A Chinese man stands inside a job center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China in 2015. China’s slower economy has left many desperate for work, making them vulnerable to pyramid schemes that are evolving into criminal syndicates. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)A Chinese man stands inside a job center on September 18, 2015 in Yiwu, Zhejiang Province, China in 2015. China’s slower economy has left many desperate for work, making them vulnerable to pyramid schemes that are evolving into criminal syndicates. (Kevin Frayer / Getty Images)

A young college graduate was found dead in the northern port city of Tianjin. Police suspect the death involved foul play by a pyramid scheme gang. Such gangs have been connected to a number of suspicious deaths across China.

Em julho 14, the body of Li Wenxing, 23, was found near a suburban highway in Tianjin, floating faceup in a small pond. Autopsy results showed that Li drowned with no apparent injuries.

Li, a native of Shandong Province, had come from a rural family and joined the wave of young people leaving small-town homes to find careers in big cities.

Li Wenxing, seen on the day of his college graduation ceremony, thought he was taking a programming job but ended up in a pyramid scheme run by violent con artists. (Handout via EMG)

Li Wenxing, seen on the day of his college graduation ceremony, thought he was taking a programming job but ended up in a pyramid scheme run by violent con artists. (Handout via EMG)

Chinese media reported that a Li’s body was found with a book of notes apparently taken at a class connected to the pyramid scheme known as Diebeilei. Chinese state media said five Diebeilei associates have been arrested for Li’s death and have confessed to luring him into the scheme and forcing him to stay at their dormitory.

Sixth Tone quotes a post from Li’s sister that has since been taken down, in which she claimed the autopsy of her brother revealed he had been starved.

Syndicate-like pyramid schemes are prolific in China and feed on vulnerable and often poorly educated victims who are lured in by overnight rags-to-riches stories.

Public outcry over Li’s death has been directed at both pyramid scams—which are known to use aggressive recruiting practices, deception, and even violence—as well as at “Boss Zhipin,” a popular Chinese job hunting website that failed to screen employers posting ads on its site.

The job site has issued an apology for that failure and has promised changes will be made.

Li was a recent graduate who thought he was going to work as a programmer at a company he found on Boss Zhipin. He had to travel to Tianjin for the job, not discovering until later that it was posted by a member of Diebeilei posing as a software company.

A police statement revealed that shortly after Li arrived in Tianjin on May 20, he was taken to facilities controlled by members of the scheme, tricked into signing up as a recruit, and began borrowing money from friends.

Reports said Li’s family and friends had problems reaching him and he wouldn’t give clear explanations for why he needed the money.

What happened later is not yet entirely clear, but in what seems to have been Li’s last phone call to his family on July 8, ele disse, “No matter who calls for money, don’t give it to them.”

Li’s death is not an isolated case.

No início deste ano, a 24-year-old man named Qu Pengxu was found dead in a village fish pond in Tianjin.

Qu had also been a Diebeilei recruit.

Another recruit named Zhang Chao was found dead on July 13.

Zhang’s body had been abandoned by three men on the roadside in the middle of the night. Zhang died from a “heat stroke” under suspicious circumstances. And there have been other similar cases around China.

Another college student, Lin Huarong, 20, from Hunan Province, was found drowned in a river in Hubei Province on Aug. 4.

Lin got sucked into a pyramid scam by a classmate when she was searching for a part-time job in July.

Lin’s father said he lost contact with his daughter that same month.

Chinese media reported that Lin was forced to receive brainwashing lectures and her cellphone was confiscated.

Four recent victims who died after coming into contact with pyramid schemes in China. Large photo is Qu pengxu. Top right and down are Li Wenxing, Zhang Chao, and Lin Huarong. Behind them is a picture of the pond where Li's body was found. (Composite photo via EMG)

Four recent victims who died after coming into contact with pyramid schemes in China. (eu) Qu Pengxu. (From Top R and down) Li Wenxing, Zhang Chao, and Lin Huarong. Behind them is a picture of the pond where Li’s body was found. (Composite photo via EMG)

Such cases reflect the severity of the problem, says China analyst Jason Ma.

Pyramid schemes are an ever changing menace, ele disse.

“In the beginning, it was called ‘direct marketing.’ Since direct marketing was introduced to China thirty years ago, it has transformed into something completely unrecognizable today.”

Ma said that in China today, these pyramid schemes have become “a dangerous business.”

“A great many people have become victims of such scams again and again. Today in China, the so-called pyramid scheme has turned into something extremely complex and it is constantly evolving …”

Ma notes that there are an estimated 600-700 types of pyramid or similar scams now being used in China by more than 1,000 organizations.

“‘Pyramid scheme’ is an umbrella term that covers a lot of ground. In the case of Li Wenxing, he had lost his personal freedom and likely died from abuse. This is really not a pyramid scheme in the conventional sense, it is a gang-style kidnapping," ele disse.

Public outrage is also being aimed at the police over why, after so many tragedies, authorities have failed to stamp out pyramid schemes.

Crackdowns on such groups flare up from time to time, with one currently underway, but the groups persist and evolve.

Some allege that authorities in China can’t stop such groups because they are sanctioned by corrupt officials within the regime.

“This is an extreme case of preying upon others. It is a form of corruption that stems all the way from the top of CCP leadership,” said China news analyst Heng He.

“The authorities are unable to touch the largest pyramid scheme organizations because the government has got their backs. CCTV even helps promotes some of them,” said He, pointing to the pyramid scheme known as ‘Shanxinhui’ as an example.

The group claims to be a women’s foundation and is affiliated with the CCP’s All-China Women’s Affiliation.

“These organizations get public financing but the money they get will not be repaid, or paid out to investors at the bottom. Those at the top are the ones that get the money,” said He.

He compares that scenario to the endemic corruption in China that sees Party officials profit at public expense.

It’s routine in China for the children of highly place Communist Party cadre’s to be placed at the helms of state-owned enterprises that dominate China’s economy, and for officials to manipulate land sales and other business dealings to line their own pockets.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping has earned political capital by carrying out a massive anti-corruption campaign that aims to stifle such practices but there are questions over whether that is possible without regime change and real rule-of-law.

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Boxers Wen Yinhang, from Hubei, and Uyghur Tangtilahan compete at the 13th National Game in Tianjin, China, em agosto. 13. China has ordered the dissolution of the current National boxing team amidst complaints that the competition was rigged. (Sohu)Boxers Wen Yinhang, from Hubei, and Uyghur Tangtilahan compete at the 13th National Game in Tianjin, China, em agosto. 13. China has ordered the dissolution of the current National boxing team amidst complaints that the competition was rigged. (Sohu)

China has dissolved its national boxing team amidst complaints about rigged boxing matches in the recent China’s premier National Games, the country’s top sports’ governing body announced on Sept. 7.

The qualifications of certain judges who were allegedly involved will be terminated.

The boxing competition that took place in Tianjin between Aug. 3 e 13 ended in an uproar as several boxing athletes, indignant of the ruling that they deemed unfair, refused to leave the site in protest. Subsequent matches were delayed as a result.

The two boxers under spotlight are Wen Yinhang from Hubei Province in central China and his opponent, Tangtilahan, an ethnic Uyghur from Xinjiang, who competed in the men’s 75-kilogram final on Aug. 13. Wen was given a score of 5 para 0 despite many onlookers being certain of his defeat, leading to broad speculation that the match was rigged in Wen’s favor.

Wen Yinhang and Tangtilahan at the boxing match on Aug. 13. (WeChat)

Wen Yinhang and Tangtilahan at the boxing match on Aug. 13. (WeChat)

Wen, an athlete in the national boxing team, was set to compete at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.

In an online recording of the live broadcast on state-run Central China Television, the narrator can be heard jeering at Wen, who wears a red outfit, as Tangtilahan punches him in the face. “Such an overwhelming victory,” he says.

But hearing the announcement of Wen’s victory, the narrator appears baffled, saying it “made no sense.”

The Chinese Boxing Federation rules deny athletes the chance to appeal for a review of the results if the score is 0:5 ou 1:4.

Similar questions were raised on Aug. 4, when Sichuan athlete Wang Gang defeated Yilanbieke, also a Uyghur, during the 64-kilogram match.

“An investigation has been launched and umpires who are found to have seriously violated discipline will be banned,” the Boxing and Taekwondo Center of the State General Administration of Sport said in a statement, according to the English Xinhua.

“The incidents exposed the loopholes of the boxing and taekwondo center in selecting, managing, and employing referees,” the administration said in the declaração. “The boxing and taekwondo center must take responsibility for it.”

In an earlier notice, the sports administration criticized the boxing and taekwondo center for not handling the issue in a sufficient and timely manner, and ordered an investigation.

enquanto isso, Chinese have taken to the internet to express their amusement or discontent.

“Wen Yinhang was punched four or five times every round, but he still got crowned with a score of 5 to 0,” one spectator wrote on Weibo, a Twitter-like social media site.

