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Issue 32: Standing for Conscience  
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Human Rights Newsletter - Issue 32

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Standing for Conscience

A painting depicts guards torturing a practitioner while inmates assist them.

None of us in Free Countries around the world understand what it takes for China's oppressed to stand up and demand their most basic human rights under the totalitarian regime of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). While we have the rule of law, they face the ruling CCP sitting on their backs telling them what to do, what to say, and what to believe. While we can criticize our governments in a free press protected by a Constitution, under the CCP the Party is the boss responsible for what they should know, the policeman who arrests them without cause, the judiciary that finds them guilty of violating arbitrary laws, without evidence or due process, and the prison guard who tortures them for having just one independent thought.

Yet like a lotus flower bursting through the winter snow, amidst this harshest of all environments, great spirits cry out for an end to the worst persecution in history. We, who can only imagine all they have been through, applaud the Falun Gong practitioners from the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp for their courage in taking a stand for their beliefs and for justice.

They ask for our help in stopping the CCP regime's brutality: "We call upon people and organizations around the world to stand up and defend justice, and to help maintain dignity and the right to freedom of belief!" We help them, not just for their sake, but for our own, as that simple act of compassion defines not just who we are; it defines the world we choose to live in. How many of us will help?

An Open Letter from Falun Gong Practitioners
Who Are Detained in Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp

We are Falun Gong practitioners who are detained at the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp in Harbin City, Heilongjiang Province. We have the following requests:

  1. Immediately declare the innocence of Mr. Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong.
  2. Immediately and unconditionally release all practitioners who are illegally detained.
  3. Compensate all practitioners for the physical and emotional losses they have suffered from the time the persecution started.
  4. Bring the key criminals in this political gangster regime - Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan - to justice.

The forced labor system under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) violates the human rights convention of the United Nations, as well as the Chinese Constitution. Innocent citizens and Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to forced labor camps against their will for several years, without trial. The system even allows individuals to be detained in forced labor camps repeatedly. We ask the kind people of the world to denounce this evil system. It operates this system that openly tramples human rights and the freedom of its own citizens. The CCP's collapse is inevitable.

Guards often torture practitioners by hanging them in the air for prolonged periods, beating them with spiked clubs, sticking pins into them, and keeping them imprisoned in steel cages. Inmates who help them are rewarded with reduced terms.

We call upon people and organizations around the world to stand up and defend justice, and to help maintain dignity and the right to freedom of belief! We demand that the CCP immediately stop this persecution, declare the innocence of Falun Dafa and practitioners, and bring those who committed these crimes to justice.

By All Falun Gong practitioners who are detained at the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp
November 22, 2007

Shi Shenghong's Appeal Letter

My name is Shi Shenghong. I'm currently detained at the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp in the City of Harbin, Heilongjiang Province. Here I demand that the CCP authorities immediately release all detained Falun Gong practitioners unconditionally.

Before the CCP started persecuting practitioners, I had a happy family with my wife Liu Mingyun and my son Shi Yueming. My wife is also a practitioner and was sentenced to forced labor in 2000. Due to pressure from this persecution and grieving from missing her daughter-in-law, my mother passed away. The CCP caused this tragedy for my family. My wife and I used to have a clothing business. After the CCP started persecuting practitioners, my family was broken apart. We lost our house and had to rent a place. This tragedy took place in the CCP's so-called "harmonious society."

I was arrested on the evening of August 20, 2006, when I was delivering clothes in Harbin City. I was secretly sentenced to one and one half years of forced labor. On August 28, 2006, when my wife came to visit me, the police arrested her and took her to the Nangang District Police Department. She was sentenced to five years in jail. At that time, our son, not quite 17 years old, had come with her, and was also detained for a month. Regardless of my son's age, he needed care from his parents, but my wife and I were imprisoned, which left my son at home alone. Such a situation affected my son's performance in school. He was not able to enroll in high school, and he now stays at home alone. After my father learned that my wife had been sentenced to jail and myself to forced labor, the old man, over 80 years old, cried every day, and he died on November 18, 2006. He is another victim among millions of victims, who suffered or were implicated in the CCP's persecution.

Shi Shenghong
Late 2007
At the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp

Wang Yunfeng's Appeal Letter

To protest the torture, many Falun Gong practitioners go on hunger strikes; as a result, the authorities torture them with force-feeding, including force-feeding them with alcohol, highly concentrated salt water, or feces.

My name is Wang Yunfeng. I am illegally detained at the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp in Harbin City. I demand the release of all detained Falun Gong practitioners. We are innocent. Our Teacher is innocent.

Since the persecution started in 1999, I have been arrested four times, sentenced to two years of forced labor and have had over 10,000 Yuan extorted from me. I was deprived of my right to freedom of belief, freedom of speech and eventually even freedom of movement. We follow the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and are good people, and we haven't committed any crimes.

My mother is 80 years old and she cries for me every day. When I was arrested for the third time, she lost her eyesight because of her crying. Because of this persecution, my daughter and son are pained in their young hearts. My family is nearly broken financially. I suffered all kinds of maltreatment during my arrests and detentions. However, there are thousands of families in China that face similar suffering.

We hope that our suffering will wake up the consciences of the world's people. Do not ignore any longer those kind practitioners and their family members. ... I hope you can righteously appeal to the higher authorities for the injustices brought upon us, and release all detained practitioners. Do not continue this most miserable persecution. Manifest your conscience and lend your hand. Release all innocent Falun Gong practitioners!

