Contact Gail Rachlin at Rachlin Management & Media Group: 212-501-8080
Detained Falun Gong Man Dies; Others Tortured
HONG KONG (AP) January 26, 2000 -- A practitioner of Falun Gong has died while on hunger strike in Chinese police custody in the southern city of Guangzhou, a newspaper reported Wednesday. Another Falun Gong believer died while in custody in a police station in suburban Beijing, a rights group said. The Hong Kong Standard quoted Falun Gong adherents as saying Gao Xianmin was held in a criminal detention center in Guangzhou after being arrested Dec. 31 during a picnic lunch with 10 other members of the movement banned in July by China's communist government. Some of the Falun Gong practitioners went on a hunger strike but were forced to drink salt water, according to information the Standard said it got from a friend of Gao, Hu Hui. The Hong Kong-based
Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movements in China said Gao went on the hunger strike to protest being severely beaten and tied up by police.
REPRESSION ROUND UP: MORE TRIALS, MORE JAILINGS
HONG KONG, Feb 1 (AFP) - China has jailed 32 members of the Falun Gong spiritual movement for between four months and seven years in a crackdown ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday, a rights group said Tuesday. The 32 followers of the banned group were sentenced in two separate trials in Beijing on January 28, said the Hong Kong-based Information Centre of Human Rights and Democratic Movements in China. The Center added that up to 300 members of the group were expected to be tried and sentenced in secret trials before the holiday period begins on February 5. The report said two sisters -- Li Xiao Bing and Li Xiao Mei - were convicted of "illegal trade" for using their Beijing video store to sell Falungong literature and tapes. Li Xiao Bing was jailed for six years and her sister for seven years after a day-long trial at Beijing's Eastern Intermediate People's Court amid intense security, said the centre quoting family members.
NEW THREATS: CHINA SNUBS HUMAN RIGHTS CALLS IN EUROPE AND U.S.
BEIJING (AP) -- China-U.S. relations will suffer if Washington goes ahead with an attempt to censure Beijing at the U.N. Human Rights Commission, state media today quoted a senior Chinese diplomat as saying. Vice Foreign Minister Wang Guangya said the U.S. plan to criticize China at the U.N. Commission makes it impossible for the two countries to have private talks on human rights, the China Daily reported. The United States said it would support a resolution denouncing China because "Beijing has cracked down on political dissent, vigorously suppressed the Falun Gong spiritual movement, tightened its grip on the media and the Internet, and strengthened controls on unregistered churches and on the political and religious expressions of ethnic minorities, especially Tibetans." Earlier in the week, the government issued a similar rejection of criticism of its human rights abuses by
the European Parliament.
AN ASIAN VIEW: EXPERT CALLS FOR CHINA TO CHANGE POLICY
Minzin Pei of the Carnegie Institute for International Peace says China is hurting itself. He called for a policy change in Singapore's Straits Times: "China's inflexibility on human-rights issues violates its late leader Deng Xiaoping's precept about politics. 'Politics,' Mr. Deng once said, 'is to make as many friends and as few enemies as you can.' To build some stability in US ties, Beijing must do its part to break this unholy Right-Left alliance. Because the Right's antipathy to China is fundamental and unappeasable, Beijing must re-orient its strategy and start building bridges to the Left. Most needed would be an abandonment of the traditional crude methods of repression -- arrests, show trials, and long jail terms. Such practices have proven ineffective and harmful to China's international image."
UNMASKING BEIJING'S PROPAGANDA: WHEN A SUICIDE IS NOT A SUICIDE
Hai Tao, of Voice of America, reports "Since the Chinese government started to crack down on Falun Gong in July 1999, all state-run media agencies started to attack Falun Gong, its founder and its key members. On November 28, it was 'reported' that 'Zhi-wen Zhang,' living in Wei-nan of Shan-xi Province, burned her half-a-year-old daughter and then committed suicide by setting fire to herself, in protest of the government's crackdown on Falun Gong. This report made a stir in the country and was reprinted by many newspapers in Shen-zhen, Harbin, Shanghai and other places. Recently, the Hong Kong Information Center for Human Rights and Democratic Movements conducted an investigation and found out that the report was a sheer fabrication. An official at the Wei-nan Communist Political and Law Committee of Shanxi province named Wu testified that there was no such event and that there was no
such person named Zhi-wen Zhang.
Earlier this week, a group of Australian and Hong Kong practitioners attempted to cover the photograph of Chairman Mao in Beijing's Tiananman Square with Master Li's photograph as part of a protest against continuing Chinese government repression. This was a personal act done by individual practitioners and should not be misinterpreted as a political statement. Falun Gong continues to seek a peaceful dialogue with China to resolve the conflict. It is not a political movement and is not against China's government.
Please call us for background on the spiritual practice and the crisis in China. Contact Gail Rachlin at Rachlin Management & Media Group: 212 501-8080. Also visit http://www.falundafa.org.