Another commented: “I can’t claim myself a veteran boxing fan, but I have watched some matches. This National tournament is simply ridiculous… My wife, who has never watched boxing match, joined me today and she asked, ‘how can this [Wen] win? What exactly is the standard for the competition?’ I had no good answer for her.”

Others directed their comments towards the apparently rigged results. “Such insufficient work. At least you should inform the host or narrator, this is way too awkward.”

Professional sports in China have long been plagued with corruption, doping, and fixed results. Wang Jing, the former champion in female 100 meter in the 2013 National Games, got a lifetime ban from running events for alleged doping. Dentro 2009, acclaimed diving coach Ma Yanping quit months before a scheduled competition, stating that the champions had been pre-arranged behind closed doors.

A notice issued by the State General Administration of Sports on Sept. 7, 2017 states that the national boxing team will be disbanded.

A notice issued by the State General Administration of Sports on Sept. 7, 2017.
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Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong on trial at Changsha Intermediate People’s Court on Aug. 22, 2017. (Screenshot via Youtube/China Hot Video)Human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong on trial at Changsha Intermediate People’s Court on Aug. 22, 2017. (Screenshot via Youtube/China Hot Video)

Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong was put on trial Tuesday, Aug. 22 for “subversion of state power.”

Jiang Tianyong’s wife told the Chinese language version of NTD TV that she thought it was a show trial and that Jiang had been tortured into pleading guilty.

Jiang disappeared last November after visiting another human rights lawyer, Xie Yang, who had been detained in what has come to be called the 709 Crackdown, so-named because the roundup of lawyers began two years ago on July 9.

Six months after his disappearance, Jiang’s father received a letter from the Changsha Municipal Public Security Bureau that his son had been charged with “subversion of state power.”

Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong and his wife Jin Ling Ling, at time before he was arrested by the Chinese regime.  (NTD.tv)

Chinese human rights lawyer Jiang Tianyong and his wife Jin Ling Ling, at time before he was arrested by the Chinese regime. (NTD.tv)

Jiang had a history of defending persecuted groups such as underground Christians, Tibetans, and Falun Gong practitioners, and had taken on high-profile cases such as that of the Nobel Peace Prize nominated rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng, and blind rights activist Chen Guangcheng.

Before Jiang’s trial, his parents were taken into custody, a common tactic in China used to pressure those who refuse to toe the Party line.

Jiang’s wife, Jin Bianling, decried Chinese authorities for not telling her if her husband was assigned defense lawyer or not, and if so, what his or her name might be.

The trial was held at Changsha Intermediate People’s Court. Videos posted by Chinese netizens show the wife of human rights lawyer Li Heping and the wife of human rights activist Zhai Yanmin being taken away by security for attempting to attend the trial.

Reuters reported an anonymous Western diplomat saying that a handful of diplomats who also tried to attend the trial were told that the room was full and were turned away.

The court released a video of the trial on Chinese social media Weibo.

In the video, Jiang can be seen reading parts of a written statement in which he admits to using social media to criticize the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and seeking to “overthrow the socialist system” after going abroad and attending legal training sessions.

Jin Bianling, who fled with her daughter to the United States in 2013, told NTD Television that Jiang must have endured unbearable torture to have pleaded guilty.

“You can see at the beginning of the trial, when Jiang Tianyong was brought into the court, his face was red the whole time," ela disse. “Either he was tortured or he was force-fed drugs.”

If true, this wouldn’t be unprecedented.

Other human rights lawyers and activists who were arrested during the 709 Crackdown have told the media that they were tortured during detention, and some were injected with nerve-damaging drugs.

Jin demanded that the court acquit her husband and refused to recognize any verdict that declared him guilty.

Joint Statement

On Aug. 19, Jiang’s wife and family members of two other persecuted activists, released a joint statement saying that the CCP’s attempts to intimidate them into pressuring their loved ones were “laughable.”

“You are using harassment, deception, and violence on those who show support for their loved ones, then you will definitely receive harassment, deception, and violence as retribution in the future,” the statement reads.

“Regardless of what tricks you use, we will firmly adhere to one principle: If all of our 709 family members don’t come home, we will never give up.”

The eight family members were calling attention to Jiang, human rights lawyer Wang Quanzhang, and the father of human rights activist Wu Gan who was abducted by police shortly before Wu Gan was to go to trial.

Wang was arrested in the 709 Crackdown, and has been held in detention on charges of being a “threat to national security.”

Wang Quanzhang, with his wife Li Wenzu and son. Wang was detained in August 2015, and hasn't been seen since. (Courtesy of Wang Quanzhang's family)

Wang Quanzhang, with his wife Li Wenzu and son. Wang was detained in August 2015, and hasn’t been seen since. (Courtesy of Wang Quanzhang’s family)

Despite the Chinese regime’s distaste for his activities, Wang was recently nominated for the Dutch government’s Human Rights Tulip award for his advocacy work.

He has defended persecuted groups such as underground Christians and Falun Gong practitioners, and has worked with self-taught paralegals, or “barefoot lawyers,” and human rights activists to defend the disenfranchised.

His wife has tried to sue Tianjin No. 2 Intermediate People’s Court for not following legal procedures in his case. She says the court had six months to try him or ask for a postponement, and has done neither.

But after 14 tries to enter China’s Supreme Court, she hasn’t been successful in filing the lawsuit.

A day before releasing the joint statement, she posted a video on Twitter of herself trying to get past a Supreme Court bailiff. In the video, the bailiff blocks her way, denying her access to the building.

Wang Quanzhang’s lawyer, Yu Wensheng, said attempts to meet with officials from the Tianjin court have also been unsuccessful, and said he wasn’t even able able to finish filing his defense papers at the court.

“They are not being reasonable at all," ele disse.

In their joint statement, the families called for justice for all the lawyers and activists who were rounded up in the 709 Crackdown, and demanded their release.

NTD China News reporters Yi Ru, Li Yun, and Li Peiling contributed to this article.

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Falun Gong practitioners exercise in Chengdu, China's Sichuan Province before the persecution began in 1999.  (courtesy of en.minghui.org)Falun Gong practitioners exercise in Chengdu, China's Sichuan Province before the persecution began in 1999.  (courtesy of en.minghui.org)

Over the past year, an increasing number of Falun Gong practitioners have been released without charge, de acordo com Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information on the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in China.

This differs starkly from standard procedure in the Chinese regime’s 18-year-long persecution campaign, in which millions have been thrown into various forms of detention for practicing the traditional spiritual discipline.

For instance, a Falun Gong practitioner in Tianjin City, Li Zhenjun, was told of his sentence—three years in a forced labor camp—by a police officer reading from a piece of paper. There was no judge and no jury. de fato, no legal basis exists that would justify the banning of Falun Gong.

Recentemente, there have been signs that the persecution is abating—not because of an official change in policy—but because some local authorities sympathetic to Falun Gong have chosen to disobey official directives, instead releasing or simply not arresting adherents in the first place.

Since the beginning of 2017, finalmente 54 Falun Gong practitioners have been released without charge after the court, procuratorate, or police decided to throw out their case. Another 90 have not yet been released, but their prosecution has been halted after a court rejected the case or a higher court ordered a retrial.

A local procuratorate in Henan Province returned the case of four Falun Gong practitioners to the police in late July, citing “insufficient evidence.” Their families, lawyers, and fellow Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad had pressured the authorities, demanding their immediate release after they were arrested in March.

Falun Gong, também conhecido como Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline combining five slow exercises with a moral philosophy rooted in the principles of truthfulness, compaixão, e tolerância.

First introduced to the public in 1992, the practice proliferated across China, attracting 70 para 100 million adherents by 1999, according to official and practitioner estimates.

Falun Gong’s popularity and independent moral beliefs drew the ire of then-Party chief Jiang Zemin, who ordered its eradication. “Destroy their reputation, arruiná-los financeiramente, e destruí-los fisicamente,” Jiang ordered.

The persecution has continued for the past 18 anos. Minghui reported 78 cases of Falun Gong practitioners being sentenced to prison in May 2017 e 117 cases in April. According to a February 2017 report by Freedom House, a US-based NGO, the severity of the persecution remains “very high.”

Besides being imprisoned, brainwashed, and tortured into renouncing their beliefs, Falun Gong practitioners have also been harvested and killed for their organs, which fuel China’s lucrative transplant industry.

China performs between 60,000 e 100,000 transplants every year, with organs mostly sourced from Falun Gong practitioners as well as other prisoners of conscience, de acordo com uma quase 700-page report published in June 2016.

But at the same time, many top officials who spearheaded the persecution have been ousted for corruption in the past few years, including Zhou Yongkang, China’s former security czar, and Li Dongsheng, the former head of a Gestapo-like agency tasked with persecuting Falun Gong.

Back when former Party chief Jiang Zemin was in power, he specifically promoted officials who actively suppressed Falun Gong.

Desde 2013, current leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign has disciplined over 1 million officials, including many of those responsible for persecuting Falun Gong adherents.

