Hong Kong’s Liberties Under Attack by Spreading Persecution
A Hong Kong group with deep ties to China’s domestic security apparatus and the notorious 6-10 Office has recently made attempts to extend the Chinese regime’s persecution of the Falun Gong meditation and exercise discipline to the Hong Kong territory. A spokesperson for concerned citizens says the Chinese regime is systemically eroding democracy and civil rights in Hong Kong by targeting the Falun Gong first.
Practitioners of Falun Gong have been standing outside Hong Kong’s Hung Hom Station nearly every day for the past decade. They have been telling tourists from the mainland about illegal imprisonment, torture, forced organ harvesting, and disinformation their group has been subjected to in China for the past 13 years. This familiar scene has drastically changed during the past few months.
Tourists are now greeted by people clad in green uniforms, members of a newly formed communist-backed “youth group,” who verbally, and sometimes physically, assault the peaceful Falun Gong protesters, using loudhailers and waving banners bearing slogans that slander Falun Gong. Some of them have admitted that they are being paid to participate in these activities.
Their words and slogans are uncannily similar to those used in China’s prisons, forced labor camps, and brainwashing centers against Falun Gong, according to Falun Gong sources.
The Chinese-language Epoch Times and New Epoch Weekly have devoted several special reports to this topic, with some observers saying that the scenes are reminiscent of attacks against groups targeted during China’s Cultural Revolution.
Paid to Persecute
The first of a string of incidents at Hung Hom Station was on June 10, when members of the Hong Kong Youth Care Association (HKYCA) besieged the Falun Gong information site.
In the past six months, the harassment of Falun Gong practitioners by HKYCA spread to other parts of Hong Kong. On July 4, a female member of the HKYCA brandished a six-inch long chopping knife outside Lok Ma Chau station threatening a reporter of New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television. NTD is a New York based, mostly Chinese-language station that broadcasts into China via satellite, including news about human rights abuses and the Falun Gong persecution.
The reporter, who was covering the group’s harassment at the Falun Gong information event, cried out for help. But police standing nearby did not respond. The police also never opened an investigation into the incident, according to Falun Gong practitioners.
HKYCA members also tried to interfere with NTD’s Global Chinese Dance Competition in Hong Kong on Aug. 18. Eyewitnesses told the competition organizers that they saw HKYCA members being paid for their activities. According to one source, the daily salary was 300 yuan (US$48).
Cultural Revolution Revisited
Although Hong Kong police has been mostly unresponsive to practitioner’s requests for protection, the waves of HKYCA banners slandering Falun Gong have not only shocked Hong Kong residents, but visitors from mainland China as well.
A businessman from Chongqing, who has recently experienced former Chongqing Party chief Bo Xilai’s Maoist-style campaign in that city, told New Epoch Weekly that he was shocked by what he saw on his visit to Hong Kong on Nov. 27 and 28.
“This is reminiscent of the Cultural Revolution,” he said. “In China we don’t even have that many banners with anti-Falun Gong slogans. Hong Kong is supposed to practice the ‘one country, two systems’ policy. Why is this happening here?”
He told the reporter that he talked to some of the HKYCA members, and one middle-aged female member told him that she was being hired to participate in the activities against Falun Gong. When he asked other members why they thought Falun Gong was bad, they could not offer any answers, he said.
China’s Domestic Security Apparatus
The HKYCA was registered in Hong Kong on June 8, 2012, and began its attacks on Falun Gong on June 10. Intended or not, the date coincides with the establishment of the 6-10 Office, an extralegal, Gestapo-like agency, expressly formed by the Chinese regime in 1999 for handling the persecution of Falun Gong.
According to an investigation by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, the HKYCA is a branch agency of the Chinese regime’s 6-10 Office. It is a private organization backed by China’s massive domestic security apparatus, the Political and Legal Affairs Committee (PLAC).
The former head of the PLAC, Zhou Yongkang, is a close ally of former Party leader Jiang Zemin, who ordered the persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.
Willy Lam, an Adjunct Professor of History at the Chinese University of Hong Kong and a regular CNN contributor on China affairs, wrote in a 2004 article that, after the mass protests in Hong Kong against the Article 23 National Security Bill in 2003, the Chinese Communist Party’s Politburo Standing Committee set up a Coordinating Leading Group on Hong Kong Affairs to deal with Special Administrative Region matters. The Leading Group was headed by then Vice State President Zeng Qinghong.
Lam said that Zeng was a key advisor to Jiang Zemin, who had also picked Tung Chee-hwa as Hong Kong’s Chief Executive around that time, and that another role of Zeng’s was to preserve Jiang Zemin’s legacy.
The Epoch Times also learned that Leung Chun-ying was handpicked by Zeng as the present Chief Executive of Hong Kong to carry on Jiang’s “legacy,” or in other words, to extend the persecution of Falun Gong from China to Hong Kong.
Although Jiang Zemin began persecuting Falun Gong 13 years ago, the Hong Kong government never opposed the spiritual practice, until Leung took office in July 2012.
Democracy Under Attack
Speaking about the HKYCA’s acts, Xiong Li, spokesperson for the Hong Kong Falun Gong Concern Group, said: “They wouldn’t dare to [attack Falun Gong] without the support of the Hong Kong government. It is clear because such incidents have never happened before.”
Xiong said the Chinese regime is systemically eroding democracy and civil rights in Hong Kong by targeting Falun Gong first.
“The treatment of Falun Gong today predicts how Hong Kong’s democracy movement will be treated tomorrow. Defending Falun Gong is also defending Hong Kong,” he said.
After Leung assumed office, members of Jiang Zemin’s faction wanted to get the Hong Kong government involved in the persecution of Falun Gong, thereby also implicating the CCP’s new leadership in it, according to NTD’s political commentator Jason Ma.
“This is similar to what happened after Jiang’s successor, Hu Jintao, took office. The persecution continued during Hu’s ten-year tenure,” he said.
Ma added that the Falun Gong issue is a touchstone for Hong Kong’s democracy. If Hong Kong were to lose this touchstone under Leung’s rule, then it would lose one of its main distinguishing traits from the rest of China, followed by the loss of its democracy and freedom.
Editor’s Note: When Chongqing’s former top cop, Wang Lijun, fled for his life to the U.S. Consulate in Chengdu on Feb. 6, he set in motion a political storm that has not subsided. The battle behind the scenes turns on what stance officials take toward the persecution of Falun Gong. The faction with bloody hands—the officials former CCP head Jiang Zemin promoted in order to carry out the persecution—is seeking to avoid accountability for their crimes and to continue the campaign. Other officials are refusing to participate in the persecution any longer. Events present a clear choice to the officials and citizens of China, as well as people around the world: either support or oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. History will record the choice each person makes.
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