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 April 23rd, 2002
I¡¯m Susan Mitchell.
In this week's update from China¡
The number of Falun Dafa practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 400. However, reliable sources inside China put the actual death count at more than 1,700.
Some of our stories this week:
New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs personally delivers a protest letter from Falun Gong practitioners to the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs reiterates support for Falun Gong
A California university student returns home after detainment in Beijing.
With World Falun Dafa Day approaching on May 13th, many proclamations are beginning to appear
Practitioners visit 19 Peruvian cities in 20 days.
The president of a Chinese newspaper says, "We have to attack you. This is part of a quota set by higher authorities."
New Zealand's Minister for Foreign Affairs personally delivers a letter of protest from Falun Gong practitioners to China's Minister of Foreign Affairs.
In order to call on their government to pay attention to the escalating persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, and Jiang's recent order of "kill them without mercy," New Zealand practitioners held a three-day hunger strike appeal.
The appeal activity started on April 16th in front of the parliament building in Wellington and ended on April 18, 2002 with a press conference there.
Mr. Phil Goff, Minister of Foreign Affairs, reiterated in his letter to the contact person for this hunger strike, that he and the Prime Minister and the New Zealand government paid attention to the human rights issue of the Jiang Zemin regime's ill treatment Falun Gong practitioners.
He recounted that he made a speech in a meeting of Amnesty International to demand the end of the persecution in China.
During the most recent visit of the Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Goff handed over the protest letter of New Zealand Falun Gong practitioners.
On April 18th, several supporters of Falun Gong spoke at the press conference to end the hunger strike. They included:
the Chairman of Amnesty International New Zealand, Mr. Ced Simpson, who expressed his serious concern for the deteriorating conditions of Falun Gong practitioners in China and called on all circles of New Zealand to demand Jiang's regime to stop the persecution on the basis of international law obligations;
Green Party Senator, Mr. Keith Locke; and
United Party Senator, Ms. Philida Bunkle, who both expressed their admiration for the practitioners' work in raising awareness of the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Canada's Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Honourable Bill Graham, reconfirms Canada's commitment to human rights and the Canadian government's concern for the ill-treatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
In a letter to a fellow parliamentarian, he wrote, " In meetings with senior Chinese leaders and during regular dialogue with Chinese officials, Canada has consistently underlined the concern of many Canadians regarding reports of the mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners.
In a recent meeting with the Chinese Foreign Minister, (Deputy Prime) Minister Manley raised continuing Canadian concerns about human rights in China, including freedom of spiritual practice. Human Rights were also raised during ¡ the visit to China in December 2001 of the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The letter ends with the statement, "Please be assured that we will continue to make our views known to the Chinese authorities."
A California university student returns home after a brief detainment in Beijing.
Associated Press reported on April 16th that Andrew Muir Ellsmore, 21, arrived safely at San Francisco International Airport after being deported from Beijing.
Andrew had been arrested in Tiananmen Square for unfurling a banner that read (in Chinese), Falun Dafa is good.
It was the latest in a string of protests by non-Chinese Falun Dafa practitioners, and served to keep the issue in the media when most reports are focussing on other types of terrorist activities in other parts of the world.
With World Falun Dafa Day approaching on May 13th, many proclamations are beginning to appear.
On April 10th, Mayor Susan Bauman of Madison, Wisconsin and the Common Council there proclaimed May 13th as Li Hongzhi Day and Falun Dafa Day; and called on the Chinese government to stop the persecution.
The New York State Assembly has proclaimed April 15-21st, 2002 as "Truth, Compassion and Tolerance Week" in New York State. The proclamation reads in part, "Whereas, In the course of the evolving development of this great Empire State, when the ingredients of shared concern and responsive endeavor combine in a harmony of commitment, there have emerged certain self-improvement practices which warrant special recognition."
The proclamation also mentions that during this special week, the photo exhibition, "The Journey of Falun Dafa" will be held in the North Lobby of the concourse of the Empire State Plaza in Albany, the capital of New York State.
Practitioners visit 19 Peruvian cities in 20 days.
It's amazing what just a few people can do when they have boundless enthusiasm to share something they love that has benefited them.
For 20 days in March a few Falun Dafa practitioners in Peru travelled to 19 different cities.
Once they arrived in each city they would introduce Dafa to people through the local TV and radio stations and newspapers.
Then, they went to the city's central square and demonstrated the five Falun Gong exercises.
After that, they delivered truth-clarifying materials and Dafa books to the mayor and city government.
