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U.S. Senator embraces Falun Gong

US Senator Christopher Bond

Senator Christopher Bond, a Republican from Missouri, spoke on the Senate floor on September 25 to hail Falun Gong for its values of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. He also commended this spiritual movement's defiance of Beijing's 3-year old persecution.

What follows is the text of Senator Christopher Bond's September 25th address from the Congressional Record:

Mr. Bond: Mr. President, today I would like to recognize the determination and perseverance of the Falun Gong, a peaceful movement seeking the basic freedoms to think as they wish and believe as they choose that we as Americans hold so dear.

Three principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance lie at the core of Falun Gong. Those who practice Falun Gong do so to become better, healthier people through living by these principles.

Despite Falun Gong's peaceful principles and teachings, violations of human rights have occurred in China against Falun Gong practitioners. Human rights is an important goal as recognized by the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights which sets forth certain basic rights such as the right to life, to liberty, and to the freedom of expression. The Senate has ratified a series of international treaties such as International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, 1976, and the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 1987. The Senate's approval of these and other treaties highlights the progress made towards human rights.

In direct response to the recent human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners, the Senate, on November 19, 1999, unanimously approved Senate Resolution 217. This resolution, "recognizing the plight of many Chinese citizens," calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to: 1. release all prisoners of conscience and put an immediate end to the harassment, detention, physical abuse, and imprisonment of Chinese citizens exercising their legitimate rights to free belief, expression, and association; and 2. demonstrate its willingness to abide by internationally accepted norms of freedom of belief, expression, and association by repealing or amending laws and decrees that restrict those freedoms and proceeding promptly to ratify and implement the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

We must embrace the opportunity to continue to support the principles of Falun Gong to realize freedom and I wish them well in their quest for freedom and justice.

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