Amnesty International: Falun Gong Practitioners Face Imprisonment in China
Tang Xiuming | Minghui.org
Amnesty International released an urgent action update on February 21, 2017, calling attention to Falun Gong practitioner Chen Huixia, who is facing imprisonment of three years to life for her faith and asked the Chinese communist regime to release Chen immediately. Amnesty International also called for action to stop further persecution of Chen.
“First taken away by police on 3 June 2016, Chen Huixia was strapped to an iron chair at an unofficial place of detention for more than 1 month before being relocated to Shijiazhuang Municipal No. 2 Detention Centre, in the north-eastern province of Hebei on 15 July 2016,” the Amnesty update stated.
Her family members have not been allowed to meet with her since her arrest. Chen did not have a lawyer until November 2016, “as many lawyers that her family approached refused to take up the case because they believed the authorities would not allow them to defend a Falun Gong practitioner.”
The notice urges people to write a letter, send an email, call, fax or tweet to relevant officials to ask that they “immediately and unconditionally release Chen Huixia, as she has been detained solely for exercising the right to freedom of belief and expression and, pending her release, ensure that she has prompt, regular and unrestricted access to her family and lawyers of her choice.”
Amnesty International also calls for Chen to be protected from torture or other ill-treatment during detention.
According to her daughter, Lu Hongyan, a practitioner in Canada “Chen Huixia started practicing Falun Gong in 1998 to heal her chronic illness and poor health. She was consequently detained for approximately three months in 2003 and following her release her family has been subjected to persistent harassment and intimidation by authorities.”
The notice further describes the CCP’s torture, detention and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners.
Lu said in a press conference last year, “My mother was tortured in a detention center. She was tied to a chair for a long time, not allowed to move, which caused damage in her muscles. Now she has difficulty standing and walking.”
Lu worries about her mother’s plight and longer imprisonment. “I worry that my mother could become a victim of the forced organ harvesting,” she said.
To rescue her mother, Ms. Lu and her husband started a car tour from Edmonton through eastern Canada, seeking help and support.
Falun Gong was first taught to the public in 1992 and soon spread across China due to its positive effect on health and morality. Nearly 100 million people practiced it by 1999. Jiang Zemin, head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the time, initiated the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999 out of jealousy and paranoia of losing control of the population.
The persecution has led to the deaths of many Falun Gong practitioners in the past 16 years. More have been tortured for their belief and even killed for their organs.
Under Jiang’s personal direction, the Chinese Communist Party established an extralegal security organ, the “610 Office,” on June 10, 1999. The organization has the power to override police forces and the judicial system in carrying out Jiang’s directive regarding Falun Gong: to ruin their reputations, cut off their financial resources, and destroy them physically.
The CCP’s campaign against Falun Gong extends even to state-sanctioned killing of practitioners and harvesting their organs for transplants. Due to censorship, the exact number of practitioners killed in the persecution is not known.