Sunday, February 23, 2003

Friends of Charles Li, who is being held in a Chinese prison, are drumming up support for his rescue.

Li, a resident of California, was on a trip to China to visit his parents last month when he was arrested at a Chinese airport, according to Ann Yang of Dallas who held a news conference Saturday in Lubbock to enlist local support.

Yang and others began a statewide campaign to seek support from Texans, she said. She encourages people to write their legislators.

Li allegedly was detained for practicing a form of meditation and exercises not accepted by [Jiang's regime]. He is allowed only limited contact with legal representatives, Yang said.

"He is a very honest man and has done nothing wrong," she said.

Practicers of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, say Li was not detained for sabotaging television and/or radio equipment as he was charged, but rather for following Falun Dafa.

Yang said Falun Dafa is not a religious following, but a form of meditation that focuses on self cultivation.

She said it is based on truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. The goal of the practice is to attain a state of selflessness and inner balance.