And as a result of the extensive grassroots efforts of Falun Gong practitioners in China and abroad—from flyering around cities in the middle of the night to phoning Chinese officials—more and more local officials have chosen to disobey official policy on suppressing adherents.

Freedom House estimates that millions and even tens of millions continue to practice Falun Gong in China and speak out against the persecution.

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Former Chongqing boss Sun Zhengcai, 53, was put under investigation on July 24. (bowenpress.com)Former Chongqing boss Sun Zhengcai, 53, was put under investigation on July 24. (bowenpress.com)

A number of Chinese officials from several provinces have hastened to show their support for the investigation into Sun Zhengcai, a powerful cadre who headed the Communist Party organization in the city of Chongqing before his recent ousting.

Sun is one of the highest-ranking officials to be purged by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s sweeping anti-corruption campaign. At 53, Sun was one of the youngest members of the Politburo, the Chinese regime’s 25-person ruling body, and he was seen by observers as a potential successor to Xi Jinping as China’s next leader.

Em julho 15, Sun was removed from his position and a week later, put under investigation for “severe violations of discipline,” a phrase synonymous with corruption.

In ousting Sun Zhengcai, Xi Jinping has strengthened his position, evidenced by the multitude of officials—including from the cities of Beijing, Tianjin, and Shanghai and the provinces of Jilin and Hunan—who have eagerly “demonstrated loyalty” to Xi and his anti-corruption campaign.

Their eagerness to distance themselves from Sun suggests that Sun’s crimes, although unclear, are particularly grave.

Em julho 26, an emergency meeting of provincial officials was held in Zhongnanhai, the Beijing compound that hosts the Communist Party leadership. Observers believe this meeting was convened as a means of weakening internal opposition to Xi Jinping.

The fall of Sun and the expressions of support for his investigation indicate that Xi is gaining the upper hand against the powerful opposing faction helmed by former Party chief Jiang Zemin, in the months leading up to a major Party reshuffling later this year.

During his time in power from 1993 para 2003, Jiang fostered a culture of kleptocracy, corruption, and abuse of power in China. He maintained strong informal networks in the communist regime even after being superseded by Party head Hu Jintao, and many officials remain tied into Jiang’s faction.

Chongqing, a provincial-level city with a population of some 30 milhão, is a major commercial and industrial hub. Prior to Xi’s ascension to power in 2012, it had been run by Bo Xilai, a prominent Jiang ally. Bo was sentenced to life in prison in 2013.

Sun Zhengcai was once the top aide to two allies of Jiang Zemin and succeeded Bo as Party boss of Chongqing. Before this assignment, he had been a Party secretary of Jilin Province in Northeast China, where the Jiang faction also enjoys influence.

Em fevereiro, the Party’s disciplinary agency, which carries out the anti-corruption campaign, reprimanded the Chongqing administration for failing to thoroughly cleanse itself from the corrupt influences of its former boss, Bo Xilai, and his right-hand man, Wang Lijun.

“When Sun Zhengcai came to office in Chongqing, he was supposed to purge the ‘residual poison’ of Bo Xilan and Wang Lijun, but he not only failed to do so but also colluded with the ‘residue poison’,” said one Beijing princeling—a term for the children of revolutionary Party leaders—in an interview with the Epoch Times. He asked to remain anonymous to protect his identity.

“Sun’s wife set up a lady’s club in Beijing and had close relations with Gu Liping, the wife of Ling Jihua,” he added. Ling Jihua is part of the Jiang faction and the former top aide to the Chinese Communist Party. He was purged for corruption in July 2015.

The Beijing princeling added that Sun also sought to gain personal profits from the ‘One Belt, One Road’ initiative that has been marketed as a cornerstone of Xi Jinping’s foreign policy.

The timing of Sun’s purge notably coincides with an annual gathering of top Party leaders at Beidaihe, a seaside resort town a few dozen miles away from Beijing. They will delineate future plans for the Party and configure the roster of the new Party leadership, which will be determined at the 19th National Congress at the end of this year.

“Sun Zhengcai was basically Jiang Zemin’s designated, cross-generational successor,” said the Beijing princeling. “Sun Zhengcai’s fall cuts the Jiang faction off from their escape route. It is impossible for him to succeed Xi Jinping in the future.”

Xi Jinping decided to oust Sun to avoid a replay of a 2012 coup attempt by Bo Xilai and security czar Zhou Yongkang, said independent political commentator Hua Po.

A Xi loyalist, Chen Min’er, has taken Sun’s place as Chongqing’s chief. Chen worked with Xi Jinping when Xi was Party chief of Zhejiang Province from 2002 para 2007 before being sent to lead the impoverished province of Guizhou. As Chongqing chiefs typically sit on the elite Politburo, Chen’s placement gives Xi the opportunity to nab another seat on the 25-member body during the 19th National Congress.

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julho 24, 2017

Hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners hold a candlelight vigil in Washington on July 20, 2017 to remember the victims of the Chinese regime’s persecution of the practice that began on July 20, 1999. The candles in the front form the Chinese characters for truthfulness, compaixão, e tolerância, the three main tenets of Falun Dafa. (Benjamin Chasteen / The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners hold a candlelight vigil in Washington on July 20, 2017 to remember the victims of the Chinese regime’s persecution of the practice that began on July 20, 1999. The candles in the front form the Chinese characters for truthfulness, compaixão, e tolerância, the three main tenets of Falun Dafa. (Benjamin Chasteen / The Epoch Times)

Holding the corner of a banner under the intense midday sun on a 100-plus-degree day, Chinese-American medical scientist and Falun Gong practitioner Hu Zongyi shared his understanding of where the Xi Jinping leadership might be headed on the Falun Gong issue.

"[Xi] doesn’t necessarily have any intention to persecute Falun Gong,” said the middle-aged scientist, speaking before the start of a parade in Washington commemorating the 18th anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of Falun Gong in China.

“If those officials, who have blood on their hands, are cleaned out, it will be easier for Xi to end this,” Hu added. “If he really wants to resolve this problem, well, doesn’t he talk about reviving traditional Chinese culture? If he thinks he needs to disband the Communist Party in order to end the persecution, he can take this step first, or do both at the same time.”

Hu’s assessment might seem overly optimistic in light of the continued suppression in China. The website Minghui.org, which serves as a clearinghouse for information about the persecution of Falun Gong, identified nearly 400 practitioners who were sentenced to prison between January to May this year. Em julho 11, Yang Yuyong, one of about 20 practitioners from Tianjin who were arrested as part of a local security effort, died in a hospital seemingly from the injuries he sustained from torture and abuse, according to Minghui.

Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 17, 2017. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese leader Xi Jinping attends the World Economic Forum in Davos on Jan. 17, 2017. (Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images)

Yet the Xi leadership has overseen several policies that suggest that Xi is at least considering future reconciliation. The labor camp system has been shuttered. Some practitioners have walked away mostly unpunished after lodging criminal complaints against former Party leader Jiang Zemin, or have received no punishment at all. Xi has made unusual gestures (such as stressing the importance of helping lawful petitioners, which includes those complaining about Jiang) near the anniversaries of dates related to the persecution. The”610 Office,” which coordinates the persecution, has received an official rebuke and its leadership has been (figuratively) decapitated. Local courts are throwing out practitioner cases, citing lack of evidence to prosecute.

There appears to also be a correlation between Xi’s anti-corruption campaign and a gradual weakening of the persecution. Aside from being linked with Jiang’s political faction, many of the officials arrested for corruption happen to be involved in persecuting practitioners, according to Minghui.org and the World Organization to Investigative the Persecution of Falun Gong, which closely tracks the persecution.

It is still unclear whether Xi Jinping will eventually end the persecution. But if he does bite the proverbial bullet, it is tough to imagine that the Party can survive the scandal of the persecution—including grisly, large-scale crimes like forced organ harvesting.

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Falun Gong practitioner Yang Yuyong passed away on July 12 after eight months of being detained for his spiritual beliefs. His body was covered with wounds and bruises. (Radio Free Asia)Falun Gong practitioner Yang Yuyong passed away on July 12 after eight months of being detained for his spiritual beliefs. His body was covered with wounds and bruises. (Radio Free Asia)

Yang Yuyong and nearly 20 other Falun Gong practitioners in the Chinese port city of Tianjin were arrested and detained by local security forces last December. After eight months in police custody, Yang passed away in a hospital on July 11, seemingly from the wounds he sustained from torture and abuse.

But even in death Yang hasn’t escaped the control of Chinese authorities. Tianjin police are restricting access to his grave, and the hospital’s head doctor appears to have listed a bogus cause of death. Yang’s family is now demanding an investigation.

Practitioners of Falun Gong, uma prática espiritual tradicional chinesa, have been targeted for suppression by the Chinese authorities since July 1999 when former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a persecution campaign. Hoje, hundreds of thousands of practitioners continue to be held in some form of detention, where they suffer vicious abuse. Researchers say that the Chinese regime is profiting from the forced live organ harvesting of practitioners.

