United States: Falun Gong Practitioners Call for an End to the Persecution During Hu’s Visit to the US

As Hu Jintao, the Head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), arrived at the White House on the evening of January 18th, 2011, Falun Gong practitioners gathered nearby to protest the eleven years of persecution they have endured under the communist regime. On January 19th, as President Obama met with Hu, the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong became a focus of attention as members of Congress spoke out in opposition to it. Calling for the disintegration of the CCP and an end to the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners continued their large-scale, peaceful protests in Lafayette Park, along Pennsylvania Avenue and in front of the Department of State.

On January 18th, Falun Gong practitioners call for an end to the persecution and hold banners in the cold in Lafayette Park, one street away from the White House, upon Hu Jintao's arrival

Falun Gong practitioners write to President Obama, call for an end to the persecution

On the evening of January 18th, Falun Gong practitioners held banners in Lafayette Park, one street away from the White House. The banners read, “Bring Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Liu Jing, and Zhou Yongkang to justice”, “Stop the persecution of Falun Gong”, “Falun Dafa is great”, “Disintegrate the CCP and stop the persecution”.

Earlier in the day, the Washington DC Falun Dafa Association wrote to President Obama and urged him to mention the persecution of Falun Gong when he met with Hu Jintao and the Chinese delegation. They pointed out in the letter, “There can be no meaningful discussion of human rights in China without including Falun Gong, the most widely and severely persecuted group in China today.”

They stated in the letter, “The spiritual and meditation discipline of Falun Gong became popular in China in the early 1990s. Tens of millions of Chinese citizens began practising it over the course of the next seven years, enjoying improved health and a more positive outlook on life. By the late 1990s however, some high-ranking members of the Chinese Communist Party began to see this Buddhist spiritual practice as ideological competition. They banned the practice in 1999.”

“For the last decade hundreds of thousands of families have suffered a full array of persecutory practices, from discrimination and harassment to arbitrary detention, torture, and death. Today, Falun Gong adherents make up the largest body of prisoners of conscience in the world.”

They called for President Obama’s attention to the persecution of Falun Gong, “Without a basic appreciation for the lives of its own citizens, how can we expect China to be a responsible partner? The persecution of Falun Gong is at the root of all of China’s problems. We simply have to work to bring this repression to an end.”

Congress members pay attention to Falun Gong issue

A press conference on China’s human rights was held on January 18th, at which Congress members Chris Smith and Frank Wolf expressed their concerns about the persecution of Falun Gong. They called on President Obama to stand with those being persecuted.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher said during an interview with CNN on January 19th, “There is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of press, and there is no freedom of assembly. Anybody challenging the government is immediately thrown into a prison.”

“In China, what you have is ongoing repression of religions. People like Falun Gong are nothing more than people who believe in Yoga or meditation, but are thrown into prison by the thousands. Sometimes there is all sorts of evidence showing that they are beaten to death in order to steal their organs and sell their organs. There is nothing crueler than this.”

“In reality, this is a gangster regime that murders its own people. It should be treated that way, or it won’t respect us.”

The House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing on January 19th urging the Obama administration to promote human rights as the core element of US-China relations.

Global Coalition to Rescue Falun Gong practitioners writes to President Obama

On the afternoon of January 19th, Falun Gong practitioners and other groups being persecuted by the CCP held a rally on Pennsylvania Avenue in front of the White House, calling for the disintegration of the CCP and an end to the persecution.

Practitioner Dr. Larry Liu from Washington DC read an open letter to President Obama from the Global Coalition to Rescue Falun Gong Practitioners. In the letter, the practitioners urge the president to request Hu to immediately release lawyer Gao Zhisheng and Wang Yonghang who defended Falun Gong practitioners, and release practitioners Wang Zhiwen, Cao Dong, Jiang Feng, and Zhang Lianjun.

The open letter stated, “Based on the estimation of the Chinese Government, until 1999, there were 70 to 100 million people practising Falun Gong, which is more than the population of France. In the past 12 years, the CCP has conducted a campaign to attempt to eradicate Falun Gong by imprisoning hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners in detention centres, labour camps, and prisons. Torture means are frequently used to attempt to force practitioners to renounce their belief. The deaths of several thousand practitioners have been documented due to police violence.”

Rally in Washington DC calls for disintegration of CCP and end to the persecution

Dr. Li from Global Service Center for Quitting the CCP said at the rally, “Now in China under the CCP’s control, there is no place for equity, justice, and conscience, not to mention the universal values of Truth-Compassion-Forbearance.”

He said, “Quitting the CCP and its affiliated organizations is a step to disintegrating the CCP and stopping the persecution. It is also the fastest and most effective way. It is a process for the rebirth of the Chinese nation.”

Chinese democracy activist Wei Jingsheng reminded President Obama not to be blinded by business deals of one hundred billion dollars brought by Hu Jintao. He thought that there were many ways to revive the US economy, not at the expense of China’s human rights. He said, “For ten years, the US government has continuously yielded to the CCP at the expense of China’s human rights. But what did the USA get? Nothing. Now it is the same, and business deals of one hundred billion dollars cannot solve the problems of America.”

Mr. Wei said, “The whole world knows China’s human rights are important. The CCP regime does not respect human rights. It not only intimidates the Chinese people, but the safety of the whole world. When China becomes a country without the CCP, the issues between China and America can be truly resolved. Only when all Chinese people have freedom, will there be true peace between China and America.”

Background

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline for mind and body. The practice involves slow, gentle movements and meditation. It is easy to learn, enjoyable to practise, and free of charge. Its principles are based on Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. The practice began in China in 1992 and quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China and then beyond. Its beneficial effects in uplifting an individual’s physical health, spiritual well-being and moral character, not to mention its positive influence in the community and society as a whole, have been undeniable. In fact, Falun Gong is practiced by over 100 million people in 100 countries. The main works of Falun Gong are available in over 30 languages.

On July 20th, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched a brutal persecution of Falun Gong. Since the start of the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners throughout the world have been constantly speaking out about the truth of Falun Gong and exposing the CCP's crimes in a tireless effort to end the persecution.

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