Video: FGM TV News - 04/16/2002
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Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries around the world, but relentlessly persecuted in China. The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world. While China continues to block all information, FGMTV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to FGMTV on April 16th, 2002
I'm Susan Mitchell.
In this week's update from China...
- The number of Falun Dafa practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 396. However, reliable sources inside China put the actual death count at more than 1,700.
Some of our stories this week:
- Chinese President Jiang Zemin pays a state visit to Germany and is greeted on all sides with protests
- A California university student is detained in Beijing. His whereabouts is unknown
- Hong Kong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil to raise awareness of the situation in the northeastern Chinese city of Changchun
- Meetings with Falun Gong in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic
- Five new verified deaths of Falun Gong practitioners include a university professor and 3 senior citizens
- Officials who persecuted Falun Dafa are killed in traffic accidents
and finally... Chinese Embassy guests in Melbourne, Australia get both sides of the story.
Some details of Jiang Zemin's visit to Germany:
- Chinese President Jiang Zemin arrived in Germany on Monday, April 8, 2002 for a six-day state visit. Members of Falun Gong, among others, greeted him with large-scale protests in Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, Wolfsburg and Goslar.
- Terrorism, the United Nations, Worldwide Economic Trends and mutual Economic Cooperation were the themes during the beginning of the visit. A government spokesperson said that in private meetings President Johannes Rau spoke about human rights and the Rule of Law. He underscored that freedom and security are not mutually exclusive.
- The media voiced concern over their treatment during Jiang's visit. A planned press meeting following the dialogue between President Jiang and German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder was cancelled. As early as Monday, the media and press were indignant that during a parliamentary press conference, no German press representatives were allowed to ask questions due to an order put forth by Chinese sources. The purpose was to protect the state's guest from public criticism by preventing the media asking embarrassing questions about human rights issues in China.
- Jiang had only one public activity in Berlin, so the attention of the media switched to the protests of human rights organizations, particularly the activities held by Falun Gong. It also devoted time to Chinese democracy activists as well as to Tibetan and Uighur exiles and speakers from human rights organizations.
- In Goslar, residents became angry when stores were forced to close at 4:00 in the afternoon, and when they were required to stay home after that time. Ninety percent of the citizens approached by Falun Gong practitioners said they felt disgusted with Jiang. They were very happy to receive brochures and newspapers detailing the truth of the escalating persecution against Falun Gong especially as they understood how the Communist Chinese president's wishes were being obeyed in their own democratic city.
- German residents called out "Falun Dafa Hao" (Falun Dafa is Good) together with Dafa practitioners when Mr. Jiang's motorcade passed on the street. The president's security agents were unable to prevent Falun Dafa practitioners from confronting him personally on numerous occasions as he walked through his hotel lobby, entered buildings for meetings, or drove through cities.
- The same day that Mr. Jiang arrived in Germany, criminal charges were filed against him with the Federal Prosecutor General by Mr. Tilman Zuelch, the general secretary of the Society for Threatened Peoples,.
- The charges accuse the Chinese president not only of failing to adhere to anti-torture conventions, but also of committing bodily harm with intent to kill, grave bodily injuries, abridging personal freedom and rape.
- Mr. Zuelch, said that it has become clear that individuals can no longer claim immunity or deny responsibility in the international community for crimes committed against people's human rights.
- As a side note, the United Nations announced on April 11, that the International Criminal Court will begin on July 1, 2002. It will assume jurisdiction over genocide, war crimes and human rights cases, and has been broadly welcomed by most democratic nations.
Unusual Lights in the Sky during Jiang Zemin's visit to Germany
- In earlier news reports, FGMtv has talked about beautiful light shows when many Falun Dafa practitioners are present, as they were in Germany during Jiang's visit.
- For instance, during a large conference last summer in Chicago a camera caught this picture of the clear night sky filled with circles of light resembling the Falun Dafa emblem, called "Falun", or "Law Wheels"
- ....and a second photo of the same circles of light speeding through the air
- Reuters reported that on Saturday, April 6, strange lights appeared in the sky over southern Germany. Similar accounts of a late-night natural light show came in from Bavaria, as well as the region of Baden-Wuerttemberg.
- A Reuters TV correspondent said, "It was like a huge fireworks. You could even see it through half-closed blinds. It lasted around three seconds."
California university student detained in Beijing
- According to the Associated Press, 21-year-old Andrew Ellsmore, a university student from California, was taken into custody in Beijing after peacefully appealing for Falun Dafa [Falun Gong] at Tiananmen Square on April 14th.
- At the square Andrew unfurled a yellow banner and called out its contents in Chinese: "Falun Dafa is good!" Within a minute he had been whisked away in a police vehicle, along with the AP photographer who was released after three hours.
- Neither were mistreated during the initial arrest and detainment, but at present Andrew's whereabouts and condition remain unknown.
- Beijing police have not responded to inquiries by the US Embassy.
Hong Kong Practitioners hold candlight vigil in Chater Garden to bring awareness of the 5,000 kidnapped and 100 murdered in Changchun
- On April 14th, 2002 the South China Morning Post reported that about 150 members of the Falun Gong staged a two-hour candlelight vigil the previous evening in Chater Garden, urging Beijing to stop persecution of the group's practitioners.
