Dr. Wenyi Wang, the Epoch Times journalist who made headlines last week for interrupting a speech at the White House by Chinese leader Hu Jintao, defended her actions during a press conference Wednesday, saying that thousands of lives hang in the balance as the Chinese communist regime prepares to kill thousands of Falun Gong adherents in coming weeks.
The press conference was also attended by two informants who exposed last month the existence of what they called a concentration camp in northeast China—dubbed Sujiatun—where thousands of Falun Gong adherents are killed for their organs. The witnesses, who have asked to be called "Annie" and "Peter" for their safety, say that Chinese hospitals are scrambling to perform as many organ transplants as possible before a May 1st deadline, an apparent timeline to destroy evidence of the organ harvesting in advance of a new law that is supposed to curb the sale of organs in China.
"They are going to slaughter thousands, and my colleagues in China who took oaths to protect human life are doing this," said a stone-faced Wang.
During a speech by Hu Jintao at a ceremony at the White House, and just after Bush had urged the Chinese leader to allow his people to "speak freely," Wang stood up and urged President Bush to tell Hu to stop the killing of Falun Gong adherents. After more than two minutes, secret service agents took her into custody.
"The two national leaders who have the best chance at stopping this were right in front of me…how could I not speak out at that moment? Hu Jintao needs to hear this, for his own sake, for the sake of Chinese people."
On March 9th, Peter, a Chinese journalist, made public information he'd gathered about the Sujiatun facility near Shenyang city, in northeastern China. There, he said, some 6,000 people were detained for holding a belief in Falun Gong—a spiritual meditation discipline which the Chinese regime banned in 1999 as a threat to Communist ideology. The facility was attached to a hospital, he said, and doctors harvested organs from living Falun Gong practitioners on demand. Bodies were then cremated in an onsite incinerator to destroy the evidence. Annie, the ex-wife of a doctor who she says removed corneas from Falun Gong practitioners at the facility, soon stepped forward to corroborate the claims.
Three weeks after the allegations were made public, the Chinese government issued a shrill denial and invited the international community to inspect the facility. They found nothing.
"Three weeks passed before Sujiatun was inspected after the initial exposure," said Peter, adding that the Chinese officials had ample time to clean the facility before foreign inspectors were allowed inside.
Also on Wednesday, the National Clergy Council and Christian Defense Coalition gathered at Georgetown University in Washington to hold a "Free Wenyi" press conference.
Wenyi faces charges of intimidating, coercing, threatening and harassing a foreign official, and could face up to six months in prison and $5,000 in fines.
Her hearing will be held May 3, ironically the UN day for press freedom, at the Washington DC District Courthouse. Christian leaders plan on organizing a protest at 8:45 am. The Christian groups called for a "broad-based coalition of all faiths to stand together" and are concerned that these federal charges are sending the message to the world that America's commitment to religious freedom is in question.
"All Wenyi did was raise her voice and say President Bush stop the killing... Is it a crime to try and stop a religious persecution?" asked Rev. Rob Schenck, President of the National Clergy Council.
Terry Marsh, lawyer for Wenyi Wang, stated, "She has the courage, a small petite woman, to speak out on death by dissection while alive. Could you imagine your own family having their organs removed? Drop the charges against Dr. Wang and call for an investigation."
Grace Nwachukwu from the National Clergy Council gave a prayer to stop the killing in China and to free Wenyi Wang.
"I felt that this situation in China, the killing of a religious group—not even just the killing, but the dissection and removing of organs of a group—requires the help from God," said Nwachukwu.
"Wenyi Wang started a wave to the world. She had the courage and her voice was the voice for many people being persecuted. Even though she interrupted the president of China, her charges should be dropped."
Asked at her press conference Wednesday about whether her actions may compromise her position as a reporter, she responded, "No matter what kind of title I have... I consider I'm a human being first. So humanity surpasses everything when you see people being killed."