On March 16 the United States Congress overwhelmingly passed Resolution 605, a declaration and request to the Beijing government to immediately stop their persecution of Falun Gong. Congressional representatives voted in favor of the bill with a result of 412 to 1 (and 15 abstentions).
Despite this step by the American government, thousands of people in China are routinely kidnapped in their own homes, picked up off the street or escorted from work on their way to a detention center. Simply for practicing the Falun Gong style of meditation. Unfortunately this results in many broken families.
On March 25 in front of the Los Angeles Chinese consulate, some of the family members affected by these incidents spoke out in attempt to speak directly to the consulate, as well as to raise awareness for the mainstream media.
Mr. Chang, an Assistant Director of the Center for Esthetic Dentistry at UCLA, said that his mother, Yao-Hua Li, 63, a native Hong Kong resident, and younger sister Yi-Bo Zhang, 30, a financial manager of Siemens Shanghai Branch, have been illegally detained in Shanghai, China since June 4, 2009 (a “sensitive” day in China due to the Tiananmen Student Massacre of 1989). Their crime? Practicing Falun Gong. Unfortunately their trial, which was held on March 18, went nowhere and they are still detained.
Chang said that his mother was very vocal about the health benefits she received from the practice, saying to those she met that it helped bring relief to her congenital spinal problems. Chang’s sister is said to have marveled at the results and then also began to practice, with similar results. They were both vocal about their belief in the practice, and on June 4 the Tian Lin police officers forcibly entered their home and abducted them both.
He stated, "Under the CCP's persecution, my mother's health is very weak. She fell down after standing in court for only 2-3 minutes. The lawyers repeated the bail request because of health [concerns], but China's judicial institutions were ignored."
Lawyer jailed for defending Falun Gong practitioner
Another individual, Tian Lu from Dalian, China called for the rescue of her husband, Cong Rixu, and their lawyer, Yong Hang Wang. She said: "January 13, 2009, my husband and I posted a “Falun Dafa is Good” banner on the city wall and three plainclothes police officers kidnapped us to the Dalian Ganjingzi Branch Criminal Investigation Brigade for a quick trial. That night, I was illegally detained in the Dalian City Detention Center. After 31 days sentence in jail I was finally acquitted.” She continued, “My husband was illegally sentenced to three years in jail by the Dalian Court. What is more, our defense lawyer pleaded not guilty and has been illegally sentenced to seven years."
She recalls that at the detention center she noticed five more people had been illegally brought to trial. While in prison, the police slapped her, threatened her, and strongly ordered her to become a spy for the Chinese government. She sternly rejected and was sent to the infamous "Masanjia" re-education facility. Mrs. Tian said that they tried to force her to sign a statement declaring she would stop practicing Falun Gong, but they did not succeed. She was released because of hunger strikes, with a body weight loss of approximately 20 pounds a month.
Through help from friends and relatives, Mrs. Tian escaped from mainland China into Singapore, and from there she moved to the United States. She pleaded the audience for help in the release of her husband Cong Rixu and their lawyer Yong Hang Wang.
Yong Hang Wang is the second lawyer after lawyer Gao Zhisheng (who also supported Falun Gong practitioners) to receive such a heavy sentence. In 2008, Wang published "an open letter addressed to (President) Hu – (Premier)Wen" via The Epoch Times, which pointed out that according to Chinese Criminal Law, 300 imposed charges against Falun Gong practitioners were unconstitutional. And from a legal point of view, from the four elements that constitute a crime, and an analysis of the current Chinese legal framework within which the charges imposed on Falun Gong practitioners were tried, that the trials themselves were a violation of both principles and law.
He requested the highest judicial authorities to recognize the seriousness of the problem, immediately correct its mistakes, and to release all illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners.
A Southern California resident and project engineer, Wang Xiao, called for the release of her father Wang Zhan and her younger brother, Wang Xia. She said that on the evening of March 4, about a dozen police officers illegally abducted Wang's father, mother, Song Ji Ling, and her brother from their homes in Qingdao City, Huangdao District, where they were then escorted to the local police station. The police confiscated computers, printers and other items on order of the Qingdao "610 Office," a branch of police offers who specifically target members of Falun Gong.
A few days later, Wang said that the Huangdao District police issued a notice of detention in order to subjugate those "suspected of organizing the use of the Falun Gong organization to undermine the national law enforcement crime." Her mother was diagnosed with problematic blood pressure and was transferred to custody in the Huangdao Development Zone, First People's Hospital, and was released 10 days later. The father and brother are still detained.
Wang stressed the importance of Resolution 605 by the United States Congress and called on all justice-upholding countries in the world to come forward together to stop the persecution: "With our joint efforts, we will be able to completely stop the persecution, as soon as possible so that these good people can be free!"
Another Falun Gong practitioner from Dalian, China, Mrs. Meng Jie, said that in the past decade she was illegally detained twice and sentenced to reeducation through labor for one year. She recalled that even after her release she was under an ever present monitoring program and always felt like she was at risk, even while at work. Her parents have also been illegally detained.
Meng said, "Today, I can stand here; my mood is relaxed. It is because in America, with freedom of belief as the foundation for building this land, I finally removed the share of a decade-long burden, a heavy one…but, standing here, my heart is heavy, because my aunt Shang Xiaoli and her son, as well as my cousin, Xie are still detained in the Dalian City Detention Center, and have been for over six months.
Meng Jie said that she was subjected to both physical and mental torture, and is concerned for her aunt and cousin. Meng hopes that the international community will also be concerned for their safety.
Youfu Li, the head of the Falun Dafa Association of Los Angeles, said that the world recognizes that China's human rights and freedom of expression are of great concern.
He cited examples such as the Resolution 605 bill, the choice by Google to safeguard freedom of speech and withdraw from the Chinese market, as well as the world's largest domain name registrar GoDaddy USA Inc.’s (GoDaddy.com) decision to stop selling Chinese domain names. Mr. Li said, "We want to tell the Chinese Communist regime in this way, and to all the law enforcement officers: for your own moral conscience, in order to save your own future, you must be awakened!"