¡¤ 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 Review on January 7, 2003
¡¤ 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 535, with details of ten more confirmed deaths received in the past week. 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 12 provinces and from the cities of Beijing and Chongqing.
¡¤ 640 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:
¡¤ Falun Dafa in Taiwan. Government support for, and personal benefits experienced, by more than 100,000 practitioners there.
And some of our other stories:
¡¤ Another death from torture at Daqing Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province.
¡¤ How the leader of one of China's 610 Offices has come to highly respect the founder of Falun Gong, and the practitioners he has been forced to persecute.
¡¤ An update on the 'Rescue Our Relatives' global campaign.
¡¤ A success Falun Dafa photo exhibition is held in Latvia, and
¡¤ Children in Falun Dafa: featuring 4-year-old Nancy from Melbourne, Australia
High Government Support at the 2002 Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference
¡¤ Mr. Ying-Shen Hsu, the Vice Interior Minister of Taiwan, congratulated attendees of the 2002 Taiwan Falun Dafa Conference. In his speech during the proceedings, he carried greetings from Mr. Yu, Taiwan¡¯s interior minister.
¡¤ Mr. Hsu was moved to see so many conference attendees who practice Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance, have righteous thoughts and actions, and cultivate their mind and body.
¡¤ He noted the 80% success rate of those practitioners who used to have unhealthy habits, and who made efforts to give up gambling, drinking, smoking, and chewing betel nuts. He also commented on the fact that use of health care services has been reduced by 50% overall. On behalf of the relevant departments, Mr. Hsu thanked the practitioners for saving the government a lot of money.
¡¤ Mr. Hsu said that ¡°Taiwan is a place where people can hold religious activities freely. The foundation of Taiwan is democracy, freedom, equality, and humanity. This is why Falun Dafa is flourishing in Taiwan.¡± He noted that the practice is widely spread throughout the country, with over 100,000 people practicing. This, he said is ¡°an achievement of democracy in Taiwan.¡±
¡¤ Mr. Hsu concluded his remarks by thanking the conference chair, and expressing the hope that everyone could share the cultivation practice with their friends.
Another death by torture at Daqing Forced Labor Camp
¡¤ Details are still emerging about the Christmas Eve death of Mr. Huajiang He at the Daqing Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province.
¡¤ At about 1 a.m. on December 24, 2002, police phoned Mr. He's only relative, his 15-year-old son, telling him to come and pick up his father at the labor camp because he was sick. But when the teenager arrived, his father was dead. The boy told friends that there were rope marks on the body from torture and that the authorities then cremated his father so that others couldn't see the injuries.
¡¤ Mr. He had been kidnapped from his workplace, by officers from the Qingxin Police Station in Hulu District on September 16, 2002. They then proceeded to ransack his home. After detaining him for over three months, they sent him to Daqing Forced Labor Camp on December 23. Within 24 hours, he was dead.
¡¤ He is the thirteenth practitioner to have been tortured to death in Daqing City.
The Wife of the Head of a "610 Office"
¡¤ The 610 Office was created specifically to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. This is the story of a woman whose husband runs one of China¡¯s 610 offices.
¡¤ My husband and I have a 16-year-old daughter in the 9th grade. Before July 20, 1999, we often saw the people who were learning Falun Gong practicing in parks.
¡¤ Although my husband beat and cursed practitioners, they did not hate him for it. He read a confiscated copy of Zhuan Falun and told me he now admires Dafa practitioners. But the one he admires the most is the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi, who taught so many good disciples.
¡¤ My husband no longer wanted to be in charge of the "610 Office". But, if forced to continue, he would lessen the persecution of Dafa practitioners as much as possible.
¡¤ One day as I bathed in a public bathing facility, a lady asked if anyone had lost something. I realized that I had lost my gold ring. The lady returned the ring to me. She refused a gift as a thank you and said she practiced Falun Gong. Everyone there agreed this was a good person. Most people would keep such a ring if they found one. The Falun Gong practitioner returned it.
¡¤ That evening, I told my husband and daughter of this experience. My husband said that people who practice Falun Gong are not ordinary people.
¡¤ My daughter said, "The propaganda on TV is all fake; it¡¯s all fabricated to slander Falun Gong. Society is all messed up! Falun Gong is not to blame; it is the Public Security Bureau that is to blame. My dad is to blame."
¡¤ When he heard my daughter's words my husband smiled wryly and said, "My daughter, dad regrets this now, but who can your dad blame?"
Now for an Update on the Global 'Rescue our Relatives' Campaign
¡¤ Last week, we were able to relay the good news that, through international pressure, the twin sister of a Toronto woman has been released from a labour camp in China.
¡¤ There is still much work to be done:
¡¤ Christina Yuan typifies what many would call the American dream -- humble beginnings, hard work, a Harvard education, a fulfilling life and a successful career in New York City.
¡¤ Christina's mother, Ms. Benlan Yu, typifies an on-going nightmare in China ¨C stripped of all rights to freedom of speech and freedom of belief, horribly tortured by Chinese police, and sent to a forced labor camp without trial ¨C simply for peacefully appealing the persecution of Falun Gong.
¡¤ While in detention she suffered severe mental and physical torture, including being stripped naked and submerged in sewage water for an extended period of time, and also being shocked with electric batons.
¡¤ After being released Christina had the chance to speak with her mother on the phone. Their conversation, however, was very limited, because police had tapped Benlan's phone. "From what I could discern," says Christina, "they drove her to the brink of what a human being can endure. "The trauma was unimaginable."
