Ninety-four U.S. Congresspersons' Letter to President Bush Regarding Falun Gong
Congress of the United States
Washington, DC 20515
February 15, 2002
The White House
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President:
Since your first visit to China in October 2001, the persecution of Falun Gong continues to claim the lives of innocent people at an alarming rate: according to Falun Gong representatives some 80-plus innocent citizens are known to have been tortured to death between October 2001 and January 2002. We are writing to respectfully request, that during your visit to China you express our nation's great concern over the Chinese government's campaign of terror against innocent Falun Gong practitioners, and solicit the immediate release of specific victims.
Dr. Teng Chunyan, a permanent U.S. resident, has been imprisoned since May 2000 for her exposure of the atrocities being committed against Falun Gong practitioners in the mental institutions of China. She has courageously chosen at great personal risk to fight these horrendous abuses by publicizing their existence. The Chinese authorities, after 19 months of detention, abuse, and psychological manipulation, forced Dr. Teng to renounce her practice of Falun Gong. However, the Chinese government still refuses to let her return to her home here in the United States.
Mr. Peng Liang is the plaintiff in a landmark lawsuit that resulted in a judgment against Zhao Zhifei, Head of Public Security for Hubei Province. In July, 2001, Peng Liang entrusted Falun Gong practitioners in the United States to sue Zhao Zhifei after both his brother and mother were tortured to death by police in Zhao's jurisdiction. Peng Liang chose to oppose torture and murder with a peaceful appeal for justice in our nation's own courts. It was reported that soon after Zhao's return to China, a massive hunt for Peng Liang began. On August 30, 2001, Peng was arrested, and today his condition is unknown.
Mr. President, we urge you to bring to President Jiang Zemin's attention our concerns about the extra-constitutional government agency, the "610 Office." According to the Falun Gong, this organization was created at Jiang's direction with the authority to command any part of the government to persecute Falun Gong.
Falun Gong representatives believe that over 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested; that tens of thousands have been thrown into labor camps without trial; that at least 1,000 healthy practitioners have been put into mental hospitals and have suffered illegal psychiatric abuse; and that women are often raped and forced to endure various forms of sexual torture and humiliation. Falun Gong representatives state that 361 are confirmed as having died in police custody as of January 30, 2002, inside government sources, according to the Falun Gong, in October 2001 put the death toll at well over 1,600.
Mr. President, you stated in your State of the Union that "America is no longer protected by vast oceans." As Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "One place without justice is a threat to all places with justice." You have reminded our nation that terror must be opposed, wherever it appears. The Chinese campaign of terror being waged against China's innocent citizens is no less terrible than that which America opposes all over the world. In Dr. Teng Chunyan and Peng Liang we see two of the heroic individuals who have peacefully opposed terror in China.
Mr. President, we respectfully request that you ask the Chinese authorities for the release of Dr. Teng Chunyan and her return to the U.S., and the immediate release of Peng Liang and of the other individuals named on the enclosed attachment, all innocent victims of terror. We also urge you to reiterate to President Jiang Zemin that the persecution of Falun Gong in China is unworthy of all that China has been, unworthy of all that China should become, and it should be brought to a halt.
|Benjamin A. Gilman||
|Subcommittee on the Middle East and South Asia||
Committee on International Relations
áSigned by other 92 Representatives.
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide