We Must Continue Calling Attention to the Human Rights Situation in China on International Human Rights Day
(Minghui.org) The Universal Declaration of Human Rights was adopted by the United Nations 72 years ago in 1948. The Republic of China (ROC) was among the 48 members who voted in favor. After the ROC lost mainland China to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and retreated to Taiwan, it has developed into a democratic society with a high degree of political and civil liberties.
In comparison, Communist China’s human rights situation is one of the most deplorable in the world. In 2020, China was again listed as a “country of special concern” by the U.S. International Commission of Religious Freedom for violating religious freedom. This is China's 21st consecutive year to be on the list of “countries of special concern.”
The serious violation of human rights by the CCP, particularly the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, calls for special attention from the international community.
According to Minghui.org, 86,050 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested, 28,143 were given forced labor camps terms, 17,963 were sentenced to prison, 18,838 were taken to brainwashing centers, and 809 were taken to psychiatric hospitals at one point or another between the onset of the persecution on July 20, 1999, and July 10, 2019. Among the total 518,940 confirmed persecution cases, 4,580 practitioners have died as a result of the persecution. Due to the difficulty in getting information out of communist China, the actual number of practitioners being persecuted for their faith is believed to be much higher.
From January to October 2020, Minghui has confirmed that 68 practitioners died as a result of the persecution, 5,111 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested, 5,936 harassed, and 277 were detained at brainwashing centers. In October 2020 alone, 1,077 practitioners were reported to have been harassed or arrested, including 19 practitioners over 65 years old. The oldest practitioner arrested was 80 years old.
The following are just a few cases to illustrate the severity of the persecution:
Ms. Han Yuqin Died Hours After Arrest
Ms. Han Yuqin, a 68-year-old woman from Tangshan City, Hebei Province, was taken from her home at around 5 a.m. on June 18, 2020. Her family was informed of her death at around 6 p.m. When they saw her body at the hospital, her hair was disheveled and she had blood in her nose.
Ms. Han's arrest was part of a police sweep in which 36 local Falun Gong practitioners were arrested. Her family suspected foul play in her sudden death, as she had enjoyed good health since she began to practice Falun Gong in 1995.
Mr. Wang Dianguo Died in Prison Three Years After Wife Died in Detention Center
Mr. Wang Dianguo, a 67-year-old resident of Anshan City, Liaoning Province, died at 4 p.m. on June 16, 2020, about two years after he was taken to prison. Mr. Wang's imprisonment followed his arrest at home in July 2017 when his wife, Ms. Yu Baofang, and their son were also seized for practicing Falun Gong. Ms. Yu died at the Anshan Women’s Detention Center 13 days later.
Wang's family was told that he had died of gastric cancer. They questioned why he was not treated or released on medical parole, but got no answer. Upon their repeated requests, the guards played a portion of security footage, from which Mr. Wang's family learned that he had become incapacitated back in April 2020. The family was never notified of his condition.
Ms. Wang Shukun Died from Police Beating
Ms. Wang Shukun, a 66-year-old physician in Haining City, Heilongjiang Province, died on July 2, 2020, a few days after police beat her for hours in the hospital where she worked.
Ms. Wang was called into the hospital after months of staying home due to the coronavirus. She thought she was being called back to work but was in fact sought by the police. The police attempted to force her to write statements renouncing Falun Gong, and to acknowledge that her husband also practices Falun Gong when he never did. When Ms. Wang refused to sign the statements, police officers beat her until she begged them to stop and let her go home.
Ms. Wang returned home with broken kneecaps and bruises all over her body. She suffered a cerebral hemorrhage a few days later and passed away on July 2.
Five Practitioners Sentenced to Prison and Given Heavy Fines
Five Falun Gong practitioners from Nanchang City, Jiangxi Province were sentenced on October 22, 2020. The five were arrested between July 18 and 26, 2019, after police tracked down their addresses through surveillance cameras.
Ms. Zhang Li was sentenced to 7.5 years and fined 100,000 yuan. Mr. Zhang Wentao was sentenced to 3 years and fined 40,000 yuan. Ms. Jiang Lanying was given 2.5 years and fined 30,000 yuan. Ms. Hu Shuiying was sentenced to 2 years and fined 30,000 yuan. Mr. Chen Baozhi was given three years with five years of probation and fined 50,000 yuan.
Twelve Practitioners Sentenced to 2-8 Years in Prison
Twelve Falun Gong practitioners in Zunhua City, Hebei Province were secretly sentenced on November 27, 2020, for their faith. Ms. Wang Ruiling, 68, was sentenced to eight years and fined 10,000 yuan. Mr. Zhang Yuming, 65, was sentenced to seven years and fined 6,000 yuan. Mr. Wang Jian, 70, was sentenced to seven years and fined 5,000 yuan. Ms. Tian Shuxue, 82, was sentenced to five years and six months and fined 6,000 yuan. Ms. Zhang Qin, 78, was sentenced to four years and six months and fined 5,000 yuan. The other seven practitioners were given prison sentences ranging from two to five years and fined between 2,000 and 5,000 yuan.
More than three hundred police officers were mobilized to round up the practitioners on July 6, 2019, after police monitored the practitioners’ cellphones for two months. A total of nineteen practitioners were arrested that day.
Forced Organ Harvesting Continues
Organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners was first revealed to the public in March 2006 by two independent whistleblowers. Since then, more and more evidence of this egregious crime against humanity has been exposed. Evidence suggests that it is still happening now.
After a decade of investigation, David Matas and David Kilgour from Canada, and Ethan Gutmann from the U.S. released a joint report on June 22, 2016 titled Investigation Report on CCP Forced Organ Harvesting. It concluded that Chinese surgeons are transplanting between 60,000 and 100,000 organs a year with almost all the organs coming from Falun Gong practitioner and other prisoners of conscience. They suggested that the total number of transplants conducted between 2000 and 2016 could be as high as 1.5 million.
According to an investigation by the Committee to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (CIPFG), the CCP has utilized the entire state apparatus, including the military, police, judicial system, and medical institutions, in an effort to eradicate Falun Gong through forced organ harvesting since 2000. It is estimated that 891 transplant hospitals and more than 9,519 doctors participated in forced organ harvesting as of July 10, 2016.
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and security of person without distinction of race, color, sex, language, and religion. Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association. With a few exceptions, most countries around the world are striving to fulfill the declaration. Sadly, Communist China continues to trample the basic rights of its own citizens.
Human rights are the universal value of mankind. We all share the responsibility to safeguard and protect human rights around the world. We call on the international community to pay attention to the ongoing human rights violations in China.