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Issue 26: The Spread of China's Tentacles  
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Falun Gong Human Rights Newsletter, Issue 26

The Spread of China's Tentacles

Part I - Singapore

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On 23 October 2005, six Falun Gong practitioners were passing out flyers on one of Singapore's busiest streets, Orchard Road, letting people know about the brutal persecution that had been going on inside of China. The Singapore police followed and videotaped them, then charged them with "Assembly without a permit."

Practitioners standing outside the courtroom before the trial.

In any country in the free world, six people performing the same activity at the same time would not be considered assembly at all, let alone a criminal activity. Yet in January 2007, Singapore put them on trial. Predisposed to not getting a fair trial, the practitioners were ushered into a small courtroom with only eight chairs. There were six defendants and two court interpreters, so no one from the public, no family members and no media were allowed to attend.

The defendants repeatedly asked for a bigger courtroom. After their request was denied, they stood with their backs to the judge, to boycott the secret trial. In response, the judge sentenced them to two days in prison for contempt of court.

Because of international pressure, after the defendants served their sentence, the judge moved the trial to a bigger courtroom, with 12 seats instead of eight, and allowed 12 members of the public to sit in.

Singapore's Seeks Accord with China

Whether Singapore is colluding with China or kowtowing to China's wishes, it is telling the world and its own citizens that currying favor is most important and that the highest moral determinant is the government's wishes. How Singapore sank to this new low may be considered a symptom of a worldwide decline in moral values.

Unlike communism in the Soviet Union, which spread through the use of physical force, the seeping spread of China's Communist Party influence is more insidious. It uses the enticement of material gain to involve its victims in their own destruction. Human rights, justice, the rule of law, morals and personal conscience all take a back seat to immediate personal gain. In this report, we expose Singapore's quest to improve its business relationship with China. In its attempt to impress its host, Singapore itself has become the prey.

Singapore has been the host to many Chinese officials.

Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi arrived in Singapore on Monday, 19 September 2005. Wu's three-day visit followed a number of high-level trips to Singapore by Chinese leaders. That Tuesday, Wu attended a second meeting of the Singapore-China joint council for bilateral cooperation, which had been launched in 2003. One of the issues on the agenda was the two countries' stalled plan to begin talks for a bilateral free trade agreement.

Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan visited Singapore's Changi Naval Base on the east coast of the city-state on Friday, 14 April 2006.

On 28 May 2006, Minister Lee Kuan Yew invited Li Lanqing, the former head of China's "610 Office," to visit National University in Singapore, where he received an honorary doctoral degree. He arrived on 4 July 2006 and his visit lasted six days.

On 12 January 2007, China and Singapore met at the Asean Summit in the Philippines, where trade with China dominated the agenda.

Over the years, Singapore has demonstrated a strong desire to accommodate China in order to improve relations with the suppressor. What better way than by joining in the oppression of Falun Gong? Then how much action is enough for Singapore to impress China?

Persecuting Falun Gong to Please Communist Leaders

Charging Falun Gong practitioners with distributing flyers on Orchard Road in 2005 is only one of many incidents supporting the Chinese Communist regime.

  1. As early as 2001, a court in Singapore made a judgment known as the "Mai Lizhi Incident." The police took away exhibition boards and arrested 15 practitioners who were peacefully mourning the 107 Falun Gong practitioners who had been tortured to death in China. Seven of the practitioners were sentenced to jail for one month, eight were fined 1,000 Singapore dollars.
  2. Two Singaporean Falun Gong practitioners were practicing their exercises at Merlion Park on 23 February 2003. As a result, in May 2004 Ng Chye Huay and Cheng Lujin were charged on eight counts, including "assembly without a permit" and "possession and distribution of non-licensed VCDs."
  3. Nearly a year later on 27 April 2005, a Singapore court fined them. They refused to accept the sentence and vowed to appeal the ruling. They were then incarcerated in the Changi Women's Prison.
  4. On 2 June 2006, the Singapore government informed Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Nie Ge, who held both a legal work permit and a social visit pass, that her permits were cancelled for no reason. The police then detained her for eight hours for being an illegal immigrant.
  5. On 12 July 2006, Ms. Ng Chye Huay, also a Falun Gong practitioner, was arrested outside the Chinese embassy on the charge of "deliberately causing a disturbance."
  6. On 10 August 2006, the authorities cancelled 73-year-old Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Chen Peiyu's long-term visa. They issued a special pass that allowed her to remain in Singapore until August 14, only on the condition that she prove she had a confirmed ticket to get out of Singapore by that date.
  7. What had she done? At 11 a.m. on 20 July 2006, she had joined Ms. Ng Chye Huay and Mr. Erh Boon Tiong in their protest across from the Chinese embassy. The three sat under a banner that said, "20 July Hunger Strike to Protest the CCP's Inhuman Persecution of Falun Gong Practitioners" (in Chinese) and "Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong in China" (in English). The police charged the three with "displaying insulting writing, likely to cause harassment."
  8. After deporting Ms. Chen, the Singapore Court put Ms. Ng and Mr. Erh on trial. Of course, no one produced evidence that anyone was actually "insulted or harassed." The government did, however, in mid-trial, cancel the defendant's attorney, Mr. M. Ravi's license to practice law, so the defendants had to represent themselves. In court, the arresting officer agreed that if Falun Gong practitioners were actually persecuted in China, the accusation on the banner would not be considered "insulting." The court, however, found all evidence that practitioners were actually persecuted in China to be "irrelevant," including United Nations reports and testimony of actual victims. The court found the defendants guilty and then jailed them because they refused to pay the government-imposed fines.

