CHINA: Sanction persecutors of Falun Gong! 20 July is a sad anniversary
CHINA: Sanction persecutors of Falun Gong! 20 July is a sad anniversary
See HRWF Database of over 2200 Falung Gong practitioners behind bars
By Aaron Rhodes and Marco Respinti
The European Times (20.07.2023) – July 20 marks the anniversary of one of the bloodiest, and yet widely unacknowledged assaults on religious freedom in the contemporary world, medieval in its violence. The terror continues and obligates national governments and civil society to defend its victims, and sanction its perpetrators.
In 1999, the Chinese Communist regime began repression and persecution of Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa). Falun Gog is a new religious movement, established by Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. It is nonpolitical and totally pacifist, and teaches both a variety of traditional Chinese gymnastics and a spirituality rooted in the “Three Teachings,” a Chinese religion including Taoism, Confucianism, and Buddhism, with some New Age variations.
Falun Gong was originally tolerated and even praised by the Chinse Communist Party (CCP) as a healthy practice that was good for citizens, but two elements eventually aroused concern among CCP authorities. As much as the regime tried to present it as a purely secular practice, its spiritual dimension could not be denied or removed. What is more, the movement rapidly grew in size.
Considering Falun Gong a threat to its monopoly on authority, the CCP banned it in 1999, including it in the list of “xie jiao,” meaning “heterodox teachings.” The traditional term has been by Chinese political rulers to stigmatize groups and individuals they disliked. The CCP revived the expression, using it in the same manner term “cult” is used in some Western milieus, and started using it as a pretext to severely persecute Falun Gong practitioners and other groups.
The Falun Dafa Infocenter reports that the total number of believers documented to have died due to persecution now surpasses 5,000, with the youngest being a 17-year-old model student in Heilongjiang in August 1999, Chen Ying, and the eldest an 82-year old retired professor, An Fuzi, a Korean, who died in Jilin Province Women’s Prison on May 22, 2023 after two years in detention.
The Center also documents that from January to June 2023, there were 3,133 documented cases of arrests and harassment, a 15.7 percent jump from the same period in 2022. No one should also forget that Falun Gong was for decades the preferred victim of organ harvesting, the forcible extraction of vital parts from the bodies of prisoners of conscience, some of whom are still alive, to feed the lucrative Chinese black market for transplants. Today, this practice continues and is extended also to Uyghurs and Tibetans, and possibly others; there are fears that the regime’s massive DNA profiling may serve organ harvesting programs.
In 2018 and 2019, crimes perpetrated by the CCP against Falun Gong were thoroughly documented by the London-based “China Tribunal,” chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice, former lead prosecutor at the trial of Slobodan Milošević in the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
This year, approaching the anniversary of the beginning of their persecution, Falun Gong practitioners living in 44 countries compiled a list of perpetrators and submitted it to their respective governments, urging them to hold these individuals accountable. They ask their governments to bar these criminals and their family members from entry in those 44 countries and to freeze their overseas assets. Minghui.org, a volunteer organization working as central communication hub for the Falun Gong community worldwide, underlines that “[o]fficials from the U.S. State Department informed several years ago that the materials provided by Falun Gong practitioners are authentic and credible, presented in a professional manner, and can be used as a model for other groups.”
Victims and survivors among the Falun Gong appealing to governments and international organizations to take action against individuals responsible for crimes against them. To hold them accountable can ease pressure against Falun Gong, and help prevent members of other religious minorities from suffering similar abuses.
Aaron Rhodes is Senior Fellow in the Common Sense Society, and President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe.
Marco Respinti is Director-in-Charge of Bitter Winter: A Magazine on Religious Liberty and Human Rights
The list of the 44 countries, available on Minghui.org, includes all the “Five Eyes” alliance members (an international intelligence operation for security), many nations in Asia, America, and Europe, and all the 27 countries of the European Union:
the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand;
Germany, France, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Belgium, Ireland, Austria, Denmark, Romania, Czech Republic, Finland, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Luxembourg, Croatia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Latvia, Estonia, Cyprus and Malta;
Japan, South Korea, Indonesia, Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Israel,
Argentina, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Dominica.
