Focus on the UK-China Human Rights Dialogue

October 29, 2016 | By Minghui correspondents Tang Xiuming in the U.K. and Wu Sijing in Germany

(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners in London recently called for public transparency at the annual UK-China Human Rights Dialogue.

On Thursday, practitioners assembled in front of 10 Downing Street and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, displaying banners and handing out flyers to raise public awareness of the 17-year-long persecution of Falun Gong in China.

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Falun Gong’s protest outside of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Dr. Liu Wei, chair of the Falun Dafa Association in the UK, said, “We have noticed that the UK-China human rights dialogues have been done in the closed-door format. We cannot see any positive impacts of this closed-door dialogue on the 17-year-long persecution of Falun Gong in China.

“We must let the entire international community know about this brutal, intolerable persecution. Today, we come here to express our appeal for your attention. We hope the attendees of this dialogue, Chinese and British, will hear our voice.”

Falun Gong practitioners called upon the government of the UK to remain committed to respecting human rights and freedom of belief and to speak up on the issue of Falun Gong.

German government officials have indicated that the Falun Gong issue will be brought up at the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights.

Baerbel Kofler from Germany’s Foreign Office invited several human rights organizations to a forum on human rights violations in China last Wednesday.

At the forum, Manyan Ng and Hubert Koerper from the International Society for Human Rights highlighted the severity of the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China.

Two activists delivered to Kofler a petition signed by 21,000 German citizens that condemn the forced organ harvesting. They also briefed Kofler on the updated investigations into this crime by independent investigators.

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Baerbel Kofler (right) told Hubert Koerper (left) that she would take the forced organ harvesting issue “very, very seriously.”

Kofler promised that, “no matter what,” the forced organ harvesting issue will be brought up during the EU-China Dialogue on Human Rights.

Two days prior to the forum, two German lawmakers, Michael Brand and Martin Patzelt, had invited Falun Gong practitioners and other activists for a conversation on the issue of forced organ harvesting.

Patzelt said on his website that the German government should consider revising the laws related to organ transplants to prevent illegal trade in human organs.

Related article in Chinese:
德国人权专员 中欧人权对话中将提活摘罪行(图)

Chinese version available

Category: Rallies & Protests

San Francisco: Calling for Help to Rescue Family Members Detained in China for Their Belief

October 28, 2016 | By Minghui correspondents Shu Jing and Mu Wenqing

(Minghui.org) “The last time my brother called me was on April 19, 2003. I have not been able to reach him since,” recounted Huang Wanqing at a rally in front of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on October 25.

This was part of a series of events in San Francisco joined by thousands of Falun Dafa practitioners. More than 4,000 practitioners marched in a grand parade on October 22, and about 6,000 participated in an experience-sharing conference on October 24.

Carrying On an Unfinished Task

Both Wanqing and his younger brother Xiong started to practice Falun Dafa in 1996. Wanqing came to the U.S. one year later to pursue a Ph.D. degree. Wanqing recalled, “When former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin ordered the suppression of Falun Dafa in July 1999, Xiong was studying at a computer training center in Beijing. Like many other practitioners, Xiong went to the government agencies to appeal for Falun Dafa.”

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Huang Wanqing has not heard from his brother, Huang Xiong, for 13 years. Xiong was detained and wanted by the police for practicing Falun Dafa.

In February 2000, 22-year-old Xiong was arrested in Beijing, followed by detention at a labor camp with a term of 18 months. After being released from a prison, he found that his registered residence had been canceled, and he was forced to stay away from home to avoid further persecution.

During that period of time, Xiong managed to call Wanqing from time to time. He visited many places and told people about Falun Dafa and the brutal treatment of practitioners by the communist regime. With the computer skills he had learned, Xiong produced more than 5,000 DVDs to tell people the real story of Falun Dafa. Not long after that, he was arrested, but he managed to escape.

In Shanghai, Xiong produced another 5,000 DVDs and was wanted by the police. Nonetheless, he went to Yunnan in southern China and continued his efforts to raise awareness. In addition to producing DVDs, he also tried to get the message out on a larger scale by intercepting television signals. Since his last phone call to Wanqing, not a word has been heard about him for the past 13 years.

“My brother hoped more Chinese people could know what Falun Dafa is, not just blindly believe the propaganda from the Chinese communist regime. I have to carry on his unfinished task,” said Wanqing.

With Parents Arrested, Daughters Ask for Help

Wang Xiao, a practitioner in San Francisco, said her entire family practices Falun Dafa, including her parents and younger brother. “Because of their belief, they were all arrested in 2010, kept at a detention center, and tortured.” In particular, her father was imprisoned for four years and subjected to forced labor. His lawyer license was also revoked. Her mother was put under house arrest after her release and was often harassed by police. Her brother’s workplace was forced to fire him. Their requests to obtain passports to visit her were denied.

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Wang Xiao said her parents and younger brother had all been arrested previously for their belief.

