Report from Houston: Press Conference Outside the Houston City Hall on October 22, 2002
(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioners held a press conference outside the Houston City Hall on Tuesday, October 22. The speakers included representatives of local VIP's, practitioners who have been persecuted and practitioners whose family members have been persecuted. Practitioners demonstrated the five exercises while two practitioners (a married couple) described the principles and the benefits of the practice from a beginner's perspective.
The press conference was followed by a parade around a loop of downtown Houston. Rain could not deter the solemn and good spirits of the practitioners as they walked carrying signs, posters, and banners exposing the brutal persecution in China as well as the positive aspects of the practice.
Below is the statement read by practitioners that describes the evil of the dictator who would arrive in Houston the next day.
Statement to the Media from Falun Gong Practitioners Houston, Texas October 22, 2002
In June, dozens of Americans were denied boarding on planes headed for Iceland during the visit of Jiang Zemin to that country. Their names were on a blacklist that undoubtedly had Jiang's agents as its source. This happened on American soil. In October, dozens of Americans have had their hotel reservations abruptly cancelled by the hotel next door to where Jiang Zemin will stay in Houston. On many occasions during the past three years, in Washington, DC, in Chicago, in California, in New York, and here in Houston, Americans have been assaulted in public, had their private conversations recorded, their apartments burglarized, their cars burned, and their lives threatened over the phone.
All these targets of harassment, violence, and dirty tricks are Falun Gong practitioners. Here in America, Falun Gong practitioners have felt the long reach of a nation's non-democratic leader, a dictator, who pursues his personal vendetta to take away our constitutional rights.
This itself is cause for concern among Americans--that peaceful, law-abiding people who practice something upright, something that promotes health and good morality, would be targets of a foreign leader here. Yet the targets also include American elected officials, consumers of Chinese-language media, Americans doing business in China, Chinese students at U.S. universities, and many others.
Jiang Zemin has instigated a systematic, global campaign to slander Falun Gong and to incite hatred and fear through spreading lies and applying economic pressure through diplomats and other agents. His visits to other democratic nations, such as Iceland and Germany, have damaged public opinion of the host countries' governments, due to ridiculous demands of the visiting dictator. Imagine pedestrians in a major city being being stopped from walking down a certain street because they had on yellow clothing. This happened in Berlin, Germany in April.
As severe and abnormal as the results of this persecution of Falun Gong outside China are, they are only the tip of the iceberg. State-controlled media in China have deceived and poisoned more than a billion people through relentless, vicious falsehoods about Falun Gong and its practitioners. The nearly 100 million people who practiced Falun Gong, plus their family members, friends, and associates, have been subjected to illegal searches, economic pressure, and other harassment. Prison, labor camps, and mental hospitals have been the scenes of a wide array of torture.
While nearly 500 have been confirmed to have died from official mistreatment, leaked information put the death toll at over 1600 one year ago. Thus, no one really knows how many have died. No one knows how many peaceful, unfailingly non-violent people who strive to be good people in all ways, have died because of the jealous, irrational campaign of one person: Jiang Zemin.
Yesterday in Chicago, citizens from six countries announced a legal case to the United Nations citing violations of all 33 UN Human Rights declarations. The three Chinese officials named as defendants included Jiang Zemin at the top. The plaintiffs include one Hong Kong man and one Beijing man currently in Chinese custody, as well as citizens and residents from Canada, France, Australia, Ireland, and the United States. The suit was submitted to the United Nations Committee Against Torture, the United Nations Human Rights Committee, and the International Criminal Court for crimes committed in instigating and carrying out the brutal persecution of Falun Gong.
Plaintiff Zenon Dolnyckyj, of Canada, said this: "As a group [of eight plaintiffs], we have personally faced kidnapping, prolonged incarceration, extortion of money and property, forced labor, prolonged beatings, severe torture, sexual assault and the murder of our family members under Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong. We are merely a cross-section of the millions who have been affected."
Jane Dai, an Australian citizen, said this: "Jiang's persecution of Falun Gong has taken the life of my husband and torn apart my family." Ms. Dai's husband was tortured to death by Chinese authorities last year because he practiced Falun Gong. Ms. Dai's sister-in-law was also sent to a forced labor camp because of her practice.
Mr. Dolynckyj also said, "Today's submission marks the beginning of international legal action against those responsible for the brutal and unlawful persecution of Falun Gong in China. They must be held accountable for the terror they've brought to innocent people, and they must be stopped."
Jiang Zemin plans to visit Texas for three days. Falun Gong practitioners from all over the world are gathering here to bear witness to the unspeakable terror that is the personal responsibility of that visitor. Falun Gong practitioners come in peace from more than 20 countries to appeal to the whole world and to Americans to help end this persecution campaign.
We guests of Texas have already experienced Texan hospitality and graciousness. Beyond hospitality, Texans are well known for a sense of justice, and for their big hearts. We invite all the people of Texas to join our numbers in peacefully appealing here. Come stand with us. Be a part of the peaceful presence that bears witness to terror and asks for change, now.
Category: April 25 Events