¡¤ 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 23, 2002
¡¤ I'm Susan Mitchell. David Tompkins will be back from a well-earned vacation in a couple of weeks.
In this week's update from China¡
¡¤ The number of Falun Gong practitioners verified to have died while in detention is 529. 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 19 provinces, including the cities of Beijing, Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou and Nanjing.
¡¤ 409 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:
¡¤ Christmas Eve in Hong Kong, 2002: not an average day.
And some of our other stories:
¡¤ Christine Loftus interviews a Canadian practitioner whose relatives live in Hong Kong and who practice Falun Dafa
¡¤ Honors for Falun Dafa from the State Senate of Hawaii
¡¤ Seven practitioners from Heilongjiang province are illegally sentenced to long jail terms for trying to tell people the truth about their peaceful practice
¡¤ China agrees to allow UN investigators to come and study issues of torture, religious freedom and arbitrary detention
¡¤ A hotel owner in China sees and experiences miracles from Falun Dafa while under detention.
Christmas Eve in Hong Kong, 2002: not an average day.
¡¤ December 24, 2002 is the final day for anyone to submit comments on the proposed wording of Article 23 of the Basic Law, Hong Kong's constitution.
¡¤ One of the aspects of the Article in its current wording is that it reaches far beyond the shores of the island of Hong Kong.
¡¤ Permanent residents of Hong Kong are under the jurisdiction of Article 23 regardless of where they are. If they violate Article 23, they can be extradited back to Hong Kong.
¡¤ People who are in Hong Kong are all under the power of Article 23, regardless of their nationality. This includes travelers and visitors to Hong Kong.
¡¤ Minor violations of Article 23 can result in a seven-year jail sentence. Serious violations can lead to a life term in prison.
¡¤ Christine Loftus interviewed a former Hong Kong citizen now living in Toronto, Canada and asked for her thoughts on the upcoming legislation.
European Parliament resolution on Hong Kong
¡¤ Strong words from the European Parliament were enshrined in their resolution last week. The resolution
¡¤ "Calls on the HKSAR government to ensure that Article 23 proposals will not be used to silence opposition, restrict freedom of speech, of the press and of publication, freedom of association, of assembly, of procession and of demonstration, the right and freedom to form and join trade unions and to strike, and the right to engage in academic research, literary and artistic creation and other cultural activities, in accordance with Articles 27 and 34 of the Basic Law";
¡¤ The Resolution also
¡¤ "Reiterates its position that respect for the full autonomy of Hong Kong is one of the key issues upon which to base the development of future relations between the EU and China."
A beautiful proclamation from Hawaii
¡¤ Practitioners in Hawaii were very proud to receive a beautiful proclamation recently from the State Legislature that had been signed by all the Senators. It described the characteristics and benefits of Falun Dafa, and ended by saying:
¡¤ "The senate of the Twenty-First Legislature of the State of Hawaii hereby recognizes and commends the Hawaii practitioners of Falun Dafa for their commitment of sharing their knowledge and practice with our community."
The weather in Beijing is a little different from that of Hawaii¡
¡¤ Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing may get a slight reprieve on arrest and detainment over Christmastime.
¡¤ About 6,000 police have been put on traffic duty to deal with the city's longest spell of continuous snowfall since 1841 when they began to record the weather.
¡¤ As of Monday, December 23rd, snow had been coming down for five days.
¡¤ More snow is expected for Tuesday, which should keep busy the 100,000 residents who help sweep roads and keep the sidewalks clear!
Seven Falun Dafa Practitioners Illegally Tried and Sentenced in Daqing City
¡¤ We have received a report advising that seven Falun Gong practitioners from Heilongjiang Province have been illegally sentenced to long jail terms.
¡¤ According to eyewitnesses, on November 15, 2002, Hong'gang District Court in Daqing City of Heilongjiang Province held a closed trial. Families and friends of the practitioners were not informed and only court personnel and approximately 30 police officers were present in the courtroom.
¡¤ No legal procedures were followed. Instead, court authorities presented a trial record that had been prepared ahead of time and ordered the practitioners to sign the document. When they refused, they were told that provincial authorities had already decided the outcome. With the practitioners maintaining their innocence, the trial ended.
