Hello, and welcome to the FGMtv news review. I'm Susan Mitchell.
Here at FGMtv we focus on programs and news that illuminate the truth of Falun Gong, which is also known as Falun Dafa; information that is having an impact on the international community of spiritual cultivators.
Falun Dafa is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that includes exercise and meditation. Its principles are based on Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. The practice began in China in 1992 and quickly spread by word of mouth throughout the country. In 1998, a government survey concluded that the number of practitioners exceeded membership in the communist party. The next year, Jiang Zemin began a brutal persecution.
In this week's update from China…
§ 583 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody, with 5 death reports received in the last week. Reliable sources inside China, however, put the actual death count in the thousands.
§ In the last 7 days, torture reports have come in from 16 provinces, and the cities of Beijing and Nanjing.
§ 833 people declared as null and void, statements saying they will give up Falun Gong that were made while undergoing torture as they were the result of extreme coercion. They say they will continue practicing Falun Gong.
Our top story this week:
§ Hong Kong moves to implement a controversial law and immediately refuses entry to Falun Dafa practitioners from Taiwan
And some of our other stories:
§ British Home Office moves to deport a Falun Dafa practitioner back to China
§ Proclamations honouring Falun Dafa are issued by the U.S. States of Colorado, Nevada and Hawaii, and the suburb of Manly in Sydney, Australia
§ A double murder by Shandong Province police of a victim and the only witness
First, our top story:
Hong Kong Moves to Implement Controversial Law
§ Under the One Country, Two Systems agreement with China, the Hong Kong government is obligated to produce wording for Article 23, the part of their mini constitution, The Basic Law, dealing with treason, subversion, sedition and secession.
§ On Thursday February 13, 2003, the Hong Kong government finally published the full text of the draft law to implement Article 23.
§ The full text, published in the Gazette, included some important provisions and policies that had not been revealed in any previous draft.
§ Reporters learned after asking questions of Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee, Chief of the Hong Kong Security Bureau, that organizations in Hong Kong could be banned even if they didn't commit a crime. This is because the law includes a mechanism whereby the Hong Kong government could ban a group, if it is linked to a Mainland organization that has been banned for national security reasons. Many believe this proposal targets Falun Gong.
§ People in the legal profession expressed astonishment with another newly added item involving secret interrogation. Apple Daily in its summary of the newly published law, pointed out that the Hong Kong government does not need to prove whether organizations banned in mainland China are guilty of anything.
§ The BBC also reported that a court can hold a trial in the absence of the defendants, or even their attorneys. A court can also bring a case to trial without the government giving the defendant all the reasons why his or her organization is banned.
§ Law Yuk-kai of the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor said, "The bill is a blank cheque for the government to ban any group in Hong Kong."
§ In a letter to the Hong Kong Security Bureau, the US-based Committee to Protect Journalists warned that "In its current form, this bill poses a grave threat to freedom of expression" in the territory.
§ When the controversial bill went before Hong Kong's Legislative Council on February 26, and passed, more than 20 council members from the Democratic Party, the Civil Human Rights Front, and the Employee Union got up and left the meeting in order to show their opposition.
Falun Dafa Practitioners Denied Entry to Hong Kong
§ As if to underscore the loss of freedom, Hong Kong denied visas to many Taiwanese who wanted to attend the 2003 Hong Kong Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference.
§ Then on Friday and Saturday, February 21 and 22, Hong Kong customs refused to allow approximately 80 Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan, who held legal visas, to enter Hong Kong for the conference.
§ Many were held under duress, body searched, had their luggage examined, were denied contact with anyone, and were forcibly carried onto a plane by police, wrapped in a “no defense blanket” made especially for that purpose.
§ As there was no legal explanation for the expulsion, police explained, “We know you are all good people, but out superiors ordered us to do this.”
UK Falun Gong Practitioner Threatened with Immediate Deportation back to China
§ Twenty-eight year old Falun Dafa practitioner Lili Lin, shown here meditating in front of a Chinese Consulate in England, is currently being held at a deportation center in Manchester Airport, threatened with deportation back to China.