Yang Yuyong, who was 56, had been arrested multiple times since the start of the persecution. On Dec. 7, he and his wife were again arrested, this time as part of a large sweep of Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin, and were held in Wuqing District Detention Center.

In early January, Yang went on hunger strike to protest his imprisonment. His jailors responded by shackling his ankles and wrists together, forcing him into a painful bent position. Two heavy metal balls were also attached to the shackles around his feet.

In another incident, Yang’s jailors instructed thirteen detention center inmates to beat him unconscious. One of Yang’s lawyers said that the inmates had also cursed at and sexually abused him.

Then on July 11, the Tianjin authorities notified Yang’s family of his death at 3:40 p.m. that day. The hospital’s head doctor said that Yang had sustained a lung infection and a very high fever, implying that he had died of illnesses.

Yang’s family, Contudo, believes that the official medical account of Yang Yuyong’s death was falsified. Yang had no history of illness, and had appeared healthy when Yang’s lawyers visited him a fortnight ago.

Além disso, when Yang’s family arrived at the hospital, they found his body covered in wounds and bluish-purple bruises as well as cuts on his toenails that suggested his feet had been stabbed with bamboo sticks or needles. They also noticed grotesque wounds on the back of his ears, de acordo com Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for information on the Chinese regime’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong.

Further, a friend of Yang’s said that his body was already rigid by the time his family saw him at the hospital at 6:00 p.m., which suggests that Yang had passed away much earlier than 3:40 p.m. as the Tianjin authorities had claimed. Yang’s friend wishes to remain anonymous out of safety concerns.

Sobre 100 policemen came to the hospital in the early morning of July 13 to take the body of Falun Gong practitioner Yang Yuyong against the wishes of his family. They formed a human wall to the entrance of the hospital. (Minghui.org)

Events quickly took an alarming turn. At about 3:00 sou. the following day, 14 police cars pulled into the hospital’s parking lot. Nearly a hundred police officers, including special forces dressed all in black, swarmed out and surrounded the hospital, forming two rows to make a human wall extending to the entrance, according to Minghui.

Ignoring the family’s wishes, the newly arrived security forces took Yang’s corpse to a cemetery near the hospital and tried to block anyone from taking pictures. The police are monitoring the entrance to the cemetery, as well as registering names and videorecording visitors to Yang’s grave.

Yang’s family is demanding an investigation into the cause of his death as well as the release of Yang’s wife and fellow Falun Gong practitioner Meng Xianzhen. Meng was imprisoned in the same detention center as her husband.

“The first thing we need to do is make them release my mother since she did not commit any crime in the first place. After what happened to my father, I worry about her safety,” said Yang’s daughter in an interview with Radio Free Asia. “The next step is to seek justice for my father.”

Yang’s two children have asked the detention center to release their mother, but they were told to fire one of their lawyers, Wen Donghai, because of his alleged “anti-China” background.

Yang’s children met with authorities on July 14 without their lawyers, who had been denied entry. The authorities then used their mother’s safety to threaten them to privately settle the matter of their father’s death and to stop publicizing the incident on the internet. Yang’s children, Contudo, declined.

Yang’s lawyers have tried to file criminal complaints against the head of the Wuqing District Detention Center and a guard surnamed Liu for torturing him. The Wuqing District Procuratorate has refused to accept the complaint, while the Tianjin Procuratorate and the Tianjin Police Department have not responded.

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Wang Yu, the lawyer of late Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, poses during an interview in Hong Kong on March 20, 2014. The 52-year-old Cao, who died in police detention on March 14, 2014 em Pequim, was said to have dark marks all over her body, her lawyer disclosed, citing Cao's relatives. Cao was set to travel to Switzerland to take part in a UN Human Rights Council review last September but police detained her at Beijing's international airport, her lawyer Wang Yu told AFP on March 14. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)Wang Yu, the lawyer of late Chinese human rights activist Cao Shunli, poses during an interview in Hong Kong on March 20, 2014. The 52-year-old Cao, who died in police detention on March 14, 2014 em Pequim, was said to have dark marks all over her body, her lawyer disclosed, citing Cao's relatives. Cao was set to travel to Switzerland to take part in a UN Human Rights Council review last September but police detained her at Beijing's international airport, her lawyer Wang Yu told AFP on March 14. AFP PHOTO / Philippe Lopez (Photo credit should read PHILIPPE LOPEZ/AFP/Getty Images)

Beijing-based human rights lawyer Wang Yu was released on bail last August, but she continues to languish under house arrest at her parents’ home in Ulanhot, Inner Mongolia.

Over ten internal security agents monitor Wang and her family around the clock, restricting their communication with the outside world and barring them from returning to their home in Beijing, according to Chinese human rights lawyer Wen Donghai, who recently visited Wang on June 23.

“Their every move is being watched, and at least two security agents follow them whenever they leave home. There are surveillance cameras everywhere in the house, even in their bedroom,” Wen told Radio Free Asia. “Indeed, surveillance of Wang Yu is at an intolerable level.”

Wang, 46, was among the first human rights lawyers to be arrested as part of the nationwide crackdown on rights lawyers and activists in 2015. The Chinese authorities have questioned or detained over 300 lawyers, activists, and legal personnel, including Wang and her activist husband, Bao Longjun.

Wang was one of China’s leading rights defenders, having championed dissidents and prisoners of conscience. She advocated for the Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti, the activist Cao Shunli, as well as several practitioners of Falun Gong, the traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that former Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin marked for brutal persecution in 1999.

The Chinese regime reacted to Wang’s best legal efforts by slandering her reputation and squashing her defense of China’s downtrodden.

Em julho 2015, a week prior to her arrest, Wang was dragged out of a court in Hebei Province and “tossed out like a bag onto the street,” for trying to attend the cross-examination of a Falun Gong practitioner, according to an eyewitness.

After months of being held incommunicado, Wang was officially charged in Jan 2016 with “subversion of state power,” a major offense often levied upon human rights defenders.

Prior to Wang’s supposed release on bail in August 2016, she gave a confession—likely coerced—that was aired widely on state media. In the footage, Wang said she wouldn’t accept a human rights award from a United States professional organization, denounced her colleagues, and suggested “foreign forces” had used her firm to smear the Chinese regime.

Wang and her family remained under constant surveillance after her release. In a statement published on human rights blog Weiquan.net, Bao Longjun, Wang’s husband, said that his family was accompanied by internal security agents during the entire duration of their trip to Tianjin to visit family on June 25.

After the Wangs returned to Inner Mongolia on June 30, they realized that their travel bags had been searched by the security agents at some point in their travels. Some of their personal belongings in the bags has also gone missing, Bao said.

Bao had demanded that the security agents produce paperwork justifying the surveillance of his family, but received no response. The agents also refused to explain why the Wang family was kept under house arrest in Inner Mongolia, and not allowed to return to their home in Beijing.

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Beijing Party secretary Cai Qi attends a meeting of Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Jan. 12, 2017. (Reuters)Beijing Party secretary Cai Qi attends a meeting of Beijing Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference in Beijing on Jan. 12, 2017. (Reuters)

Cai Qi spent 14 years in several modest official positions in the eastern Chinese province of Zhejiang. Finally, dentro 2013, Cai became a deputy to the provincial number two.

In the past four years, Contudo, Cai has enjoyed career progression somewhat similar to a multinational company employee in middle management being made chief executive officer overnight—with an additional offer to join the board of directors.

Cai was first plucked from Zhejiang to be deputy director of the Chinese regime’s national security organ in 2014. Then Cai was made acting and full Beijing mayor, and later landed the top job in Beijing municipality—Communist Party secretary of Beijing—in a span of six months between 2016 e 2017.

As Beijing boss, Cai, 60, also seems locked in for a seat in the Politburo—a 25-member elite decision making body—come the 19th National Congress, a key Party conclave, near the end of the year.

The Xi Jinping leadership’s recent appointment of Cai and over a dozen others to senior provincial positions has turned heads because they are technically non-elites—none of the newly promoted officials are in the Central Committee, a collection of over 300 ministerial-level officials.

Xi has likely chosen to elevate Cai and others, who are either Xi’s former work colleagues or academicians and technocrats, to more fully consolidate his control over the Chinese regime.

Political Deathmatch

On paper, general-secretary Xi Jinping already appears to be very powerful, being “core” leader of the Chinese regime, the top military overseer, and head of several key policy-making groups.

But in actuality, Xi is less influential than his many titles suggest.

Even before taking office in 2012, Xi was forced to contend with a powerful political faction helmed by former Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin. Jiang’s faction has previously been dominant for about two decades, and is responsible for perpetuating corruption, kleptocracy, and persecution in China.

Jiang faction elites had originally planned to dispose of Xi, a compromise candidate between Jiang and then outgoing Chinese leader Hu Jintao, in a coup, according to sources inside the Party and an account by an Obama administration official to Washington Free Beacon reporter Bill Gertz. Xi Jinping himself appeared to allude to the attempted coup in official speeches where he accused disgraced Jiang elites of forming “cliques and cabals” to “wreck and split” the Party.

