(Minghui.org) Falun Gong practitioners rallied outside the Moscone Centre in downtown San Francisco on November 15, 2023, during the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit, demanding that Xi Jinping, the head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), immediately end the persecution and release all detained practitioners in China.
July 2023 marks 24 years of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong. Countless practitioners have been arrested, detained, and tortured. Over 5,000 deaths as a direct result of this persecution have been confirmed, though due to the difficulty in getting information out of China, the actual death toll is believed to be much higher.
Since Xi took office as the CCP head ten years ago, just like his predecessor Hu Jintao, he continued Jiang Zemin’s eradication policy against Falun Gong under the directives “defame their reputation, destroy their bodies, and bankrupt them financially.” The Tiananmen Square self-immolation hoax orchestrated by former CCP executives Jiang Zemin, Luo Gan, Zeng Qinghong, and Zhou Yongkang, continues to be the top propaganda tool that fuels Chinese people’s hatred, fear, and discrimination against Falun Gong practitioners and makes them complicit in the persecution.
Although the Chinese Publication Bureau lifted the ban on Falun Gong books on March 1, 2011, police, prosecutors and judges across China continue to arrest and sentence practitioners for the “crime” of having Falun Gong books or distributing Falun Gong informational materials. And while the notorious labor camp system, employed by the police to arbitrarily detain and exploit Falun Gong practitioners, was abolished in late 2013, that also did not diminish the persecution. Instead, it led to longer prison sentences and the incarceration of practitioners in other types of detention facilities, such as “black jails,” drug rehab centers or psychiatric hospitals.
In March 2018, when the 610 Office (the extra-legal Gestapo agency specifically set up on June 10, 1999, by Jiang Zemin to persecute Falun Gong) was dissolved, it was done to avoid international scrutiny. Under the new name of “Stability Maintenance Office,” the 610 Office still exists and continues to direct the persecution, particularly sentencing elderly practitioners and harvesting organs from young practitioners. None of the perpetrators have been brought to justice for these heinous crimes.
Xi is fully responsible for the persecution and deaths of practitioners during his reign. The sooner the persecution ends, the fewer lives are lost and the fewer crimes perpetrators will have to be held accountable for.
Throughout Chinese history, spiritual cultivators were held in high esteem. Disrupting their cultivation was seen as a grave matter, as the persecution of those on a spiritual path would incur much greater karma than mistreatment of other people. The same applies to persecutors of Falun Dafa practitioners today. When the perpetrators are brought to justice, they will face painful karmic retribution for each and every act of today. Any worldly notions of evading the consequences can only be wishful thinking.
Ms. Liu Zhitong: Release My Mother Ms. Kong Qingping
During the rally, Falun Gong practitioner Liu Zhitong said the suppression in China has not stopped since it began on July 1999. “I am here to rescue my mother Ms. Kong Qingping,” she said. “After she was arrested on October 22, 2022, for practicing Falun Gong, she was kept at the Yaojia Detention Centre for over a year. The CCP refuses to release her even though they have no evidence that she’s broken any laws.”
On November 10, 2023, the Ganjingzi District Court in Dalian City, Liaoning Province held a third hearing against Ms. Kong. Despite her high blood pressure and a lung condition, the authorities refuse to release her for medical treatment. Her previous two hearings took place on April 11 and September 22, 2023.
Ms. Liu hopes more people will learn about what is going on in China. She said, “When my mother was tried on November 10, her blood pressure was 190/130 mmHg. She was coughing and had a fever. When she was taken to the Yaojia Detention Centre, the guards found that her blood pressure was dangerously high, but they still decided to detain her. She has now developed large nodules in her lung. I’m very worried about her health. I hope good-hearted people can help rescue my mother and condemn the CCP’s brutality. By working together, we can end the persecution.”
Sister and Two Nephews Detained in China
Ms. Karen Kang, a Falun Gong practitioner from Los Angeles, flew to San Francisco to attend the rally. Her younger sister Ms. Kang Shumei and Shumei’s son, Mr. Zhang Gu, were both arrested in China on October 31, 2022. Their personal belongings, including a vehicle, a computer and a printer, were confiscated.
Karen’s other nephew, Mr. Hou Lijun, was also arrested on April 25, 2023, and later sentenced to 10 years in the Qi County Prison in Shanxi Province. His mother, Karen’s older sister, died in 2020 after serving 11 years in prison for practicing Falun Gong.
Karen demands that the CCP authorities immediately release her family members.
Christian: Falun Gong Practitioners Are Great
When Mr. Zhu Guohui, a Christian, passed by the rally, he was impressed by the practitioners’ courage and peaceful protest. “I heard about Falun Gong when I was a student in mainland China, and I know the CCP has been suppressing it for years,” he said.
After he moved to the United States, Mr. Zhu learned that the CCP had been killing Falun Gong practitioners for their organs. “As a Christian, I have deep sorrow for the mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners in China. The CCP is ruthless. It is evil like Satan. Practitioners are great and I am very supportive. I also hope the CCP will end soon.”
Local Resident: The Peaceful Protest Is Very Important
When local resident Samuel noticed the practitioners’ event, he said Falun Gong is wonderful because it can bring people good health. “It’s wrong for the CCP to ban the practice in China,” he said. “Falun Gong is a beautiful practice and everyone should have the right to practice it.”
Samuel also noted that Falun Gong can help reduce stress and help one live longer. “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance [Dafa’s principles] are very important and can benefit everyone,” he said. “The peaceful protest here is indeed very beautiful.”
Another resident, Caroline stopped and asked for more information. She admired Falun Gong’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. “These are great principles,” she said. Surprised to hear how badly the CCP persecutes Falun Gong practitioners, especially the forced organ harvesting, she said, “This is terrifying. I would like to stand with you and support you. It is important for you to be here and tell people the facts and stop the crime of forced organ harvesting.”
Film producer Julia, who was there to attend the APEC Summit, said she had not heard about Falun Gong before. “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are great,” she said. “The CCP’s organ harvesting is horrible, inhuman, and immoral.” She added that she was very interested and would look into Falun Gong and the persecution.
Tibetan: Supporting Universal Values
Tibetan Tenzin Norphel also came to San Francisco to protest the CCP’s brutality. “I support Falun Gong practitioners since you are doing good deeds,” he said. “I like the universal values of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Besides the persecution of Falun Gong, the CCP has also killed other groups for organs including Tibetans. Let’s join together to defend basic human rights.”
Robert Martin from San Francisco works in the financial industry. He thanked practitioners for their efforts to end the barbaric forced organ harvesting. “I like Falun Gong practitioners and support these events,” he said. “The principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance are very good. The United States should stop doing business with China.”
University Staff Member: A Peaceful Environment
David Bauman, who works at the City College of San Francisco, said that every morning he sees Falun Gong practitioners doing the exercises on campus. “It is a peaceful environment and we like them. Occasionally, some passersby stop and join them,” he said.
“We are all looking for the truth, but the CCP is blocking it and it is vicious,” Bauman added.
Computer Engineer: Stop the Persecution
Aaron, a computer engineer from Davis, California, said he was happy to meet Falun Gong practitioners. “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is superb and the CCP should not treat Falun Gong practitioners like this,” he said.
As a Christian, Aaron said he supports Falun Gong practitioners. “The persecution is wrong and it should stop,” he affirmed.
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