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 being good, true and enduring.
§ 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…
§ 676 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died from torture while in custody, with 3 new death reports received in the last 7 days. 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 Beijing, Wuhan and Shanghai.
§ 502 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 practitioners from Taiwan and Hong Kong charge the SAR Hong Kong government with human rights violations. Judges in Hong Kong agree to start proceedings.
And some of our other stories:
§ Report of torture in Henan province of China
§ Yale University holds its first International Culture Festival
§ FGMTV's Christine Loftus interviews a young Canadian who speaks Chinese
First, our top story:
§ On April 29, 2003, Hong Kong judges informed the plaintiff's lawyer, Paul Harris, that they have agreed to initiate a legal investigation into the case filed jointly by six Falun Gong practitioners from Taiwan and Hong Kong, charging the Hong Kong SAR government with human rights violations.
§ In late February, 2003, approximately 80 Taiwanese practitioners arriving in Hong Kong for a Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference were detained at the airport.
§ They were later deported with considerable violence and humiliation. Some were made immobile, carried in blankets, and dumped into the aircraft cabins for their flights home.
§ The practitioners had been issued proper visitors' visas. The Conference had been approved by the Hong Kong government. None of the detained have any criminal record. All were deported for no reason.
§ The Human Rights Consultation Group in the Office of the President of Taiwan and the Mainland Affairs Council respectively lodged stern protests to the Hong Kong SAR government in March 2003.
§ The lawsuit charges that 1) the administrative order by the Hong Kong Immigration Office to forcefully deport Falun Gong practitioners was illegal; 2) it was illegal to use violent means during the deportation process; 3) the Hong Kong SAR government should compensate the four Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners for illegally detaining all of them and using violence against two of them.
§ The first court hearing will take place in about three months' time.
Another Side of Las Vegas!
§ When the city name of Las Vegas comes up in conversation, most people think about gambling casinos and lavish theatrical cabarets.
§ But, believe it or not, there is another side of Los Vegas, a rather more spiritual side. People practice Falun Gong there, and for the third consecutive year, they were invited to participate in the annual cultural festival held in the Sahara library.
§ After demonstrating the exercises on stage during the festival, many visitors came over to the Falun Dafa booth to check out the literature and find out more about the practice.
Torture in Henan Province
§ After the Jiang regime in China started its persecution of Falun Dafa, the Shibalihe Female Labor Camp in Henan Province has illegally detained and brutally tortured Dafa practitioners.
§ Reports have been received advising that at least 120 practitioners have been subjected to a torture called "tying the rope".
§ With both arms tightly tied behind the back, both feet off the ground or only the toes barely touching the ground, one is hung from a high place with rope. Sometimes there are sharp sticks on the rope. When it is tightly fastened, it will cut into one's flesh, which is extremely painful.
§ "Hanging up once" means one time tying of the rope. As a severe punishment, this torture was only applied at most twice to criminals who tried to escape from the detention centers. But the police tie illegally detained practitioners with the rope 8 or 9 times.
§ Many tortured practitioners have lost all feeling in their backs or limbs, and have become crippled as a result.
Phoning Chinese Labor Camps and Saving Lives
§ Minghui Web Site has received the following encouraging report: On April 18, 2003, a woman Dafa practitioner was released from a detention center in China because of phone calls from overseas practitioners.
§ From this, we can see the great impact that truth clarification from overseas practitioners has on rescuing practitioners in China. It really shocks the people who persecute them.
§ The prison guards told the woman's mother when she was being released: "Some phone calls were from the U.S. and some were from Canada."
§ The person who wrote this report had earlier asked Ming Hui Web site to publish facts of the woman's illegal detention and had provided telephone numbers of the labor camp.
Taiwan investigates possible manipulation of its media by China:
§ According to a report in Taipei's Liberty Times by journalist Yang Guowen, Taiwan’s intelligence agency is currently investigating possible manipulation of Taiwan’s media by China’s ruling regime.
§ The agency traced a transfer of tens of millions of Taiwan dollars through several countries. The money was finally invested in Taiwan’s newspapers and television stations.
§ The funds had been moved across "half the globe" before reaching Taiwan. This is believed to be an attempt to prevent the Taiwanese government from discovering the source of the investments.
§ The intelligence agency found that China’s ruling party uses Taiwan’s media to collect information on all levels of Taiwanese society. Peng Chuibin, publisher of the Jinmen Evening News was charged with using his newspaper to collect military and state secrets. He is currently under detention.
