Vice President of the European Parliament Expresses his Concern over Falun Gong Practitioners' Safety to the Speaker of Parliament
(Clearwisdom.net) On May 21, 2006, Falun Gong practitioner Mr. Cao Dong met with Vice-President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott in Beijing, and informed the Vice-President of the brutal persecution suffered by himself, his wife and other Falun Gong practitioners around him. Two hours after the meeting, Mr. Cao was arrested by Chinese Communist regime security agents and was charged with "accepting an illegal interview." Mr. Cao was sentenced to five years of imprisonment and has been secretly detained in the No. 3 Prison in Tianshui.
Ms. Zhang Lianying is also a Falun Gong practitioner. On June 14, 2005, Ms. Zhang was looking after her infant daughter at home. The police forcibly entered her home and illegally detained her because she practices Falun Gong. During her imprisonment in the Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp, Ms. Zhang was beaten mercilessly many times, hung up in the air, deprived of sleep and subjected to various mental tortures. Her husband Mr. Niu Jinping also met with the Vice-President of the European Parliament together with Cao Dong. Mr. Niu tried to appeal for his illegally detained wife.
Since the meeting, Cao Dong, Niu Jinping and Zhang Lianying have been continuously threatened and retaliated against by the Chinese Communist regime. On March 20, 2007, in the labor camp, Zhang Lianying was fiercely assaulted about the head while her neck was restrained with a rope. This torture resulting in massive haemorrhaging inside the skull and Ms. Zhang was on the verge of death. Nonetheless, the labor camp authorities continued to completely cut off her contact with the outside world, and repeatedly refused requests by her family to see her.
Gao Zhisheng, a renowned human rights lawyer in China, suffered long time harassment by the Chinese Secret Police after he carried out an investigation into the persecution and torture of Falun Gong practitioners and published his findings. On August 15, 2006, Gao was arrested by the Chinese Communist regime. His family has also been harassed by the Chinese Secret Police. On September 20, 2007, Gao published his open letter to the United States Congress, appealing for their concern about the serious human rights abuse in China. In the letter he went to great lengths to describe the sufferings of Falun Gong practitioners, because attorney Gao considers that "the issue of Falun Gong is the biggest human disaster faced by mankind of the day." Two days later, attorney Gao was taken away by the secret police. Since then the whereabouts of attorney Gao and his family are unknown.
On October 15, 2007, the European Union and China are again scheduled to hold a human rights dialogue. Prior to the meeting, the Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott sent a letter to Speaker of the European Parliament Hans-Gert Poettering, asking him to raise concerns about Falun Gong practitioners and other religious followers who are still detained and tortured, especially mentioning his concern about the three Falun Gong practitioners.
In the letter, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott quoted the report on International Religion Freedom by the United States State Department. This report expressed strong condemnation of the continuous suppression of Chinese people's religious beliefs by the Chinese Communist regime, especially the persecution, even killing, of Falun Gong practitioners by the regime.
Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott's letter also mentioned that in the report about torture in China written by the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Mr. Manfred Nowak, two thirds of people detained by the regime are Falun Gong practitioners. Attorney Gao concluded that about 250,000 Falun Gong practitioners are still being detained. Mr. McMillan-Scott believes that the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong practitioners has reached the stage of genocide.
In the appendix of his letter, Mr. McMillan-Scott mentioned that he has contacted many Falun Gong practitioners since May 2006. Many Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to various tortures during their illegal detainment by the Chinese Communist regime. They have been deprived of sleep for many weeks, forced to stand still for many days, and even beaten brutally and shocked with electric batons. The Public Security Department of China also issued guidance to local officials saying that they would not bear any responsibility if the torture of Falun Gong practitioners leads to death.
Detained Falun Gong practitioners are also forced to have their blood type and blood pressure checked--they are the victims of the Chinese army's organ harvesting from living people for profit. In organ transplants performed in China in recent years, the donors of more that 40,000 transplants cannot be traced.
In the detailed reports about the persecution suffered by Mr. Cao Dong up to August 13 and by Ms. Zhang Lianying up to June 6, Mr. McMillan-Scott also enclosed their telephone numbers and names.
Vice President of the European Parliament, Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott, carried out a three-day long "journey of seeking the truth" in China in May 2006 and met with Falun Gong practitioners. At the end of his journey, he concluded that the Chinese Communist regime is still a "brutal, arbitrary and paranoid" system. He hopes that all members of the Chinese Communist Party will quit the Party.
After his visit to China, Mr. McMillan-Scott has been using various means to appeal to the international community for their attention to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, especially the ongoing atrocity of the Chinese Communist regime's organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners. In August 2006, he joined the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong in China (CIPFG). He believes that a campaign of genocide is occurring in China. He is deeply concerned with this and warned that the people responsible for the crime would face punishment by law.
Below is the letter by Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott:
[Editor's note: the reference webpage links below were added by the editor.]
Dr. Hans-Gert Poettering,
President, European Parliament
Victims of Religious Repression in China
Further to your exchange of letters of 20 May and 21 July 2007 with Jose Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, about the victims of repression I had contact with in Beijing in May 2006, while preparing a report on human rights and democracy for our Foreign Affairs Committee, this is to advise you that all were arrested, two remain in prison and we have recent reports of their torture (Annex I).
I write in light of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue taking place in Beijing on 15 October 2007 and the visit to the European Parliament of the delegation of the National People's Congress on 24-28 September.
After meeting me, Mr. Cao Dong (36) was arrested and convicted of "accepting an illegal interview." He is in Tianshui Prison, being tortured to recant his religious convictions and to denounce his meeting with me.
Mr. Niu Jinping (52), appealed at the same meeting on behalf of his wife Zhang Lianying (46) who has been in Beijing Women's Forced Labor Camp since June 2005. She is routinely tortured and in March 2007 was beaten into a coma (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2007/4/26/84925.html).
The third case concerns the noted Christian human rights attorney, Gao Zhisheng (44), who has advised a number of Falun Gong practitioners, like the above, and investigated their persecution. We spoke at length on the telephone. He was arrested on 15 August 2006 and convicted of 'subversion'. He has been under house arrest since, although I have maintained contact with him. On 16 September, police spent the day in Gao's flat, harassing him and his family; on 20 September he published an Open Letter to the US Congress (http://www.humanrightstorch.org/newslink/Others_GaoZhisheng_9_23.htm) and on 22 September, police removed him. There are concerns that the regime may manipulate him.
My concern for the welfare of these individuals has been reinforced by my meetings with many other torture victims in China (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh0xifZVFvE) and the publication on 14 September of the US State Department's "International Religious Freedom Report 2007" (see summary at Annex II http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/irf/2007/90133.htm), which is highly critical of the continuing repression of all religions in China-Christians, Muslims, Tibetan Buddhists-but especially Falun Gong:
'Religious adherents and members of spiritual movements have been beaten, and some have died in police custody after being detained in connection with their religious belief or practice.'
On 23 September, I met Manfred Nowak, UN rapporteur on torture, whose report on China (see http://www.ohchr.org/english/bodies/chr/docs/62chr/ecn4-2006-6-Add6.doc) concluded that two-thirds of those in 'administrative detention' are Falun Gong prisoners. Gao Zhisheng, who also met Nowak, believes that there are some 250,000 Falun Gong currently in such camps: records exist of more than 3,000 who have been tortured to death since 1999. The repression of this 100-million strong 'Buddha School' movement-once encouraged by Beijing for the wellbeing reportedly experienced by its adherents-amounts to genocide.