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U.S. House Resolution Calls for End to Falun Gong Persecution in China

Posted by Author on March 17, 2010

WASHINGTON— In a landslide vote, the U.S. House of Representatives

LENDING A VOICE: In this file photo, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.) speaks at a July 20, 2007 rally to memorialize the eighth anniversary of the beginning of the Chinese Communist regime's persecution of Falun Gong. The House of Representatives voted 412-1 on March 16 to call for an end to this persecution in China. (Jan Jekielek/The Epoch Times)

voted 412–1 on Tuesday to call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.

House Resolution 605 calls upon the Chinese regime “to immediately cease and desist from its campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners, to immediately abolish the 6-10 office, an extrajudicial security apparatus given the mandate to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong.”

U.S. Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), Ranking member on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, authored the legislation.

“The Falun Gong spiritual discipline is based on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Yet these innocents are brutally targeted by the Chinese regime, whose heinous tactics include harvesting the organs of Falun Gong practitioners and violently harassing even those practitioners living in the United States,” she said in a statement.

Nobel Peace Prize nominees, lawyers, and human rights advocates David Kilgour and David Matas document forced organ removal from Falun Gong prisoners of conscience in their book, Bloody Harvest: The killing of Falun Gong for their organs.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that was introduced to the public in 1992 in mainland China. On July 20, 1999, the then-head of the Chinese Communist Party Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution of the spiritual practice.

House Resolution 605, “expresses sympathy to Falun Gong practitioners and their family members who have suffered persecution, intimidation, imprisonment, torture, and even death for the past decade solely because of adherence to their personal beliefs.”

All but one of the 413 members of congress that voted on the resolution recognized the persecution and called for it to end, with 17 abstaining. The lone dissenter was U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R-Texas), known for his opposition to legislation that he perceives to interfere in another country’s affairs.

“The passage and specific text of this resolution [605] is especially significant for it demonstrates that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China is as urgent today as it ever was,” said Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center. “As it recognizes, the reality remains that millions of innocent people in China who practice Falun Gong are at constant risk of arbitrary detention, torture, and death.”

The Falun Dafa Information Center is the official press office for Falun Gong, and also specializes in documenting the human rights abuses Falun Gong practitioners face in China.

Following the resolution’s passage, Congresswoman Lynn Woolsey (D-Calif.) said, “In 2002, I was the author of a resolution expressing the sense of the Congress regarding the Chinese government’s oppression of Falun Gong in the United States and in the People’s Republic of China. Sadly, eight years later, the persecution continues.”

In October 2003, the House passed Concurrent Resolution 304, which, in addition to calling for an end to the persecution in China, raised concerns over numerous incidents of physical and other harassment of Falun Gong practitioners and their supporters in the United States. Two other resolutions were passed in the early years of the persecution expressing Congressional condemnation of the Chinese regime’s persecution of Falun Gong.

“The [605] resolution’s content also highlights that attaining genuine freedom and human rights protection for all Chinese people is predicated on ending the persecution of Falun Gong. For how can a civil, healthy society develop when tens of millions are targeted in such a fashion?” said Browde.

Over the past 11 years, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been tortured, killed, sent to labor camps, sent to forced brainwashing centers, and endured other forms of suppression, according to numerous government and NGO reports, including those cited in the resolution.

According to the State Department’s latest human rights report on China, the Falun Gong’s core leadership was “‘singled out for particularly harsh treatment,’ and simply believing in the discipline—without publicly practicing any of its tenets—was enough for practitioners to be punished or imprisoned,” said Congresswoman Diane Watson (D-Calif.).

“It is important not to underestimate the real world impact that this resolution will have. First, by articulating the official position of the U.S. Congress, a leader in the free world, it sets an example for policymakers around the globe to follow. Second, as the resolution’s text is translated into Chinese and circulated among grassroots networks throughout China, it will bring meaningful hope to millions suffering persecution and encourage further nonviolent efforts to end abuses. Moreover, its exposure of Communist Party fabrications and assertion of solidarity with the victims will give pause to would-be persecutors,” said Browde……. (more details from The Epochtimes)

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