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House of Representatives Passes Resolution Condemning Chinese Government Oppression of Americans over Falun Gong
P.R.C. agents denounced for harassment, violence, and “spreading of falsehood” in the U.S.
“This resolution,” said Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen who introduced it, “focuses on reports and investigations on the use of fear, intimidation and oppression, often connected with violence, right here within the borders of our own country.”
Citing cases in which Chinese-government agents targeted U.S. officials, residents, and citizens from New York to San Francisco, the resolution calls upon the regime to immediately stop interfering with basic freedoms in America. It states that the P.R.C. government should “cease using the diplomatic missions in the United States to spread falsehoods about the nature of Falun Gong.”
The resolution also calls for the release of prisoners of conscience and an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China. It challenges the Chinese government to “demonstrate its willingness to abide by international standards of freedom of belief, expression, and association.”
75 members of Congress co-sponsored the resolution and six representatives stood up to speak on the House floor Monday night (floor debate).
“We will not sit idly by as you infringe upon the rights of our citizens and residents who practice Falun Gong,” Ros-Lehtinen said. “Any interference in the exercise of free speech inside our land will result in the expulsion of those who engage in such actions.”
Resolution co-author, California Rep. Lynn Woolsey, added “China's diplomats…have been actively involved in harassing and persecuting Falun Gong practitioners here in the United States.” She also referred to U.S. citizen Charles Lee, saying, “he has been jailed and tortured in a Chinese prison since his abduction” in China on January 22, 2003.
The last comments before the vote came from New Jersey Representative Frank Pallone. “Falun Gong is an inherently peaceful, apolitical movement that stresses nonviolence and meditation,” he said. “I remain committed to the task of making Falun Gong safe to practice in any country in the world.”
Resolution 304 concludes that the U.S. Attorney General should investigate reports of Chinese consular officials in the U.S. committing illegal acts against Falun Gong or local elected officials and decide on appropriate measures. It further resolves that local officials should report incidents of harassment or pressure by P.R.C. agents to Congress, the Attorney General, and the Secretary of State.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Practiced in over 50 countries world-wide, Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture. With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's Communist leader Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report). Since that time, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 1,061 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Expert sources now estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.
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