¡¤ In another deviation from regular trials, the Judge did not let the accused know the length of their prison terms. Practitioners were told the outcome by relatives who came to visit them at the prison. Zhong Zhang, Hai Li and Shenghui Jia were sent to Hongweixing Prison in Daqing City for 12, 12 and 7 years each. Messrs. Zhang and Li refused to wear prison uniforms and continue to practice Falun Gong. They are now under 24-hour surveillance and regularly beaten. Xingye Zhang was sentenced to 10 years. Bin Yao, Jiang Derong and Xinghe Sun were given sentences of 9, 7 and 7 years respectively. Their place of detention is still unknown.
China agrees to allow UN investigators to unconditionally study human rights issues.
¡¤ The Associated Press reporting from Beijing on December 17, said that China has agreed to issue unconditional invitations to United Nations investigators to come and study issues of torture, religious freedom and arbitrary detention.
¡¤ U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Lorne Craner, the State Department's top human-rights official, said that Chinese officials had "said they would issue the invitations immediately," although no date has been set for the UN visits.
Earthquake in Gansu Province
¡¤ China's northwest province of Gansu has sustained an earthquake with a magnitude of 5.9 on the Richter scale.
¡¤ Two people are dead and more than 13,000 homes around the city of Yumen have been damaged.
¡¤ The police in Ping'antai No. 1 Labor Camp of Gansu Province, have been ruthlessly persecuting Dafa practitioners.
¡¤ In the last year, at least seventy to eighty people have been hung up and savagely beaten.
¡¤ Authorities have also forced Dafa practitioners to work over the time limit during the day and then made them stand still night after night, not allowing them to sleep.
¡¤ The teachings of Falun Dafa state that there is a law in the universe that good will be rewarded and evil punished. If this is true, then it looks as if the people of Gansu province are beginning to reap the grim rewards of the illegal persecution they are carrying out against Dafa practitioners.
This week's science item: A 30,000 Year-Old Human Skeleton Discovered in Egypt
¡¤ On May 7th, 2002 the Egyptian Supreme Committee for Historical Relics announced that a Belgian archaeology team stationed in Egypt had discovered a human skeleton dating back 30,000 to 33,000 years.
¡¤ This is the most ancient human skeleton discovered in North Africa, and it was found in a mountain cave in the Dandela region, 550 km from Cairo, Egypt's capital.
The skeleton was in a sitting posture when discovered,
with the head facing up to the eastern sky. In the same cave, archaeologists
also discovered pottery pieces of the same historical period.
A Hotel Owner Experiences the Miracle of Falun Dafa in a Detention Center
¡¤ A practitioner wrote to the Minghui Web site saying, "I know the owner of a hotel near my home. I had clarified the truth about Falun Gong to her, but she did not believe me.
¡¤ Recently, police were looking everywhere to arrest Falun Gong practitioners. They also made unannounced searches of local hotels. (In China, police regularly detain and extort money from hotel owners for hosting prostitutes, without making any effort to stop the activity.) The owner of that nearby hotel was arrested and placed under detention for 15 days.
¡¤ There were many Falun Dafa practitioners at the detention center. Many inmates, including the hotel owner, were moved by their kindness and tranquility. A prostitute with severe diabetes felt her condition improve after she began to believe in Falun Dafa.
¡¤ The hotel owner had suffered chronic back pain and, while she was detained, the pain started again. While standing with her back to a heater to relieve the pain, she closed her eyes and said to herself, "I believe in Falun Dafa. If supernatural beings truly exist, I wish they could help me with my back pain." Then, she saw a Buddha-like figure appear in a ray of light and rub dust on her back. She opened her eyes but the figure was nowhere to be seen. She then realized that her back did not hurt anymore! She told everyone, and this is how people at the detention center started to sincerely believe in Falun Dafa.
¡¤ Once released, this hotel owner said to me, "Before, I always thought what you told me could not be true. Now, I truly believe. It is miraculous." She also promised to protect practitioners from the persecution.
¡¤ I was very glad, and urged her to start cultivating Falun Dafa. She said with a difficult expression on her face, "I still cannot let go of my thoughts about money. However, even if I don't cultivate, I truly believe that Dafa is good. (slight pause)
¡¤ I will tell my husband to practice!"
Thanks for watching FGMtv¡
dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, exposing the state terrorism, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.