- The group had gathered to protest against China's reported crackdown on Falun Gong in the northern city of Changchun. Protesters claimed 5,000 members had been arrested and nearly 100 tortured to death in Changchun since March 5.
- Mainland officials say no Falun Gong members have been persecuted to death.
- Although trusted sources inside China claim that more than 1700 have been killed to date, Amnesty International and the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York have been able to verify only about 400 deaths.
- Because of the information blockade from mainland China, it is extremely difficult for people there to provide details.
- To read the list of names of those verified to have died either in detention, or shortly after their release because their injuries from torture were so severe, please check the Internet address on your screen. You will find details provided by family and friends of those who were killed.
Meetings with Falun Gong in Prague, capital of the Czech Republic.
- Currently, two bus loads of Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan are driving through Europe. They are joined by local practitioners in many countries to hold impressive exhibitions of the beautiful Falun Gong meditative exercises, and to meet with officials to give them an update on the illegal persecution of Falun Gong in China.
- In mid-March, the 71 Taiwanese practitioners reached Prague, capital city of the Czech Republic. Many others from distant parts of the Republic, from Slovakia and the U.K. also came.
- Czech TV was present at the outdoor press conference
- Mr. Pavel Fischer, a representative from President Vaclav Havel's office, receiving a petition and the first copy of Mr. Li Hongzhi's book, Falun Gong, in Czech translation, as well as a book of honors awarded to Falun Dafa.
- Practitioners were protected by police throughout the day as they moved from the Palace Square to the Chinese Embassy. And Chief of Prague Special Police Control Unit, Mr. Petr Kobylak, also received a copy of the book, Falun Gong, in Czech along with other printed materials clarifying the truth of the events in China.
Moving now to China, where five new verified deaths of Falun Gong practitioners include a university professor and 3 senior citizens
On April 11, 2002, the Falun Dafa Information Center in New York reported that just days before Amnesty International released a report this week naming China as the world's leading "executioner," accounts of the deaths of five people who practice Falun Gong have recently been verified. These cases are:
- Zhang Chuansheng, 54 year-old male, Associate Professor at Chengdu University
- Fan Lihong, female, from Qinghai Province
- Chen Yuqing, 61 year-old man from Lianfanglu Road, Handan City, Hebei Province
- Zhai Liansheng, 60 year-old man from Siqingjie Street, Handan City, Hebei Province
- Zhou Zhenjie, 68 year-old man, also from Siqingjie Street, Handan City, Hebei Province.
Officials who persecuted Falun Dafa are killed in traffic accidents
- Each week, Clear Wisdom Net receives reports of the sudden deaths of officials who have caused the death, or torture of Falun Dafa practitioners. This week, two in particular stand out:
- Late in 2001, Theater director Zhang Guangmin of Gaoling County had written the script to a play that slandered Falun Dafa. This play toured the towns and villages of his county. On January 3 of the 2002 lunar calendar, when he and his son were riding a motorcycle together, they hit a car and both died.
- Xi'an Square Police Station officer Chen Tingkai of Luyuan District, Changchun City, Jilin Province had kidnapped more than 10 Falun Dafa practitioners. On April 5th, he was killed in a car crash, and his relatives riding with him were badly injured.
The persecution of one senior citizen who went to Tiananmen Square
- In recent months, there have been many non-Chinese practitioners of Falun Gong who have been arrested in Tiananmen Square. More than 90% of them were beaten by police, but none were seriously injured. Most were detained overnight and all were released within a few days at most.
- The situation is very different for people of Chinese origin -- both citizens and visitors.
- One 65-year-old senior citizen was recently released after 41 days' detention -- most of the time having been spent chained to a bed in a hospital. During that time, she was force-fed 4 times a day, not allowed to use a bathroom, have a shower or change her clothes. She had to defacate on the bed itself.
- The woman had been beaten black and blue from head to foot by police before they took her to the hospital. Upon her release, she was still bruised and her teeth were loose from the beating.
- We have talked about many different types of torture inflicted on Falun Gong practitioners, but this is the first time we have learned that a hospital put an iron collar on several of those detained. The collar is intended to stretch the neck. She said, "Three days later, my face, ears and whole head were all deformed.
People in China are beginning to stand up publicly for Falun Gong
FGMtv has reported on the thousands of letters received, declaring null and void statements that practitioners wrote, while under tremendous pressure from brainwashing and physical torture, saying they would give up their beliefs.
As a result of the continuing kindness and peaceful appealing of practitioners, as well as distribution of millions of flyers and vcd's across the country, a new phenomenon is emerging: Non practitioners are sending letters to Clear Wisdom Net, declaring null and void statements they were forced to write in schools and universities! This is a very encouraging trend.
Chinese Embassy Guests in Melbourne, Australia get both sides of the story.
In its extension overseas of the persecution against Falun Gong, the Chinese government has required its embassies around the world to hold slanderous photo exhibitions.
When practitioners in Melbourne, Australia learned that an exhibition was to be held in their city, they mounted an exhibition of their own at the embassy gates.
Posters showed photos of some of those who have been tortured to death.
Guests arriving for the embassy exhibition stopped briefly at the Falun Dafa exhibit on their way in and lingered on their way out to accept printed materials telling the truth of the persecution.
In theatrical circles, there's a saying that if the beginning and the ending are good, then people will forget what's in the middle!
Thanks for watching FGMTV, dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, revealing propaganda, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.