Statement by Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Chairperson of Subcommittee on International Operations and Human Rights
Falun Gong Rally
July 23, 2002
[Editor's note: Congresswoman Ros-Lehtinen initiated the recently passed Resolution 188, which urges Chinese government to cease the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.]
It is a pleasure to be joined by so many brave men and women - Falun Gong practitioners who have defied the terror and persecution of the Chinese regime.
However, I wish we did not have to hold this rally; that the crackdown against the Falun Gong had ended and you were all able to practice your beliefs free of coercion, intimidation, and torture.
As I highlighted last night during the debate on H. Con. Res. 188, the last 3 years have marked a systematic escalation of horrific attacks launched by Chinese authorities against Falun Gong practitioners.
For example, a woman and her 8-month old son, were tortured to death in police custody.
Her neck and knucklebones were broken and her skull was sunken in.
Her infant son's ankles had deep bruises from being hung upside down by handcuffs. There were bruises on the baby's head and blood in his nose.
As a human being and a refugee of another Communist regime who uses the same methods to implement its policy of intolerance, I was compelled to act.
I filed H.Con.Res. 188, which is supported by over one hundred of our colleagues in the House and is scheduled for a vote this afternoon in the House of Representatives.
This resolution calls on the Chinese leadership to cease its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.
It further directs the agencies of the U.S. Government to use every appropriate public and private forum to press the Chinese authorities to release all Falun Gong religious prisoners, and to immediately cease the use of torture against the Falun Gong and other prisoners of conscience.
Since the resolution was passed by the International Relations Committee last July, the situation with the Falun Gong has worsened.
Secret documents issued by the PRC and unveiled by human rights organizations in May of this year, underscored the determination of the PRC to suppress the Falun Gong, at all costs.
Disturbingly, the campaign against the Falun Gong was now extended to the United States.
Falun Gong practitioners in the U.S. are the victims of death threats; car bombs; vandalism against their homes; cyber attacks and harassment.
As a result, Congress had to send a clear message to the PRC that such behavior will not be tolerated in this country and violators will be held accountable for their actions.
For this purpose, I amended H.Con.Res. 188 to address this grave matter.
Young or old. Male or female. Adult or child. The Chinese authorities show no regard for human life; no mercy; no remorse.
The persecution of the Falun Gong must end, and must end now.
I remain committed to this goal and look forward to working with you to achieve it.
Category: Voices of Support Worldwide