(Clearwisdom.net) On July 30, 2009, US Senator Robert Menendez from New Jersey wrote the following letter to Chinese Ambassador Wenzhong Zhou, to condemn the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong over the past 10 years and to call for the release of detained Falun Gong practitioners.

Robert Menendez

New Jersey

United States Senate

July 30, 2009

Dear Ambassador Zhou,

This July will mark the 10-year anniversary of the Chinese government's persecution of Falun Gong. The crackdown on Falun Gong has subjected practitioners to severe mental and physical abuse and has caused their families countless hours of emotional agony. These grave human rights violations in the People's Republic of China highlight the need for greater international pressure on the Chinese government to provide all its citizens the freedom to worship in the manner they choose, in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human rights.

China has exhibited a poor human rights record around the world. Whether it is in Sudan, Tibet or within China's own borders, the Chinese government needs to show greater respect for individual human rights if it is to gain the respect of the world. I have heard from a number of my constituents in New Jersey about the continued mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners. The exact number of Falun Gong members who have died while in the custody of the Chinese government, either from torture, abuse, or neglect, is unclear, but whatever the number, it is not acceptable.

This persecution of Falun Gong is an affront to humanity, and I strongly believe the United States Government should speak out more forcefully against the denial of freedom of religion to the citizens of China. I ask for your assistance in gaining the release of the friends and relatives of my constituents who are being held in custody in China for religious reasons, and ask that greater pressure be exerted on the Chinese government to change its international and domestic policies regarding the protection of human rights.



United States Senator