Over the past five years, Xi has sought to shift the balance of power through an anti-corruption campaign, which has led to the downfall of many Jiang allies and supporters in various governing organs and the military. More than a million officials have been investigated for corruption since 2013, of which over 200 are Party elites, according to Chinese state media.

Officials, possibly unhappy with being unable to make an easy fortune through corruption, have recently been found to be passively resisting the Xi leadership by refusing or poorly carrying out orders from Party central, according to Chinese scholars or indirect allusions in reports by the Party’s anti-corruption agency.

The result of the “deathmatch” between the Xi leadership and Jiang’s faction is stagnation in the Chinese regime—in the past five years, Xi hasn’t been able to push through substantial economic, legal, or security reforms.

Reshuffling the Provinces

In light of the current political situation in the Chinese regime, the Xi Jinping leadership’s recent elevation of Beijing boss Cai Qi and several other officials to top provincial positions despite their non-elite status seems to be born out of dire necessity rather than a willful attempt to break with the regime’s convention.

If Xi were to promote officials from among the current pool of Central Committee members, or within many important provincial-level administrations like Beijing, Chongqing, or Xinjiang, he runs the risk of entrenching the Chinese “deep state” that comprises lines of officials whose political patronage can be traced to Jiang Zemin’s faction.

Xi will unlikely want to go another five years being unable to properly push through his policies. Stacking the number one and two offices in key provinces with loyalists or capable academicians and technocrats with no political alignment is one way to break the impasse.

Xi’s efforts at political reshuffling is best seen in Beijing.

Beijing Party chief Cai Qi worked with Xi in the southern provinces of Fujian and Zhejiang. New acting mayor Chen Jining was president of the prestigious Tsinghua University until 2015 before serving as Minister of Environmental Protection. Two new Beijing municipal Party committee members, the political advisory organ chief, and the legislature chief were all brought in from outside Beijing.

Xi has either replicated or appears to be in the process of effecting similar political appointments in the other key provincial-level administrations such as Tianjin, Chongqing, Guangdong, Xinjiang, and Shanghai, long the base of operations of Jiang Zemin.

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Several hundred of 200,000 pro-democracy student protesters face to face with policemen outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on April 22, 1989. (Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images)Several hundred of 200,000 pro-democracy student protesters face to face with policemen outside the Great Hall of the People in Tiananmen Square in Beijing on April 22, 1989. (Catherine Henriette/AFP/Getty Images)

Twenty-eight years ago, China—along with the Soviet bloc—seemed on the cusp of political change.

Beginning with college students and university staff around the country, millions of people joined the nationwide demonstrations—for human rights, an end to corruption, and democratic reform—that had been sparked off by the death of Hu Yaobang, the liberal Chinese Communist Party former leader, in April 1989.

Despite widespread sympathy for the movement, and nearly a decade of economic change and social openness, the CCP declared martial law in Beijing; em Junho 4, 1989, soldiers and tanks of the People’s Liberation Army entered the capital and killed hundreds, maybe thousands of unarmed protesters in Tiananmen Square—the “gate of heavenly peace.”

Crowds of Beijing residents watch the military block access  to Tiananmen Square  in Beijing on June 7, 1989. (AP Photo/Sadayuki Mikami)

Crowds of Beijing residents watch the military block access to Tiananmen Square in Beijing on June 7, 1989. (AP Photo/Sadayuki Mikami)

In the final days before the imposition of martial law, Zhao Ziyang, Hu’s successor to the Party leadership, spoke to the students in Beijing, “We came too late. We are sorry. You talk about us, criticize us, it is all necessary.”

Twenty days after the Tiananmen Massacre, Zhao Ziyang was forced out of office and placed under house arrest. According to the Tiananmen Papers, a scholarly reconstruction of events during the demonstrations and massacre, while Zhao was never formally accused of any crime, he was blamed by Party hardliners for supposedly engineering the pro-democratic demonstrations.

In Zhao’s place the remaining Party leaders installed Jiang Zemin, a man whose deleterious influence in Chinese politics and brutal legacy in the suppression of human rights lingers to this day.

The Paradox of Reform

Following the death of chairman Mao Zedong in 1976, China had begun its “reform and opening up” era, unleashing the entrepreneurial potential of hundreds of millions of Chinese. The crazed fanaticism, state terror, and starvation of the chairman’s rule appeared a thing of the past.

Marx, Lenin, and Mao seemed to take a backseat in the tide of market prosperity and budding political reform. General secretary of the Chinese Communist Party, Hu Yaobang, took an opening and went so far as to say that none of Mao’s ideas were relevant in modern China’s economic modernizations.

Chinese Communist Party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang (C) addresses the student hunger strikers through a megaphone at dawn 19 Pode 1989.  (AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese Communist Party Secretary General Zhao Ziyang (C) addresses the student hunger strikers through a megaphone at dawn 19 Pode 1989. (AFP/Getty Images)

And in 1987, the mantle of leadership passed to Zhao Ziyang, a disciple of Hu’s political reforms. Though a high-ranking bureaucrat and a dedicated Party member, Zhao, in the words of scholar Julian B. Gewirtz, “prioritized substance over style” and envisioned a China both rich and democratic. In one of the more radical proposals, he called for the independence of the government from the Communist Party.

Under Zhao’s continued leadership, Gerwitz said in a statement published on the commentary website ChinaFile, “it’s not at all hard to imagine that Chinese society would be much more pluralistic, democratic, law-abiding, justo, and open to the outside world.”

But the Party had its own logic, one that could be seen even before the death of Hu Yaobang and the tragedy at Tiananmen.

Hardliners in the CCP, including Deng Xiaoping, the real source of power and political patronage in the China of the day, had previously acted—as in the example of the campaign to rid China of western “spiritual pollution”—to curb political liberalization. Hu Yaobang was a controversial figure, and the latter half of the 1980s saw his downfall.

Triumph of Party Character

The concept of “Party character”—”dang xing” in Mandarin—was a constant throughout CCP rule, and has proved a formidable tool ensuring cohesion of the communist regime and enlisting cooperation from its individual members.

Class struggle and materialist dialectics, the philosophical core of the Marxist-Leninism enshrined in CCP doctrine, informed the mass murders and unprecedented famine under Mao, and remained unchanged in the years following. Economic development, legal modernization, and loosening of social norms could make Chinese richer and more materially satisfied, but the Communist Party retained its basic ideological character.

At a time when political reforms in the Soviet Union led to the wholesale collapse of eastern European communist regimes, the strength of Party character doomed Hu and Zhao even in their capacities as general secretary—the highest rank in the CCP.

A poster displayed in late 1966 in a Beijing street shows how to deal with a so-called ‘enemy of the people’ during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution. (Jean Vincent/AFP/Getty Images)

Zhao Ziyang was not the first Party leader to be disgraced. In the chaos of the Cultural Revolution, brought on by Mao Zedong in the 1960s, General Secretary Liu Shaoqi was hounded by Red Guards as a “capitalist-roader” and brought down as attempts to defend himself with a copy of the Chinese constitution were simply ignored. He was tortured and held in inhuman conditions until his death two years later.

Chen Duxiu, founder of the CCP, was opposed to the use of violence and favored cooperation with the republican Chinese government in power at the time. He was squeezed out of his position and eventually expelled from the Party as a “right-wing opportunist.”

After Tiananmen

Hoje, little trace remains of the social movement that swept through Beijing, Harbin, Shenyang, Guangzhou, Hefei, Chengdu, and other Chinese metropolises in the spring of 1989. Zhao Ziyang lived under house arrest until his death in 2005.

With Zhao’s successor Jiang Zemin, China continued its march into capitalism without democracy. The aims of reform—transparent government, rule of law, greater democratization and growth of civil society—reversed course as money and patronage became the caustic lubricants of an affluent China’s political economy.

Chinese policeman approach Falun Gong practitioners who traveled across China to Tiananmen Square to stage peaceful appeals against the persecution in 2001.  (Courtesy of Minghui)

Chinese policeman approach Falun Gong practitioners who traveled across China to Tiananmen Square to stage peaceful appeals against the persecution in 2001. (Courtesy of Minghui)

While clad in western suits and enjoying the fruits of crony capitalism, the Party organization under Jiang retained the machinery of communism from Tiananmen—and the ideological culture for its use. Desta vez, the offense was not a matter of politics, but a clash of faith.

Dentro 1999, Jiang Zemin ordered a comprehensive campaign to destroy Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual practice taken up by over 70 million people since its first public teaching in 1992.

And like in 1989, the persecution was foreshadowed by signs of mounting CCP pressure—the slanderous articles of communist pundits like He Zuoxiu, the banning of Falun Gong books in 1996—culminating in the arrests in April 1999 of over 40 Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin, northern China.

Falun Gong adherents protested, gathering before the CCP leadership compound at Zhongnanhai in Beijing. Premier Zhu Rongji received several representatives inside the building, but his actions, as those of Zhao Ziyang ten years earlier, meant little.

