Hello, and welcome to the weekly 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.
§ 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.
§ One year later, dictator Jiang Zemin began a brutal persecution that violates not only the Chinese constitution, but also international treaties signed by China.
In this week's update from China…
§ 641 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody. Reliable sources inside China put the actual total death count in the thousands.
§ Torture reports in the last seven days have come in from 16 different provinces, and the cities of Beijing, Shanghai and Wuhan.
§ 976 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:
§ SARS: Severe Acute Resperatory Syndrome, and how China is being forced to understand that its internal problems are international problems
And some of our other stories:
§ The Falun Dafa Association of Greece is granted official government recognition
§ The war of photographs from China to influence world opinion
§ An extra-rapid bone fracture healing astonishes doctors
First, our top story:
§ In an April 2nd news release, the World Health Organization, the WHO, reported that a team of WHO experts is headed for Guangdong to gather more evidence about the outbreak of SARS, in China.
§ Chinese authorities had previously reported 792 cases and 31 deaths in Guangdong Province from November 16, 2002 to February 28, 2003.
§ In March 2003, the number of cases more than doubled to 1,153 with 9 more deaths.
§ Other organizations have been advised that some cases of SARS have been reported as far north as Beijing. This raises huge questions as to the actual number of cases throughout China.
§ On March 31st an editorial in the Wall Street Journal blasted China for the "grossly negligent" way it has managed the SARS virus which has now infected 1,700 people in 15 countries. The editorial ended by saying that "this time China's problem is also the world's, and a global quarantine may be the only way to get it to act responsibly."
§ SARS is just one of the many calamities facing the people of China since the Jiang regime's persecution of Falun Gong began in July of 1999.
Greek Falun Dafa Association Officially Established
§ Another milestone for European countries recognizing the benefits of Falun Gong is the official recognition of the Falun Dafa Association of Greece.
§ In Greece, official recognition means that associations must go through a process of analysis by a court of law. The Greek court noted: “...it is non-profit making, not against the law, morals, or public order. Therefore the application must be passed."
§ This is in sharp contrast to the propaganda of China’s present regime.
§ We at FGMtv congratulate everyone who helped to make this possible.
The War of Photographs from China to influence world opinion
§ In its media war against Falun Gong, the Jiang regime has forced people – from elementary school children, to regular television viewers, and even visitors at New Year celebrations in Chinese embassies around the world – to look at incredibly disturbing and degrading images of people they say were Falun Gong practitioners – images of victims who have been horribly mutilated or who even set themselves on fire.
§ Philip Pan of the Wall Street Journal travelled and spoke with the neighbours of the two who died on Tiananmen Square after setting themselves on fire. He finished his article with the words: "No one ever saw them practise Falun Gong."
§ Now, the persecuted are retaliating on the International stage, with photographs showing that it is the Jiang regime that victimizes people, not those who have spiritual or religious beliefs.
§ Because of the upcoming Beijing Olympics, Mr. Shixiong Li, Chairman of the New York based Committee to Investigate the Persecution of Religions in China recently provided the International Olympic Committee with photographs of Chinese police torturing members of the Christian Family Church. Mr. Li said that family members of other policemen, who are also members of the Family Church, were allowed to take the photos. He was told that some policemen think that the photos might be used as evidence to gain future recognition or awards from their superiors.
§ Those photos completely validate accounts of torture received by the Falun Dafa Information Center. They are too degrading to be shown on this program.
§ The photograph on your screen is that of the No. 1 Detention Center in Jingmen City of Hubei Province where the photographed Family Church members are imprisoned. The beauty of the building hides the terror behind the high walls inside the compound – Chinese State terrorism against people for their religious and spiritual beliefs.
Falun Dafa Week Proclamations in California
Continuing flow of U.S. validation of the benefits that the practice of Falun Dafa is bringing to Americans, two cities in Riverside County in California have issued proclamations.
At the end of March, 2003, the cities of Corona and Murrieta each proclaimed a Falun Dafa Week and encouraged citizens to participate in the celebration.
Amnesty International launches Chinese-language Web Site
§ As part of its international campaign against torture, Amnesty International has launched a new Chinese-language Web site, www.endtorture.org.
§ The site contains articles, reports and other information to raise awareness about torture, including human rights news from Amnesty International in all parts of the world. It also provides human rights campaigning materials, links to material about torture from other organizations.
