American on Hunger Strike in Chinese Prison

Ms. Yeong-ching Foo, 29, prepares candles before a recent appeal in Washington DC. Her fiance Dr. Charles Li, is now on hunger strike in a Chinese prison to peacefully protest his illegal imprisonment and severe human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners.

SAN FRANCISCO (FDI) -- According to a U.S. consulate official in Shanghai, an American being held in a Chinese prison is on the fourth day of a hunger strike to peacefully protest severe human rights violations.

Dr. Charles Li was imprisoned in China after being ushered through a "show trial" in April for allegedly "preparing" to tap into Chinese state-run T.V. and broadcast programs exposing the persecution of Falun Gong in China. (news)

"Dr. Li is now being subjected to some of the very same human rights violations that Chinese officials allege he was "preparing" to expose, as they use a 'show trial' to imprison him, isolation to try to break his will and pressure tactics to force him to give up his beliefs," says Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman, Mr. Erping Zhang.

"Faced with no rule-of-law," continues Mr. Zhang, "it appears Dr. Li has chosen the only way that may be available to him to peacefully protest this injustice."

Specifically, a U.S. official has said that Dr. Li initiated the hunger strike for three reasons:

1. His illegal detention by the Chinese regime.
2. The Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
3. The unlawful treatment he has received from prison guards and officials.

Officials at the Nanjing Prison where Dr. Li is being held have denied him all contact with his fiancée, Ms. Yeong-ching Foo. Chinese officials have also refused to allow U.S. consulate representatives to visit him, citing the severe spread of SARS in the region where the Nanjing Prison is located.

Moreover, they have denied him the right to practice Falun Gong by stripping him of his Falun Gong books and pressuring him not to practice.

While imprisoned, Dr. Li wrote a 96 page document to the U.S. Consulate in Shanghai. According to a U.S. consulate official, however, Nanjing Prison officials removed 8 pages out of the document that contained specific information regarding Dr. Li's request to become a plaintiff in the class-action lawsuit against former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, which was filed in U.S. District Court in October, 2002. (news)

A U.S. consulate official told Ms. Foo that the Chinese government is "completely responsible" for Dr. Li's well-being. "The U.S. government and the American people are watching this case closely and seriously," the consulate official told Ms. Foo.

Mr. Zhang adds, "We concur with the U.S. government officials...the Chinese government is completely responsible for Dr. Li's well-being. We also ask the U.S. government and the international community to help rescue Dr. Li. His illegal imprisonment is deplorable, and represents a trampling of the basic human rights and freedoms we all cherish."

According to recent United Nations Human Rights Commission annual reports, many Falun Gong practitioners have been killed as a result of force feeding while on hunger strikes in Chinese prisons and labor camps.

The Falun Dafa Information Center has confirmed 714 cases of Falun Gong practitioners dying from torture and abuse in Chinese police custody. 74 of those died from force feeding while on hunger strike. (news)

Ms. Foo said in a press conference this afternoon, "I wish to call on the American government for their help in bringing Charles home safely...I am terribly concerned."


NEWS - May 31, 2003
Falun Dafa Information Center,


Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.

With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report), fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.

The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 714 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.

Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-501-4441), Levi Browde (+1 914-720-0963), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Feng Yuan (+1 917-941-1097).
Fax: 646-792-3916 Email:, Website:
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