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On the Arrest of US Citizen Charles Li and the Irrationalities of the Spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs

February 04, 2003 |   By Zheng Yan

(Clearwisdom.net) According to the US Consulate in Shanghai, China, Chinese security officers arrested Falun Gong practitioner Charles Li, a US citizen, upon his arrival at Guangzhou Airport from San Francisco on January 22, 2003. He was immediately sent to Yangzhou City, nearly 1,000 miles away. Regarding his arrest, the spokesperson from the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs said to foreign correspondents, "I think this person that you are talking about, Charles Li, may be involved in..." So he was arrested because he "may be" involved in something! This reminds me of the notorious annihilation policy Jiang Zemin had issued, to "eliminate Falun Gong in three months," "destroy their [Falun Gong practitioners'] reputation, remove their sources of economic support, and annihilate their bodies." "No law needs to be followed in the treatment of Falun Gong." "Beating someone to death is nothing and shall be counted as suicide." Are they applying the edict "destroy their reputation" to a US citizen Falun Gong practitioner now?

According to a US consular official in Shanghai, the Chinese government has convicted Charles Li and claims Li will receive a heavy sentence of from 7 to 15 years. The US consular official is allowed to visit Charles Li for only 30 minutes per month. Charles Li repudiated the charges levied against him, saying the Chinese police arrested him because he practices Falun Gong and they treat him as a political dissident.

This is the second arrest of a Falun Gong practitioner of foreign nationality in China in the month of January 2003. Evidence shows the Chinese government takes no precaution regarding the practitioners' foreign citizenship. Australian citizen Nancy Chen, accompanied by her six-year-old daughter, was arrested when visiting her family and friends in Sichuan. The local police claimed in public that the reason for her arrest was because she is a Falun Gong practitioner.

Charles Li was a medical professional around 30 years of age who had studied at Harvard University and is a resident of San Francisco, California. He was arrested by Chinese security officers on January 22 upon his arrival at Guangzhou Airport from San Francisco. More than a week later, on January 30, Zhang Qiyue, the spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave an explanation for this incident at a press conference. Let's put aside the issue of how the Chinese police treated Charles Li during this week with brainwashing and violence to extort a confession, for this is part of a Chinese "national secret" and it's hard to break through the information blockade. Let's first take a look at public information:

Zhang Qiyue said at the press conference, "I think this person that you are talking about (Charles Li) may be involved in tapping into a cable T.V. network, destroying public facilities and interfering with Chinese people's normal life. As for the details of this case, I think I do not have them." She then emphasized the "image of Falun Gong" which Jiang Zemin's group has spent hundreds of billion Yuan to falsely create during the past three years, including supposedly "damaging public order," "disturbing the social order." People who often pay attention to Falun Gong news know that although this time the spokesperson didn't mention the lies about the "anthrax letter" and the "self-immolation incident" which, according to the International Education Development (IED), was "single-handedly directed by the [Chinese] government," their purpose is still very obvious, - they don't care what kind of person Charles Li is, or what he did or did not do; the key is that after their lies about the "self-immolation incident," failed murder and arson, in order to uphold the persecution, they must obtain the public's rubber-stamping and tolerance for the persecution. The Taiwanese government has publicly rebuked the Chinese government's slander about the Taiwanese government supporting the interrupting of satellite(s), so this time they'll create an atmosphere to support their rumor of [Falun Gong] sabotaging satellites by arresting a US Falun Gong practitioner. They will simply try to instigate the Chinese people's hatred for Falun Gong, and the most effective "enemy" is either Taiwan or the US.

It was learned that at the press conference held in Beijing, Zhang Qiyue warned, "Any person who violates Chinese laws or damages public facilities will be investigated." Does this claim stand true? Let us look at a very similar recent incident. According to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation's January 31 report, Australian citizen, Falun Gong practitioner Nancy Chen said she was tailed when she visited her parents on January 21 in Yibin Town, Chengdu City. In Chengdu City, she was detained by police in a hotel and was cut off from the outside for nearly two weeks. According to news from BBC, monitored January 30, 2003, Chen said her interrogators tried to learn everything about Falun Gong overseas. For example, they tried to obtain information on Falun Gong practitioners aboard, what they do, etc. Whether such investigation is based on the detainee's action or the fact that she is a Falun Gong practitioner, or whether it is legal, we can all see it from our heart.

We all know that a murderer has no right to comment on his victims. For the past three years, every day there are Falun Gong practitioners in China suffering brutal tortures for persisting in their faith. It was verified through non-official channels that 564 practitioners have been tortured to death. Cases of death from torture are reported in all the more than 30 provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities directly under the control of the Chinese Central Government. According to internal government statistics from late October 2001, 1,600 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death while in police custody and at least 6,000 practitioners were illegally sentenced to jail. More than 100,000 practitioners were illegally sent to labor camps, and countless others were injured. During the past three years, during his brutal persecution against Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin deprived tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners of their basic rights protected by law according to the Chinese Constitution, yet he distorts the law and accuses Falun Gong practitioners of violating it, and he doesn't allow any independent third-party investigation.

In fact, Jiang Zemin and his puppets themselves were operating behind the scenes, outside the law, to orchestrate even the "April 25" incident, which many people think of as the incident that triggered the persecution. From the media attack in the Guangming Daily in July 1996 to the police's violent attack on Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin City in April 1999, the persecution has accelerated and developed through a period of 3 or 4 years. On April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China executed their legal rights and went to appeal at the Appeals Office of the State Council on Fuyou Street, Beijing. They requested the release of Falun Gong practitioners arrested by Tianjin City Police Department; through the then prime minister's open-minded handling of the incident, it was concluded in such a way that satisfied both the government and the people. However, after April 25, Jiang wrote two secret letters and ordered the persecution against Falun Gong through the Ministry of Civil Administration. What's more, during the past three years, anything said or done by Falun Gong practitioners became a crime and was "severely punished." Is there any element of law in this?

Could Hitler's words against the Jews be used as evidence against the Jews? Could the early Roman emperors' description of Christians be regarded as evidence of crimes against those firm Christians? On the Falun Gong issue, Jiang Zemin's group does not have the right to mention "law" before they completely stop their crime of genocide against Falun Gong practitioners.

By the way, after three years of continuous persecution, anyone who believes and cooperates with Jiang Zemin government's "investigation" on Falun Gong practitioners' "crimes," a government that would not spare any means to persecute Falun Gong, even at the expense of trampling the Constitution, is either pitifully na ve or is faking innocence and trading with the head of national terrorism at the cost of life and blood of the people who believe in Truth, Compassion, Tolerance. People, please be cautious!

The arrest and indictment of Charles Li is the first case of persecution of a US Falun Gong practitioner. If such atrocity is not immediately stopped, the "human rights villain" will grow more rampant and unrestrained. Therefore, we call for more Falun Gong practitioners in North America to actively work toward rescue of Charles Li and we call on the US senators, congresspeople and government officials to pay attention to this case, and take historic actions, for the sake of justice and conscience.

(For more information on "April 25" incident, please go to http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2001/4/24/6770.html)