§ "We hope the Chinese audience will view the website as a valuable resource to raise awareness about the need to prevent torture and ill-treatment; and to contribute to the campaign within China to stamp out torture once and for all," Amnesty International said.
§ Since the constitutionally illegal persecution of Falun Gong began in China almost four years ago, Amnesty International branches around the world have played an active and extremely important role. They have provided independent verification of the torture and murder of practitioners, and have continually started letter-writing campaigns to rescue those illegally imprisoned.
Introducing Falun Gong to Honduras (50")
§ Practitioners of Falun Gong from North America visited Honduras, Central America to tell the people about the benefits of the practice.
§ When they presented Falun Dafa materials and a lotus flower to the President of Honduras, he thanked them for bringing Falun Dafa to his country.
§ They also explained the current situation in China to the President of the Honduran Congress who expressed a wish to help stop the persecution.
§ Practitioners then visited the Reloi Broadcasting Station and Radio-America. They demonstrated the exercises in one of the main cities, and donated books to all libraries on the way there.
§ The group appeared on a television show for youth. After demonstrating the exercises, they answered questions from the studio audience, talked about the persecution and told the audience how they could go about starting to practice.
Extra-Rapid Bone Fracture Healing Astonishes Doctors
§ A Falun Dafa practitioner in China shared this experienace:
§ "One time when I was distributing truth-clarifying material, I fell while walking down a flight of stairs and broke my leg. My foot and lower leg swelled like a balloon, but it healed within a few days.
§ My younger brother suggested that I have my leg checked in a hospital. The doctor's diagnosis was that I had an exterior ankle-bone fracture in my left leg and that I must stay in the hospital for treatment. I told him that I had already gone back to work.
§ Working in a textile mill, I have to walk over a dozen miles a day to check and maintain the textile machines. I also told him that I practice Falun Dafa.
§ The doctor was astonished; he kept saying that this was a miracle.
§ Coincidentally, one of my fellow workers also had leg bone fracture and spent more than 1,000 Yuan for hospitalization and medication. (That's about 2 months' salary!) My experience became a hot topic among my fellow workers when they chatted.
"Uncle Policeman, this is my father."
§ There is a very common saying these days that "a picture is worth a thousand words."
§ For most of us in North America and Europe, the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China seems a million miles away. But some who are lucky enough to have escaped out of China live with the reality every day.
§ Recently, outside the Chinese Embassy in Bern, 2˝ year old Fadu, holding a photo framed with leaves and flowers of a young Chinese man, walked up to a Swiss policeman and said, "Uncle policeman, this is my father."
§ Fadu was only a few months old when she last saw her father. He was tortured to death a few months after that. Then her aunt was sent to a labor camp for two years because she had gone to identify her brother's body. Fadu's grandfather, a healthy man, died of grief a few months later.
§ When Chinese leader Jiang Zemin began to persecute Falun Gong in July, 1999, his government estimated that between 70 and 100 million people were practicing.
§ Fadu's family of 5 were amongst them. Now, 2 out of the 5 are dead and one is illegally detained in a labor camp.
FGMtv's Christine Loftus brings us this report from Boston:
Christine: Hi Yu Feng .Thank you for meeting with us today. I understand that you are a practitioner of Falun Gong. Could you tell us a little bit about this and about yourself?
Man: My name is Liu Fang (?) from Maine. I’m a software Engineer.
Christine: I understand that you have a family member that is presently detained in China. I know that this is hard, but could you tell us a little bit about this situation.
Man: Yes, that’s my sister. She was detained in Sept of 1999. She had been practicing Falun Gong for about three years at the time. She had benefited from the practice, so during the time when the Chinese regime began to persecute Falun Gong, they tried to force her to give up and denounce the practice, but she just kept practicing because she did not want to give it up. Then the regime detained her in Januaray 2000 and sent her to a labour camp for a two year term. She was supposed to be release in January of 2002, but actually in April of 2002 she was sent back to a labour camp in Guanzhou province. She is still being detained even now. Since she has been detained, she has not been allowed any visits by any of our family members including my parents just because they also practice Falun Gong. Now I have almost no news from her and I don’t know what is going on. So I’m trying to help to get her out.
Christine: So what have you been doing from here in America to try to obtain the release of your sister?
Man: I’ve tried to tell the story of my sister, as well as other persecuted Falun Gong practitioners’ stories to the people and to government officials, including federal congressman.
Thanks Christine. And thanks, Yu Feng.
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!