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 true, good, 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…
§ 746 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, Changchun and Shanghai.
§ 468 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 stories this week:
§ July 1st, 2003: joyful activities in Canada; huge protests in Hong Kong.
And some of our other stories:
§ Christine Parker visits the appeal outside the Chinese Consulate in Toronto
§ A follow-up to the assault on New York practitioners
§ Dafa broadcasts in Russia and China
§ More death reports from Chinese labor camps, and
§ Multiple illnesses cured by Falun Dafa practice
July 1st, 2003
§ International media have reported that more than 400,000 people chanting "Return rule to the people" marched in Hong Kong on July 1st to protest the upcoming signing of Article 23, which is due to be signed into law next week.
§ The controversial bill states that Hong Kong must enact laws to prohibit treason, secession, sedition and subversion against China or theft of state secrets.
§ Many governments and groups around the world see Article 23 as a means for China to suppress freedom of belief and freedom of speech, especially freedom of the press. These freedoms had been guaranteed for fifty years after the handover of the territory from Britain to China. Only five years have passed.
§ Western democratic nations have strongly criticized the bill.
§ About 250 Falun Gong practitioners in Hong Kong held a quiet candlelight vigil.
§ In many countries, people supporting The Global Coalition Against Article 23 Legislation came out to raise awareness of Hong Kong's situation:
§ In Taipei, 50,000 signatures opposing the legislation were delivered to the Mainland Affairs Council.
§ There were rallies and marches in Ottawa
§ and in Toronto, where more than 60 cars formed a cavalcade with sign boards
§ in Sweden
§ New Zealand
§ and Melbourne, Australia.
on the other side of the world from Hong Kong, July 1st was Canada's Birthday.
§ FGMTV was there in Toronto to film some of the celebrations.
§ Two of the several parades and celebration activities in Toronto to mark Canada's birthday on July 1st.
A few weeks ago, before the current spell of hot weather, Christine Parker spoke with Donna Hope outside the Chinese Consulate in Toronto:
Christine: Hi Donna. Thank you for taking the time to meet with us today. I understand that Falun Gong practitioners in Toronto have been appealing in front of the Chinese Consulate since the persecution began. What are they here and what do they hope to achieve?
Donna: Well we are here because we want everyone to know that the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners is happening in China since July 20th of 1999. Our peaceful appeal consists of practicing our exercises outside of the consulate and during working hours practitioners pass out flyers and VCDs to those that are going inside the consulate as well as to all passersby.
Christine: So what have you experienced while appealing out here and how often are the practitioners out here?
Donna: Practitioners in Toronto have been outside of the Chinese consulate for 24 hours a day seven days a week for the past three years. And the experience for them has been quite good. All of the people in the neighborhood now know about Falun Dafa and they know what we are all about and the passersby have also heard about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Also many people that have come to visit the consulate in order to obtain visas from China have had the opportunity to hear the truth. In China they don’t have this opportunity.
Christine: So, what about if the weather is bad? Are they here anyway?
Donna: Oh yes. Practitioners are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in hail, sleet, snow. This winter we had some very very cold weather. It dropped to about 20 below weather and practitioners were still here throughout all of those conditions to peacefully appeal.
Christine: Thanks Donna.
Susan: Thanks, Christine & Donna
Follow-up on the Assault of Practitioners in New York
§ In last week's program, we reported that a group of Falun Gong practitioners in New York were assaulted when they were peacefully distributing flyers outside a Chinese restaurant.
§ One suffered a black eye and bloody nose, there were bruises, and one woman claimed to have been sexually assaulted.
§ Two days later, police arrested Mr. Guanjun Liang, Chairman of the Unified Organization of Overseas Chinese Associations of New York. Mr. Liang was released after being fingerprinted and the case is under investigation.
§ Ms. Terri Marsh, the attorney representing the practitioners, said that more arrests are forthcoming.
§ Throughout North America, proclamations and other honors continue to be issued by various levels of government, to celebrate the practice of Falun Dafa and its founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi.
§ Dianne Jacob, Supervisor of San Diego County, California, recently presented a Certificate of Recognition to congratulate practitioners on the celebration of East San Diego County Falun Dafa Week. The certificate says: " Your special programs of exercises and meditation have helped people around the world and you are to be commended for these efforts."
Moving now to Russia. . .
§ For the fist time since the persecution began on July 20, 1999 a major media outlet in Russia has reported positively on Falun Gong.
§ On June 6th, 2003, Radio St. Petersburg invited three Falun Gong practitioners to come to their studio to be interviewed.
