European Parliament Invites Falun Gong Practitioners from China to Hearing on Chinese Human Rights

The European Parliament Human Rights Branch Committee held a hearing on the human rights situation in China on November 26th 2007.

Falun Gong practitioners from China, Cao Dong, Niu Jinping and his wife Zhang Lianying, were invited to the hearing. On May 21st 2006, Niu Jinping and Cao Dong met with the Vice-President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott in Beijing, and informed the Vice President of the brutal persecution suffered by himself, his wife and other Falun Gong practitioners around him. Two hours after the meeting, Mr. Cao was arrested by Chinese Communist regime security agents and was charged with "accepting an illegal interview". Mr. Cao was sentenced to five years imprisonment and has been secretly detained in the No. 3 Prison in Tianshui.

During her imprisonment in the Beijing Women's Forced Labour Camp, Ms. Zhang was beaten mercilessly many times, hung up in the air, deprived of sleep and subjected to mental torture. On March 20th 2007, in the labour camp, Zhang Lianying was fiercely assaulted about the head while her neck was restrained with a rope. This torture resulted in massive hemorrhaging inside the skull and Ms. Zhang was on the verge of death. Nonetheless, the labour camp authorities continued to completely cut off her contact with the outside world and repeatedly refused requests by her family to see her.

Chinese lawyers Gao Zhisheng and Li Heping, who have spoken for Falun Gong and other human right activists in China, were also invited. Mr. Gao Zhisheng has been collecting the evidence that Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted. The CCP’s policemen have harassed him for a long time. On September 20th 2007, Mr. Gao wrote to the U.S. Congress, calling for attention to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. In the letter, Mr. Gao listed evidence of the persecution and how the CCP takes the chance of the Olympics to violate human rights. Two days later, Mr. Gao was taken away by the police. No one has heard from him since then.

The European Union is aware of the persecution against Falun Gong and it has been mentioned during every meeting between the EU and the CCP. On different occasions, the EU has asked the CCP to stop the persecution. The European Parliament passed a resolution to condemn the persecution on September 7th 2006 before the EU-China Summit. The Vice President of the European Parliament Mr. Edward McMillan-Scott has put in a lot of effort to rescue Falun Gong practitioners and Mr. Gao Zhisheng. He has written to the leaders of the EU, asking them to take action. On September 26th 2007, he expressed to the representatives from China that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and Mr. Gao is unacceptable. He expressed that he would exert more pressure until they are released.

The invitation of Falun Gong practitioners to the hearing shows that the European Parliament is concerned about the persecution and also shows their support for Falun Gong practitioners’ human rights. The hearing will be held right before the EU-China Summit on November 28th.

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