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A global pattern of harrassment: China's attack on Falun Gong
Soon after Jiang Zemin initiated the brutal persecution of Falun Gong in 1999, incidents appeared of Chinese officials threatening, harassing and assaulting Falun Gong practitioners, as well as pressuring and threatening officials, businesses, and free media around the world.
According to reliable sources inside China, as early as October 2000, Jiang had given the order to implement a policy to “intensify the campaign [against Falun Gong] overseas, collect more information and prevent protests. ”
While the Chinese government claims that international expression of concern over its policies that violate human rights constitute an imposition on its state sovereignty, the regime has no misgivings about sending agents around the world not only to apply pressure and interfere in local events, but also to commit crimes in foreign countries.
Below are sample cases that have been compiled primarily from testimonies and news reports in over thirty countries and territories. Complete reports, photos, and documents are available for many of these cases. Many more similar cases are not included below.
While practitioners in Australia held a vigil at Centenary Park, three of their cars were broken into and one car was stolen. While belongings were not taken from the three cars, Falun Gong reading materials inside were completely ruined.
The webmaster for Australia’s Falun Dafa Information Center had his house broken into with the only things taken being his address book and cellular phone, containing contacts for practitioners in Australia and China.
Australian practitioners have long suspected that their phones are tapped. Upon investigation of one practitioner’s home, professional technicians found that his home junction box had been tampered.
On October 23, 2003 major media outlets in Australia, as well as numerous Members of Parliament received an official request by the Chinese Embassy to censor articles about Falun Gong. Chinese diplomats contacted Sydney officials and pressured them not to allow Falun Gong practitioners to use community facilities for group gatherings.
In February 2000, Chinese thugs assaulted Parliament Member Rob Anders inside the House of Commons because he wore a shirt in support of Falun Gong.
In August 2000, Montreal practitioners' application to hold an exhibit was denied, with the reasons given including involvement from the Chinese Embassy and diplomatic concerns.
In August 2001, Chinese Appeals Office officials visited Toronto to set up an appeal office for Chinese Canadians, announcing, "No Falun Gong practitioners are allowed to appeal." When a practitioner asked for the reason, she was rushed by two men and dragged to the ground.
In December 2001, the Chinese Embassy hosted a New Year's party that was in fact an anti-Falun Gong exhibit, inviting over 300 Chinese community members. One of the guests, a Falun Gong practitioner, took a picture of the display. He was then forced into a back room and beaten by embassy staff.
In December 2001, the Ottawa Chinese Seniors Association cancelled the membership of a 70-year-old practitioner because she was a Falun Gong practitioner.
In August, 2002, the Chinese National Security Bureau seized and forcibly closed down three companies in Tianjin involved in trade between Denmark and China because their owner, Xuezhi Zhu, is a Falun Gong practitioner. As a result, Mr. Zhu’s work permit in Denmark expired and he now faces possible deportation to China.
In January 2004 during President Hu Jintao’s visit to Paris, French police detained over 70 Falun Gong practitioners as the latter were standing on the street or walking near the Champs Elysées. The policemen told the practitioners that they were being detained because they wore yellow clothing (a color Chinese officials associate with Falun Gong) or clothing with "Falun Dafa" written on it.
On at least one occasion, a Chinese official personally directed French police to detain the practitioners. All those detained were neither officially charged with anything nor given any documentation; they were simply held until the day's activities, which were partially organized by the Chinese Government, had come to a conclusion and then they were released.
On April 11, as Jiang’s car procession arrived in front of a Dresden hotel Ms. Zhan Linghu, a 40 year-old woman, cried out “Falun Gong is good!” Before she was able to finish the sentence, a Chinese secret agent grabbed her by the throat and choked her. Two German security officers then arrived and immediately removed the woman from the scene.
In August 2002, the fuel line of practitioner Roland Gottschlag’s car was cut as it was parked outside his home. That day, a neighbor reportedly observed several Chinese individuals in dark suits acting suspiciously as they walked up and down the street. Upon inspection at a local garage, it was discovered that the line had been clearly severed.
In August 2002, the e-mail addresses of Falun Gong practitioners in Germany were flooded with e-mails containing slanderous material about Falun Gong and insulting or threatening messages. The source of the e-mails could not be traced but the messages had recognizable Chinese/German grammatical language errors.
Hong Kong and Macao
Thousands of Icelandic citizens marched to the Chinese Embassy, voicing outrage at both the interference with freedom of expression and the CCP’s ongoing human rights violations.
In March 2002, a Chinese Falun Gong practitioner in Italy received two calls from a male who told him in Chinese: “300,000 Chinese in Italy will never spare you. Watch out for your life.”
Practitioners in Japan received telephone calls from people defaming Falun Gong, who also said they would kill or injure the practitioners’ parents in China if the practitioners did not give up their practice of Falun Gong.
Officials from the Chinese Embassy in Rangoon and the local police tried to force Chan Wing-Yuen to give up his belief in Falun Gong as an exchange for his freedom, but Chan rejected their attempt. Chan was released after one year in detention.
