United States of America
House of Representatives
Washington DC 20515-4325

Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.
25th District, Texas

March 27, 2002

Dear Mr :

Thank you for contacting me regarding the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, I appreciate hearing your views on this important issue.

Since 1999, more than ten thousand followers of a spiritual group, the Falun Gong, have been detained by government forces in the People's Republic of China. The Chinese government banned the [group] in 1999 [...] concerned that its size and organizational strength could challenge communist rule. Since the ban, China's police and state-run media have waged a fierce campaign against the Falun Gong. Thousands of followers have been sent to labor camps, where human rights groups have reported that at least 200 practitioners have died of abuse in police custody. According to reports. Falun Gong detainees have been denied sleep, sexually abused, beaten, shocked with electric batons and exposed to extreme cold by guards under pressure to make them renounce the group.

I strongly oppose the Chinese government's repressive actions against the supporters of Falun Gong, At your request, I recently signed a Congressional letter urging President Bush to raise the persecution of the Falun Gong during his February 2002 trip to China. The rights of peaceful assembly and expression are internationally recognized human rights and it is the responsibility of the Chinese Government to ensure that these fundamental rights are protected. It is critical that the Chinese Government exercise restraint and not take punitive actions against those who have done nothing more than exercise their internationally recognized right to assemble peacefully and express their views. Please be assured that I will continue to monitor this situation carefully and will keep your views in mind should I have the opportunity to vote on related legislation in the House.

Thank you again for taking the time to inform me of your views. If I may be of any further assistance on this or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

With kindest personal regards.



Kenneth E. Bentsen, Jr.
Member of Congress