Liu Danqing is a marketing director at a tech firm in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her father, Liu Xuemin, a former employee of Sinochem in Shandong Province, was arrested and detained for 15 months for practicing Falun Dafa. After being arrested again in July 2015, her father was sentenced to prison in August 2016.

“I am standing here hoping to rescue my father. In the meantime, I sincerely hope the international community will pay attention to this and help end this atrocity,” said Liu.

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A practitioner speaks out for her parents, who were mistreated in China for practicing Falun Dafa.

A well-known case, Danielle Wang told the story of her family to rally participants via telephone. Her father, Wang Zhiwen, was a coordinator of the former Falun Dafa Research Society. After the persecution started on July 20, 1999, officials arrested him on that day and imprisoned him for 15 years. Even after his release in 2014, Wang was watched and harassed by police 24 hours a day.

“My husband and I managed to have all the paperwork ready this August for my father to visit us in the U.S. But at customs in Guangdong Province, officials destroyed his passport and barred him from traveling outside China. It was a painful experience for us, and so far we have been unable to find a solution.” She hopes more people can help her father and many other mistreated Falun Dafa practitioners to regain their freedom.

Passerby: Persecution of Falun Dafa “Horrible”

Emil, a tourist from France, watched the rally with his girlfriend. Upon hearing from the family members of many Falun Dafa practitioners detained for a long time or missing for over 10 years, he said it is hard to imagine something like this happening in modern times. “This [persecution] is horrible. I will check this out on the internet and support you with an online petition.”

Omar is a physician. He has read about the Chinese regime’s harvesting of organs from living Falun Dafa practitioners imprisoned for their beliefs. “Transplant organs must come from voluntary donors. Otherwise, it should be forbidden,” Omar said.

Zara Hayes, a ballet instructor, had not heard about the persecution in China. She said no person and no government has the authority to kill others for their organs. “Whether this happens because of money, power, or greed, it must stop. As human beings, we have to care for each other.”

Chinese version available

Category: Rallies & Protests

San Francisco: Falun Gong Practitioners March on Golden Gate Bridge

October 28, 2016 | By Minghui correspondents Li Xinci, Zhang Yun, and Tang Xiuming

(Minghui.org) About 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners marched across the Golden Gate Bridge on October 23, one day prior to the annual U.S. Western Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference. Starting from Golden Gate Bridge Square, across the bridge to Vista Point in Marin County, the three-mile-long march was to call for support to end the severe suppression of Falun Gong in China.

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About 1,000 Falun Gong practitioners march across the Golden Gate Bridge on October 23, raising awareness about the persecution in China.

News reporter: “This [Persecution] Is Insane”

Esvim from Santa Monica in Southern California is a news reporter that covers political news. She and her assistant Les met practitioners during the march. “I have heard about black market organ trade in China. But such a large scale operation of forced organ harvesting is even worse—this is insane,” she said.

She encouraged practitioners to continue their efforts, saying, “You are doing the right thing. The U.S. government needs to take more action to press China on organ transplant tourism, as well as work with other countries to stop such a crime.” She said he will check into this and help spread the information.

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Esvim, a news reporter from Santa Monica, California, and her assistant Les, talk with practitioners.

San Francisco resident Adam and his mother were walking on the bridge when they encountered the Falun Gong march. Adam thanked practitioners for bringing the issue of organ harvesting to his attention, “This suddenly opened my eyes.”

Adam works for a social media company and says he will let more people know about this. He and his mother said the march was “peaceful” and “beautiful.”

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Adam, an employee of a social media company who was visiting the Golden Gate Bridge with his mother Tamar, said the Falun Gong march opened his eyes.

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Tourist read Falun Gong posters and signs on the Golden Gate Bridge.

Law Professionals: I Support You

Linda, a retired assistant lawyer of a child protection organization, said she had not heard about forced organ harvesting. “I support you,” she said to a practitioner. Pointing to a small yellow flag a practitioner held with words of “Falun Dafa is good,” she added, “If I can have such a flag, I will walk with you to stop the persecution.”

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Retired assistant lawyer Linda said she supports Falun Gong.

Lin, a retired Australian lawyer, was visiting the Golden Gate Bridge with her son Nicolas, a college student in the U.S. “We know the communist regime wants to control people’s minds and I believe your message is reaching a lot of people today,” she said.

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Retired Australian lawyer Lin and her son said the event is very important.

Chinese Tourists: Very Different from China

Mr. Xia, a visitor from Hubei Province in China, was surprised to the large-scale event by Falun Gong practitioners. “It is impossible to see a large group do these exercises and march like this in China.”

Another China tourist walked with practitioners for a while. He decided to withdraw his membership in the Chinese communist organizations to take a stance against the regime’s brutal crimes and said he would read more about Falun Gong.

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A Chinese man watches the Falun Gong march.

Chinese version available

Category: Rallies & Protests