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…
§ 660 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 15 different provinces, and the cities of Changchun and Chongching.
§ Death reports received by the Falun Dafa Information Center in the past week include:
- 6 deaths of practitioners from mistreatment by Chinese authorities, and
- 8 deaths of Chinese authorities who have persecuted practitioners. One died in a traffic accident, six from sudden terminal illnesses, and one from an unknown cause.
§ 661 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:
April 25, 2003 marks the anniversary of four years of persecution against the spiritual practice of Falun Gong.
And some of our other stories:
§ FBI to help confiscate overseas properties of corrupt Chinese officials
§ Chinese government kidnaps non-practitioner relatives of a tortured practitioner who escaped to Canada
§ A special report from Romania where the Chinese Embassy interfered with a Falun Gong artist's painting exhibition.
§ Remembering Mr. Li introducing Falun Dafa to Sweden eight years ago.
First, our top story:
§ On April 25, 1999, more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful gathering on Fuyou Street in Beijing.
§ They had come to appeal to the Chinese State Council Appeal Office for the release of 45 practitioners arbitrarily detained by the police in Tianjin during the previous two days.
§ This incident immediately received international attention, because Fuyou Street is next to the Communist Party leadership compound Zhongnanhai, and therefore, the event was portrayed by many as the "besieging" of the Chinese leadership compound.
§ The incident was later utilized by the Chinese government as a major charge against Falun Gong to justify a brutal persecution that has gone on for four years now.
§ A recent lawsuit has charged Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin with genocide and crimes against humanity. Expectations are high that the persecution will soon come to an end, and the criminals who have tortured and murdered innocent practitioners will be brought to justice in International courts.
Falun Dafa Iinformation Center Publishes an Online Collection of Beautiful Photographs
§ Faluninfo.net is the website of the Falun Dafa Information Center in North America. It provides news and information about Falun Dafa around the world.
§ In time to honour the 4th anniversary of the gathering at Zhongnanhai, the site has published a new photo gallery containing a collection of beautiful pictures. They detail the history of Falun Dafa, from its introduction in China almost 11 years ago, through to recent worldwide Falun Dafa events including expressions of Chinese culture.
§ This photo gallery can be seen at http://www.faluninfo.net/gallery/default.asp
FBI to help confiscate overseas properties of corrupt Chinese officials
§ U.S. attorney Mr. Stewart Weisman, is legal counsel for the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
§ On April 9th, the Organization announced that its latest initiative seeks to target assets and properties of Chinese government officials who have participated in the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
§ Mr. Weisman said, "Many high-ranking Chinese officials have been smuggling dirty money overseas. Among them, many are followers of Jiang's policy of genocide against Falun Gong practitioners... we want to confiscate the properties of these corrupt government officials."
§ He also advised that in addition to the WOIPFG's own investigations, they would be seeking assistance from appropriate federal agencies such as the FBI.
§ Those agencies would help to amass evidence, commence criminal prosecutions, seize assets under applicable federal U.S. laws, and make sure that those who are found guilty are appropriately sentenced.
"Exposing Lies. Saving Lives"
§ Over 2,000 practitioners and supporters of Falun Gong from around the world gathered Saturday in New York City to expose the lies and propaganda of the Chinese regime.
§ In Times Square, more than 500 joined a 3-hour rally, which spanned an entire block on Broadway between 42nd and 41st Streets.
§ In Flushing, another 500 paraded down Main Street. There were also smaller rallies throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn’s Chinatowns.
Falun Gong Songs Echo Through Times Square:
§ Backed by Sterling Campbell, a professional drummer who plays for David Bowie, the band MIGHTY VIRTUE played a series of songs to the crowds in Times Square.
§ "The SARS tragedy," said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesman, Mr. Levi Browde, "demonstrates the Chinese regime's willingness to lie and spread propaganda for its own self-interest, even when the lives of millions are at stake. For almost four years, we have witnessed this regime severely persecute Falun Gong, and then lie and spread propaganda to the world to cover it up. The nature of this regime poses an extraordinary threat not just to China, but also to the world."
Jiang Regime Kidnaps the Non-Practitioner Relatives of a Tortured Practitioner Who Escaped to Canada
§ A few months ago, FGMTV brought you the story of Ms. Yuzhi Wang, a Chinese Falun Gong practitioner who had been tortured simply for her spiritual beliefs. She was on the verge of death when Wanjia Labor Camp officials released her from illegal detention.
§ Ms. Wang was able to escape to the United Arab Emirates, but the Chinese Embassy there was trying very hard to have her deported back to China. Practitioners in Canada appealed successfully to the Canadian government and a special Minister's permit was issued in two days, on humanitarian grounds and Ms. Wang was rescued and flown to Canada.
§ At a recent media conference in Ottawa, Ms. Wang revealed that the Jiang regime has now kidnapped her brother Chengyuan Wang, and her two sisters, Yuxiang Wang and Chunyu Wang. None of them practice Falun Gong.
