(Minghui.org) On the occasion of the 22nd anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s suppression of Falun Gong in China, 15 German federal or state-level parliament members issued statements or written letters condemning the CCP’s severe human rights violations, including forced organ harvesting, against Falun Gong practitioners.
Markus Grübel, MdB, CDU, is the Federal Government Commissioner for Global Freedom of Religion. In a statement issued on July 19, he urged the CCP to immediately stop the suppression of Falun Gong practitioners and other ethnic, religious, and cultural groups. He said every one has his or her own freedom of belief and human rights cannot be abused or violated.
“Until 1999, the [Falun Gong] community was largely accepted by the government, but then perceived as a threat and declared an ‘enemy of the state.’ Its supporters are also victims of widespread propaganda campaigns, re-education, imprisonment, forced labor and torture. UN human rights experts were extremely alarmed of forced organ removal, which is carried out from imprisoned religious and ethnic minorities, in particular Falun Gong practitioners,” wrote the statement.
Grübel said that in the past few decades, the CCP has discriminated against and suppressed various groups including Uyghurs, Falun Gong practitioners, Tibetans, Christians, and others. The human rights abuse against those groups range from systematic monitoring and arrest, to long-term detention.
“Human rights have universal validity, regardless of nationality and ethnic or religious affiliation,” Grübel continued. “The ‘Sinization’ of religions and cultures, that is, the forced adaptation to socialist ideology, is a serious violation of freedom of religion and belief.”
Michael Brand, MdB, is the policy spokesperson for human rights within the CDU/CSU caucus and member of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. In his letter, he said the CCP has been trying to undermine human rights – one of the greatest achievements of mankind, both internally and externally. By declaring human rights outdated and damaging it, the CCP has been pushing its totalitarian rule throughout the world.
Right now, he is truly standing together with those who are persecuted, detained, and re-educated, explained Brand. They include religious and ethnic groups, as well as Falun Gong practitioners. He said the CCP must end the atrocity against Falun Gong practitioners. While praising practitioners for their efforts for protecting human rights, Brand wishes practitioners continue their efforts and he said he stands in solidarity with them.
Gabriela Heinrich MdB, the deputy chair of the Social Democratic Party’s Foreign and Human Rights Affairs parliamentary group, condemned the CCP’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting. “UN experts pointed out that there was evidence that [the CCP] is behind arbitrary arrests and forcible organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, and this also involves Uyghurs, Tibetans, Muslims, and Christians,” she stated.
She had discussed human rights issues with China through various channels many times. But none of these questions were answered by the representatives of the CCP regime. “It is like all the talks fell on deaf ears.”
In her letter, Heinrich also thanked practitioners, “Especially when Falun Gong has been persecuted for 22 years, thank you for your hard work. This is extremely important. Even if there are difficulties, I ask you to persevere. Even if it is only a small achievement, it is very important. Thank you,” she wrote.
Margarete Bause, MdB, is parliament member from Alliance 90/The Greens and spokesperson for the Party on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. She said there have been reports on the torture that Falun Gong practitioners have suffered for their belief since July 1999, including forced organ harvesting. “Right now, tens of thousands of people are still missing,” she said.
The severe persecution of Falun Gong shows the CCP’s hunger for power to control people, she added. Even after the ruthless suppression, the regime still failed to defeat Falun Gong, which shows the strength of non-violent resistance. She said many people from around the world are acknowledging Falun Gong practitioners’ rights and are working towards the goal of stopping the suppression.
Bause said freedom of belief and freedom of speech are unalienable rights of everyone. Democratic nations like Germany have the responsibilities to protect and safeguard human rights around the world.
Jürgen Braun is member of parliament from Alternative for Germany (AfD) and deputy chairman of the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. Former CCP leader Jiang Zemin launched the persecution in July 1999, vowing to “defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically,” he wrote in a letter. Since then, the CCP has been systematically suppressing practitioners. Tens of thousands of practitioners have been detained, tortured, and murdered. The situation still continues today.
Suppression of peaceful Falun Gong practitioners shows the totalitarian and brutal nature of the CCP, added Braun. He and other officials condemn these actions and have urged China to comply with human rights conventions it has participated in. More specifically, China needs to respect its citizens’ basic human rights including that of religion and speech.
