United States: Washington DC Practitioners Hold Grand Reception to Thank US Members of Congress For Their Support

On the evening of July 16, 2003, Falun Gong practitioners held a reception in a Senate Office Building to thank senators for their support of Falun Gong over the last four years, and to help more people come to understand Falun Gong and the brutal persecution in China.

Dr. Lijuan Zhang, one of the organisers said, "Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin and the 610 Office he controls (an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political or judicial systems) have persecuted Falun Gong for four years. Now we can hold activities such as this in a United States Senate office building, which shows the support of American Government, particularly the House of Representatives, and the support of the American people for Falun Gong. Over the last four years, Falun Gong has become recognised and begun to flourish in over 60 countries. Thus, Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong overseas has been thoroughly defeated."

In November 1999, the US Senate and Congress passed concurrent resolution 217 (218) urging the Government of the People's Republic of China

"(A) to release from detention all Falun Gong practitioners and put an immediate end to the practises of torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment against them and other prisoners of conscience;

(B) to allow Falun Gong practitioners to pursue their personal beliefs in accordance with article 36 of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China; and

(C) to abide by the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights." (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/1999/11/23/10483.html)

On March 14, 2001, Freedom House, America's oldest human rights group hosted an award ceremony in US Senate Office Building honouring the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi and Falun Dafa Association.

On July 24, 2002, the US House of Representatives unanimously passed resolution 188 with a sweeping vote of 420-0, urging the Chinese regime to stop persecuting Falun Gong.

On June 12, 2003, 38 members of the US Congress co-signed a brief as friends of the court, also known as amicus curiae. The amicus brief was written by the senior Democratic member of the International Relations Committee in the US Congress, California Congressman Tom Lantos, requesting the court to proceed with the lawsuit against Jiang, and urging the court to handle the litigation against former Chinese leader Jiang and others with the charges of genocide, anti-humanity and other crimes.

During last four years, US House Representatives actively participated in rescuing Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted in China. In the rally of July 20, 2002, more than 20 members of US congress and NGO leaders gave speech and condemned the brutal persecution.

In the reception, Falun Gong practitioners performed dances of China's Tang Dynasty and played Chinese traditional music. Western practitioners demonstrated the five-set of Falun Gong exercises. Many members of US congress, their assistants, and officials from Department of State attended the reception and watched the performance.

A legislative aide for a congressman from Connecticut told our reporter that he was very interested in diplomatic policy and knew well that "Falun Gong is a huge international issue". He came to learn what Falun Gong is and why only China brutally persecuted Falun Gong. He said that Jiang Zemin was a "cruel hardliner." When he was told that Jiang was being sued in a US Federal Court for his crimes against humanity, he was very interested.

A Hong Kong lady working in US Department of Justice attended the reception with her husband and child. She said, "Falun Gong is so peaceful, but is persecuted. I feel so sorry. The tentative legislation on Article 23 in Hong Kong suggests that Jiang is persecuting all Chinese worldwide."

A legislative aid of a US senator said, "I am interested in Chinese culture. I like the performance of Falun Gong practitioners. Now I know more about Falun Gong." A legislative aid of a congressman from Texas said, "I knew a little of Falun Gong. I learnt more about the facts of persecution in China after talking with Falun Gong practitioners."

The reporter also met a Falun Gong practitioner from Austria. He said, "I started practising Falun Gong before 1999. The persecution of Falun Gong affects me. The persecution of many innocent people is only because of Jiang Zemin's jealousy. I like to visit China as I practise Falun Gong. But Chinese Embassy did not approve my visa application. A few friends and I have come to Washington DC to participate in the parade and rally to protest the persecution, and attend the conference of cultivation experience sharing. "

A Chinese named Andy working in US Department of Agriculture attended the reception. Andy told reporter, "When I taught English in Guangdong in 1998, I knew a friend practising Falun Gong. I was worried for him when the persecution started in 1999. In last November, I heard from other friends in China that the administrator of his school told him, 'You cannot work if you continue practising Falun Gong.' My friend said, 'Falun Gong is good. Why do you not allow me to practise?' As he persisted in practising Falun Gong, he was fired by his school. Later he went to Beijing to appeal but was detained by police." Andy is sympathetic toward Falun Gong practitioners in China. When he learnt that Jiang was sued in US Federal Court, he was very pleased. He supports public tribunal of Jiang. Andy said, "As far as I know, many overseas Chinese and people in China don't like Jiang but hate him for his betraying national interests."

It has been four years by July 20 that Jiang Zemin persecutes Falun Gong. The reception is a part of the series activities to have more people learn the fact of Falun Gong and help end the persecution. To protest Jiang regime's persecution, several thousand Falun Gong practitioners from many countries will gather in Washington DC, and hold a grand parade on Monday, July 21 to appeal for an end of the persecution. On Tuesday, July 22, there will be a public tribunal of Jiang Zemin followed by a grand rally to condemn Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong.

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