After Traveling Through More than 30 States, the "Car Tour to Rescue Charles Li" Arrives in Washington DC (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net September 18th) The name of a Chinese American has become quite familiar to many people in the U.S. after he has been detained in China for eight months. Falun Gong practitioner Charles Li has been imprisoned in China for eight months. One month ago, his friends launched a "Car Tour Around the U.S. to Rescue Charles Li." The car tour was divided into several branches and set out separately from California, Texas and North Carolina. They traveled through more than 30 states and arrived in Washington DC on September 16. More than 60 people, including some Falun Gong practitioners and friends of Charles Li, held a rally on the lawn in front of the U.S. State Department to call upon the American government to rescue Dr. Charles Li.
Dr. Charles Li is a California resident. This January he traveled to China to try to tell the Chinese people the facts about Falun Gong, but he was illegally arrested at an airport in Guangzhou and then sentenced to three years imprisonment.
Falun Gong practitioner Bruce from California hosted the rally. He said, "First I'd like to ask a question: Why did so many people, Charles Li's friends, family members and fianc e travel around the U.S.? Dr. Charles Li risked giving up his comfortable life, his family and his own safety, he went to China to expose the facts about persecution. The Jiang regime sentenced him to three years in prison. Fifty years ago, Gandhi violated the law of the British Colony, but he is a hero today. Thirty years ago, Martin Luther King Jr. violated the law in the South, but he is a hero today. Likewise, Dr. Charles Li is also a hero."
Bruce said that the car tour traveled more than 100 thousand km, and nearly a hundred cities. They talked to the local people and met with government officials, telling them about the story of Charles Li. More than 120 media outlets reported on Charles Li. More than 50 congressmen and state assemblymen signed the petition, and wrote to the U.S. State Department to ask for the release of Charles Li.
The U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for East Asian and Pacific Affairs James Kelly said at the Senate Hearing on Sino-US relations, "There are still many more people who need us to pay attention to them. For example, Charles Li has been detained as a political prisoner. "
In the past month, the name Charles Li has frequently appeared in the media across the U.S. as the car tour went from city to city. Local people and government officials on the way signed petitions, which ended up in Washington D.C.
Charles Li's fianc e and his friends came to the U.S. State Department in Washington DC after their journey. They held a press conference and delivered support letters they received on the way. Mr. Chen Gang, who arrived in D.C. from Philadelphia, came to the U.S. from China in July. He had gone through similar experiences as Charles Li.
Chen Gang said, "I was detained 18 months in a labor camp in the Mainland, I'm quite clear about the physical and mental torments inside the prison. Charles Li was sentenced to three years and has been detained for seven months. He has suffered many tortures. I understand his situation, and the pain that his family and his fianc e are experiencing."
The U.S. State Department seemed not to be the end-point of the rescue drive.
Maryland computer engineer Ms. Chen Yanqing said, "This afternoon, we are going to head for the north to travel to more than a dozen cities to collect signatures. We hope to let more people know and be able to secure Charles Li's safe return."
Friend of Charles Li and California singer Andrew sang a song that he composed especially for Charles Li.
The lyrics of the song go:
My friend Charles Li, flew to the other side of the ocean.
Because of practicing Falun Dafa, he was sent to prison.
But be assured.
You will be free, you will be safe.
You will return to the United States, because you are our friend.