Bettina M. Wiesmann, MdB for CDU, wrote a letter on July 17 welcoming practitioners’ rally in Berlin. “It’s just wonderful for those who are able to be here! And how wonderful it would be if people can freely gather like this in China,” she declared. “The persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party is intolerable. It should be on the agenda of Germany’s foreign policy to end the persecution. We must not stop condemning human rights abuses [by the Chinese Communist Party] and advocating for an end to the situation.”
“My [parliamentary] colleagues–Michael Brand, Martin Patzelt and Michael Gahler–are standing firmly on your side. It is no coincidence that Michael Gahler has also been a target of Beijing’s totalitarianism this year. This does not diminish the commitment of my colleagues in the Christian Democratic Union to support freedom of worship worldwide and to oppose the persecution of religious minorities,” she continued.
“You are all spreading good things to the world. It gives me great joy that you chose the Brandenburg Gate for your event, which is not only at the center of Europe, but also has a central historical significance. It was here that Germany, which had been divided for more than forty years, was reunited in an impressive way and the East German population was peacefully freed from socialist totalitarianism,” she explained. “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance–with these values, you are gathered here in Berlin today. I hope those who are in exile overseas may return to China one day without fear of persecution. I wish all of you here today a day of success and peace. Thank you very much for your efforts!”
Sebastian Brehm, MdB from the CDU, stated in his letter, “On behalf of all members of the German Bundestag who support [Falun Gong practitioners], I would like to extend my sincere greetings to you. We ask China [the CCP] to respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.
“The actions taken against spiritual groups such as Falun Gong have violated all obligations to international law that China assumed through signing the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” he continued. “The behavior of the Chinese Communist Party leaders is barbaric and inhumane, and this must be clearly recorded. Arbitrary arrest, forced labor, torture and theft of human organs are all crimes against humanity that must be brought to justice.”
Brehm also called on the Chinese government “to respect international norms and the UN’s International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which China has signed, to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to release all Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience being imprisoned. The CCP must stop the act of stealing organs.” As a member of the Human Rights Committee, he said he would do his best to achieve this goal.
Finally, Brehm expressed his gratitude to Falun Gong practitioners for their input, dedication, and commitment to peace and human rights. He encouraged practitioners to continue to use all their strength to stand up for the values of peace, freedom, democracy and human rights.
Sandra Bubendorfer-Licht, MdB, stated in her letter, “In the past 22 years, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been persecuted, arrested, and subjected to the most cruel torture in prisons and labor camps. Falun Gong is a tradition that integrates spiritual beliefs, life principles, and meditation methods.
“For the Free Democratic Party of the German Bundestag, the protection of human rights and religious freedom is our top priority. The persecution of those who yearn for freedom and democracy and who only want their personal freedom and human rights makes me very sad. As a person who pursues freedom and democracy, I am amazed by the way the Chinese government persecutes human rights, and strongly condemn this behavior.
“Detention of political prisoners, especially live organ harvesting, is something that our free and democratic society must strongly oppose. For the EU, especially from the perspective of economic relations with China, we cannot remain silent on this. Those who are threatened today because of their beliefs need the support of our Liberal Democrats. The EU must resolutely, and without exception, draw a line with it, point out such behavior and impose sanctions on it. Religion and freedom of speech are the fundamental values of democratic ideals, so practicing Falun Gong should be free and legal.”
China is the second largest trading partner of Germany and the European Union. “Now is the time for the European Union and the German governments to take a tougher stance on the Chinese government’s violation of human rights. We can no longer stand by idly,” she wrote.
“We Liberal Democrats will continue to devote all of our energy to the protection of human rights throughout the world, and will oppose all organizations and countries that violate democratic values or human rights,” Bubendorfer-Licht wrote. “My heart is with the people who are persecuted in China. My colleagues in the Human Rights Working Group of the Liberal Democratic Party of the German Parliament and I will work hard for the freedom and rights of Falun Gong.”
Gülistan Yüksel, member of parliament for SPD, said the German government had repeatedly raised the issue of human rights violations and forced organ harvesting during discussions with China. In particular, Bärbel Kofler from the Committee on Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid had issued a statement urging the CCP to ensure the human rights of Falun Gong practitioners and other citizens.
Citing words from Frank Schwabe, the Assembly's rapporteur on human rights and the rule of law in the North Caucasus, Yüksel said human rights cannot be compromised and the topic is always on the table. In the end, she also thanked practitioners for their consistent efforts on this important issue.