July 2020 marks the 21st anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s persecution of Falun Gong, a meditation system based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.
Falun Gong practitioners in five countries—the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand—submitted a third list of perpetrators involved in the persecution in mid-July.
This new list follows one submitted in September 2019 and another in November 2019, respectively. Similar to the earlier submissions, the new list includes individuals at different levels of government across different regions in China.
Falun Gong practitioners are requesting their respective governments to deny the perpetrators visa applications and to impose other sanctions against them, such as freezing their assets, for their roles in violating human rights.
The list includes senior CCP officials such as:
- Zhao Leji (secretary of the Central Commission for Discipline Inspection)
- Wang Maolin (former head of the 610 Office)
- Meng Jianzhu (former secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Committee).
Other individuals named are former and current 610 Office leaders, city Party secretaries, discipline inspection leaders, police chiefs, police officers, presiding judges, judges, prison administration officers, and prison officers.
According to information previously obtained from U.S. State Department officials, an individual can face sanctions if he or she is guilty of committing religious persecution just once.
Minghui.org has been recognised as a reliable source of information on the 21-year-long persecution of Falun Gong. In the 2019 International Religious Freedom Report published by the State Department on June 10 this year, information from Minghui was cited as first-hand evidence multiple times.
The Commission on Unalienable Rights, which was created in the U.S. State Department last year, recently published a report that highlighted human rights protections. “China, in particular, is aggressively promoting a very different concept in which national priorities of various sorts prevail over the basic rights of speech, assembly, religious freedom, and free elections,” said State Secretary Michael Pompeo during a press conference at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia on July 16. “The United Nations Human Rights Council does the bidding of dictators and averts its gaze from the worst human rights offenses of our times.”
The CCP’s systematic cover-up of the coronavirus outbreak in the past few months has awakened the world to the harm caused by the CCP. Officials in many countries have paid close attention to the cover-up and are planning sanctions against the CCP. The Inter-Parliamentary Alliance on China (IPAC) was formed on June 5 with representatives from over 10 countries to work out strategies to thwart the CCP.
An executive order issued by U.S. President Donald Trump also prioritised religious freedom. Part of the order states: “Religious freedom, America’s first freedom, is a moral and national security imperative. Religious freedom for all people worldwide is a foreign policy priority of the United States, and the United States will respect and vigorously promote this freedom.”
Falun Gong practitioners who submitted the latest list said they will continue to select names from Minghui.org as its database of perpetrators is updated and submit additional lists to different governments. They hope that individuals involved in the persecution will stop doing bad deeds to avoid the consequences.