Chinese President Jiang Zemin (eu) together with Premier Zhu Rongji during a departure ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing 03 Junho 2002. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Chinese President Jiang Zemin (eu) together with Premier Zhu Rongji during a departure ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing 03 Junho 2002. (Goh Chai Hin/AFP/Getty Images)

Jiang Zemin, who had risen to power in the wake of the bloody resolution of events on June 4th, saw a similar situation in the rise of Falun Gong in the 1990s. He called Falun Gong “the most serious political incident since June 4” in a Politburo meeting, according to scholars.

The 2000s and beyond would see the development of the most brutal persecution campaign in contemporary China—complete with dehumanizing propaganda, labor camp sentences, and the surgical murder of hundreds of thousands for their organs.

Communism is estimated to have killed at least 100 milhões de pessoas, yet its crimes have not been fully compiled and its ideology still persists. The Epoch Times seeks to expose the history and beliefs of this movement, which has been a source of tyranny and destruction since it emerged. Read the whole series at ept.ms/DeadEndCom

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Li Heping (certo), um advogado chinês proeminente de direitos humanos, foi lançado na semana passada depois de quase dois anos de prisão. (Radio Free Asia)Li Heping (certo), um advogado chinês proeminente de direitos humanos, foi lançado na semana passada depois de quase dois anos de prisão. (Radio Free Asia)

Depois de quase dois anos atrás das grades, Li Heping, um advogado chinês proeminente de direitos humanos, foi libertado da prisão na semana passada.

Ambos os seus amigos e sua esposa disse que estava quase irreconhecível-once robusta e saudável, ele agora é fino e magro, seu cabelo ficou branco, uma transformação radical para alguém apenas em seus quarenta e poucos anos.

Em julho 9, 2015, ele foi levado por agentes de segurança pública Tianjin e condenado por “subversão do poder do Estado.” Sua prisão foi parte de uma repressão em todo o país em 2015 conhecida coloquialmente como o “709 Incident” -que alvo mais 250 advogados de direitos humanos e ativistas.

Após dois anos de advocacia meticuloso em seu nome, Wang Qiaoling, A esposa de Li, finalmente foi capaz de obter a sua libertação. Li recebeu uma sentença suspensa de quatro anos, o que significa que ele ainda não pode exercer a advocacia como antes.

advogado de direitos humanos Li Heping, anteriormente jovem e robusto, parecia muito diferente e quase irreconhecível depois de ser preso e torturado. (Radio Free Asia)

Representando o vulnerável

Li Heping ganhou destaque por defender dissidentes políticos e grupos vulneráveis ​​na China, incluindo cristãos clandestinos, vítimas de despejos forçados, bem como praticantes da prática espiritual Falun Gong perseguidos.

Ele também procurou apelar em nome do ativista cego Chen Guangcheng e seu colega advogado de direitos Gao Zhisheng. Dentro 2006, ele defendeu ativista ambiental Tan Kai, fundador do grupo ambiental “Green Watch.”

Dentro 2007, junto com outros cinco advogados de direitos humanos com sede em Pequim, Li representou Wang Bo, um praticante do Falun Gong, em um caso de destaque na cidade de Shijiazhuang. Em sua defesa da inocência de Wang Bo, que em conjunto publicou “A Constituição é o Supremo, Liberdade de Religião”advogados chineses -a primeira vez aplicada a lei chinesa a defender sistematicamente os praticantes do Falun Gong como inocente. A declaração de defesa seriam frequentemente referenciado por advogados de direitos mais tarde, quando representando praticantes de Falun Gong.

Como ele continuou a assumir casos de alta visibilidade, Li foi submetido a aumento perseguição, vigilância, e ameaças por parte das forças de segurança chinesas. em setembro. 2007, ele foi seqüestrado por policiais à paisana e chocado com bastões elétricos para várias horas antes de ser deixado na floresta nos subúrbios de Beijing. Dentro 2009, As autoridades chinesas se recusou a renovar sua licença lei, privando-o assim do seu direito de praticar a lei e forçando-o a voltar-se para o trabalho consulta jurídica vez.

As tensões crescentes culminou com sua prisão em julho, 2015 juntamente com numerosos outros defensores dos direitos humanos.

De Defender a Perseguida

De acordo com a esposa de Li, Wang Qiaoling, Li foi submetido a vigilância constante enquanto detido, com pessoas guardando consigo, assim como ele usou o banheiro e torturado com espancamentos e choques elétricos.

além disso, enquanto estava preso, Li foi regularmente forçados a consumir drogas desconhecidas, ostensivamente para pressão arterial elevada, uma condição que ele não tinha.

As drogas resultou em fraqueza física, dor em seus músculos, e visão embaçada. Outros defensores dos direitos humanos libertados da prisão, incluindo o irmão mais novo de Li, Li Chunfu, discutiram experiências semelhantes de ser medicação desconhecido alimentados à força, enquanto detido. Depois de ser lançado em janeiro 2017, Li logo foi diagnosticado com sintomas de esquizofrenia.

De acordo com Heng Ele, um comentador político sênior da New Tang Dynasty Television (uma empresa de mídia irmã do Epoch Times) o uso de medicamentos como uma forma de termo não é um acontecimento isolado. Dentro 2001, Associação Psiquiátrica Americana começou chamando a atenção para administração forçada de drogas psicotrópicas em praticantes de Falun Gong detidos em hospitais psiquiátricos.

Heng diz que a alimentação forçada de drogas foi “usado em grande escala em praticantes de Falun Gong antes de ser usado para perseguir advogados de direitos humanos”. O propósito, ele diz, é “quebrar a sua vontade” e ameaçar aqueles ao seu redor, destacando as consequências da política do estado opondo.

Em resposta a evidência crescente de administração forçada de drogas, membros de Advogados chineses para a Protecção dos Direitos Humanos escreveu uma carta aberta em maio 14 pedindo uma investigação independente sobre o uso de drogas para torturar advogados de direitos presos como parte do 709 Incidente.

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Hongyan Lu fala em uma reunião em frente à embaixada chinesa em abril de 25, 2017, para marcar o 18º aniversário de recurso em larga escala dos praticantes do Falun Gong para a liberdade de crença na China em abril de 25, 1999, e para pedir o fim da perseguição ao Falun Gong. À sua direita é praticante do Falun Gong Joanna Qiao segurando uma placa em busca de ajuda para pedir a libertação da mãe de Lu, Huixia Chen, da detenção na China e de frente para três anos à prisão perpétua por sua crença. (Donna Ele / The Epoch Times)Hongyan Lu fala em uma reunião em frente à embaixada chinesa em abril de 25, 2017, para marcar o 18º aniversário de recurso em larga escala dos praticantes do Falun Gong para a liberdade de crença na China em abril de 25, 1999, e para pedir o fim da perseguição ao Falun Gong. À sua direita é praticante do Falun Gong Joanna Qiao segurando uma placa em busca de ajuda para pedir a libertação da mãe de Lu, Huixia Chen, da detenção na China e de frente para três anos à prisão perpétua por sua crença. (Donna Ele / The Epoch Times)

OTTAWA-O maior apelo para a liberdade de crença na história chinesa foi comemorado em frente à Embaixada da China em Ottawa de abril 25, 2017.

Em abril 25, 1999, mais que 10,000 pessoas se reuniram pacificamente em Pequim para pedir sua liberdade de praticar o Falun Gong ea liberação dos praticantes companheiros presos. Quarenta e cinco ou mais praticantes havia sido espancado e detido na cidade vizinha de Tianjin.

o 45 praticantes foram liberados naquela noite, por isso aqueles que se reuniram para apelação deixou em silêncio e foi para casa.

Contudo, apenas três meses após o apelo sem precedentes, então chinesa líder do Partido Comunista Jiang Zemin lançou uma campanha nacional de perseguição “erradicar” o Falun Gong que continua até hoje.

“Estamos honrando o espírito de paz, justiça, e compaixão com a qual esse recurso foi realizada 18 anos atrás,"Disse Xun Li, presidente da Associação do Falun Dafa do Canadá.

“Estou aqui para honrar a abril 25º apelação pacífica. Entretanto Espero também chamar a atenção para o caso de minha mãe,"Disse Hongyan Lu, um praticante do Falun Gong vivendo em Ottawa.

Hongyan contou como seu 60 anos mãe Huixia Chen sofria de hepatite B, cirrose, Problemas de estômago, e endometriose em 1998 quando ela começou a praticar o Falun Gong, também chamado Falun Dafa.

“Apenas alguns meses para praticar o Falun Gong naquele ano, todas as suas doenças milagrosamente foi embora e ela ficou boa-temperado,"Disse Hongyan.

Contudo, Huixia foi preso em junho 2016, juntamente com outros profissionais companheiros.

Em primeiro 20 dias após a detenção, Huixia “foi torturado e bloqueado em uma cadeira feito de barras de metal e não pode mover-se,"Disse Hongyan. “Isso destruiu sua saúde e tornou difícil para ela andar ou levantar-se. Ela é muito fraco. Ela também foi forçado a suportar sessões de lavagem cerebral “.

