Recently, reports have been coming out of China about Falun Gong practitioners who have been tortured or beaten to death just days after being abducted by authorities. NTD news reporter spoke to Levi Browde, Executive Director of Falun Dafa Information Center, about these recent cases.
“15 percent of the total death cases that we’ve received and verified were cases where the person died within 2 months of being put into custody. Often it’s within days, occasionally within hours. So clearly the moment they are taken into custody they are being faced with very brutal conditions for that kind of thing to happen,” said Levi Browde.
These are practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong. In 1999 the Chinese communist regime launched a nationwide crackdown on Falun Gong. At that time Falun Gong practitioners in China were believed to number between 70 and 100 million. Reports of detention and torture quickly emerged from China. Today, more than 3,000 people have been confirmed dead as a result of the regime's persecution.
Amnesty International said in their 2010 report that the Chinese authorities' campaign against Falun Gong had “intensified”. Over the past month, confirmed cases have emerged of Falun Gong practitioners being killed just days after police took them into custody. The Falun Dafa Information Center, a non-profit organization that researches the persecution of Falun Gong in China, reported on the case of Zeng Huaguo, a businessman from Hunan Province.
Levi Browde continued, “A man, 57 years old, who was being harassed by the police in China because of his practice of Falun Gong. They had ransacked his home, taken all his Falun Gong books, and all the materials from his home. He had actually gone back to the police and asked to have them returned to him. He was taken into custody and days later he was dead.”
According to the report, Mr Zeng’s family was offered the equivalent of U.S. $38,000 to keep quiet about his death.
“The persecution against Falun Gong has been so brutal and so basic in terms of torturing large numbers of people in a very systematic way, sending people to prison camps; that the crimes have been such that they have to hide this, they have to cover it up, they have to stamp it out, they have to keep going until they feel that Falun Gong is eradicated. Otherwise, the evidence there for what they have done, they have sort of backed themselves into a corner,” he added.
And that evidence is attracting international attention.
This year the U.S. Congress passed House Resolution 605, calling on the Chinese regime to end its persecution of Falun Gong.
But until that day comes, millions in China live in uncertainty, knowing that at any time they could be arrested simply for associating themselves with this traditional Chinese spiritual practice.
Ben Hedges, NTDTV News .