TV and radio stations were left with a set of Spanish language teaching videotapes, Dafa music and books. Through interviews at the TV and radio stations, they told people that the materials could be freely downloaded from the Internet, or that they could make copies for themselves from the copy that had been left with the station.
Thousands of Peruvian families came to learn about Falun Dafa through this enormous effort.
Moving now to China, where one woman has decided to recount a persecution episode that happened two years ago.
Names of people and the city are withheld, to protect the writer.
She wrote: Shortly after July 20, 1999, when Jiang's regime started to attack Falun Dafa, a well-known newspaper in my city published an article using the name of a local Falun Dafa contact person. They were implying that even the key contact person had given up, so why should we continue to practice? We didn't think the contact person would say something like this. We found her later and she told us the following.
She said that when the reporter came, she wasn't home. Her father, who knew that Falun Dafa was good, turned the reporter away. For fear of losing his job, the reporter copied something from other newspapers, signed her name to it, and had it published in the paper.
When the contact person went to the newspaper and demanded clarification about the article, the president of the newspaper asked how much money she wanted and said that they would compensate her. He thought that we were like others and that money could buy anything.
She said, "I don't want any money. Please make an announcement in the paper and clarify the situation." The president replied, "This is part of a quota that was set by higher authorities. We have to attack you."
She then said that she would appeal. The president told her that no one would take her case. She couldn't think of anything else to do, and so she left.
It took that writer almost two years to come forward with this statement confirming that the higher authorities in China are forcing newspapers to print lies about Falun Gong.
A Government Official Runs into Trouble with His Relatives
On January 2, 2002 in the Chinese lunar calendar, a government official's car passed by an intersection in Pingshan County. On a billboard north of the intersection, there was a 15-foot-long banner that read: "Congratulations on Hebei Falun Dafa Day."
The official reported the issue to Mr. Junhai Shi, who is the secretary of the Pingshan County Political and Judiciary Committee. When Mr. Shi arrived at the scene, he saw a young lady nearby who was waiting for a bus. Shi accused the lady of being a Falun Gong practitioner and tried to force her to take the banner down.
The lady said, "I am not a Falun Gong practitioner and I did not hang the banner there. Plus, the banner is so high that I cannot climb up there." Shi did not listen to her, beat her up and then handcuffed her.
He then tried to do the same thing to an old lady who was selling fruit nearby. When she refused, he put handcuffs on her as well as on two other passersby!
The family members of the young lady were indignant when they learned of the situation. They went to Shi's home that same night and threatened to file a lawsuit against him.
Later on, Mr. Shi learned that the young lady he beat was a distant relative of his wife.
The Truth about "Thousands of Letters Supporting the Persecution of Falun Gong" sent to the UN Human Rights Conference
A practitioner from China wrote saying that one day in late March, CCTV news (the official State Television in China) aired a story that Chinese people had sent tens of thousands of letters to the United Nations Human Rights Conference in Geneva, indicating their support of the persecution of Falun Gong.
Where did the "thousands of letters" come from?
In my work unit, a meeting of all employees was held in early February this year. At the meeting everyone was forced to write a letter to the central government, indicating his or her support of the persecution of Falun Gong. The perpetrators said that officials from "above" required the letters.
Everyone was forced to write a letter and submit it to the managers. The letters were then checked multiple times, then put into envelopes and sent to the central government. No one was willing to write the letters, yet they were afraid to lose reputation and self-interest. Like this, people were forced to write the letters and lie against their will.
At the time, I didn't know why the "above" had such a requirement. Now it's clear that the authorities had been planning the scheme for a long time.
Authorities are not the only people who die after slandering Falun Dafa.
Fifty-seven year old Fengyun Xu was a peasant woman in Laoguandi Township of Jianping County. Apparently, she slandered Falun Dafa every day. In October 2001, she was suffering from sudden headaches and was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She died during the Chinese New Year's Festival in 2002.
A small miracle fire destroys slander without touching anything else around ¡
Each year, from February 2 to March 3 based on the Chinese lunar calendar, there is a fair at the ancient Taihaoling Temple in Huaiyang County of Henan Province. During the entire month, about ten thousand tourists visit the temple fair each day.
This year, local authorities decided to make use of this fair to exhibit two display boards inside the temple to slander Falun Dafa. These two display boards were placed with other propaganda display boards on either side of the entrance hallway.
Recently, local public security officers have revealed that on the morning of March 31st, the two slanderous display boards suddenly burst into flames and were completely destroyed, yet nothing happened to the other boards near them.
Thanks for watching FGMTV, dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, revealing propaganda, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.