The list of persecutors involves officials from various regions. Among them are:
- Fan Lubing: Director of the Prison Administration Bureau of the Ministry of Justice, former Secretary of the Party Committee of the Central Judicial Police Academy (National Lawyer Academy), former director of the Research Office of the Ministry of Justice (director of the Judicial Research Institute) and president of the “China Judicial” magazine.
- Li Rulin: President of China Institute of Integrity and Legal System, former Deputy Chief Procurator of the Supreme Procuratorate, former member of the Party Leadership Group and Director of the Political Department of the Supreme Procuratorate, former Director of the Labor Re-education Administration of the Ministry of Justice.
- Liu Jiayi: Member of the Standing Committee of the 14th National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Director of the Proposal Committee, former Secretary of the Shandong Provincial Party Committee.
- Ye Hanbing: Vice Governor of Sichuan Province, Director and Party Secretary of the Provincial Public Security Department, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the Provincial Party Committee, former Deputy Director of the Zhejiang Provincial Public Security Department, former Deputy Secretary of the Hangzhou Municipal Legal Committee, Party Secretary and Director of the Hangzhou Public Security Bureau And Inspector General.
- Li Chenglin: Deputy Governor of Shanxi Province, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the Provincial Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of the Provincial Public Security Department, Former Secretary of the Party Leadership Group, Chief Prosecutor of the Liaoning Provincial Procuratorate, Member of the Political and Legal Committee of the Provincial Party Committee, Former Deputy Secretary of the Party Leadership Group of the Higher Court of Jilin Province, associate dean.You Quanrong: Secretary of the Party Leadership Group, Vice President, Acting President, and President of the High Court of Hubei Province;
- Zhang Yi: Secretary of the Party Leadership Group and Chief Prosecutor of the Hainan Provincial Procuratorate, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the Provincial Party Committee, Former Party Secretary and Director of the Jilin Provincial Judicial Department, Former First Political Commissar of the Jilin Provincial Prison Administration Bureau, Former Executive Deputy Secretary of the Party Committee of the Ministry of Justice He is also Secretary of the Commission for Discipline Inspection and former Deputy Director of the Legal Affairs Department of the Ministry of Justice.
- Tan Zunhua: First-level inspector of Heilongjiang Prison Administration Bureau, former member of the Party Committee of the Heilongjiang Provincial Department of Justice, deputy secretary of the Party Committee and director of the Provincial Prison Administration Bureau.
- Yi Jianmin: Member of the Party Committee of the Department of Justice of Heilongjiang Province, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of the Provincial Prison Administration Bureau.
- Li Yilong: Deputy Secretary of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee, Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee, former member of the Standing Committee of the Wuhan Municipal Party Committee, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the Municipal Party Committee, Secretary of the Party Committee and Director of the Municipal Public Security Bureau, former Deputy Director of the Public Security Department of Hubei Province, director of the Political Department, former member of the Standing Committee of the Ezhou Municipal Committee of Hubei Province , Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the Municipal Party Committee, and Director of the Municipal Public Security Bureau.
- Xue Changyi: Member of the Party Leadership Group, Deputy Chief Prosecutor, Member of the Procuratorial Committee, Senior Prosecutor of the Henan Provincial Procuratorate, Former Chief Procurator of the Nanyang City Procuratorate of Henan Province.
- Li Qiang: Deputy Governor of Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province, Secretary of the Party Committee and Chief Inspector of the State Public Security Bureau, Deputy Secretary of the Political and Legal Committee of the State Party Committee, and former Chief of the National Security Corps of the Sichuan Provincial Public Security Bureau.
- Dong Kaide: Executive Deputy Secretary of Shenyang Municipal Legal Committee, former Director of Shenyang Municipal Bureau of Justice and Director of Prison Administration.
- Tian Zhi: Director of Shenyang Dongling Prison, former director of Shenyang Zhangshi Drug Rehabilitation Center.
- Qin Keping: Warden and Political Commissar of Jiazhou Prison, Sichuan Province.
- Luo Jiangtao: Director of the Political Department of Jiazhou Prison, Sichuan Province, former head of the Education and Reform Section of Jiazhou Prison.
- Shao Ling: Chief of the Education and Reform Section of Jiazhou Prison, Sichuan Province