The Chinese Embassy untruthfully told the immigration department that some Chinese practitioners were committing criminal acts and causing problems. Chinese agents monitor practitioners during their activities and hose them with water when they are doing their exercises in the public area in front of the embassy.
Shortly after an advertisement announcing the exhibit was published in a local newspaper the organizers received a phone call from a representative of the Chinese Embassy. He demanded that the event be cancelled, saying that the Chinese government does not allow such activities. The organizers, nonetheless, decided to hold the exhibit as scheduled.
During the exhibit’s opening ceremony, three representatives from the Chinese Embassy arrived and closed it by force. They distributed false information claiming that the exhibit was illegal and that the Romanian government was opposed to Falun Gong, and then forced the spectators to leave. They physically assaulted the organizers, including an Australian citizen who videotaped the incident.
In October 2003, Zhao Liping, a doctor of Chinese medicine and a Falun Gong practitioner was forced to resign from her post at the Chinese medical clinic in Edinburgh after her employer received a letter from the Chinese Consulate complaining that Ms. Zhao introduced Falun Gong to some of her patients.
The Bangkok Marriott Hotel fitness-center manager personally invited a practitioner to teach the Falun Gong exercises at the hotel. However, in March 2003, after three weeks of the free class, the practitioner was contacted by the hotel desk manager who cancelled the class and admitted it was due to pressure from the Chinese Embassy.
In April 2003 a Swedish citizen and legal resident of Thailand was detained on the day of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to Thailand. Having been charged with no crime, she was nevertheless detained for 37 days and then deported. Thai officials cited pressure from the Chinese Embassy. Apparently, she became a target for having spoken out publicly in on behalf of Falun Gong.
In July 2003, Dr. Zhen, a postgraduate research fellow from Sydney flew to Thailand to discuss wedding plans with her fiancé. Upon arriving at the airport, however, she was denied entry and told that her name was on a blacklist and that it out of consideration for Thailand and China’s diplomatic relationship. She was sent to a detention center and later deported.
In advance of the APEC summit in Thailand in October 2003, Thai officials announced that Falun Gong practitioners will be barred from holding group activities, including group meditation practice, anywhere near the conference site, because such activities were a major concern for Beijing. Moreover, they announced that any overseas Falun Gong practitioner seeking to enter Thailand at the time will be deported. In the months prior to the summit, Falun Gong practitioners were repeatedly followed, filmed, and interviewed by Thai police for fear that practitioners might be planning some activities that would upset Beijing.
A few days before September 11, 2001 four Falun Gong practitioners participated in a peaceful hunger strike in front of Chicago’s Chinese Consulate, protesting the escalated killing in China. Three Chinese men pulled up in front of the consulate, verbally abused the practitioners, threatened to expose themselves to one of the females there and, upon seeing that a practitioner had pulled out his camera to document the abuse, proceeded to chase him down the street, smash his camera, and beat him.
When charges were filed against them, a man known to have close ties with the consulate visited the plaintiff’s house and offered the plaintiff’s roommate a $15,000 bribe to drop the case. The plaintiff’s roommate refused. Several days later his car, full of Falun Gong materials, was set on fire. They attackers were found guilty in court.
At a Falun Gong group practice session in San Francisco’s Chinatown, several practitioners were beaten, injured, and chased down the street by Chinese thugs. According to the lawsuit that was filed against them, the two attackers were seen regularly going in and out of San Francisco’s Chinese Consulate.
The Chinese Consul General of Los Angeles asked Pasadena city officials to make the Pasadena Civic Auditorium off-limits to Falun Gong practitioners, threatening Pasadena’s Sister City relationship with West Beijing. The consulate also pressured the Asia Expo Show organizers to cancel a Falun Gong exhibition booth contract. They threatened that if the Falun Gong booth were not canceled they would withdraw dozens of booths reserved by China.
A lawsuit has been filed in federal court in Houston on behalf of Falun Gong practitioners from across the US. The suit alleges that Falun Gong practitioners were discriminated against by a US business during the visit of former leader Jiang Zemin in October 2002, and that a secret police agency of the Chinese Government had conspired with the US business. The named defendant in the case is Homestead Studio Suites, which operates a hotel next door to the hotel where Jiang stayed in Houston. Several dozen plaintiffs who had confirmed reservations to stay in the Homestead during Jiang’s visit found their reservations cancelled with little or no notice.
In Washington, D.C. photographs show a few unknown Chinese men surreptitiously filming practitioners during their exercise practice session in a park. Additionally, two practitioners’ private conversations were recorded and then played back to them on separate answering machines.
In June 2003 about a half-dozen practitioners held signs, peacefully demonstrating against the persecution, outside a restaurant that was hosting a banquet attended by the Chinese UN Ambassador and the Consul General in New York City. A group of men came out of the restaurant and, at the direction of a pro-Communist figure, proceeded to attack the practitioners there. One victim suffered multiple injuries, including a black eye and bloody nose. A female Falun Gong practitioner reported being sexually harassed by the attackers. Witnesses report that attackers shouted, “If you are Falun Gong, I will beat you to death!” The pro-Communist figure was later arrested.
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