(Clearwisdom.net) In October 2003, the Undergraduate Student Association Council (USAC, a student government) at UCLA voted 11-0 to cosign a letter to President Bush concerning the detention of Dr. Charles Lee. The letter was also signed by the President of LASA, the Latino American Students Association at UCLA, and the President and the entire Amnesty International club at UCLA. The letter was initiated by the Falun Gong club at UCLA. Excerpts follow.

Dear President Bush,

We are writing you to express our serious concern for U.S. citizen and California resident Dr. Charles Lee. Dr. Lee was arrested on January 22nd at Guangzhou Baiyun Airport in Guangdong Province in Mainland China and was charged with attempting to sabotage cable/broadcast systems. He has since been held against his will the past nine months, during which time he has been mistreated and force fed, an excruciating form of torture. With study of Lee's case, it becomes obvious that Lee is being held for peaceful civil disobedience.

Lee told U.S. consular officials from the US consulate in Shanghai that he was being targeted because he is a Falun Gong practitioner. Falun Gong is a peaceful non-religious qigong practice based on the principles of Truthfulness Compassion and Forbearance. Also known as cultivation practice, it is a system of self-improvement. Since its introduction in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi, Falun Gong quickly spread by word of mouth so that by 1999 there were 70-100 million people practicing Falun Gong. In 1999, out of fear and jealousy, former leader Jiang Zemin banned Falun Gong and initiated a brutal persecution. Jiang now faces genocide lawsuits in both the US and abroad.

Lee also revealed that he did intend to broadcast over state run television a film with content that told the facts about Falun Gong and which would expose human rights violations taking place throughout Mainland China. Lee argued that such action is protected by both the Chinese Constitution and the Chinese Basic Criminal Law, that it was peaceful and non harmful, and that such action in the end will save lives.

The current incarceration of Lee is unacceptable. Lee's U.S. citizenship should protect him from a government that breaks its own laws with impunity.

At UCLA we value every person's right to life and respect diversity of ethnicity, lifestyle and culture, acknowledging that tolerance and openness are fundamental to a healthy, balanced community. In this light, the comprehensive persecution of Chinese nationals who practice Falun Gong which includes grotesque torture, hate propaganda, and murder in the thousands all has one thing in common- it goes against the moral foundations of human civilization. We hope that in the future human rights will become an even stronger focus of US- China relations.