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…
§ 654 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 17 different provinces, and the cities of Changchun and Wuhan.
§ Death reports received by the Falun Dafa Information Center in the past week include:
- 6 deaths of practitioners from mistreatment by Chinese authorities, and
- 2 deaths of Chinese authorities who have persecuted practitioners. One died in a traffic accident and the other from sudden onset of cancer. The head of one of the 610 offices in Henan Province is in critical condition after suffering a stroke.
§ 800 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:
Falun Gong lawsuit charging Jiang Zemin with genocide gets underway in Chicago.
And some of our other stories:
§ China's coverup of the SARS epidemic
§ A motion condemning human rights abuses in China is passed unanimously at the annual meeting of the International Human Rights Association in Germany
§ 14 more deaths of practitioners confirmed by sources in China
§ Ms. Cuiying Zhang holds a successful painting exhibition in Sofia, Bulgaria.
§ First, our top story:
§ In October, 2002 Jiang Zemin was served with a subpoena from the U.S. Federal Court in Chicago when he visited the United States.
§ The former Chinese dictator is charged with genocide and crimes against humanity by persecuted Falun Gong practitioners and their relatives.
§ On April 13, 2003, the plaintiffs' had their first courtroom discussion about the agenda for the next step in the U.S. District Court in Illinois.
§ The Chinese government is currently using diplomatic channels to tell the United States and other countries that "Jiang Zemin is willing to pay any price to prevent this case from being prosecuted."
§ Recently, some Web sites inside China have published an investigative report by a high level group in China that seems to be actively seeking to overthrow Jiang. It details the Chinese dictator's history from the time he joined the Chinese Communist Party, the CCP, and reveals that he played an important role in fabricating lies about some major events and policies over the years. These include not only the Falun Gong persecution, but also the June 4 Massacre in Tiananmen Square, some major economic crimes in China and some incidents related to China's relationship with the United States.
§ Clear Wisdom and Minghui Web sites have been posting reports about the persecution against Falun Gong since it began in July 1999. A recent article stated that it is important to understand that the lawsuit "is targeting the person whose hands are stained with the blood of innocent people. The Chinese dictator absolutely does not represent China or the Chinese people."… Jiang is "undermining the Chinese civilization's morality and threatening the future and interests of the world's people."
§ The purpose of the lawsuit, they said, is to uphold justice in the world.
News of 14 More Falun Gong Dead from Police Atrocities in China
SARS Cover-up Indicator of "Much Larger Problem"
§ The Falun Dafa Information Center in New York issued a release this week saying that reports of the deaths of fourteen Falun Gong practitioners have recently been confirmed.
§ Many of these cases repeat a chilling pattern: physical and psychological torture inflicted by corrupt police, followed by "release" of the practitioners from custody just days or even hours before they die from their injuries as the police attempt to shirk responsibility for the deaths.
§ "The Chinese regime's current cover-up of the SARS outbreak is sadly an indicator of a much larger problem," comments Falun Dafa Information Center spokeswoman Ms. Gail Rachlin. "Since 1999, Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the U.S. government and many other reputable sources have documented hundreds of deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in China from torture and other abuse, yet to this day, the Chinese regime maintains that not a single Falun Gong practitioner has died in custody from police torture or abuse."
§ Ms. Rachlin concludes, "In fact, information on Falun Gong deaths is considered a 'state secret' and extremely difficult to verify, so while the current total of confirmed Falun Gong deaths now stands at 654, the true number is likely many times higher."
African American Practitioners staged a 5-day sit-in in front of NY Senator Hilary Clinton's offices.
§ Senator Clinton's staff met with four practitioners who told them about U.S. citizen Dr. Charles Li who was kidnapped and sentenced to three years in a Chinese prison for being a Falun Gong practitioner. Senator Clinton's staff promised to work with senators from California, Dr. Li's home state, to have him returned safely to America as soon as possible.
§ Chinese and western media came to cover this event. They also interviewed family members of Falun Gong practitioners who are currently suffering illegal detention in labour camps and other places in China.
§ Quite a few passersby came over to ask for information and signed the petition to rescue Dr. Li. Many of them expressed their surprise and anger upon learning the facts of persecution.
§ This appeal was initiated and carried through successfully by Nine African American Falun Gong practitioners. They included a 24-year-old man, six grandmothers and two people in their late forties. They endured cold nights, a drizzling rain, and wind to bring attention to Dr. Li's situation.
And further south in Washington, D.C., practitioners participated in the annual Cherry Blossom Parade.
§ Over 100 practitioners from DC, New York, New Jersey and North Carolina formed one of 78 groups in the popular event.
§ This was the fifth time that Falun Gong was invited to join the parade, and they led the others with a colorful display of traditional Chinese dancing, walkers in exercise suits a float with an exhibition of the exercises and a group of children from Minghui School with a pink and white rainbow of balloons.
