State Department accuses Beijing of imprisoning 11 Falun Gong practitioners weeks before the Olympics


The United States is calling on the Chinese government to “immediately end its corrupt and abused Falun Gong practitioners.”

On January 21, the US State Department accused the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) of sentenced 11 Falun Gong practitioners to eight years’ imprisonment for exercising religious beliefs.

The January 14 decision came just weeks before the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The State Department is calling on Beijing to “immediately end the abuse and abuse of Falun Gong practitioners, release those imprisoned for their beliefs, and address the whereabouts of missing practitioners.”

Epoch Times Photo
September 12, 2012, US Department of State, Washington, DC. (AlexWong / Getty Images)

“Since 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has sought to eradicate Falun Gong, a spiritual practice of Chinese origin, and its peaceful practitioners and human rights advocates who have fought for the right to practice their beliefs. I did. “

At the beginning of the 1999 regime’s persecution, an estimated 70 to 100 million Chinese practiced Falun Gong based on the beliefs of truth, compassion, and tolerance, and the Communist Party saw its popularity as a threat. ..

“Extensive evidence shows that the Chinese government continues to oppress and abuse the community to this day,” officials quoted reports of torture and brute force.

“Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners face detention, harassment, and report torture and ill-treatment each year simply by refusing to practice their beliefs peacefully.”

Arrested practitioners are often detained for long periods of time without trial, denied appropriate legal representatives, and punished for counterfeiting charges.

Epoch Times Photo
A woman holding a photo of a man killed during a parade in Washington on July 17, 2014, due to the persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese government. (Larry Dye / The Epoch Times)

In the case of 11 practitioners, 15 months of detention had passed before the hearing was held in October last year, and at least one lawyer had lost his license to file a proceeding.

Beijing courts alleged that their crimes “disturbed law and order” both by exercising their spiritual beliefs and sharing photos and information with the Epoch Times.

Eleven, as citizen journalists, took pictures of evidence of the regime’s mishandling of the early COVID-19 pandemic and shared the image with the Epoch Times in July 2020. Was detained in.
“The Chinese Communist Party is relentlessly working on a campaign against religious minorities,” Senator Rick Scott, Florida, told The Epoch Times.

“This latest attack on Falun Gong practitioners who were trying to provide information about the pandemic is the latest evidence of their total attack, and even more reasons to break the relationship and stop supporting this evil regime.”

“The most visible time possible”

A few weeks before the opening of the Winter Olympics on February 4, the ruling was “a moment to demand moral clarity,” said Rev. Johnny Moore, a former member of the US International Religious Freedom Commission. ..

“Let’s clarify what’s happening here. The CCP is rounding up people just before the Olympics,” he told The Epoch Times. “Democrats, Republicans, and US allies need to draw a line in the sand. This also applies to all companies that were waving the flag of social justice. They are now facing challenges. increase.”

Epoch Times Photo
Chinese Falun Gong learner Xuna in this dateless photo. Xu was sentenced to eight years in prison for her religious beliefs. (The Epoch Times)

The practitioner facing the heaviest sentence is Xuna, 53, a still life painter from Beijing. She has survived two previous imprisonments and suffers from various forms of torture by police. This includes one way to pull your feet 180 degrees apart. After that, three prisoners sat on her legs and back, constantly exerting pressure and causing intolerable pain.

Yu Zhou, a folk musician who is Xu’s husband, died in the hands of police for the Beijing Summer Olympics 14 years ago.

Arrested during the “Olympic Check” in January 2008, he died in torture two weeks after being detained.

Beijing Olympics: Illustration
A police officer stands in front of the logo of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. (OlaFagerstrom / Getty Images)

Levi Broud, Managing Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, criticized that “the CCP has completely destroyed the family.”

“”[T]His brave texts have been passed down as a message to the world, “Browde told The Epoch Times. “Think about it. The Chinese Communist Party has chosen to make a gradual decision at the most visible time possible, as all eyes are trained for Beijing three weeks before the Olympics begin. is.”

“It’s as if the Chinese Communist Party is deliberately flaunting the world to imprison Falun Gong practitioners at will, and no one can stop them. It can’t be true.”

Evafu

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Eva Fu is a New York-based writer of The Epoch Times, focusing on Sino-US relations, religious freedom, and human rights. Contact Eva at [email protected]