Falun Gong Continues to Speak Up

Singapore practitioners met with UN Special Rapporteur Ms. Yakin Ertk (center) during the 2006 meeting of the UN Human Rights Council.

In spite of Singapore's efforts, Falun Gong practitioners were still not quiet about China's brutal persecution. Since it started in July 1999, practitioners around the world, including Singapore, have been determined to bring it to the world's attention and put an end to it. They have reported case after case of practitioners who were beaten, tortured, raped, starved, given unknown drugs, burned and murdered; who were thrown into jails, brainwashing centers, mental hospitals, detention centers and forced labor camps, simply for their belief. The latest reports indicate that their organs are harvested while they are still alive so that people all over the world can come to China and get a fresh new organ in just a few weeks.

It must have been to stop Falun Gong practitioners from exercising their right of free speech in Singapore, and to prevent their friend, the Chinese Communist Party, from being embarrassed, that the Court decided, 9 months after the fact, to put the practitioners on Orchard Road on trial for their "crime" of "Assembly without a permit."

Not surprisingly, the defendants in this case were unable to find an attorney to represent them. In 2004, when the practitioners were charged with distributing VCDs without a permit, an attorney, Mr. Dodwell, defended them. After that trial, the court demanded Mr. Dodwell apologize for his behavior in that case. Attorney Dodwell concluded that if he continued defending the practitioners, he would lose his license, and regretfully declined to represent them any further.

Later Attorney Ravi, who had taken Ms. Ng Chye Huay and Mr. Erh Boon Tiong's case, actually did lose his license. It was suggested to him that if he dropped his "controversial" cases he would be able to return to the bar. Since he didn't cave in, they threw him in a mental hospital, leading the Singapore Democratic Party News to report, "Even a layperson can understand that a case cannot proceed if there is no evidence. Not that this bothered the Disciplinary Committee, which decided to go ahead with the matter... Baffling? Not if you know Singapore."

The World is Waking Up

In the Xishanping Forced Labor Camp, the guards created a torture instrument known as "The Nail Stool." Practitioner was forced to sit directly on the nails.

It must be embarrassing to face accounts of torturing, brainwashing and murdering people just for their belief. With only this thought in mind, Singapore has curried favor, and squashed such reports within its borders, protecting its friend from criticism.

Even though China's Communist Party tries to hide its persecution, enough accounts are coming forward that people around the world are starting the see the truth of the horrors. However, with its rejection of evidence in court and with its denial of the truth that China is committing this brutal persecution of 100 million of its citizens, Singapore has become complicit in the cover-up. Singapore helps the Chinese Communist Party suppress the truth.

Singapore and China's acts would not be tolerated in a world in which truth and freedom were more important than our personal gain and our convenience. China's Communist Party tentacles have reached us all. They reach out via the enticement of promising trade, lucrative corporate investments, and our enjoying China's inexpensive products. We can all look at our own attitudes, our looking the other way and our desire for material gain, ignoring their human cost, and see that we have contributed to their acts. Whether these countries wake up depends on all of us waking up.

Let us watch the upcoming Singapore trial and see whether the truth wins or suppression wins. Let us all give some thought to creating within ourselves and around ourselves a more just world. Had we already done so, perhaps Singapore would not have taken part in the Chinese Communist regime's suppression of Falun Gong at all.

Conscience in Action

1. China-Action Network

Please join our action list. You will be informed of our activities and actions on China. Please send your email to: project@consciencefoundation.org

2. "Olympic conscience" initiative.

The international community has awarded China the honor of hosting the 2008 Olympic Games. People and all countries that want to send a message to China about its abuse of human rights may boycott the China Olympic Games. To let your voice be heard you can contact the International Olympic Committee, or contact the Olympic Committee in your country.

Write to IOC.

International Olympic Committee
Chateau de Vidy
1007 Lausanne
Switzerland
Tel: (41.21) 621 61 11
Fax: (41.21) 621 62 16


To sign the online petition:

http://falunhr.org/te/index.php?signature=1&lang=en


Falun Gong, Humanities Last Stand

http://falunhr.org/newsletter/TheLastStand.pdf


Picture Exhibit:

http://falunhr.org/te/


Background Information

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