§ Organizers from the festival said that their organizing committee had received several telephone calls from the Chinese Embassy about the invitation to the Falun Gong group. But democracy prevailed and a 30-year resident of the city told a practitioner, "I am very proud to see that a Chinese group led the parade in Washington DC. This is the first time that I have seen such a scene."
Yuzhi Wang Speaks at the Annual Meeting of the International Human Rights Association in Frankfurt:
§ Ms. Yuzhi Wang was a guest speaker at the 31st annual meeting of the International Human rights Association held in Frankfurt, Germany on April 5 and 6, 2003.
§ The topic for this year was "Eliminating Cruel Punishment" and China and its persecution of Falun Gong was included.
§ The International Human Rights Association was established in 1972, with headquarters in Frankfurt. There are 25 branches around the world, and it is devoted to improving the human rights situation of every country. The association also holds an observer seat in the European Parliament.
§ During a discussion about China, attendees talked about the Article 23 legislation in Hong Kong, and how it has had negative affects on Hong Kong's democracy and freedom.
§ Ms. Yuzhi Wang, a practitioner from Canada, talked about her own plight of being persecuted for practicing Falun Gong in China. She was sent to a labor camp three times, and was beaten and tortured in the Wanjia Labor Camp during her 100-day detention there.
§ On the morning of April 6th, a resolution condemning general human rights abuses and the persecution of Falun Gong in China was adopted by a unanimous vote. The resolution asked the German government to raise a motion condemning the human rights situation in China to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights. This resolution will be formally handed over by the German government to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights.
Police in Jilin Province of China Return Money Extorted from Falun Gong Practitioners:
§ A practitioner from Jilin province in China has written to Minghui Web site to advise that after the genocide lawsuit against Jiang Zemin was publicized on the Internet, police have reacted in a very positive way.
§ Part of the evidence against the Chinese dictator was provided by Jilin practitioners and it included names of police from one particular station that extorted a lot of money from practitioners.
§ In an unprecedented move, upon learning their crimes had been exposed, the police have started to return the extorted money to the practitioners.
Xinle Police forced practitioners to lie in the snow:
§ An elderly woman practitioner from Hebei Province was kidnapped in wintertime in 2000 and taken to Xinle County Police Department.
§ After being beaten and then handcuffed to a tree and left there to freeze, she was sent to a detention centre where the brutality was increased.
§ She was stripped down to her underwear and shirt, and forced to lie on her stomach on a pile of snow. Police then piled ice on top of her, followed by cold water from head to toe and left her in the sub-zero temperature to freeze.
§ This woman lived to tell her story, and to provide the Falun Dafa Information Center with names and phone numbers so that the wrongdoers can eventually be brought to justice.
Cuiying Zhang Painting Exhibition in Bulgaria:
§ Ms. Cuiying Zhang, an Australian Falun Gong artist and a survivor of the Jiang regime's torture in a Chinese labor camp recently held a very successful exhibition of her paintings in the Bulgarian capital of Sofia.
§ Media were very interested in the event and not only covered the opening ceremony and talk by Ms. Zhang, but also invited her to participate in a special feature program on Falun Gong.
§ After interviewing the artist, one TV reporter passionately responded by saying that "The world needs truthfulness, compassion and forbearance" – the universal qualities that are the foundation for the practice of Falun Gong.
Living Without Illness, after almost dying from it!
Following is an excerpt from a report written by a Falun Dafa practitioner from the United States:
§ I was losing an eight year battle with a chronic illness which was later compounded by complications from a reaction to a medication. Consequently, I had to move to my parent’s home, since I could no longer eat, sleep, or stand.
§ A miracle was truly in order as there were no other options for getting better. I had already explored the best therapies and alternative healing that Chinese and Western medicine had to offer, but to no avail. Each new modality or practitioner would bring some relief and then I would spiral down again.
§ A friend e-mailed me about the Falun Dafa web site. She was doing the Falun Gong exercises and feeling better and maybe it could do the same for me.
§ I started by learning the exercises and practicing twice a week at the local park with other practitioners. A month or so later, I began to read Master Li's book Zhuan Falun. I then read all of his books and lecture papers that are on the Internet and took special note about the topics of illness.
§ But, I also found many other new concepts that became my point of reference to examine myself from, such as identifying attachments, intentions, and old notions. I immediately started applying my new found understandings in my daily life.
§ Four months later, I was off all medications, herbs, and supplements, and I knew my improving health was from one source only, Falun Gong. I was on the road to recovery and I had found something very special.
§ In addition, I have had severe allergies all my life and was shocked to discover six months after starting the practice that I was totally allergy free. Today, I no longer have the chronic back pain that has plagued me for 20 years. I am most blessed to be without any type of pain in my body or fatigue, and I sleep soundly every night.
§ My relationships and how I look at the world are changing for the better. My deepest appreciation and thanks go to Master Li!
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!