¡¤ After the start of the persecution in July of 1999, Christina herself was followed and monitored by some Chinese men. She believes they were from the New York City Chinese consulate. She has had her phone tampered with several times and has also received a number of threatening phone calls.
¡¤ "They're afraid I'm going to tell the world what they're doing to my mother and tens of millions of people like her in China," says Christina. "They're afraid and they should be because I'm not afraid. I will tell the world what they are doing to my mother, and I believe, in the end justice will prevail."
5,000 Hold Candlelight Vigil in Taiwan
¡¤ On the night of December 29, 2002, five thousand Falun Gong practitioners gathered in the wind and rain in front of the National Taiwan University Stadium.
¡¤ They held a candlelight vigil entitled "With Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance in Mind, a More Peaceful World Will Be a Reality."
¡¤ They sat quietly to memorialize their fellow practitioners who have been tortured to death in China.
¡¤ Mr. Ching-his Chang, chairman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, and Mr. Hui-Lin Wu, chairman of the China Human Rights Association, both made speeches. They strongly pointed out that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners by Jiang Zemin's regime is wrong, and that the torture of practitioners in China is completely inhumane.
¡¤ They called upon all Taiwan citizens to support Falun Gong practitioners' efforts to stop the persecution.
¡¤ After arranging white candles into three characters: "Truthfulness, Benevolence, Forbearance", participants sang solemn songs written by fellow practitioners, expressing their hope that with Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance in mind, the world will become a more peaceful place.
A Successful Photo Exhibition in Latvia
¡¤ In Daugavpils, Latvia, a photo exhibition entitled the "Journey of Falun Dafa" was held for the first three days of November in 2002. Bright banners hanging at the entrance to the museum, invited people to come in and learn about the practice.
¡¤ Local newspapers, radio, and television stations supported the activity, by printing and airing interviews with the Falun Gong practitioners, and by covering the opening ceremony on TV news.
¡¤ The exhibition illustrates the history of Falun Dafa since its introduction to the public in May 1992. Many of those who attended said sincerely, "Falun Dafa is good!" confirming that the photos promote an understanding, and kindness in people's hearts and minds. Combined with truth-clarifying TV programs, many people came to realize how the Jiang regime is deceiving people around the world with slanderous propaganda.
¡¤ Many attendees wanted to experience the practice for themselves, and so practitioners arranged to teach the exercises in the exhibition hall.
¡¤ They also organized an evening study session to read the Falun Dafa books together. This also provided an excellent opportunity for those who have been practicing for awhile to share their experiences. Newcomers love to hear how others have benefited from this ancient body-mind-spirit practice from China.
Research Report on Health Effects of Falun Gong Released in Taiwan
¡¤ Dr. Yu-Whuei Hu, an Associate Professor from the Economics Department of National Taiwan University, recently released a report on the health effects of Falun Gong in Taiwan.
¡¤ She found that Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan show a significant reduction in the number of visits to health care providers. The research also showed a remarkably high rate of people stopping addictive behaviour, as well as a significant improvement in feelings of satisfaction.
¡¤ Dr. Hu practices Falun Gong and has studied health economics for many years.
¡¤ 1182 valid questionnaires were collected from Falun Gong practitioners who live in approximately one fifth of the townships, towns, cities, and districts throughout the country.
¡¤ In Taiwan, most people use two health cards each year. Each card allows a person to make up to 6 visits to health care providers. Dr. Hu's analysis concluded that 72% of Falun Gong practitioners use only one health insurance card: half the normal usage.
¡¤ Other remarkable benefits experienced by practitioners, who made efforts to change their habits, included an 81% success rate for quitting smoking, a 77% rate for abstaining from alcohol, an 85% rate for quitting gambling and an 85% success rate for completely giving up chewing betel nuts, which is an addictive and unhealthy habit common in Asia.
¡¤ Dr. Hu pointed out that the research shows that Falun Gong also offers great help in harmonizing one's emotions. The degree of satisfaction with one's health condition increased from 24% to 78%, and satisfaction with one's ability to deal with daily activities increased from 36% to 81%.
¡¤ In addition, 33% of those surveyed used to suffer from nervous conditions and melancholy, but less than 3% reported such feelings after practicing.
¡¤ Dr. Hu hopes to gain support from the Bureau of National Health Insurance, to conduct more in-depth research on Falun Gong practitioners' health data in Taiwan.
Children Who Practice Falun Dafa: 4-year-old Nancy from Australia
¡¤ In the 1960's many Eastern disciplines like yoga, Tai Chi and martial arts became popular in Western countries. The concept of reincarnation was also introduced at that time and many people have written books about their 'past life' or 'dej¨¤ vue' experiences.
¡¤ Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa, has said that many high-level beings have come down to earth at this time, so that they can study Falun Dafa. Perhaps this explains why some young children of practitioners are so serious about their exercises and have such a good understanding of the universal truths presented in Master Li's books.
¡¤ Nancy from Melbourne, Australia, began to practice Falun Gong when she was four years old. From these photographs, you can see how happy, peaceful, and deeply absorbed she is while meditating. Her father, who is not a practitioner, tried to get her to do some other kind of exercise, but Nancy refused.
¡¤ Instead, her mother writes that Nancy talks about Falun Gong to her father all the time, saying things like: "Dad, if you practice Falun Gong, you won't feel so tired." "Dad, if everyone in the world practiced Falun Gong, things like the 9.11 event wouldn't happen." "Dad, if you practice Falun Gong, you won't have any illness, and you will become younger and younger." Her mother writes that with Nancy's persistent efforts, her dad has changed enormously, and he now supports their efforts to introduce Falun Gong to others and, he shares some housework on his own initiative.
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