§ The agency has been investigating several newspaper and television stations that made drastic changes in their style and content after receiving suspicious funding. Those media now make reports on political and civil issues in Mainland China, clearly from a pro-Regime perspective.
§ The intelligence agency is expanding its investigation to ensure Taiwan’s security.
§ In Montreal, Toronto and New York, Falun Gong practitioners are suing Chinese-language newspapers for printing hate reports on Falun Gong, another example of the Chinese regime manipulating media outside of China.
Yale University International Culture Festival
§ In mid-April, 2003, Yale University held its first International Culture Festival. University students from all over the world and various student groups participated in the activities. Many local people stopped by to enjoy the displays and performances.
§ The Yale University Falun Gong Club participated in the event with a Chinese dance they created, and also a demonstration of the five sets of elegant Falun Dafa exercises. Their efforts were rewarded with a front page coloured photo on the Yale Bulletin & Calendar!
A Possible Way to Combat SARS?
§ The current situation of the SARS epidemic has become a topic of concern among local residents of Fairfax County, a suburb of Washington, DC.
§ On April 28, at the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors' meeting, Mr. Nappi, who lives in nearby Virginia, told the Board members how he regained his health from practicing Falun Gong.
§ Twelve years ago, after being in a car accident, Mr. Nappi lost his ability to hear, read and write. He said he also liked to smoke, drink and do drugs. But, after starting to practice Falun Gong, he told the Fairfax Board, that not only had he easily quit those bad habits, but he also regained his ability to hear, read, write, and therefore to drive a vehicle once again.
§ He said he hoped that given the current situation of SARS, the county government would provide more support for its residents to practice Falun Gong so as to allow more people to benefit from the practice, improve their immune system and overall health.
§ Medical experts throughout the world have pointed out that currently no definitive cure exists for SARS. Some doctors believe that a strong immune system is a factor in safeguarding against the illness.
§ Mr. Nappi also advised that research on neutrophile cells was recently performed by Dr. Lili Feng, a professor of immunology from the Department of Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine in Texas. Results showed that practicing Falun Gong has a tremendous effect on strengthening one's immunity.
§ If any of our viewers are interested in exploring Falun Gong, please access the Web site on your screen: www.falundafa.org You will find listings of exercise practice sites that exist in major cities all over the world. These sites are open free of charge to the public. Just turn up and ask someone to teach you! They'll be happy to oblige.
FGMTV's Christine Loftus spoke with Paul Mitchell… another 'Mitchell' but he's not one of my relatives! Paul is one of of those rare people in the West who speaks Chinese!
Hi Paul. Thanks for meeting with us today. I understand that you are a practitioner of Falun Gong. Can you tell us how long you have been practicing for and what sort of benefits you have experienced from the practice?
Hi Christine. Yes, I have been practicing for about three years. I remember when I learned about Falun Dafa through a nine-day seminar course that was being offered for free in Victoria, BC. I almost didn't make it to that course, but I'm really glad that I did because its changed my life in so many ways for the better, and it actually enabled me to get into University where I am now from a situation where I had been unable to even complete grade ten education. After practicing Falun Dafa my life situation turned around for the better and I started to realize my goals and purposes in life and took the steps necessary to get my education and to become a more responsible person towards my neighbours and my family. Also, as a result of all of those health benefits that I received from this practice I was able to achieve that. In the past I would have thought that it was almost unthinkable because I was too ill at the time and I wasn't feeling like I had alot of hope for the future.
So, after practicing for a while I took an interest in learning Chinese, which I had had some background with in the past when I was living in China for one year when I was five years old. My Dad had tried to help me to learn some Chinese when I was younger, so it became my goal to learn Chinese and be able to do things like translations later in life. Falun Gong helped me to realize that goal and to bring it back into focus.
So the first thing Falun Gong helped with was to help get me off of welfare and get a minimum wage job, just to take what ever steps were necessary to get back on track. So, I actually entered into this competition and some Falun Dafa practitioners helped me to learn this poem in chinese. So I entered and was able to recite this poem and from there just one thing after another, I took a GED to get my high school equivilancy in Ontario and went straight into under grad.
Could you say something for us in Chinese?
Well I think that this is something that is like the basic Chinese that everyone should know is Falun Dafa Hao. It means Falun Dafa is good.
Thank you Paul.
Thanks, Christine and Paul, and
thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!