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Issue 10: Two Falun Gong Practitioners Wrongfully Prosecuted and Sentenced in Singapore  
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Two Falun Gong Practitioners Wrongfully
Prosecuted and Sentenced in Singapore


In the late afternoon on February 23, 2003, five people were doing the Falun Gong exercises in Esplanade Park in Singapore. Ms. Ng Chye Huay was talking to a student from the National University of Singapore, and Ms. Cheng Lu Jin was looking after her 3-year-old son. Three plainclothes policemen arrived and one of them ordered the five Falun Gong practitioners to stop their exercises and leave. Ms. Cheng first tried to talk to the head policeman, and then asked Ms. Ng to help mediate. The policeman got angry and said loudly, "I want to charge all of you in Court. Take out your IDs." He and other policemen then recorded the Falun Gong practitioners' identification information and seized their belongings.

Defense Counsel Alfred Dodwell (right) and two Falun Gong practitioners Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng
In April 2004, Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng were charged with having participated in an illegal assembly on February 23, 2003. In addition, they were charged with possessing and distributing uncertified films because they had passed out and mailed out VCDs containing information about China's persecution of Falun Gong.

On April 27, 2005, Court 39 of Subordinate Courts of the Republic of Singapore found Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng guilty of the charges and fined them S$20,000 and S$24,000, respectively.

The charges, prosecution, and sentencing of Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng violated their rights to freedom of expression, freedom of assembly, and the freedom to profess, practice and propagate one's religion as guaranteed by Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of the Republic of Singapore, and their rights guaranteed by Articles 7, 18, 19, and 20 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

After Ms. Wong Li Tien, a Magistrate of Subordinate Courts of the Republic of Singapore, gave the court's decision on their case. Both Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng stated that they would like to appeal their case to the appeals court. However, instead of giving them the opportunity to file and wait for the decision of the appeals court, the judge ordered the two victims to pay up right away. When the two victims refused to pay because they wanted to appeal, the judge sentenced them to jail, Ms. Ng for 20 weeks, and Ms. Cheng for 24 weeks. The fact that Ms. Cheng is breast-feeding her 6-month-old baby and the psychological agony on the mother were of no concern to the judge.

Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng were jailed for 5 days. The only choice available to them was to start a hunger strike to appeal for justice. However, they were further threatened with future punishment. Under this great pressure, their husbands paid their fines without their consent. Although they were released, their cases are not closed yet. We urge the good people of Singapore to appeal for justice in your country, to re-establish Singapore's international image by helping Ms. Ng and Ms. Cheng to regain their freedom of expression, assembly and religion, which is guaranteed by your own Constitution.


Current Persecution in China



In the Longshan Forced Labor Camp, the police shocked Ms. Gao Rongrong's face with three electric batons continuously for seven hours, burning her face to a crisp. The picture was taken ten days after the heinous torture. After the torture was exposed to the public the police searched everywhere for her and arrested her again.



Ms. Wang Xia was sentenced to seven years of forced labor for telling people about Falun Gong. She was forcibly injected with nerve-damaging drugs. Two years of continuous torture reduced Ms. Wang to just skin and bones; she weighed only 45 pounds and was on the verge of death at the time of her release.



Mr. Pan Xingfu, a Trans-century Model Worker in the Postal and Telecommunications System in Heilongjiang Province, was tortured for practicing Falun Gong. During his detention, he was starved until he weighed only around 40 kg. He was admitted as a TB in-patient. His diagnosis was TB type pleurisy and lung tissue damage. Finally, Mr. Pan Xingfu died on January 31, 2005.


What is Falun Gong?

Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) is an ancient form of Chinese cultivation practice.

From its earliest establishment, Chinese culture has embraced the concept of the "Oneness of Heaven and Man." The way for man to achieve this oneness is cultivation practice. Chinese literature is filled with legends of people achieving the status of deities, becoming enlightened, or obtaining the Tao through cultivation, and thousands of different schools of cultivation have existed over the course of Chinese history. Cultivation, therefore, is a traditional practice of mind and body transcendence.

Falun Gong was introduced to the public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. The practice teaches practitioners to assimilate to the essential characteristics of the universe, Truth-Benevolence-Forbearance. When practitioners are more in tune with the energy of the universe, they become healthier in body, mind, and spirit.

At the simplest level, Falun Gong is a way of life, a choice to be a good person with higher moral standards. Practitioners give up selfish and harmful thoughts. They let go of attachments to false concepts such as fame, wealth, and lust. They stop worrying about being taken advantage of. In case of conflicts, they consider others first. They search inside to find their own shortcomings, and attain inner peace. This, combined with five sets of gentle exercises of proven efficacy in health improvement, has enabled practitioners to achieve improved health, morality, and purposeful living. It is a way of life that, once experienced, few are willing to give up.

