Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries, 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 information about the persecution, FGM TV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
Hello, and welcome to the FGM TV weekly news review on December 3, 2002
I'm David Tompkins
In this week's update from China…
The number of Falun Gong practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 518. Reliable sources inside China, however, put the actual death count in the thousands.
In the last 7 days, reports of persecution have come in from 18 provinces and from the cities of Beijing, and Chongqing.
318 people declared as void all statements they had made under torture and at times when their minds were not clear. They said they intend to continue to practice Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
The 2002 Eastern United States Experience Sharing Conference took place in Philadelphia on November 31st and December 1st, and Teacher Li Gave a Lecture
And some of our other stories:
Wang Yuzhi, the practitioner rescued to Canada recently, describes the brutal treatment she received at the Wanjia Labour Camp
Eight Falun Gong practitioners are sentenced to long prison terms in Mishan City, Heilongjiang Province
Amnesty International appeals for Yoko Kaneko
Zhang Cuiying holds an art show in Edmonton Canada
Two practitioners spoke at the annual conference on Women and Peace was held in Turin Italy
The Second Irish Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held in Dublin
Scientists discover human activities in Tibet 20,000 years ago, and finally,
A practitioner from China tells how he overcame cirrosis of the liver through practicing Falun Gong
On November 30, 2002, the Eastern United States Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center near Chinatown in Philadelphia.
Two thousand Falun Gong practitioners from the Eastern United States and all over the world attended.
At a little after 2 pm, Teacher Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, came to the conference site to give a lecture.
Amidst thunderous applause from the practitioners, Teacher Li opened his lecture with two lines from a famous Tang dynasty poem:
"On either shore the gibbons' chatter
sounded without pause
While my light boat skimmed past
ten thousand somber crags."
He said, "After three years of persecution, the evil has already exhausted its tricks, and Dafa disciples have already become mature after going through the tests."
Teacher Li continued to lecture for about 35 minutes.
More than a dozen practitioners from Pennsylvania, Washington DC, and New Jersey, as well as practitioners from Taiwan and Canada shared their experiences at the conference.
Wang Yuzhi is the Chinese woman who recently was rescued to Canada from the Middle East where Chinese diplomats were using their influence to try to have her forcibly returned to China, where she would face certain torture and possibly death.
She had been arrested three times in China for clarifying the truth about Falun Gong.
The third time she was nearly blinded by the abuse she suffered at the hands of officials at the Wanjia Forced Labour Camp.
At a press conference in Ottawa recently, she shared her experience in the labour camp.
She said: Practitioners are tortured in many ways in Wanjia.
For example, practitioners were hung up and whipped; stripped naked and shackled to an iron chair for long periods of time, while being deprived of sleep and shocked with electric batons. They are hung up with hands shackled at the back of their bodies, for as long as several days, and female practitioners are thrown in cells with violent male criminals, and so on.
Under such torture, many people have been on the verge of death.
Most Falun Gong practitioners refused to give up their belief.
She said, we went on hunger strikes to protest the unlawful detention, and the torture.
The administrators used force-feeding as a revenge tool to further torture practitioners.
She said, when I went on hunger strike, the doctors used a steel clamp to pry my teeth open, then pushed a rubber tube into my stomach to force-feed me.
It was as thick as a gas tube.
My mouth was a pool of blood and my body was covered in bruises after every force-feeding.
They would pour two big bowls of cold water mixed with corn flour and said that it was for stretching my stomach.
At least 8 Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted to death in Wanjia forced labour camp since the beginning of this persecution.
She said the guards told the practitioners that if they were beaten to death, it would be counted as suicide and their bodies would be cremated immediately before informing their families, so there would be no evidence.
In late October of 2002, eight Falun Gong practitioners were illegally sentenced to prison terms, ranging from 3 to 14 years, by the Mishan City Court of Heilongjiang Province.
Jiang Honglu, who was shot by police during the Chinese Spring Festival and has been in jail ever since, was sentenced to 14 years.
In order to concoct evidence against him, the Mishan Police Department tried to force him to admit that he had attacked the police while being chased and shot at.
The police beat him brutally when he denied the charge.
Jiang passed out, and after he regained consciousness, the police continued to coerce him.
However, they failed to extort a confession from him regardless of the torture methods they used.
At present, many practitioners are being held in the Mishan City Detention Center.
Many people have gone on hunger strike to protest their illegal detention, and some have been sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.
The detained practitioners are under enormous pressure as the persecution has reached an extreme.
The police have even ordered male criminals to strip female practitioners.
Major media around the world reported recently on the appeal from Amnesty International for Yoko Kaneko, the 37-year-old Japanese resident and practitioner of Falun Gong, whose health is beginning to fail as a result of the abuse she is suffering at the hands of Chinese authorities.
Yoko Kaneko’s Chinese name is Lou Rong, and she has reportedly been hospitalized for high blood pressure.
The London-based group said in a statement, "According to reports, (Kaneko) has bruising around her wrists and has lost a lot of weight, indicating that she may have been tortured or ill-treated whilst in the labour camp."
