More Than One Million People Call for an End to the Persecution of Falun Gong (Photos)

On July 25, 2008, the Coalition to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
(CIPFG) handed over letters that were collected from political leaders, Members
of Parliament, lawyers, and doctors in the “Millions of Signatures Global Campaign”
to the International Olympic Committee (IOC). These letters expressed support
for the global campaign to expose and end the persecution of Falun Gong and
requested the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to stop the persecution.

1,215,793 signatures from 131 countries, photos of signature collection
events across the world, and a letter to IOC Chairman Jacques Rogge requesting
his signature were handed over to the IOC as well. The letter will be submitted
to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC). The letter describes the
global signature collection campaign, asking for support for Falun Gong
practitioners, and expressing the hope that the United Nations, governments of
the countries of UNHRC members, and human rights organizations will effectively
help stop the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The CIPFG hopes
that Mr. Jacques Rogge will express his support for the signature campaign by
signing the letter.

Over one million signatures from 131 countries

Handing over 1,215,793 signatures to the International Olympic
Committee

High Resolution Picture


High Resolution Picture

Besides more than one million signatures, more than seven
hundred political leaders, lawyers, and doctors requested the United Nations and
human rights organizations to take action to stop the persecution of Falun Gong


Mr. Bachmann, representative of the global signature campaign, handed over
the materials and more than seven thousand signatures collected by the
International Society for Human Rights (IGFM) to the IOC. The IGFM signatures
request that the IOC take action to improve China's human rights situation and
urge the CCP to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. Since IOC Chairman Jacques
Rogge is currently in China, Tony Burgener, Director of the Communications
Department, accepted the materials from Mr. Bachmann and expressed clearly that
he understood the CIPFG's hope for a quick response from Mr. Rogge. He said he
would transfer the materials to him as soon as possible.


While the materials were being delivered to the IOC, CIPFG members held
banners worded “The IOC knows that more than 1.2 million people from 131
countries call for an end of the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong” and,
“Support Chinese People by Holding an Olympics without the CCP,” as
well as photos of signature collection events across the world.



Stopping the persecution of Falun Gong is a strong wish of people



Mr. Bachmann said, after handing over the materials, “Nearly 80% of
those people who were asked signed the petition. This indicates that stopping
the persecution of Falun Gong is a strong wish of many people. It is time for
the government to ask the CCP to stop the persecution! It should not be the case
that economics are viewed as more important than human rights.”


Mr. Bachmann said, “The Olympic charter includes respect for human
rights. In 2001, when Beijing won the bid to host the Olympics, it promised to
improve human rights in China. But this has never been realized. On the
contrary, China's human rights situation is deteriorating. The CCP escalates the
persecution of Falun Gong practitioners and attempts to eliminate Falun Gong
under the banner of preparation for the Olympics. The million signatures will be
submitted to the UN Human Rights Council, other UN organizations, governments of
each country, and various human rights organizations, to request them to urge
the CCP to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong!”



Persecution escalating in the run-up to the Olympics



IGFM has been paying attention to the persecution since it began. Mr. Fedier,
a representative for the IGFM, said, “Since the beginning of 2008, the
number of Falun Gong practitioners unlawfully imprisoned has increased
tremendously. It is reported that the number of Falun Gong practitioners being
persecuted in Olympic contest locations is higher than other areas.”


As early as in 2005, Liu Jing, Deputy Minister of the Ministry of Public
Security, was appointed to eliminate Falun Gong before Beijing Olympics. The
order was also issued to the Departments of Public Security in each area.


In March 2007, Zhou Yongkang, former minister of the Ministry of Public
Security, issued a new order to severely suppress Falun Gong. Large-scale
arrests and persecution of Falun Gong practitioners followed in many areas.


In February 2008, the CCP issued a new, confidential document that emphasized
the persecution of Falun Gong more severely.


Under the name of preparation of Olympics, the Chinese Communist Party
escalated the persecution of Falun Gong. As of June 30, 2008, based on
incomplete statistics, 8037 Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally
arrested
since the end of last year, in over 29 provinces. In some areas,
practitioners were arrested and sentenced to prison without due process of law
to a term until the end of the Olympic Games.


Several practitioners were tortured to death after being arrested. On January
26, 2008, practitioner Yu Zhou and his wife Xu Na were stopped and arrested in
Beijing on their way home. Police took them to Tongzhou Detention Center. On
February 6, Yu Zhou's family was informed to go to Qinghe Medical Emergency
Center to see him. When his family members arrived there, Yu Zhou was dead. His
family members asked for the cause. Doctors initially said it was due to a
hunger strike, and then said diabetes. However, Yu Zhou was healthy prior to his
arrest, and had never had diabetes.



Stop the persecution in full force



Seventy-four-year-old Ms. Chablais and her 78-year-old husband participated
in the signature collection. As a Falun Gong practitioner, Ms. Chablais said,
“We think that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is
unfair and brutal. It should be stopped completely.” Ms. Chablais was
acquainted with many Falun Gong practitioners in China. Some of her friends were
tortured to death in the persecution. She has been working hard to stop the
persecution. “If we were Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted in China
and if we knew that people were protesting the persecution and working hard for
us on the other side of the world, we would be encouraged. In China, one may be
imprisoned for clarifying the truth. Thus, it is our responsibility
to protest and work hard to stop the persecution.”

Posting date: 27/July/2008
Original article date: 27/July/2008
Category: World News

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