Help to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners in China

Places des Nations, Geneva, 15 March 2004

With the 60th Session of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights in Geneva quickly approaching, we would like to encourage you to help rescue Falun Gong practitioners who are persecuted in China, to co-sponsor a China Resolution to highlight the Falun Gong persecution and other human rights abuses, and to obtain passage by the Commission of such a resolution.

Currently, many Falun Gong practitioners' lives are in critical situation, and 37-year-old Ms Yiwen Tang is a typical case. As the sister of Australian citizen Lisa Liang, due to the support of the Australian Government and the international community, she was finally released in October 2003 after being tortured for two years while at Chatou Women's Forced Labour Camp in Guangzhou City, China. Though her legs have been beaten to the point that she became lame, she was illegally detained again on 25 February 2004, and as of now, her life is in a critical situation.

Yiwen's case indicates that unless the persecution of Falun Gong is thoroughly stopped, Falun Gong practitioners' lives are never safe, even though they are sometimes released due to the support of the international community. In the past four and a half years, the persecution of Falun Gong and the ongoing peaceful protest of practitioners in both China and overseas has been one of the biggest human rights issues in the world, and has involved many countries.

The persecution of Falun Gong also extends to western countries. Jiang's group made up a blacklist of foreign practitioners and not only stopped them from entering China, but also prevented them from entering Iceland during Jiang's visit in 2002. In Germany and France, Falun Gong practitioners were illegally detained due to Jiang's pressure. In America and Australia, the Chinese embassies and consulates continue to pressure local governments in an attempt to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from participating in local community activities and festivals. Under financial pressure, some large corporations such as Mary Kay have even dismissed employees who practice Falun Gong.

Due to the lack of open condemnation of the persecution from the international community, not only are people in China facing persecution, but individuals, organizations and governments in the West are also forced to compromise their principles of justice and conscience.

Many governments and international organizations have been trying hard to help China improve its human rights, but as pointed out by the US Department of State and many human rights organizations, China's human rights record has continued to worsen in the past year. The violent assault on Falun Gong, a peaceful spiritual practice of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance", is a prime example of that very injustice. If the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong is not stopped, how can it be expected that China will really solve its human rights abuses against other groups and individuals?

More and more countries have now realized that China's criminalization of innocence is not only destabilizing and demoralizing China, but also the world. The acts by Jiang's group have greatly endangered the national security of foreign nations and jeopardized the principles of freedom, justice and democracy cherished in the West.

Without pressure from the international community, the perpetrators will continue their human rights abuses. In the absence of pressure from public opinion, the persecution has become even more rampant and out of control. Therefore, we, along with over 40 other international human rights organizations, have passed a resolution to call upon the Commission to introduce a resolution at the 60th Session of UNHRC, urging the People's Republic of China to immediately stop the persecution, to immediately release from detention all Falun Gong practitioners and all other prisoners of conscience and political dissidents, to stop the slave labour in labour camps, and to abide by internationally-accepted standards to implement freedoms of belief, expression, association and press.


Category: Rallies & Protests