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…
§ 707 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 18 different provinces, and the cities of Changchun, Beijing and Nanjing.
§ 635 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:
§ "Bring Jiang to Justice" – the cry echos around the world as efforts gain momentum to break China's information blockade.
And some of our other stories:
§ World Psychiatric Association publishes statement demanding that China allow an independent inspection of mental institutions
§ In this week's Special Report, a senior reporter from China's state-run CCTV Network admits that the "Self-Immolation Incident" was staged.
§ A Falun Gong Appeal at The Council of Europe, and
§ FGMTV's Christine Loftus interviews her twin brother about his phone calls to Chinese authorities who have tortured practitioners.
First, our top story:
§ With the founding of The World Organization to Investigate the Persuction of Falun Gong, and the lawsuits in seven countries charging former Chinese President Jiang Zemin with genocide, the cry of "Bring Jiang to Justice" grows louder by the hour.
§ Hundreds of thousands of information packages are being delivered to labor camps and police stations throughout China. The packages contain copies of the lawsuits against Jiang and other information exposing his crimes and listing names of police and guards in those camps who have tortured innocent practitioners.
§ The packages have been a shocking wake-up call for corrupt officials who used to think their allegience to Jiang gave them unlimited power. Many are now changing their barbaric ways, knowing that the international community is aware and watching and waiting for the opportunity to bring them to full justice for their crimes against humanity.
Falun Dafa at the Asian Culture Festival in Richmond, Virginia
§ May is Asian Culture Month in the USA.
§ This year, the Sixth Annual Asian Culture Festival in Central Virginia was held at the newly-built Grand Conference Center in capital city of Richmond.
§ People of different nationalities attended, as did State Governor Mark R. Warner.
§ Falun Dafa practitioners in Richmond set up a booth inside the hall where they demonstrated the five sets of exercises to Dafa music. At the same time some practitioners answered questions raised by visitors.
§ A beautiful and elegant Chinese Tang Dynasty Dance performance added to the peacefulness of the exhibition, and one little girl was so attracted to everything that she asked for some flyers and then proceeded to hand them out to the passers by!
World Psychiatric Association publishes statement demanding that China allow an independent inspection of mental institutions
§ On May 21, 2003, three members of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) held a news conference in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco.
§ Dr. Abraham Halpern, a past president of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law and professor Emeritus at New York Medical College, was joined by two other psychiatrists, Dr. Viviana Galli from Ohio, and Dr. Jingduan Yang, from Thomas Jefferson University Hospital.
§ Dr. Halpern read a statement, published the previous day by the WPA, that said "We strongly demand the Chinese government 'unconditionally' accept WPA's 'independent inspection' regarding the misuse of psychiatry to violate human rights."
§ In commenting on the statement, Dr. Halpern said, "This is really an historic day for Falun Gong and for supporters of human rights throughout the world. The WPA has finally declared unambiguously and clearly a call for the admission to the PRC of an investigative mission to look into the serious allegations of abuse and misuse of psychiatry in connection with the hospitalization and other kinds of psychiatric treatment involuntarily of non-mentally ill Falun Gong practitioners and political dissidents as well.
§ "The statement is much stronger than the one made in Yokohama Japan last year. This statement is much stronger than anybody could have expected---Demanding the unrestricted opportunity to visit any hospital that the investigative mission would want to go to; having their own translators without relying on translators within China itself.... This is very, very good news to all of us who respect human rights."
§ Dr. Abraham Halpern, speaking at a news conference in San Francisco.
Over Seventy Practitioners From Heilongjiang Province Who Provided Information to Support the Lawsuit Against Jiang Are Illegally Arrested
§ According to reports received from Heilongjiang province, after Jiang was sued abroad for genocide, he secretly organized a series of systematic mass persecutions in China.
§ In Jixi City of Heilongjiang Province, police destroyed a Falun Dafa production center and disconnected access to the Internet for practitioners living there.
§ Four practitioners working at the site were arrested, and all the photocopiers and computers were confiscated.
§ To support the lawsuit against Jiang, over seventy practitioners had provided stories of the persecution they had suffered to practitioners at the production site. The list of their names was not able to be destroyed when police raided the site.
§ As a result, all of the more than seventy practitioners were arrested, and their current condition is not known.
A Falun Gong Appeal at The Council of Europe
§ During the 112th Session of the Committee of Ministers held in Strasbourg, France in the middle of May 2003, some Falun Dafa practitioners from France, Switzerland and Germany went to appeal to the Foreign Ministers of various European countries.
§ The Committee is part of The Council of Europe, the highest decision-making part of the European Union.
