Mr. Cotler. "First, to express our solidarity with Jinyu Li and support for Shenli Lin's case and cause. Second, to appeal to Chinese authorities to release Shenli Lin and permit him to be reunited with his wife here in Canada; and third, to call upon the Chinese government to honour their international undertakings, and to cease and desist from the prosecution and persecution of those Falun Gong practitioners like Shenli Lin who seek to do nothing else but give expression to the ancient Chinese values of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance." "I am proud and honoured to be able to support Jinyu Li in her brave struggle for her husband's freedom," said Reid, "It is through such personal sacrifices that awareness is raised, and public pressure is built to call upon Chinese authorities to stop their persecution of Falun Gong practitioners." "I demand that the Chinese government immediately release my husband and his brother, and stop the mass killing of Falun Gong practitioners. I call on all Canadians to help me end the atrocity that is taking place in China", said Jinyu.
Amnesty International of Canada
re-launched the letter-writing campaign to appeal for Shenli and protest his
extended term in labor camp.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTER- Contacts: Gail Rachlin 212-501-8080, Erping Zhang 646-533-6147, Adam Montanaro 917-405-4507, or Feng Yuan 646-523-5676. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/
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