§ They discussed morality, related issues in society, and how their practice focuses on qualities that improve the situation.
§ The host questioned them about the reasons for the persecution in China and about the lawsuits charging former Chinese President Jiang Zemin with genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.
§ The interview, which lasted about 25 minutes, was broadcast on the next two days, allowing Russian listeners to learn, not only the true facts of the illegal persecution, but also to hear some of the beautiful music that has been composed by practitioners.
Broadcasts in China of Falun Dafa programs have to be arranged when authorities are not looking. . .
§ During the night of June12th, Dafa practitioners in an area of Southwest China suspended two loudspeakers from a utility pole.
§ In the early morning and at noon of the next day, the two loudspeakers started to broadcast Falun Dafa programs loud and clear.
§ The sounds of the two speakers covered a wide area, and many people were able to hear the truth of Dafa.
§ During the night of June 14th and in the early morning of June 15th, another two loudspeakers started a 3-hour broadcast in a different county.
§ The authorities had a difficult time getting the loudspeakers down, and many people gathered to watch.
§ When practitioners have broken through the media blockades in other cities to broadcast facts of the persecution, authorities have followed up with mass arrests, torture and sometimes murder of those who had the courage to let their fellow citizens know the truth.
Falun Dafa at Philadelphia's Multicultural Carnival
§ "Philly Carnival 2003" was held mid-June, in Fairmount Park in Philadelphia. It was sponsored by the Philadelphia Multicultural Carnival Association, and modeled after lively street festivals of the Caribbean Islands.
§ Falun Gong practitioners were invited to participate as a representative of Chinese culture.
§ Several thousand people participated, including 13 groups from countries in the Caribbean Islands, Africa, Asia, Latin America, and South America.
§ Falun Gong practitioners contributed with a lively traditional Chinese lion dance and a drum performance, a colorful fan dance, and an exhibition of the peaceful Falun Gong exercises.
§ There are more than ten countries in the Caribbean Islands and about 20,000-30,000 Chinese people live there.
Moving now to China, where several new death reports were received in the last week.
§ Ms. Dongmai Jia, who worked for the Hebei Forestry Bureau's Joint Venture Forest Farm in Heilongjiang Province, died on May 12, 2003 just twelve days after being released from long term detention in Jiamusi City Labor Camp. She had been severely tortured.
§ One and a half years ago, her brother Yongfa Jia was tortured to death by officers from the same labor camp.
§ Her sisters and her mother were also arrested and tortured, but they are still alive.
§ Ms. Jia is also survived by her 9-year-old son.
§ Other death reports were received from Shandong, Heilongjiang, and Xinjiang provinces, as well as Henan Province, where three women were hung to death in the Shibalihe Female Forced Labor Camp.
FGMTV's Christine Parker spoke with three practitioners who took part in the recent parade in Chicago.
Mickey: The ex-leader of China, Jiang Zemin has been sued in a court in Chicago for genocide and other crimes against humanity and I think this poster quite clearly depicts the character that he is behind the mask.
Czechoslovakian born practitioner: Originally I was from Czechoslovakia. I grew up in a communist country and now I live in Pennsylvania. We are here to bring attention to our world about the genocide of Jiang Zemin did in China today. So that is why we are here.
Dr. Hu: I am Dr. Hu from Taiwan. We are here to tell the wold to bring Jiang Zemin to justice.
Susan: Thanks Christine
No More Big Boxes of Medicine!
§ A woman from China wrote to the MingHui Web site saying, "I used to have gastroenteritis, bone spurs in my neck, a herniated disc, and severe rheumatism. I often experienced much difficulty making my way up and down the stairs.
§ In the summertime, I did not dare have fans blow on me. I had to buy my medication in big boxes and I would take over 100 pills every day in order to stay alive.
§ Each hospital treatment would cost about three months' salary. I was struggling just to survive.
§ One of my relatives introduced me to Falun Gong, and after practicing for a period of time, my body gradually recovered.
§ I no longer felt tired going up and down the stairs, and my indigestion was gone. After practicing for another period of time, joints in my hands were no longer painful and the swelling reduced.
§ One elderly friend of mine was amazed, "In the past you bought medicine in big boxes, but now you no longer need to buy any medicine. You are even in high spirits. It is wonderful."
§ I told her, "It is because I practice Falun Gong that I have recovered. It is truly the power of Dafa, and it is Dafa that gave me a second life."
Thanks for watching the FGMtv weekly news review.
I'm Susan Mitchell. See you next week!