(Minghui.org) After 45 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in Tianjin, approximately 10,000 practitioners went to the State Council Appeals Office in Beijing on April 25, 1999, to request their release. They also requested the government allow Falun Gong books to be published so that practitioners could freely practice their belief.


Safeguarding Basic Rights

Meng Jiamei, a freelance writer for Beijing Spring in New Zealand, said that what Falun Gong practitioners did is part of citizens’ basic rights of freedom of belief and freedom of expression.

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is known for depriving people of their rights. “The appeal system in China is one of few channels allowed by law to safeguard citizens’ rights,” Meng explained. “Unfortunately, a large number of Falun Gong practitioners, as well as many petitioners, have been detained by the Chinese authorities for following this path – this is absurd.”

Human rights advocate Zhou Feng said that the peaceful appeal in 1999 was a lawful action by practitioners related to the freedom of belief. “It shows their faith in the truth and the event was peaceful, rational, and legitimate,” he added. “It did not disrupt the social order or anyone’s interests.”

Cang Song, a dissident who now lives in Ireland, owned a business in China that was suppressed by the CCP. He said that Falun Gong practitioners appealed because they trusted the government and hoped the unfair treatment could be resolved. “But the subsequent suppression and mistreatment have violated the law’s protection of citizens’ basic rights. It also ended the trust of people in the government. That is why it is unfortunate and unfair.”


Severe Human Rights Abuse

Three months after the peaceful appeal, the CCP started a systematic nationwide persecution in July 1999. Former CCP leader Jiang Zemin issued a series of orders against practitioners to “defame their reputation, bankrupt them financially, destroy them physically” and “killing will be counted as suicide.” As a result, a large number of practitioners have become victims of the lies and brutality. The tragedies have lasted for more than 20 years.

During the lengthy and severe persecution, the CCP treated Falun Gong practitioners with extreme measures. They include arrest, detention, torture, brainwashing, medical abuse, and much more. “This has seriously suppressed human rights of practitioners. It has also violated international conventions and basic moral principles,” said Zhou.

Cang said the CCP has extended the suppression to forced organ harvesting, a crime against humanity. This is a serious violation of basic freedom of belief and a denial of basic human rights. “By controlling speech, restricting freedom, and suppressing dissidents, it has deprived citizens of basic rights and freedom. That is, the totalitarian regime of the CCP stands against people,” he added.


What Our Society Needs

Zhou called the CCP’s 25-year-long persecution of Falun Gong an extreme political suppression. As a serious violation of human rights and democratic values, it should be condemned by international society. “I support Falun Gong practitioners’ legal actions of seeking freedom of belief and basic rights. I also urge the Chinese government to stop mistreating practitioners and restore their basic human rights and dignity,” he said.

Meng advised those working in the CCP political system to think twice before harming innocent citizens. “On issues such as Falun Gong, is it worth following the CCP blindly to the end? Or should we look around and take actions that will benefit our future in the long run?” she explained.