§ Yuzhi Wang told the media, "When my elder sister was arrested, she said to her family, “I have not broken any law.” There was no reason given for their arrests and their whereabouts are unknown."
§ Ms. Wang said that the vengefulness towards her family members only adds new evidence to the lawsuit charging former Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin with genocide and crimes against humanity.
Celebrating Eight Years Since Mr Li Hongzhi Taught Falun Dafa in Sweden
§ It was during Easter 1995, almost eight years ago, that Falun Dafa was first introduced to Sweden by its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi.
§ At that time, Mr. Li gave a 7-day lecture in Gothenburg. It was one of the few times that he taught the principles of Falun Gong as well as the exercises outside of China. It was also the last time that he taught in this way.
§ Every Sunday since then, Dafa practitioners have practised the exercises as a group in a park close to the hall where those lectures were held.
U.S. State Department Publishes it Annual Human Rights Report, 2002
§ In its annual human rights report, the U.S. State Department criticized the Chinese regime -- what it called an "authoritarian state" -- over the "poor" state of human rights in China.
§ Issued on March 31, the U.S. report mentioned Falun Gong more than 80 times, highlighting the severe persecution against the practice in virtually every section of the report, including "arbitrary" and "unlawful" killings, arrest and detention as well as denial of freedom of belief, speech, assembly and association. Those freedoms are granted to Chinese citizens in the PRC Constitution, but violated by the Jiang regime.
§ The report also cited the regime’s continuing use of state-run media and the police in "an intense propaganda and police campaign against the Falun Gong."
Founder of Falun Gong Attends Conference in New York
§ The 2003 New York Area Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference took place on April 19th and 20th at the Performing Arts Center at the State University of New York campus in Purchase, NY.
§ On the afternoon of the 20th, Falun Dafa founder, Master Li Hongzhi came to the conference site to talk to his students for three and a half hours.
§ Several experience-sharing conferences were also held in mid-April in Northeast China with about 60 practitioners attending each conference.
Chinese Embassy in Romania interferes with Falun Gong Art Exhibition
A few days ago, we had a visitor to our FGMTV studio to talk about his experience of organizing an exhibition of paintings for the renowned artist and Australian citizen, Ms. Cuiying Zhang.
Susan: Welcome, Adrian. We have in our studio today Adrian Sturdza from Romania, who's just returned from there, where he went to organize an exhibition of paintings by the Chinese Falun Gong artist Zhang Cuiying. Adrian, what happened?
Adrian: What happened was that, while we were organizing the whole event, and we started advertising in the newspapers, and the first time, we received a call from the Chinese Embassy staff, who basically said that the Chinese government doesn't allow this event!
Susan (laughing): Why would the Chinese government interfere with a painting exhibition in Romania?!
Adrian: It wasn't clear at that time, but after a little bit of interference, we reached a… well, we thought it was that, what bothers them so much is that the Romanian public is going to find out about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and about the crimes against humanity that happened over there currently on a large scale. So this is what they feared the most, that all this would be exposed and people would find out about it. And they really, really tried their best to stop the exhibition just because of this reason.
Susan: I understand that they actually turned up at the opening ceremony.
Adrian: They turned up. Apparently the Chinese Embassy sent two or three people and they showed up at the entry and they were treated very, very civilized by the organizers. They even were welcomed and invited to see the art. They didn't want to do that, and instead they started pushing people around, physically abusing them – Australian citizen as well as Romanians. And we have them…
Susan: That's amazing!
Adrian: Yes. We have them on tape and we're going to introduce a legal action.
Susan: We'll show that tape as we're talking. And so… you were forced to close that exhibition?
Adrian: Yes. We were forced to close it. Basically, they put pressure on the Romanian government to close it… somebody high up. We don't know exactly who it was. Nobody wants to recognize anything after the fact, but yes, we were shut down.
Susan: But I understand that you've since received a very good letter from the Romanian government.
Adrian: We've received several good letters, especially from the Minister of Foreign Affairs, who agreed the whole thing was completely illegal. And they're probably going to try to help us reschedule it sometime soon.
Susan: Oh, that's excellent!
The Courage of Dafa Practitioners' Loved Ones
A Falun Dafa practitioner wrote the following from China:
§ "After my mother-in-law was abducted and sent to the detention center, my father-in-law, who is disabled and unable to walk, was left alone at home. My sister took my father-in-law to the police station and said, "You'd better lock up this poor man together with his wife; otherwise there is no one to take care of him."
§ The police claimed that they wanted to detain my sister, but she said, "Wait for me to bring the sick child here, then you can lock us up all together; this is just nice."
§ Later she brought her child and piggybacked my father-in-law to the police station again to ask for my mother-in-law.
§ After a few days, my mother-in-law was released unconditionally from the detention center.
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!