Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries around the world, but relentlessly persecuted in China. The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world. While China continues to block all information, FGMTV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to FGMTV on December 4th, 2001.
I’m Susan Mitchell.
In the last 2 newscasts, we provided extensive coverage of the peaceful appeal to the Chinese government held by 36 Western practitioners of Falun Dafa in Tiananmen Square. The Chinese police responded with violence, dragging Marion Ogorek from Germany by the hair, and tearing some of it out, as she sat in a meditative posture. Zenon Dolnyckyj, the young Canadian man often seen in the news photos, was kicked and wrestled to the ground. His nose was broken when police punched him in the face. Inside the vans, five or six police beat Roland Odar from Sweden until he lay half unconscious on the floor. Police then continued to stomp on his head and face repeatedly. Helene Petit, a young woman from Paris, was struck in the face, held dangerously by the throat and bent backward over her seat. Later, a more senior policeman roughly grabbed and held Ms. Petit in the genital region as he confiscated the mobile phone that she had used to contact the French Embassy and her friends at home. Leeshai Lemish, 23, from Israel, reported being struck hard across the face and kicked in the groin by the police officer who initially questioned him.
Others in the group also suffered from being beaten, dragged and thown into vans or down stairs and from having their arms and legs held down in peculiar positions by police.
This was the first time that Westerners had appealed the crackdown against Falun Gong in a large group inside mainland China. Coming from 11 different countries, they absolutely confirmed to the police and authorities that Falun Dafa is not just an isolated Chinese issue: it is accepted internationally. They sent a very clear message that if China wants to be respected by the international community now that it has joined the World Trade Organization, it must respect the basic human rights of its citizens and its visitors.
The protestors confirmed that their appeal was legal, according to the constitution of the People's Republic of China that allows freedom of belief, freedom of peaceful assembly, and the right to appeal. They also adhered to International laws according to treaties signed by China.
For the first time, the government of the United States sponsors a photo exhibition of Falun Dafa
§ Cities and towns in New Jersey issue resolutions and proclamations condemning China's persecution of Falun Gong, and supporting the practitioners
§ Canadians walk almost 6,000 km from Vancouver to New York to deliver 100,000 signatures to the United Nations Secretary General
§ a junior high school in Taiwan chooses to invite only one group, Falun Gong, to join their 8th anniversary celebration
In this week's update from China:
The number of Falun Gong practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 320 as of today, although government sources in China say that the actual number exceeds one thousand.
A young girl on a hunger strike is released from detention
Retribution to a theatre when it tries to show a film slandering Falun Dafa
A special photo report from a trip to introduce Falun Dafa to the Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania and meetings there with government leaders, media and people interested to know more about Falun Dafa.
The First Government Sponsored Photo Exhibit of Falun Dafa in the U.S. Opens in Monroe County, New York on November 30, 2001 and will be on display until January 4, 2002. The photo exhibit, "Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance - the Journey of Falun Dafa", is organized by local Falun Gong practitioners and Friends of Falun Gong, and sponsored by the County of Monroe and the Greater Rochester International Airport . The County Executive Jack Doyle cut the ribbon to officially open the exhibit. We have some footage for you. Close to 10 thousand people travel through the airport every day.
Governments in New Jersey cities and towns, USA have been extremely supportive of Falun Dafa and have issued several resolutions and proclamations condemning China's persecution and supporting the practice, the practitioners and the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi. They include the City of Perth Amboy, Hackettstown, the City of Orange Township, the Township of Chester and the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders
Four Canadian Falun Gong practitioners arrived in New York on November 14th after walking more than 1000 km for 2 months. They delivered a letter to UN General Secretary, Kofi Anan along with 100,000 petition signatures.
On November 30th, another team of SOS walkers that had started in Winnipeg arrived in Thunder Bay.
So, with 4,560 km from Vancouver to Toronto, added together with the walks completed from Toronto to Ottawa, Montreal and New York, Canadian practitioners walked just 40 km short of 6,000 km from Vancouver on the west coast of North America to New York on the east coast to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa to people.
and… photos from the SOS Global Walk in Hawaii
and news from Taiwan….On November 8 practitioners in Taiwan were invited to demonstrate Falun Dafa exercises during the 8th anniversary of Chung-gang Junior High School. Even though it was a workday, approximately 200 practitioners participated in the activity. Falun Gong was the only invited group to demonstrate and everyone appreciated the opportunity. After the demonstration and explanation, students, teachers and visitors all highly praised Falun Gong, and the school presented an appreciation letter to practitioners.
And a brief update from China over the last three weeks:
The verified death count of practitioners known to have been murdered in custody has risen to 320 as of today, although government sources inside China say the number is actually well over one thousand.
World Attention focused on a Young Girl on a Hunger Strike for 5 Days secures her release from detention.
In early November, ClearWisdom.net carried many articles calling for the urgent rescue of a young Chinese girl under detention. She was released on November 13, 2001 after people telephoned from all over the world.
From this incident it is clear that when ClearWisdom posts the phone numbers of perpetrators on the Internet, it is an opportunity for people around the world to help directly in putting an end to the persecution. What criminals fear most is the exposure of their conduct. By making phone calls, authorities in China are given notice that their names are being put on the list of people who have violated International Human Rights Treaties and that they will be brought to justice when the crackdown ends.