As a testament to the exceptional benefits it brings to practitioners, by 1999, just seven years after its introduction to the public, Falun Gong had become a global phenomenon of over 100 million practitioners across more than 60 countries.


Why the Persecution?

On April 25, 1999, over 10,000 practitioners appealed outside the State Council Bureau of Appeal in Beijing. Practitioners were orderly, standing on the sidewalk and carefully leaving room for pedestrians and traffic.

After Falun Gong was introduced to the public in 1992, various levels of the Chinese government recognized and commended the benefits of the Falun Gong practice, and their support facilitated the spread of Falun Gong in the early 1990s. In fact, one third of the 60 million Communist Party members and a large number of high-ranking government officials practiced Falun Gong.

A few Party ideologues, however, felt affronted by Falun Gong's increasing popularity. They could not accept the fact that after more than 40 years of Marxist indoctrination so many people would look elsewhere for moral and spiritual guidance. From clandestine undermining in early 1994, to the orchestrated smear campaign and banning of Falun Gong books in 1996, to police harassment in 1997, they gradually escalated their hostility toward Falun Gong. On April 23, 1999, in broad daylight, armed police forces in the city of Tianjin assaulted hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and arrested 45 of them. Two days later, on April 25, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered quietly outside the State Council Appeal Office in Beijing to request the release of the detained practitioners. Premier Zhu Rongji met with a few of them, ordered the release of the detained practitioners, and the gathering peacefully concluded.

China's Chairman, Jiang Zemin, resented the peaceful solution. Flexing his dictatorial power, on July 20, 1999, he ordered an all-out persecution of Falun Gong. The persecution, which is not dissimilar to the persecution of early Christians two thousand years ago, has since brought atrocities to countless families. From information that has leaked through the tight control of the PRC, we know that millions of people have suffered arbitrary incarceration, almost all under inhumane conditions; hundreds of thousands have been put into forced labor camps; thousands have been detained and severely tortured with nerve-damaging drugs in mental hospitals. Thousands have died in custody, while countless others are still unaccounted for. The scope and severity of the atrocities are difficult to fathom.

At the same time, the PRC propaganda machinery launched a far-reaching campaign of disinformation to deceive the public and escape world condemnation. In early 2001, the authorities attempted an outrageous stunt: a staged self-immolation of five people in Tiananmen Square. No less devious than Nero's shift of blame for the Great Fire of Rome to Christians, the Chinese Government alleged that the immolators were Falun Gong practitioners in order to incite hatred towards Falun Gong.

A picture clip of Chinese Central Television Station's footage. A policeman dangling a fire-extinguishing blanket with one hand stands calmly next to an "immolator"; the plastic bottle remains, unaffected by the heat, on the "immolator's" legs. Note also that the snow clumps on which the "immolator" sits have inexplicably survived from the heat.

Third-party reporters and careful observers, however, discovered numerous gaffes in the hoax. The Washington Post revealed that Ms. Liu Chunling, one of the "immolators," had never practiced Falun Gong. Other analysts pointed out that the police were mysteriously patrolling Tiananmen Square with dozens of pieces of firefighting equipment that day; Liu Siying, a 12-year-old girl "immolator," was purported to have had a tracheotomy after the incident, but spoke and sang clearly to the interviewing camera, a medical impossibility; Mr. Wang Jindong was supposed to have been engulfed in flames, but his hair and the plastic 7-UP bottle that he had "used to dowse gasoline" remained miraculously intact.

These holes prompted International Education Development, a UN NGO, to state, during the 2001 session of the UN Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights: "The regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001, as proof that Falun Gong is an 'evil cult.' However, we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the government." For an analysis of CCTV's own footage of the staged immolations, please visit: http://www.faluninfo.net/tiananmen/immolation.asp.

To sign the online petition:

http://www.falunhr.org/te/

To learn more...

What is Falun Gong?
Why the persecution in China?
Current Situation of the Persecution in China

The violence and lies failed to faze the Falun Gong practitioners, however. They have answered the Chinese government's violence with complete peace. They have also exemplified great benevolence by taking great risks to tell the facts and truth to the public to help people wake up from a persecution that is completely based on lies. As more and more people in China and in the world know the facts of Falun Gong and see through the Chinese government's lies, the day will come when the persecution can no longer be sustained.


Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group
9974 Scripps Ranch Blvd. #228, San Diego, California, 92131, United States
Phone: 619-280-5177, Fax: 619-280-4931, E-mail: info@falunhr.org

     
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