The international community is stepping out to support Chung Ting-pang, the Taiwanese engineer being charged by the Chinese regime for attempting to broadcast information about the persecution against Falun Gong on Chinese TV. Human rights lawyers, government officials, and professors have stepped forward to voice their support for Chung Ting-pang, and to condemn the Chinese regime’s actions.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) charged Chung with attempting to interfere with China’s broadcast networks, and he faces the possibility of an extended prison term. In the past, however, the Chinese regime has killed or severely tortured people arrested for similar charges.
Dana Rohrabacher, U.S. Representative for California’s 46th congressional district, said, “The international community should keep an eye on this situation because Chung’s life is in danger for trying to break the monopoly of information enforced by a communist dictatorship.”
Rohrabacher said that the CCP fears Falun Gong “because it is a genuine, grassroots movement based on Chinese traditions and culture.”
“Its [the CCP’s] control of China is very fragile and it depends on terror to hold power. It thus strikes in a brutal fashion whenever the party feels threatened,” he said.
According to Zhang Jinhua, a professor at the National Taiwan University’s Graduate Institute of Journalism, the CCP is a government that completely destroys human rights, and having already kidnapped Chung Ting-pang, its next target could be anybody. He said that the incident was outrageous, because only criminal organizations would resort to methods such as abduction.
Rohrabacher said, “The fact that it has often resorted to extra-judicial measures to attack Falun Gong members not only in China but around the world only makes the vile nature of the regime more obvious.”
There is a standing example of what Chung Ting-pang could face. On March 5, 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun City tapped into local TV networks and broadcasted television programs explaining the truth behind the CCP’s persecution against Falun Gong. Jiang Zemin, the head of the CCP at that time, gave secret orders to “kill all those involved.” Over 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners from Changchun were arrested, and nearly all were subjected to torture. At least eight were killed, and 15 others sentenced for 4 to 20 years in prison without trial. It has proven impossible, however, to verify whether they were the only ones killed.
According to Beijing Lawyer Dong Qianyong, what Chung did was not only legal, but also the right thing to do. “It would be absolutely unacceptable if he were to be sentenced or killed simply for trying to spread the truth,” Dong Qianyong said.
Beijing Human Rights Lawyer Jin Guanghong said, “Under the CCP’s one-Party rule, the Chinese people have been stripped of the freedom of speech and press. Because they were framed and slandered [by the regime], Falun Gong practitioners had no choice but to tap into TV lines in order to clarify the truth, and I think that it’s perfectly legal and justifiable.”
“If there exists a law that can be used to charge the Falun Gong practitioner for tapping TV lines, then that law is unrighteous, and ought to be abolished,” Jin Guanghong said.
Annette Lantos, wife of the late Tom Lantos and chairperson of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice, expressed disgust over the CCP’s actions. Both Ms. Lantos and her late husband are holocaust survivors, and she called for the incident to be made known in the international arena.
The CCP has long been known for its suppression of freedoms of speech and press. Attempts to break down these barriers to free press has been made by non-profit organizations such as Radio Free Asia (RFA), which broadcasts Chinese language radio programs into China that are free from CCP censorship.
Edward Royce, U.S. Representative for California’s 40th congressional district, and author of the legislation that made RFA permanent, addressed the issue of free press in China, saying, “It is really essential to human freedom that we continue to advance the opportunity for journalists and people in broadcasting to write about what is actually happening in the world, and to give that perspective and share that perspective around the world.”
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