Huixia é detido em Shijiazhuang Segundo Centro de Detenção.

“Meus parentes na China ainda estão lutando para obter quaisquer atualizações sobre minha mãe e, infelizmente, têm feito pouco progresso,”Hangyan disse. “Nós não temos idéia do que está acontecendo ou o que pode acontecer com a minha mãe sob um regime sem um sistema jurídico independente e eficaz.”

Hongyan observou que a experiência de sua mãe é típico das dezenas de milhões de praticantes do Falun Gong na China.

“Eu chamo para o fim da perseguição e da libertação de meu outro e todos os outros praticantes de Falun Gong encarcerados," ela disse.

“É hora de acabar com este crime o mal.”

Falun Gong é uma disciplina espiritual tradicional da escola budista. Ele consiste de meditação, exercícios de qigong, e os ensinamentos morais com base nos princípios da verdade, compaixão, e tolerância. A prática se espalhou rapidamente, devido aos benefícios profundas experimentadas pelos praticantes em sua saúde física e bem-estar mental e moral.

Ao final de 1990 pesquisas do governo chinês estimou que 70-100 milhões de pessoas tinham tomado a prática. Devido a paranóia sobre a imensa popularidade da prática, que não estava sob o controlo do estado, Partido líder Jiang lançou oficialmente a perseguição brutal em julho 1999.

Dentro 2006 Nações Unidas afirmou que 66 por cento das vítimas de tortura relatados eram praticantes de Falun Gong. o U.N. e outros grupos também relataram crescente evidência de estupro, tortura, propaganda de ódio generalizado, mortes, e colheita de órgãos forçado mesmo orquestrada pelo estado de praticantes de Falun Gong para abastecer o comércio transplante em expansão da China.

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abril 25, 1999abril 25, 1999

EDMONTON-”Foi um dia em que Deus verdadeiramente triunfou.”

É assim que Michael Cooper, MP para Edmonton-St. Albert, descrito o abril 25, 1999, evento no qual se estima 10,000 praticantes de Falun Dafa se reuniram em Pequim para protestar pacificamente o tom endurecimento da mídia estatal contra a sua prática ea prisão ilegal de seus companheiros praticantes em Tianjin nas proximidades.

Cooper estava falando em um comício realizado em Dr de Edmonton. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo de abril 22 para comemorar o aniversário do apelo. O rali também ouviu Garnett Genuis, MP para Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, e adeptos do Falun Dafa (também chamado Falun Gong) que experimentaram a perseguição na China.

Foi a maior manifestação pacífica pro-democrática na China desde os Tiananmen manifestações pró-democráticas de 1989. Foi um feito notável.

- MP Michael Cooper

O protesto foi o maior apelo para a liberdade de crença na história recente da China, E a última vez Falun Dafa adeptos conseguiram reunir antes da perseguição brutal contra a prática foi lançado em julho 1999 pelo Partido Comunista, em seguida,-chinês (CCP) líder Jiang Zemin.

‘Um feito notável’

“É uma honra estar aqui para ficar com [praticantes de Falun Dafa] para veracidade, compaixão, e tolerância, em solidariedade para comemorar os bravos homens e mulheres que 10.000-plus [coletado] em Pequim naquele dia fatídico de abril, 25, 1999,”Cooper disse. veracidade, compaixão, e paciência são os princípios orientadores do Falun Dafa.

abril 25, 1999

Garnett Genuis, MP para Sherwood Park-Fort Saskatchewan, fala em uma reunião em Dr de Edmonton. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo de abril 22, 2017 para marcar o 18º aniversário de abril 25, 1999 apelar em Pequim pelos adeptos do Falun Dafa. (Omid Ghoreishi / The Epoch Times)

"Homem e mulher, que se levantou pela justiça, que se levantou pela liberdade, que se levantou aos direitos humanos, que se levantou para as dezenas de praticantes do Falun Gong que dias antes tinha sido arredondado, preso, e espancado. Foi a maior manifestação pacífica pro-democrática na China desde os Tiananmen manifestações pró-democráticas de 1989. Foi um feito notável," ele disse.

Mas a resposta do regime chinês era típico de uma “ditadura comunista brutal,”Cooper observou.

Apenas três meses depois, o regime de Jiang lançou uma campanha de perseguição contra Falun Dafa, que no passado 18 anos resultou em milhares de famílias sendo destruídas, muitos enviados para campos de trabalho, muitos torturado até a morte, e muitos mais perder suas vidas no comércio transplante de órgãos sancionada pelo Estado ilícito da China.

abril 25, 1999

Dr. Minnan Liu do Falun Dafa Associação de Edmonton fala em um comício em Dr de Edmonton. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo de abril 22, 2017 para marcar o 18º aniversário de abril 25, 1999 apelar em Pequim pelos adeptos do Falun Dafa. (Omid Ghoreishi / The Epoch Times)

“Em face de alguns dos abusos e crimes de direitos humanos mais flagrantes cometidos no mundo moderno pela ditadura comunista da China, como tem praticantes de Falun Gong respondeu?”, Perguntou Cooper.

"[eles têm] respondeu pacificamente, através da educação, através de uma campanha de sensibilização, a brilhar luz sobre os maus-os males que são perpetradas em uma base dia-a-dia na China contra o Falun Gong, e as dezenas de milhões de praticantes de direito em toda a China.”

Colheita de órgãos forçado

Cooper disse à multidão que ele e seu colega MP Genuis e outros na Câmara dos Comuns vai continuar a pressionar o governo canadense para obrigar Pequim para parar a perseguição e promover “a liberdade, democracia, e os direitos humanos “.

Canadá pode desempenhar um papel forte, defesa dos direitos humanos universais. Temos a responsabilidade de fazer isso, especialmente quando o governo fala sobre o aumento de nosso engajamento com a China.

- MP Garnett Genuis

ajoelhada, que recentemente introduziu um A conta de membro privado para combater a colheita de órgãos forçado de prisioneiros de consciência na China, disse perseguição contra todas as comunidades de fé na China está em ascensão.

“Como a China faz o seu melhor para branquear a sua imagem internacional, a perseguição está aumentando, Está ficando pior, e que exige uma resposta forte daqueles de nós no Ocidente e em todo o mundo comprometidos com a justiça e os direitos humanos,”, Disse o rali.

Ajoelhado de Bill C-350, que revive um projeto de lei apresentado na última legislatura pelo ex-ministro da Justiça Liberal Irwin Cotler, pazes Código Penal do Canadá e Imigração e Lei de Proteção de Refugiados. O projeto de lei visa torná-lo uma ofensa criminal de alguém para adquirir um órgão que eles sabem foi obtida sem o consentimento, e fazer as pessoas envolvidas na colheita de órgãos forçado inadmissível para o Canadá.

Luo Zehui (R) narra através de um tradutor como seu pai desmaiou sob tortura e depois cremado enquanto ainda está vivo na China por praticar o Falun Gong em um comício em Dr de Edmonton. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo de abril 22, 2017. O evento foi realizado para marcar o 18º aniversário de abril 25, 1999 apelar em Pequim pelos adeptos do Falun Dafa. (Omid Ghoreishi / The Epoch Times)

De acordo com investigações do ex-secretário canadense de Estado David Kilgour, Canadian advogado de direitos humanos David Matas, e jornalista investigativo americano Ethan Gutmann, até 90,000 transplantes de órgãos têm lugar na China em uma base anual, com a maioria deles sendo prisioneiros do Falun Gong de consciência que são mortos por seus órgãos.

“O Canadá pode desempenhar um papel forte, defesa dos direitos humanos universais. Temos a responsabilidade de fazer isso, especialmente quando o governo fala sobre aumentando nosso compromisso com a China,”Genuis disse.

Perseguição

O rali ouvido de dois praticantes de Falun Gong que experimentou pessoalmente a perseguição enquanto na China.

Calgary residente Luo Zehui retransmitida em um discurso emocionado através de um tradutor que seu pai, Jiang Xiqing, foi colocado em um campo de trabalhos forçados e torturado por praticar o Falun Gong.

abril 25, 1999

Zhang Ping (R) narra através de um tradutor como ela foi preso várias vezes na China por praticar o Falun Gong em um comício em Dr de Edmonton. Wilbert McIntyre Gazebo de abril 22, 2017. O evento foi realizado para marcar o 18º aniversário de abril 25, 1999 apelar em Pequim pelos adeptos do Falun Dafa. (Omid Ghoreishi / The Epoch Times)

Jiang desmaiou sob tortura, e foi então cremado, enquanto ele ainda estava vivo, um Luo chorosa disse.

Zhang Ping, Também a partir de Calgary, falou sobre como ambos seu estado físico e mental melhorou com a prática e como ela foi capaz de harmonizar suas relações com membros da família e aqueles em sua comunidade, graças ao Falun Gong.

