European and U.S. Governments Take Notice of Harassing Phone Calls Made to Falun Gong Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) Clearwisdom comprehensive report: During the time of the 2005 Chinese New Year, many Falun Gong practitioners in Asia, Europe, the United States, Australia and other parts of the world received anonymous phone calls. Most of the phone calls could not be traced, but some practitioners' caller ID programs showed the calls originating in Mainland China. At present, police authorities in many countries have commenced an investigation.
The content of the phone calls is uniform: they consist mainly of "patriotic" songs, the Chinese government's version of the "Tiananmen Self-immolation" incident and other attacks on Falun Gong. They include both Chinese language and English language versions; each phone call lasted three or four minutes.
According to a February 9 Radio Free Asia report, while Chinese people in Europe were preparing to celebrate the Chinese New Year, beginning on February 7, several Falun Gong practitioners in Europe received a bombardment of harassing phone calls. This form of terrorism has drawn the attention of the security departments of these respective countries.
Phone harassment seriously violates European laws
At noon on Chinese New Year's Eve, a reporter interviewed Ms. Zhou Lei who is living in Europe and had just returned from filing such a telephone harassment case with the police department. Regarding this incident, she said, "To my knowledge, since February 7, Chinese and Western Falun Gong practitioners in about ten countries started receiving this type of phone call. The calls have been incessant since yesterday morning; many people received one phone call every two or three minutes, from morning to 11:30 p.m. yesterday, and again since 9:00 a.m. this morning."
Ms. Zhou Lei said these phone calls included "revolutionary songs" and political propaganda, in both Chinese and English. She said this action is a serious violation of European laws.
Zhou Lei said, "Regarding this type of telephone harassment, we should first look at who is behind it and who obtained the practitioners' phone numbers. In the West, the most important thing for an individual is protection of privacy. There is another issue involved, -- aside from the propaganda, these phone calls were also meant to be a threat. Not only the police department but also the national security department should be involved in dealing with this, particularly when the propaganda and threat come from another country."
Culprits will be given legal punishment if discovered
According to the reporter, the people who collected and provided the phone numbers and the people who made the phone calls will be convicted, regardless of whether they are locals or Chinese consular officials.
Right now, not only are the local police and the national security department in Europe paying attention to this incident, but the German government is also concerned. The Chinese government's unwise behavior has met with repulsion from the European public.
Xu Kangang is a computer engineer in New Jersey, USA. He told the Radio Free Asia reporter that he started receiving these phone calls beginning on Sunday, February 6.
Xu Kangang said, "I received my first phone message around 11: 20 a.m. this past Sunday. The whole message was an attack on Falun Gong. I know over a dozen friends in the New York area who also received this type of phone call."
Mr. Zhang Qingxi, a professor at the Economics Department of Taiwan University and spokesman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, said the harassment is more severe in Taiwan. The preliminary estimate is that around 1,000 people have received these phone calls.
Zhang Qingxi said, "Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year. The phone calls started on February 7 and lasted all day long. On February 7 I received over a dozen phone calls, and even more yesterday. Today I received one. Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan, from the south to the north, all received these phone calls. Practitioners in charge of Falun Gong exercise sites all received calls, nearly 1,000 of them."
According to Radio Free Asia, Falun Gong practitioners in Europe and Oceania, even in countries like Sri Lanka and Israel also received harassing calls. Mr. Shao Li, a lecturer at the University of Nottingham in the UK was one of those.
Shao Li: "I started receiving this kind of phone call back on Sunday. They [the calls] went crazy on Monday and started arriving before I woke up on Monday morning. I received one after another before I went to work; overall there were about 30 to 40 messages."
Caller ID reveals phone calls originated from Mainland China
The interviewed Falun Gong practitioners said they have reported the calls to the local police and asked for an investigation. So far, the source of these phone calls has not been determined. Nevertheless, Ms. Wu, a Falun Gong practitioner living in Denmark, said her the Caller ID function on her phone showed the earlier ones were from Mainland China.
Ms. Wu: "Two phone numbers showed up on my Caller ID. One of them starts with 0086, which means it's from China; another one starts with 008613. These two calls were made on Sunday. When I came home I heard the messages on my answering machine."
On Wednesday, Falun Gong practitioners in Washington, DC held a press conference and introduced the circumstances about this large-scale incident of harassment. They think other than interfering with their personal lives, this intense phone call harassment was also designed to create an atmosphere of terror. They urged the US government to start an investigation as early as possible, to prevent similar incidents from taking place.