(Clearwisdom.net) On Tuesday February 22, 2005, the Falun Dafa Information Center and Eastern US Falun Dafa Association held a press conference at the New York Press Club and condemned the Chinese Communist regime's phone harassment campaign against Falun Gong practitioners outside of China. Regarding a recent Associated Press article that is being used by the Chinese authorities to legitimize a five-year brutal campaign against Falun Gong, the practitioners at the press conference also urged the media to pay attention to their moral and professional responsibility to dig into the story of the Falun Gong persecution, find the truth, and report it.

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The press conference venue

1. The Chinese Communist Party's phone harassment campaign

During the first half of February, several hundred Falun Gong practitioners across North America, Europe, the Middle East, Australia and Asia received a barrage of intimidating phone calls with recorded propaganda messages demonizing Falun Gong in relation to the Chinese Communist Regime's staged self-immolation incident of January 2001.

Practitioners have contacted federal and local law enforcement agencies, filed the cases and requested a detailed investigation.

Since July 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and Jiang Zemin have exposed their cruelty and wickedness by brutally persecuting Falun Gong practitioners in China. They also shamelessly export their lies and intimidation overseas. They bully organizations and individuals to not support Falun Gong, using various interests as an exchange; they send letters containing lies and slanderous information to government officials, and block practitioners from participating in activities in the local Chinese communities outside of China.

For the past five years, practitioners have continuously spread Falun Dafa to the world's people and clarified the truth of Falun Gong. Countless people have come to know the grace of Falun Gong, the cruelty of the Chinese Communist Party and the truth of the staged self-immolation incident. More and more organizations and individuals have expressed their support for practitioners. Participation of Falun Gong in parades in Chinatowns is now welcomed in the U.S. from coast to coast. The lies of the Chinese Embassy and consulates are being exposed. The anti-torture exhibitions of practitioners worldwide, especially in Manhattan, have moved people's hearts.

Recently, the Chinese Communist regime has conducted an anonymous phone harassment campaign against Falun Gong practitioners in dozens of cities worldwide, demonstrating its puerile and irresponsible nature. This provides a chance for police and governments worldwide to recognize the wickedness of the Chinese Communist regime.

Practitioner Ms. Ma said that she was a successful businesswoman in China and was forced to leave enormous assets behind and come to the U.S.A. after the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. Three of her phone numbers received several phone calls each. Ms. Ma said, "Intimidation cannot change our belief. On the contrary, we will be more steadfast and diligent."

2. Urging the media to report fairly and expose the facts of the persecution

The harassment calls cited an article by the Associated Press on January 21, 2005 about the Chinese government-staged Tiananmen self-immolation incident.

A spokesperson for Falun Dafa gave a speech and pointed out the fact that, "The international media has a moral and professional responsibility to dig into the story of the persecution of Falun Gong, find the truth, and report it. Today in China, not only has the state-run propaganda apparatus been turned against Falun Gong, but the Communist leadership is now manipulating the international media for its purposes. The Chinese authorities prevent the international media from doing any real coverage of Falun Gong, going so far as to threaten to revoke licenses, and detaining and abusing foreign reporters. At the same time, the Chinese authorities make use of the international media - as they did with the carefully staged interviews for the AP - to portray the distortions and lies about Falun Gong as 'credible' media reports.

"The persecution of Falun Gong is vast in scope and horrifying in its implementation. We have documented over 35,000 cases of severe abuse or torture in prison camps and detention centers. Thousands are dead. Hundreds of thousands, if not millions, languish in labor camps and detention centers throughout China. Brainwashing centers have been established all across the country to use both psychological and physical torture to destroy people's beliefs and implant the CCP line into their hearts and souls--a process that often leaves people psychologically devastated, if not dead. The over 100 million people in China today who practice Falun Gong are forced to choose between their deeply-held spiritual beliefs or the state's system of brainwashing and torture."

The spokesperson urged, "Our common humanity calls upon us to stop this persecution, and it must begin with the media. Full disclosure of these atrocities will hasten their end, and no one is in a better position to disclose what is happening than the media."

At the press conference, reporters from several major English and Chinese media asked questions. The practitioners stated that they would not be intimidated by the harassment calls from the Communist regime, but would take this as an opportunity to further explain the facts of the persecution, especially the staged self-immolation, to phone companies, police and government agencies.