(Minghui.org) The Falun Dafa Information Center held an online forum on July 20, 2021, to discuss the ongoing suppression of Falun Gong in China that began on the same day 22 years ago. Several experts and a persecution victim who attended the forum also praised the global impact of Falun Gong practitioners’ efforts in opposing the persecution. They urged the U.S. president, government officials, and people from all walks of life to join together to end the Chinese communist regime’s brutalities against Falun Gong practitioners, including forced organ harvesting.

Freedom House Director: Extraordinary Efforts

Sarah Cook, Research Director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House, spoke at the forum on July 20, 2021.

Ms. Sarah Cook, Chairperson of the forum, is Research Director for China, Hong Kong, and Taiwan at Freedom House. She said the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is systematic and has lasted a long time. Its large scale and brutal methods have made it an extremely serious human rights disaster, she said.

When it first launched the persecution in 1999, the CCP vowed to defeat Falun Gong in three months. Twenty-two years have passed, and Falun Gong is still standing strong, she said, adding that the efforts of practitioners to counter the persecution are outstanding and extraordinary.

Ms. Cook said that when discussing human rights violations by the CCP, what Falun Gong practitioners in China have experienced are typical cases and should not be underestimated. During the forum, she asked participants to think of ways that could help end the suppression. For example, she said, more people could subscribe to newsletters from the Falun Dafa Information Center for updated information in a timely manner.

Former USCIRF Commissioner: Persecution of Falun Gong Relates to Everyone

Johnnie Moore, former USCIRF commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF)

Mr. Johnnie Moore, former commissioner of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) and a Christian leader, said that the U.S. government should enact laws to stop the CCP’s forced organ harvesting and impose sanctions against CCP officials involved.

He said what the CCP fears the most is not the U.S. but rather the Chinese people. In fact, Falun Gong practitioners are good people who benefit China and whoever is in power, he said. When the number of practitioners exceeded the CCP membership, the CCP viewed practitioners as a threat instead of treating them as a precious asset to society. Twenty-two years have passed, and the CCP is still continuing the suppression, which not only puts China in a difficult situation but also pushes the CCP onto a path of no return, he said.

Mr. Moore said he believes people should revere the divine and remain humble, and that no political entities can control people’s thoughts or will. When the CCP started to suppress Falun Gong 22 years ago, the world was silent, he said; had people paid attention to the persecution 22 years ago, more people would have been saved by now.

Mr. Moore called on all people, nations, and governments to join together to stop the CCP from continuing its crimes against Falun Gong practitioners. According to him, this is not only the right thing to do but also a wise decision. While there are different opinions in American society, he said, ending the persecution of Falun Gong in China should be a common goal, as it transcends race and political affiliations and should be a focal point for all.

On May 12, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken announced that the U.S. would sanction Yu Hui, former director of the Chengdu 610 Office, for “his involvement in gross violations of human rights, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs.”

The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced a sanction against Mr. Moore on May 26, banning him and his family from mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macao. On the same day, Mr. Moore replied saying it was an honor to be sanctioned by the CCP for giving his voice to suppressed groups.

“The CCP doesn’t understand the difference between ‘the truth’ and a ‘lie’ but here’s some truth we know: They are weaker than they want us to believe that they are. A global coalition is building to hold them to account and it transcends political parties and U.S. administrations. This Great Wall of Collaboration is a promise to future generations that we will not hand our world to the CCP to victimize the innocent as they please,” he wrote on Twitter.

Falun Dafa Information Center: Persecution Has Intensified

Levi Browde is the Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center.

Mr. Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, said the CCP’s suppression of Falun Gong has intensified since early last year.

For example, at least 3,383 practitioners were arrested and harassed in the first half of 2019, and the number went up to 9,691 for the entire year of 2019. The tally of arrested and harassed practitioners in 2020 was 16,084 in 2020. In the first half of 2021 alone, 12,761 practitioners have already been confirmed to have been either arrested or harassed. These numbers indicate that the CCP has arrested and detained more practitioners during the pandemic.

Mr. Browde said the intensification of persecution resulted from the CCP’s fear. First, Falun Gong practitioners have established relatively stable channels of relaying information outside China even during the pandemic. This has attracted worldwide attention and worried the CCP. Second, the CCP recently launched “zero-out” campaigns aimed at forcing practitioners on the government’s blacklists to give up their practice. Third, during the CCP’s recent centennial celebration, the regime stepped up the suppression by arresting more practitioners.

Practitioners’ peaceful and consistent efforts have been very effective in informing the public of what is going on in China, added Mr. Browde. He said they have not only helped to expose the persecution of Falun Gong but also helped people to recognize the vicious nature of the CCP.

Victim Testimony: Burning Every Inch of Skin

Wang Weiyu is a former student at the renowned Tsinghua University, and he was detained numerous times for his belief.

Mr. Wang Weiyu, a former student at the renowned Tsinghua University, talked about his own experience of persecution at the hands of the CCP. Mr. Wang started his Ph.D. studies in 1996 in the Department of Precision Instruments. He served as class master and vice president of the department’s science association. In addition, he received numerous awards, including Outstanding Graduate, the Excellent Student Scholarship, and others.

After he started practicing Falun Gong in January 1997, Mr. Wang found that its teachings guided him to be a better person. At that time, there were 11 Falun Gong group exercise sites at Tsinghua University, and over 500 students and teachers were doing the exercises together.

After the CCP began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, Mr. Wang and his family were persecuted for 14 years until he left China. Furthermore, he was forced to stop schooling twice and give up his doctoral studies. In August 2002, State Security Bureau agents secretly arrested him and sentenced him to 8 years of imprisonment.

While detained, Mr. Wang was shocked with electric batons for more than 10 hours straight. His entire back was bloody with scorched areas. One guard jumped up and hit his head with an elbow while yelling, “I will burn every inch of your skin.” Mr. Wang was also kicked, and his right Achilles tendon was broken. Still, he was forced to do slave labor.

“The victims of the CCP’s brutality are not limited to Falun Gong practitioners or Chinese people,” said Mr. Wang at the forum. In the past few decades, the CCP has been actively infiltrating Western countries including the United States, and it uses business interests and other incentives as bait to lure democratic countries to follow its narrative and remain silent on its human rights abuses. He said the world must wake up and face the reality, and there are no other options.

While Mr. Wang was detained, one officer asked him to tell his friends overseas not to write to the officer anymore. This shows that CCP agents are afraid of international voices in support of Falun Gong practitioners, he said. “Your voices are very important because they are afraid of being exposed,” he explained.

DAFOH Consultant: Stopping the Atrocity

Jessica Russo, consultant for DAFOH, said there are many ways people can help to stop the brutality.

Dr. Jessica Russo, consultant for Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH), said numerous investigations done by the international community have confirmed the CCP’s forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners. She said the timing of the sudden increase in organ transplants in China coincided with the onset of the persecution of Falun Gong. Data also indicates the organs are from detained Falun Gong practitioners, she said.

The CCP is the only regime in this world that commits the hideous crime of forced organ harvesting, which is different from the black market organ trade around the world, said Dr. Russo. As the CCP had vowed to “eliminate practitioners physically,” the organ harvesting amounts to genocide, she said.

On how to work together to end the persecution of Falun Gong in China, Dr. Russo suggested that people look for opportunities to give speeches in various organizations to inform the public. When people know more about forced organ harvesting in China, they would avoid engaging in organ tourism to China and becoming accomplices of the CCP. In addition, people can write to the president and Congress members to urge them to pass laws, both to stop the forced organ harvesting and sanction CCP officials involved.

Chinese version available

Category: July 20 Events