Heidenheimer Wochenblatt (German newspaper): Support Amnesty International Action Series (Photos)
Your Help is Needed to Help Free Xiong Wei
Exercises in the Park -- Forbidden in China
Up to 1,600 Falun Gong practitioners may have already been murdered
[December 19, 2002] Something that fascinates and attracts more and more people in the Western world -- exercises to reduce stress and further one's general well-being - has been persecuted in China for the past three years, without any legal basis.
We are talking about Falun Gong, a meditation practice similar to qigong [qigong is a traditional form of Chinese exercise intended for cultivation of the body. In its lowest form it focuses on healing illnesses and keeping fit.] or yoga.
In Falun Gong, besides the five simple exercises, one places emphasis on cultivating one's own heart, by attempting to become and act more tolerant, more morally upright and more compassionate in daily life.
China's chief of state apparently feels that these peace-loving people threaten his power. That is the reason that during the night of July 20, 1999 he arrested hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners in a covert operation. With that single act, one of the most gruesome persecutions in history began. (Details about this incident and the ensuing, ongoing persecution may be found on the Internet at www.faluninfo.net).
Meanwhile, the number of practitioners who have been murdered while in custody has risen to 520, largely due to police torture or gross abuse in forced labor camps. Amnesty International has documented many of these cases. Sources close to the Chinese government, however, estimate the number of people killed to be closer to 1,600.
Falun Gong has no voice in China. We who live in democratic nations do have a voice. It is our responsibility to expose, point out and spread the word about these human rights abuses and acts of torture being committed in labor camps, acts that unfortunately are not happening in isolation, but are the order of the day and are happening in many countries around the globe.
Citing the case of Xiong Wei, we must let you know that this young woman has studied in Germany. Since January 2002, she has suffered in a women's forced labor camp in Xinan, merely because she informed citizens in Beijing about the underlying reasons for the persecution.
Please, show solidarity with and support the efforts of our government. An attempt began in January of 2002 to rescue Xiong Wei. Simply sending this pre-printed postcard [two photo's of the back and front of the postcard respectively were displayed next to the newspaper report that day] to our chancellor will have an effect. This postcard was developed by Falun Gong practitioners living in Germany, in conjunction with the International Association for Human Rights (IGFM). Every single voice has the potential to save a human being and to contribute to a peaceful world and a free life.
(Original text in German)