§ A few days before the meeting began, practitioners delivered to representatives of the 15 countries, a copy of the genocide lawsuit filed against former Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
§ They also asked for help in efforts to rescue Ms. Xiong Wei, a student from the Technical University of Berlin, who is wrongfully imprisoned in China.
§ During the meeting, practitioners displayed banners, did the exercises and distributed more than 2,000 pieces of information explaining the facts about the illegal persecution in China.
And in Germany, Practitioners Celebrated World Falun Dafa Day in Berlin
§ On Saturday May 17th, beautiful Dafa music and a rich colorful performance attracted the attention of many people at Memorial Church Square in Berlin. Hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners from all over Germany met there to begin celebrating the 4th World Falun Dafa Day and the 11th year since Falun Dafa was introduced to the public.
§ A stage was set up in the square with a yellow backdrop reading "The world needs Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance" in both Chinese and German. Practitioners took turns demonstrating the five Falun Gong exercises on the stage, performing the lotus flower dance and fan dance, and playing music on the bamboo flute. On one side of the stage was a photo exhibition entitled "The Peaceful Journey of Falun Dafa." The performance and picture exhibition attracted countless visitors who stopped to take a closer look.
§ On Sunday 18th, the Berlin celebrations continued. A large group of Falun Dafa Practitioners set out to parade from the famous Brandenburg Gate and moved towards Alexander Square, performing songs and dances for spectators, who enthusiastically applauded them on their way.
In this week's Special Report:
A senior reporter from China's state-run CCTV Network admits that the "Self-Immolation Incident" was staged.
§ International media have consistently repeated CCTV's claim that the self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square was carried out by Falun Gong practitioners. This has caused tremendous damage to the reputation of Falun Gong in China and abroad, generating a negative image and making millions of innocent people hate the peaceful spiritual practice that forbids suicide.
§ When CCTV senior reporter Ms. Yuqiang Li visited a brainwashing center in Hebei province, she was confronted by Falun Gong practitioners. They asked her about the man who was featured on that news report. He had severe burns after setting himself on fire, while at the same time holding, between his legs, an unburned plastic Sprite bottle that had supposedly been filled with gasoline for the immolation.
§ Ms. Li admitted that the incident had been staged and that authorities had placed the bottle between the victim’s legs after the flames had been extinguished.
§ Ms. Li's statement confirms the article by Phillip Pan in the February 4, 2001 issue of the Washington Post. Mr. Pan wrote about Ms. Chunling Liu from the city of Kaifeng, who died on the Square. After interviewing her neighbours, he finished his article with the words, "None ever saw her practice Falun Gong."
§ CCTV reporter Yuqiang Li is currently under investigation by The World Organization for the Investigation of the Persecution of Falun Gong.
An FGMTV Correction and Apology:
§ In a recent program, I said that Taiwan has 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners, and I want to correct that statistic.
§ In an interview published in the Taipei United Evening Post on December 29, 2002, the chairman of the Taiwan Falun Dafa Association, Mr. Ching-Shi Chang, a professor of economics at National Taiwan Universitysaid that Taiwan has over 100,000 Falun Dafa practitioners. He added that it is a loose group without any formal organization.
§ Sometimes, thousands of Taiwan practitioners come together for various events like exhibitions of the exercises, or for experience-sharing conferences.
Christine Loftus recently interviewed her twin brother, Jason, who is working hard to bring the persecution against Falun Gong to an end:
Jason: Wei. Ni hao.....
Christine: Jason, can you tell us what you're doing?
Jason: I'm calling people in China to tell them about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and to tell them about Falun Gong.
Christine: And why are you doing this?
Jason: I'm doing this because I've personally benefited alot from practicing Falun Gong, however, in China, the people who practice Falun Gong are severely persecuted because of the policy from the former leader, Jiang Zemin. And the people there don't have human rights and freedom of belief and are even tortured to death for practicing a practice that I have benefited alot from. So I call the Chinese people to tell them not to believe the propaganda, because in China, this persecution is able to take place because the government controls all of the media in order to turn all of the people against Falun Gong. So I simply call them and tell them that in Canada we practice Falun Gong very freely and that it is something very good and not to believe the propaganda and not to participate in the persecution against good people.
Christine: What type of reactions have you received from people that you have been calling?
Jason: Many people are very surprised because the propaganda tells them that Falun Gong is hated around the world: that its something very bad. And so when they learn the truth about how Falun gong is being practiced everywhere around the world and only being persecuted in China, they're very surprised. And also, many people are very touched that someone in Canada cares to tell them this; that they take the time and their money to call them.
Christine: Thank you for sharing this with us Jason.
Thanks, Christine and Jason, and…
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!