Contudo, devido à campanha de perseguição do PCC, ela foi preso e detido em várias ocasiões. Ela finalmente escapou China para vir para o Canadá em 2015.

“Depois de deixar minha cidade natal, em menos de um ano eu ouvi sobre três praticantes mais companheiro do Falun Gong que morreram de perseguição," ela disse.

"Havia 43 morte confirmada no local e 989 na minha província desde a perseguição começou.”

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Pan Yiyang, attends a 2013 meeting in Beijing. (REUTERS / Stringer)Pan Yiyang, attends a 2013 meeting in Beijing. (REUTERS / Stringer)

BEIJING—A court in northern China on Tuesday jailed for 20 years a former senior provincial government official who bribed a now disgraced former aide to retired leader Hu Jintao, state news agency Xinhua reported.

The court in Tianjin found that Pan Yiyang abused his positions as vice governor of the northern region of Inner Mongolia and Communist Party boss of Ganzhou in the eastern province of Jiangxi and took bribes, the agency said.

Between 2000 e 2013, Xinhua said, Pan “many times” offered bribes totaling 7.6 milhões de yuan ($1.10 milhão) to Ling Jihua, a close aide to former president Hu, who retired in 2013, to be succeeded by Chinese leader Xi Jinping.

Ling was jailed for life last year after being found guilty of taking bribes, illegally obtaining state secrets and abuse of power, at a secret trial, where his wife testified against him.

The Tianjin court found that Pan had cooperated in the investigation against him, admitted his guilt and had repented, meaning he was given a lighter sentence, Xinhua added.

It was not possible to reach a legal, or family, representative of Pan for comment. Courts are controlled by the party and generally do not challenge party accusations of corruption against senior former officials.

Xi has launched a sweeping war against deep-seated corruption since taking office more than four years ago, warning, like others before him, that the problem is so bad it could affect the party’s grip on power.

Dozens of senior officials have been jailed, including the feared former state security chief, Zhou Yongkang.

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Falun Gong practitioners gathered around Zhongnanhai to silently, peacefully appeal for fair treatment on April 25, 1999. (Photo courtesy Clearwisdom.net)Falun Gong practitioners gathered around Zhongnanhai to silently, peacefully appeal for fair treatment on April 25, 1999. (Photo courtesy Clearwisdom.net)

A safe environment to do slow motion exercises and meditate. That was all the 10,000 practitioners of Falun Gong, uma prática espiritual tradicional chinesa, were asking for when they gathered near the Chinese leadership headquarters at Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999.

The peaceful appeal, Contudo, was seized upon by then Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Jiang Zemin as an excuse to eventually launch the Party’s latest, and possibly most savage, persecution campaign.

Official policy hasn’t shifted since Jiang’s call to “defeat” Falun Gong 18 anos atrás, though the Party’s campaign is widely thought to have failed.

Horrors of Persecution

The Chinese regime had initially endorsed Falun Gong, ou Falun Dafa, after it was first introduced to the public in 1992 by founder Mr. Li Hongzhi. Sr. Li received awards from several state organizations, including the Ministry of Public Security, for the efficacy of his “qigong” (energy practice) in helping the Chinese people stay healthy and uplift their morals.

The practice involves doing meditative exercises and living according to teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compaixão, e tolerância. After it was first taught by Mr. Li, the practice spread rapidly by word of mouth. By 1999 havia 70 para 100 million practitioners in China by 1999, according to official and practitioner estimates.

With the numbers practicing Falun Gong becoming greater than the membership of the communist party, support turned into surveillance near the end of the century.

Trouble had to be manufactured.

The April 25 appeal at Zhongnanhai was sparked by the sudden arrest of 45 Falun Gong practitioners in the coastal city of Tianjin, Beijing’s port city.

In a letter circulated to the Politburo on the evening of April 25, Jiang Zemin framed the event as a “siege” and the “the most serious political incident since June 4,” the pro-democracy student protest in 1989 that the regime suppressed in a bloody massacre. Jiang expressed the fear that the “Marxism, Materialism, and Atheism” promoted by the CCP could not win against the teachings of Falun Gong.

Three months later, Jiang initiated a highly oppressive campaign to eliminate Falun Gong.

In the early years of the persecution, the entire population was bombarded with hate propaganda against the group. School children faced expulsion if they refused to go along with the demonization of the practice. Chinese officials were promised wealth and promotion if they got their hands bloody.

Practitioners have been arrested for refusing to give up their faith or for telling their fellow citizens about what Falun Gong is and how it has been persecuted. Arrested, they have been sent to extralegal labor camps or other detention facilities.

Most have been detained without the formality of legal proceedings. Those who were hauled to court were prosecuted for distributing or possessing Falun Gong materials using a criminal law that Chinese lawyers consider vague and unconstitutional.

According to human rights reports, practitioners are usually subjected to the worst treatment among prison or labor camp inmates. Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for firsthand information about the persecution, is replete with reports of practitioners enduring medieval-style tortures, brutal beatings, and sleep deprivation. Female practitioners face rape or gang rape by other prison inmates or guards.

Practitioners in detention also form the bulk of prisoners of conscience being harvested alive to fuel the Chinese regime’s profitable organ trade, de acordo com um 2016 report by journalist Ethan Gutmann, former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour (Asia/Pacific), and international human rights lawyer David Matas. That report estimativas that between 60,000 e 100,000 Chinese have had their organs forcibly harvested each year in the period 2000-2015.

o United States House of Representatives e a Parlamento Europeu recently passed resolutions strongly condemning the Chinese regime for organ harvesting.

‘Cracks in the Crackdown’

In a recent report on the state of religion in China, Freedom House, a United States-based human rights nongovernmental organization, considers the Chinese regime’s degree of persecution of Falun Gong today to be “very high.”

But the Chinese regime hasn’t succeeded in wiping out the practice. Drawing on official Chinese documents and data from Minghui, Freedom House estimates that there are between 7 para 10 million Falun Gong practitioners still active in China, while Falun Gong sources suggest the figure is between 20-40 milhão.

“The simple fact that Falun Gong has survived the CCP’s onslaught is impressive and amounts to a genuine failure of the party’s repressive apparatus,” the report says.

The report also notes that since Chinese leader Xi Jinping took office in 2012, several factors have caused “cracks in the crackdown” of Falun Gong.

Xi’s anti-corruption campaign has resulted in the purge of key officials overseeing the persecution, such as former security czar Zhou Yongkang, and Li Dongsheng, formerly the head of the “610 Office,” the Gestapo-like, extralegal anti-Falun Gong agency created by Jiang Zemin.

Institutions running the persecution have been weakened. For instance, a 610 Office has undergone several changes of leadership since the fall of Li Dongsheng, and was inspected for the first time by the anti-corruption agency in 2016. Além disso, no new anti-Falun Gong campaign has replaced the most recent one from 2013 para 2015.

A confluence of the above factors appears to be the reason that the regime’s legal apparatus has thrown out cases against arrested practitioners. This phenomenon, which began in late 2016, has resulted in over 17 dismissed cases by local procuratorates and courts.

‘A Little More Space’

The situation in the northeastern province of Liaoning, one of the most severely persecuted regions, is a case in point.

Key Liaoning official, Wang Min, the former Party chief of Liaoning, and Su Hongzhang, head of Liaoning’s Political and Legal Affairs Commission, were purged in 2015 e 2016 respectively. Wang and Su were identified by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, a U.S.-based NGO, as being involved in cases of persecution.

Direct outreach to legal officials appeared to have played a part in the the local procuratorate rejecting the case against Li Shijin and Lin Youyan, two female practitioners from Liaoning’s Tieling County who were arrested for handing out calendars with information about Falun Gong.

Lawyers representing Li and Lin explained to legal officials that there the regime has no law banning Falun Gong, de acordo com Minghui. Family members of the practitioners gave testimonies about the benefits of the practice to the Chinese officials. The officials then suggested the family members file a legal appeal, which later led to the case being dismissed.

When the two practitioners were in detention, they talked about Falun Gong to other inmates and the guards. According to Minghui, “everyone in the cells and guards said farewell and wished them well” after they were released on Feb. 17.

At least three other practitioners from Liaoning have had cases against them dismissed and have been released as of April 2017, according to reports on Minghui.

Yet the instances of reversal remain overshadowed by the greater incidence of persecution. Liaoning tops the list of regions where practitioners were prosecuted in marcha 2017, with 31 fora de 110 reported cases.

Heng He, a senior political commentator with New Tang Dynasty Television, believes that the contradictory situation that has emerged in Liaoning and other areas of China boils down to politics.

“The persecution of Falun Gong saw the rise of a huge persecutory interest group,” Heng said. “The group’s political, financial and other benefits totally depend on whether the persecution can continue or not.”

On the flipside, officials in the anti-Falun Gong machinery have “a little more space to make their own choices” in the absence of continued top-down political impetus, Heng He said. And some, perhaps sensing a shift in the wind under the Xi leadership, have chosen to instead exercise their humanity.

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