§ As a Falun Gong practitioner, she could face incarceration, torture, or even murder should the deportation order be carried out.
§ Ms. Lin applied for asylum in Manchester in October 2001 on grounds of being a practitioner of Falun Gong. In April 2002, she married Jinfei Zhang, a Ph.D. student at Liverpool University, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner.
§ When she moved to Liverpool to live with her husband, she informed the Home Office of her change of address, and continued to report to the Home Office in her new home city of Liverpool.
§ Unfortunately, the Home Office refused her asylum application and mistakenly sent the refusal letter to her old address in Manchester. Unaware of the refusal, Ms. Lin failed to appeal against the decision in time and was therefore listed for deportation.
§ When she arrived at the Liverpool Home Office for her regular reporting appointment at 3:00 p.m. on February 26, 2003, an immigration officer told her that she was to be deported immediately.
§ For ten hours, she was locked up without food or water, and also moved to Manchester Airport, where, at 1:20 a.m. the next morning, she was finally allowed to contact her husband.
§ Her lawyer and practitioners around the world are currently working to negotiate reopening her appeal for asylum in England.
Proclamations Honouring Falun Dafa are issued in the USA and Australia
In proclaiming Falun Dafa Month in Boulder City, Nevada the Mayor, in praised the practice that "has helped to preserve human traditions such as honesty, courtesy, loyalty and unselfishness," and said I "encourage all of our citizens to support this most worthwhile practice."
The City of Winnemucca, also in the State of Nevada proclaimed February 2003 to be Falun Dafa month, as did the State of Colorado
Hawaii State Senate proclaimed Falun Dafa Week from February 17-23, 2003
as did the Sydney suburb of Manly, in Australia. At the opening ceremony, Mayor Jean Hay stated that she felt honored to be able to participate in the celebration of Falun Gong's "Truthfulness Compassion Tolerance Week." And Member of Parliament, David Barr, said during his speech that the persecution of Falun Gong is shocking, and that labeling a popular exercise as a potential threat is a sign of a dictatorship.
Double Murder by Shandong Police of a Victim and the only Witness to their Crime
§ Several Falun Gong practitioners from Mengyin County of Shandong Province were reported to officials while they were distributing Falun Gong materials telling the truth of the illegal persecution.
§ They have now been released and were able to report the following facts about two women who were detained with them:
§ Ms. Shufen Liu and Ms. Dezhen Zhang were being tortured together. Ms. Liu was the only witness to police beating Ms. Zhang to death. After Ms. Zhang died, police continued to beat Ms. Liu until she lost consciousness.
§ When guards brought her back to the cell, she was breathing normally and her body temperature was also normal. She had just temporarily lost consciousness due to the beating. However, the guards said that something must be wrong with her brain and, carrying her out of the cell again, took her for surgery where she died after an unnecessary operation.
§ Authorities claimed she died of a stroke, but her family and friends said she had no history of high blood pressure and was very healthy due to her practice of the Falun Gong exercises and meditation and because she lived her life according to the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.
What goes around, comes around
It is commonly accepted that good will be rewarded and bad deeds will be punished. Reports have recently been received of the sudden deaths of four officials from Guizhou province. who very actively persecuted innocent Falun Gong practitioners. They are:
34 year old Mr. Yuanhua Yang and the Vice President of the Chengxi police station in Kaili City who were both killed in automobile accidents; Mr. Ghiliang Zhang who was murdered by an unknown assailant; and Mr. Jiaqi Huang who died suddenly of colon cancer.
Banners continue to fly in China!
In Western countries, we seldom feel the need to proclaim that our faith or religion is good. But in China, the ancient peaceful practice of Falun Dafa is brutally persecuted, and to counter the Jiang regime's propaganda, practitioners have risked their lives to hang these colourful banners confirming that "Falun Dafa is Good!"
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
See you next week!