Video: FGM TV News - 02/18/2003
Hello, and welcome to the FGM TV weekly news review on February 18, 2003
- I'm Susan Mitchell.
In this week's update from China...
- 572 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody, with one death report received in the last week. Reliable sources inside China, however, put the actual death count in the thousands.
- In the last 7 days, torture reports have come in from 11 provinces, including the cities of Dalian, Beijing and Changchun.
- 259 people declared as null and void, statements saying they will give up Falun Gong that were made while undergoing torture, as they were the result of extreme coercion. They say they will continue practicing Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
- Committee is established to investigate overseas assets held by corrupt Chinese officials who persecute Falun Gong
And some of our other stories:
- Hong Kong releases draft bill on Article 23
- German government issues an apology to Falun Gong
- Yoko Kaneko rescue efforts continue in Japan and Charles Li rescue efforts continue in the U.S.
- Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp buries Falun Gong practitioners alive as new form of torture
- Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conferences held in Lima, Peru and also in Los Angeles, USA, where the founder Mr. Li Hongzhi lectured for six hours.
First, our top story:
- A Special Committee has been formed to investigate the overseas illegal assets of corrupt Chinese Officials who persecute Falun Gong.
- More and more facts have shown that the officials who help Jiang Zemin in the persecution of Falun Gong are corrupt.
- The committee will collect evidence of the illicit money these officials make through corruption, and other illegal means.
- Once the committee gathers conclusive evidence, it plans to expose the officials through the media, and to work with the relevant judiciary departments to confiscate the illegally obtained assets, and compensate those having just claims.
- Particular attention will be paid to the stealing of state assets, and to the use of these assets in illegal trade, or the transfer of such assets to other countries.
Rally in U.K. to Protest Hong Kong's draft bill on Article 23
- On February 8, 2003, the European Branch of the Global Coalition Against Article 23, held a rally in London protesting Beijing's coercing the Hong Kong government to push through Article 23 legislation.
- Under Article 23 of the Basic Law -- Hong Kong's mini-constitution, which came into force when the territory was handed over to China in 1997 -- the former British colony is obliged to pass laws banning treason, sedition, subversion and the theft of state secrets.
- However, the proposal to bow to Beijing's request to ban groups outlawed in mainland China goes far beyond the requirements of Article 23 and to all appearances, specifically targets practitioners of Falun Gong.
The Ministry of Domestic Affairs in Berlin Apologizes to Falun Gong Practitioners
- During Jiang Zemin's visit to Berlin from April 8 to 11, 2002, German police over-reacted and forced Falun Gong practitioners away from certain areas, searched through their belongings, and confiscated their yellow T-shirts.
- Since then, Falun Gong practitioners have visited state and federal departments to discuss the situation.
- The Criminal Division of the Federal Ministry of Domestic Affairs stated on October 24, 2002,
"We can basically affirm that the gathering and parade arranged by Falun Gong practitioners
during the State visit was peaceful and caused no disturbance."
The Ministry of Domestic Affairs in Berlin investigated the complaints against the police.
- On December 20, 2002, the Ministry issued this statement: "The action of the police was basically appropriate; however, it's likely that they over-reacted in certain ways, such as officially forcing people away from certain areas and searching personal effects.
- The Chief Officer of the Police Station and the Ministry of Domestic Affairs express our sincere apology for what happened. From now on, the police will pay special attention, even those on special duty for State visits; and we will especially ensure no overreacting takes place, in particular when Falun Gong practitioners exercise their legal rights."
- Spokespersons for Falun Gong have said they believe that Jiang Zemin ordered German police to keep practitioners out of his sight. This apology ensures that in any future state visit, the Chinese visitors will be faced with those who protest the illegal crackdown and violation of human rights in China.
Yoko Kaneko rescue efforts continue in Japan and Dr. Charles Li rescue efforts continue in the USA
- On the afternoon of February 7, 2003 the last day of the Asian Winter Games, the Yoko Kaneko Rescue Committee held a press conference in Aomori County Press Club calling on Aomori County Government, County Council and citizens to urge the Japanese Government to help rescue Mrs. Yoko Kaneko.
- Mrs. Kaneko was arrested in Beijing in May, 2002 and illegally for distributing Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials. Later she was illegally sentenced to an 18 month forced labor term. She is still in detention and her life is in danger.
- Mr. Shenli Lin flew in from Canada to attend the press conference. He talked about the persecution he had experienced during his two years' forced labor detention, and he also told how the Canadian Government and Canadian people helped to secure his release.
- Ms. Lili Wu from the "Global Rescue Our Family Members Committee" talked about her sister Xiaohua Wu who was illegally detained in a mental hospital and forced labor camp and subjected to cruel torture because of her belief in Falun Dafa. She also appealed to everyone to extend their hands to help rescue her sister and stop the persecution in China.
- Many local media attended the press conference and provided wide coverage of the issues.
