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Speeches in Support of U.S. House Resolution 605 on Falun Gong (1)- by Representative Diane Watson

Posted by Author on March 24, 2010

From the The Falun Dafa Information Center

[The U.S. House of Representatives passed House Resolution 605 on March 16, 2010 (news). The voting was preceded by a 13-minute-long floor debate during which Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), the resolution’s author and Ranking Member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs spoke, as did Representatives Diane Watson (D-CA) and Lynn Woolsey (D-CA), all in support of the declaration. Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), who could not attend the debate in person, submitted statements for the record. Below is the Congressional members’ full remarks.]

DIANE WATSON (D-CA)

“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong support of this resolution…This resolution recognizes the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 11th anniversary of the government crackdown on the spiritual movement. I would like to thank my friend, the gentlewoman from Florida (Ms. Ros-Lehtinen), the ranking member of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, for introducing this legislation and for her dedication to this issue.

Since 1999, the Chinese government has undertaken a harsh campaign of suppression against the Falun Gong movement, banning its presence in China and banning it as an “illegal cult.” According to the 2009 annual report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Chinese authorities “conducted propaganda campaigns that deride Falun Gong, carried out strict surveillance of practitioners, detained and imprisoned large numbers of practitioners, and subjected some who refused to disavow Falun Gong to torture and other abuses in reeducation through labor facilities.” 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.

Falun Gong is a spiritual movement combining meditation and breathing exercises, with a doctrine loosely rooted in Buddhist and Daoist teachings. The Chinese government banned the group’s existence and its practices in 1999, after thousands of practitioners gathered in Beijing to protest the government’s restrictions on the group’s activities. Chinese authorities are obsessed with eradicating the group because they believe it could pose a challenge to one-party rule and has the potential to generate social unrest and instability.

This resolution calls upon the Chinese government to immediately end its decade-long campaign to prosecute, intimidate, and imprison Falun Gong practitioners solely because of their personal beliefs. It also calls on China to release those practitioners being held in prisons and labor camps throughout the country. Finally, this resolution expresses sympathy to Falun Gong followers and their family members for the suffering that has been inflicted on them at the hands of the Chinese government.

I strongly support this resolution, and urge my colleagues to do the same.”

– From The Falun Dafa Information Center

Related:
The complete text of U.S. House resolution 605: calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners in China
U.S. House Resolution Calls for End to Falun Gong Persecution in China
US House presses China on Falun Gong

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