Wang Yunfeng
Late 2007
At the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp

Zhang Shengjie's Appeal Letter

My name is Zhang Shengjie. I'm 59 years old and from Harbin City. I was arrested on November 1, 2005, and sentenced to three years of forced labor. I didn't commit any crimes. I demand to be released unconditionally.

I have been detained in the No. 4 Division of the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp for over two years. I have talked to the division head and explained that Falun Gong practitioners are all good people. The response I got was that all practitioners in detention are required to be "transformed." I cannot understand into what kind of people the CCP wants the practitioners to be "transformed." In such a society with low moral standards, and where money is above all, practitioners follow the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" to purify their minds, gain good health, and to further improve the moral standards in society. It has hundreds of benefits without any harm to the nation, to the country and to society. However, these good people - the hope of the nation - have suffered unprecedented persecution. Just in the No. 4 Division alone, I have met practitioners from different social levels, including officers from military regiments, older ex-military men, engineers, graduate students, doctors, teachers, workers and farmers. As far as I know, there are also professors, businessmen, and government officials detained in other divisions. They are talented people and the principle force in the development of our country. How many such practitioners are in detention countrywide? How deep is the destruction that the CCP has brought to the Chinese people? It is time to correct this mistake.

I strongly request the unconditional release of all detained innocent practitioners!

Zhang Shengjie
At the Changlinzi Forced Labor Camp
December 14, 2007

Falun Gong, Humanity's Last Stand

Part II: History Ignored

Huang Ying holds a picture of her mom, Ms. Luo Zhixiang. When Ying was just two years old, her mom was tortured to death because of her belief in Falun Gong.

As the epic struggle has unfolded in China, the free world has largely stayed on the sidelines watching, or even looking the other way. No government has yet formally denounced such large-scale violations of human rights. On the contrary, in the last seven years, Western countries have coveted economic favors from the Chinese regime, and in return given tacit approval by awarding China the 2008 Olympics and WTO membership. The only times the Chinese regime has received real international pressure have been when economic conflicts were heightened and when a situation in China, such as the SARS epidemic, threatened the world.

Mainly because of these economic interests, the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong has been treated as an inconvenient and untimely distraction, sidestepped or downplayed, and Falun Gong practitioners' appeals for help have often been ignored, misunderstood, or even mistrusted. Two common questions bear this out.

One is "Why didn't we know about it?" That question was asked when Falun Gong practitioners around the world publicized how 18 female practitioners had been stripped naked and thrown into the cells of male criminals. That question was asked when Falun Gong practitioners around the world publicized horrifying pictures showing how seven hours of electric shocks had disfigured Ms. Gao Rongrong's face. That question was asked when Falun Gong practitioners around the world publicized the systematic extraction of vital organs from living Falun Gong practitioners. There is no lack of information. For seven years, Falun Gong practitioners in China have taken great risks to collect and send abroad, on a daily basis, detailed information on the extensive and severe human rights violations that have been going on in China. Institutions that influence public opinion, including governments and media, have paid little attention to the atrocities, leaving the public largely uninformed.

Another frequently asked question is "Why does the Chinese government persecute Falun Gong?" To justify its persecution, the Chinese regime has spread many lies. It is therefore not surprising that, in the beginning, world governments and media were influenced by the CCP's propaganda. What is surprising is that, after seven years, there is still no independent in-depth study of this serious issue. Several so-called China experts have further rationalized the regime's persecution as a consequence of feeling threatened by the sudden appearance of Falun Gong's large following. It is hard to think of another recent major human rights crisis in which the aggressor's lies had such a lasting and pervasive influence. It is a combined result of the CCP's lies and the lack of genuine concern for the victims.

At the same time, the governments of the free world have been reluctant to listen to Falun Gong practitioners' side of the story. Some governments, including those of Germany and Canada, do not even believe the severity of the persecution, and have forcibly returned Falun Gong practitioners back into the waiting hands of the Chinese regime. Some countries, including Germany, France, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Mexico, and Russia, have caved in to the Chinese regime's pressure to curb Falun Gong practitioners' protests..., and some have even arrested Falun Gong practitioners for staging such protests.

Because of the misunderstanding, or the lack of desire to understand, the free world remains unaware of the deep awakening of people's consciences in China. The acquiescence, financial investment, and technologies from the West have in effect played the role of working against these changes and have helped bolster the regime and its repression. Some Western companies, such as Cisco and Yahoo, have directly assisted the regime in oppressing the Chinese people.

Because of the mistrust, when two witnesses, who are not Falun Gong practitioners, disclosed the systematic extraction of vital organs from live Falun Gong practitioners in a hospital in China, no government expressed any genuine concern. The US State Department went as far as mischaracterizing the disclosure as "claims by the Falun Gong group" and declared "no evidence had been found" after Chinese officials organized two guided tours of the hospital.

The free world's persistent silence towards such severe and extensive human rights violations is also unprecedented. When this page of history is turned, future generations will ponder how the democratic governments could cast aside the most fundamental values of the free world to seek economic favors from a despotic regime, and how the bottom line of humanity had slid so far that even the use of human organs as a commodity was not enough to cause these governments to make a sound.

The epic struggle of peace vs. violence, truth vs. lies, and conscience vs. evil is still ongoing, and history is still being written. Those who are living the history now still have the opportunity to learn about the epic struggle and choose for themselves which side of history they want to be on.

-- To be continued on our next newsletter: The Chinese Tradition of Cultivation Practice

Excerpt from Falun Gong, Humanity's Last Stand

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