- In the U.S. efforts are increasing to rescue U.S. citizen Dr. Charles Li, who was imprisoned when he returned to visit his family for the Lunar New Year.
- At least 70 Members of the U.S. Congress have signed letters requesting his release, and a huge parade took place in Los Angeles, after a well-attended press conference.
During the press conference, practitioners provided an exhibition of the graceful and meditative Falun Gong exercises.
Charles Li's fiancée Fu Yongqing addressed the media.
A practitioner performed songs he composed calling for Dr. Li's release
A long and colorful parade to draw attention to another illegal imprisonment in China of a medical doctor and U.S. citizen who practices Falun Gong.
Police at Gaoyang, Hebei Province Forced Labor Camp Bury Falun Gong Practitioners up to the neck in the ground to Torture Them
- An eyewitness account received from the Gaoyang Forced Labor Camp in Baoding City of Hebei Province states that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners there has recently intensified.
- Police use high voltage electric batons; practitioners are often hand cuffed and forced to maintain a squatting stance for extended periods of time, and some have been force-fed with human feces.
- Recently, quite a number of practitioners have been pulled out at midnight, one at a time, thrown into a pit and then the pit was filled up with only the head remaining unburied, sticking up above the soil.
- The heavy weight of the soil pressing down makes breathing very difficult.
- Police then cover the practitioner's head with pieces of cloth so that passers-by cannot see that a human being is buried there.
- They keep the practitioner in the pit until the next morning.
Peruvian practitioners hold their first Experience Sharing Conference
- Practitioners in Peru held their first experience sharing conference on February 9, 2003, at the Sheraton Hotel in Lima.
- The Peru Falun Dafa Association also held a photo exhibit entitled, "The Wide Spread of Falun Dafa in the World."
- Even an 11 year old boy shared his cultivation experience and received warm applause. and many hotel guests had the opportunity to learn about the practice and the current persecution in China.
Seventy-Two Practitioners from the Aerospace Ministry are Missing
- Last week, we reported on the successful rescue of the mother of a Falun Gong practitioner in Toronto. Ms. Yueli Yang, a highly valued senior engineer from the Chinese Aerospace Ministry who contributed to the launch of China's first satellite, was released four months early from an illegal term in a forced labor camp.
- This week, a report from China advises that a total of 72 practitioners from the same Aerospace Ministry were transferred to the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp in Shenyang City of Liaoning Province early in 2002.
- In April, they were transferred to the Fushun City No.2 Prison of War Criminals in Liaoning Province.
- In June, they were again transferred, this time, to a different province, Yunnan, to Kunming City, and their whereabouts is not known at the moment.
Peaceful Practice amidst violence in Israel
- The international media carry almost daily reports of violence in Israel and Palestine.
- In the middle of all this, practitioners of Falun Gong have continued to offer free exercise classes and the occasional opportunity for citizens to pick up literature and information.
- People in downtown Tel Aviv were recently very interested to watch a demonstration of the exercises and to talk with practitioners there.
- Dafa practitioners have also been invited to participate in a Health and Food Fair held every week in the community's activity center.
- An Old Well of Salty Water Becomes Sweet
- This is a short story about a couple living in the remote countryside of north China. When the Jiang regime began its persecution of Falun Dafa, this couple was ready to face any danger, and on their own initiative, they protected and sheltered many Dafa practitioners who had become destitute and homeless to escape the persecution. The couple provided them with a place to stay and a place to make truth clarifying materials. They often sent food and daily necessities to other practitioners.
- For generations the people in this village had to drink the region's bitter and salty ground water. Each house had its own well and the water pumped out was yellow. If let stand, a thick crust of salt would rise to the surface. White clothes washed in this water turned yellow. Food cooked in it tasted salty. People in this village never needed to add salt to their food. From generation to generation, everyone in the village drank the water and never knew what clear, sweet water was.
- After letting so many Dafa practitioners live in their home, the couple found that the water from their well had changed. It became sweet and delicious! They said: "We have never tasted such good water. We knew Falun Gong is good, but we did not expect it to bring such miracles. Falun Gong brings good fortune everywhere it spreads. Dafa turned the bitter water at our home into sweet water."
Founder of Falun Gong Attends Conference in LA
- Practitioners of Falun Gong on the West Coast of the USA held their annual Experience Sharing Conference on Saturday, February 15, 2003.
- In a rare public appearance, Mr. Li Hongzhi, founder of the practice, lectured for six hours to the delegates, some of whom traveled from other countries.
- There were other events during the weekend and
- FGMtv's Christine Loftus brings us this report.
In contrast to the photos and footage of Falun Dafa practitioners celebrating the Lunar New Year with musical performances and fine food in Europe and North America, this simple little banner, flying high above a back street in a Chinese city, celebrates the goodness and peacefulness of the practice in a country where one billion minds have been poisoned by their paranoid dictator, Jiang Zemin and his corrupt officials. It is the reason we bring you this weekly news review.
Thanks for watching FGMtv. See you next week!