More and more people in China are gradually realizing that the Chinese authorities are breaking their own constitutional laws by persecuting Falun Dafa and they are beginning to take positive action. Here are excerpts from a letter to a friend, written by a man who doesn't practice Falun Gong, but whose wife was thrown into a labour camp for being a practitioner:
Over the past two years, during which slanderous propaganda has overshadowed the sky, you and I as well as tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been enduring inhumane torture. As family members, the pressure and attacks we have suffered, in certain aspects, have surpassed those of the practitioners themselves. One by one, innocent practitioners have been arrested and put into jail. The hardships they have been suffering are beyond words. In order to avoid the suffering, I thought of divorce, but when I looked at my child beside me, who cried daily because she missed her mother, my heart softened. The love of one's mother cannot be replaced. Although still a child, my daughter will become an adult someday, and as an adult, she would not forgive me if I abandoned her innocent mother. Our child is the fruit of our love, and the continuation of our lives as well. Thus, I experienced several sleepless nights while in the process of giving up this idea of divorce.
I have carefully studied some laws and rules related to the issue concerning the treatment of practitioners of Falun Gong. The 36th item of the Constitution states, "Citizens have the freedom of belief"; the Constitution also clearly stipulates, "Citizens have the freedom to appeal." I also remember that the 98th item of the General Rule of Civil Law states that "Citizens have the right to improve their health", etc. Therefore, according to the Constitution, all practitioners are innocent. Furthermore, even criminals given the death penalty have the right to appeal, and can ask an attorney to defend them.
Upon understanding the facts, I could not sit still any more and decided to go immediately to visit my wife. The first time, I was not allowed to see her. I was told that she was confined in a solitary compartment because she firmly insisted on her belief in Falun Gong. I was irritated and stated in front of them that my wife was innocent but has to endure illegal torture. I told them I would sue them for their violations of human rights, and trampling on national law. I constantly visited them, asked to see my wife and demanded that they release my wife. Thus, after a period of time, my wife was released but she had been tortured extremely badly, even beyond recognition. But the point is, I won! After all, it was me who got her out of jail.
My dear fellows, please listen to me, go to visit your wives! They all are good people, but they are suffering inhumane torture. Their determination and character are known by heaven and earth, and are highly appraised! … We cannot let people condemn us and think that we cannot distinguish good from bad, and that we have no affection nor sense of justice. I heard that Wanjia Labor Camp has changed recently. As long as the family members strongly demand that they release the practitioners, basically, they will be freed. More than ten practitioners have been released from Acheng. You can contact them.
Don't be afraid! Our wives are not afraid in the presence of weapons; what should we, the real men, fear?
I'm awaiting the good news of your being reunited with your wife, also!
A very encouraging letter from a husband of a practitioner to his friends.
A theatre in Pingliang City receives retribution for slandering Falun Dafa:
In late March this year, the People's Theatre in Pingliang City of Gansu Province advertised a film smearing Falun Dafa. At approximately 9:40 p.m. during the first show, fire broke out. It was later reported that people smoking in the dressing room had accidentally ignited some liquefied gas.
Firemen were unable to contain the blaze, the building was totally destroyed and the citizens were saved from watching any more of the government's slander against Falun Dafa.
Several more kidnappings have been reported, including that of Doctor Zhou Qingming, the physician in charge of emergency treatment in the Fifth Hospital of Hebei Provincial Medical University. According to eyewitnesses, Dr. Zhou had just finished his night shift and was resting when he was forcibly carried away without being allowed to get properly dressed. The kidnappers are known to be a Mr. Cao, the office director of the Fifth Hospital, and some of the security staff. Dr. Zhou's whereabouts are still unknown.
And finally, a special report from FGMTV on location….
In early September 2001, I was privileged to join a carload of Falun Dafa practitioners from Finland and Sweden, to travel to the capital cities of the three Baltic countries of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Joined by a small group of Latvian practitioners, we held successful meetings with government officials and with journalists from radio, television and newspapers. Many thousands of fliers were distributed and many thousands of people walking through city parks and along main streets saw the graceful Falun Gong exercises for the first time. Hundreds asked questions, wanting to know why they had not heard all this news before. We have some photo coverage:
During a press conference aboard ship in Helsinki harbour, practitioners from Sweden talk with reporters from the Finnish News Service and Xinhua News Agency.
Margit Tombak, a Consultant in the Foreign Affairs Department of the Office of the President of Estonia is happy to receive the Falun Dafa books and music from Swedish practitioners.
Mr. Andrejs Pildegovics, Foreign Policy Advisor to the President of Latvia smiles as I give him the Falun Dafa books and music. He told us that people in the Baltic countries would understand and be very supportive of our SOS walks to raise awareness of the plight of practitioners in China. And he was right.
In Vilnius, I met with Mr. Stasys Kruzinauskas, a member of the Lithuanian parliament, and also with the Special Advisor to the Mayor of Vilnius, who offered to introduce practitioners to any institutions that we felt would be interested.
In Vilnius, we were interviewed by the Lifestyle editor of Lithuania's second largest newspaper, Republika.
and in the parks of Talinn, there was Intense interest in the philosophy of Falun Dafa, and great eagerness to learn the exercises. This woman insisted on learning all five exercises immediately! The men from Finland and Latvia demonstrate the second set of exercises.
And in Vilnius, there was much interest in learning about something new! And, a Lithuanian martial arts practitioner is happy to speak with Falun Dafa practitioners and translate for the children who don't speak English.
Our visit to the Baltic countries preceded the SOS Global Rescue Walk in that area by one or two weeks, and created much interest amongst the citizens in Talinn, Riga and Vilnius. When the SOS walkers came through those same cities later in September, people and governments were even more eager to support the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and to learn more about the practice itself.
Thanks for watching FGMTV, dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, revealing propaganda, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.