She was sentenced to 18 months in a labour camp in June for distributing information about the persecution.
Amnesty also said that Kaneko's elder sister, Luo Zhen was reportedly detained on November 5 by police in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang for publicizing her sister's case.
The Edmonton Journal reported on December 3, 2002 on a display of Zhang Cuiying’s paintings at the University of Alberta in Canada.
The article described Mrs Zhang’s 8 month detention by Chinese authorities and the torture, beatings, and humiliation she endured for practicing Falun Gong.
The report said, “Zhang uses her rice paper paintings, and the poems in calligraphy accompanying them, to express her faith and tell the world how Falun Gong practitioners are treated in China.”
In preparation for the exhibit, Edmonton practitioners spoke with the local public and catholic high school boards about the opportunity for students to learn more about Chinese History, Chinese Culture and Art.
As a result, art teachers have brought their entire class for a painting demonstration by Mrs. Zhang and the art show.
The annual World Conference on Women and Peace was held from November 22-24, 2002 in Turin, Italy, and two Falun Gong practitioners were invited to speak.
It was attended by nearly a thousand Italians, as well as representatives from India, Canada, and Siberia.
The day before the conference started, Italy's largest TV station, Rome National TV station "1," presented a special morning program about Falun Gong and the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China to an audience of about three million.
Government officials from the Turin and Piedmont provinces attended the opening ceremony and gave speeches, voicing their concern about the persecution.
On the second day, a practitioner from Sweden, who practices Traditional Chinese Medicine, gave a comprehensive overview about Falun Gong to the audience with a background discussion on Chinese traditions, culture, and medical knowledge.
His speech was intertwined with demonstrations of the exercises, and he invited the audience to learn the exercises right there.
Regardless of whether they were young or old, whether they were doctors or just regular townsfolk, they were all able to learn the exercises.
Afterwards, an American practitioner exposed the brutal persecution of practitioners in China.
She pointed out that faced with three years of persecution by the Jiang regime, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners steadfastly observed the universal principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance."
Before the conference concluded the third day, the entire floor burst into applause when the conference sponsor invited Falun Gong practitioners to demonstrate the exercises one more time.
The second Irish Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held on November 24, 2002, in Dublin, Ireland.
Practitioners from Ireland, England, France and Hong Kong attended the solemn and serene event.
Thirteen practitioners shared their experiences in Falun Gong cultivation, including four English practitioners who are participating in a continual appeal in front of the Chinese Embassy in London, and an Irish practitioner who spoke about how being in a wheelchair affects his cultivation and truth-clarifying activities.
The day before the conference the practitioners held a parade that passed through the center of Dublin.
Even though it rained throughout the day, practitioners performed a beautiful traditional Chinese dance during the parade.
It ended at the Foreign Minister's Office, where practitioners handed a letter of appeal to the Irish Foreign Minister, Mr. Brian Cowen T.D.
Site of Ancient Human Activities 20,000 Years Ago Discovered in Tibet
In Deqing County, Duilong, Tibet, a site of ancient human activities was discovered.
The discovery proved that humans lived in the Tibet Plateau about 20,000 years ago, 10,500 years earlier than previously known.
The 29th issue of the American Journal of Geo-physics contains an article written by two professors at the Hong Kong University entitled "The Division of History Analysis from Hot Light Release of an Ancient Man's Handprint and Footprint Fossils Found In Tibet," including a discussion of an ancient environment on the Tibetan Plateau during the 4th Ice Age.
The article said that 85 km from Deqing County, on a slope 4,200 meters high, 19 handprint and footprint fossils were found in a calcified rock stratum.
Fire pit relics were also discovered.
After a series of analyses from samples of these prints, it was found that the prints were made about 20,000 years ago.
Before this discovery, experts on the Changdu relics in Tibet believed that the Changdu site was utilized 4,300 to 5,300 years ago and that between 16,000 and 24,000 years ago, the Tibetan plateau was covered by glaciers, and that no humans could possibly have lived there.
The scientific community is now challenging this outdated theory.
A practitioner from Hebei Province reported recently on how his health was restored after beginning to practice Falun Gong.
He said, at the end of March 1998, when I was only 23 years old, I was diagnosed with hepatitis.
In November of that year, my disease became worse and developed into hepatic ascites and hepatocirrhosis.
I felt all the time that I was facing death.
I did not know the meaning of life, but I did know clearly that no matter how much money I had, it could not give me a healthy body, and that my relatives and friends, no matter how well they treated me, could not change my miserable fate.
Just when my life had reached its lowest point, a co-worker gave me a copy of the book Zhuan Falun.
I soon understood that the purpose of life is to return to one's original and true self, and to assimilate to the fundamental nature of the universe, "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."
I strived to be a good person by strictly guiding myself with the criteria of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance."
I tried my best to always consider others first.
My body has undergone tremendous changes.
For the past three years, I have not taken any medicine nor had any injections to treat my illnesses; and yet, I am healthier than ever.
Being a Falun Gong practitioner, I feel that I am the most fortunate person in the world.
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