(Clearwisdom.net) On the tenth anniversary of the "April 25th" peaceful appeal, Mr. Fengzhi Li, former intelligence officer of China's Ministry of State Security (MSS), who recently publicly announced his withdrawal from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) using his real name, was invited to attend a public hearing held in the European Parliament on April 25, 2009. The topic of the hearing was religious freedom in China and the ten-year persecution of Falun Gong. Mr. Li addressed the hearing through an international telephone connection. He pointed out that the CCP has never stopped its persecution of religious groups, particularly Falun Gong. It has mobilized all the state resources, invested unrestricted funds, and overridden the law to conduct this brutal suppression.

The following is the speech by Fengzhi Li:

I worked for China's intelligence system for 14 years, from 1990 to 2004. Since 2004 till today, I have been paying close attention to China's situation. Here I solemnly testify to the following:

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has hijacked China and placed the Party's interests above that of the nation and the Chinese people. It does everything it can to maintain its dictatorship. China's human rights situation, especially the situation regarding religious freedom, has been deteriorating for years. With the exception of a few state-sanctioned groups, there is almost no religious freedom. The inhumane persecution of Falun Gong and house church groups has never stopped and is worsening. In order to control, suppress, and persecute religious groups, the CCP uses all available institutions and forces, including the public and national security systems, the diplomatic system, propaganda, non-Communist groups, administrative systems, and even low-level neighborhood committees, non-governmental organizations, and pro-Communist groups overseas. There is virtually no limit placed on the funds and resources needed. The persecution of spiritual groups such as Falun Gong has gone beyond the legal system and the organizational framework in China.

Ever since its establishment, China's Ministry of State Security (MSS) has always participated in the persecution of religious groups and individuals, and is getting involved more deeply and more widely. Politically, the MSS always places the CCP's interests above all else. In many circulars, there are specific requirements about this. Political education, brainwashing, and control are evident everywhere. Administration-wise, as of 2004, the MSS had about 100,000 official employees and at least the same number of unofficial employees. The majority of them were used to maintain so-called "social stability," including the tasks of suppressing religious groups such as Falun Gong. This is especially true for many city-level MSS agencies because they do not have much work actually related to "state security." The majority of its manpower and resources are used for this purpose.

The branches of the MSS that participate in the persecution of religious groups such as Falun Gong include counter-espionage agencies, technical detection agencies, technical security agencies, domestic security agencies, foreign intelligence agencies, intelligence research and reporting agencies, internal research institutes, and sometimes ad-hoc special task forces. The methods that the MSS uses on the religious and human rights groups include intelligence collection, technical detection, human detection, case investigations done independently or in collaboration with other security agencies, interrogation, threats, coercion, detention and torture of individuals.

Intelligence collection is done both inside and outside of China. They infiltrate religious groups such as Falun Gong and incite defection from within. They use their network to gather relevant information. They infiltrate the major governmental agencies and get close to political leaders in those countries that support China's religious freedom and human rights, so as to gather intelligence and exert its influence. The overseas subjects they can target include members of the groups named and anyone associated with them; pro-Communist overseas Chinese groups, students and Chinese staying overseas temporarily; pro-Communist media and businesses; China-dispatched journalists and staff; non-governmental organizations, and foreign political groups.

The MSS participated in the persecution of Falun Gong as early as the preparation phase. In the initial stage, it focused on intelligence collection, surveillance, analysis, research, and the detection and handling of important cases. Later, as stated above, more and more agencies, resources, and methods were utilized. The involvement became deeper and wider. The MSS has truly become one of the primary agencies persecuting Falun Gong. Most particularly, it parallels the Foreign Ministry in the persecution of Falun Gong overseas.

For instance, the MSS has special departments dedicated to the suppression of religious groups such as Falun Gong and Christianity. They call their task "maintaining social stability." They are controlled by the 610 Office, which was established specifically to suppress Falun Gong. The 610 Office has supreme privileges and is even above the CCP's own organizational framework and China's legal system. It works for a few top leaders in the CCP.

At one point, individuals within the MSS made strong attempts to reform the ministry's framework so as to make the foreign intelligence department relatively independent, especially to maintain a certain distance from the departments in charge of domestic political issues. But the attempts were neither thorough nor successful. The fundamental reason is that the CCP is a dictatorship and has tight control over the MSS.

No matter how the CCP deceives the people in China and the international community, no matter how it uses economic, military, and paramilitary means to threaten and coerce the people in China and the international community, it will not stop abusing human rights such as religious freedom in China. Because of the perseverance of the groups and individuals such as Falun Gong and the house church groups, the CCP now sees them as the biggest threat to its dictatorship and has listed them as its number one enemy. The Chinese people are the ones that play the key role in realizing the improvement of China's religious freedom and human rights situations, but they urgently need support and help from righteous countries and individuals from around the world. Their support and help will not only benefit the Chinese people and the nation of China, but also the entire world.