43 Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners were stopped at the Hong Kong airport and sent back to Taiwan on July 22 and July 23 even though they presented valid travel documents and had committed no crimes. (NTD Television)43 Taiwan Falun Gong practitioners were stopped at the Hong Kong airport and sent back to Taiwan on July 22 and July 23 even though they presented valid travel documents and had committed no crimes. (NTD Television)

Every year around July 20, hundreds of Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners fly to Hong Kong to join an annual parade that peacefully protests the Chinese regime’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong in mainland China. Immigration officials seldom bother them.

But this year, at least 43 Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioners were stopped after landing at the airport on July 22 and 23 and repatriated back to Taiwan. Security officers and police detained them for hours in the immigrations office, combed through their luggage, and interrogated them individually.

The practitioners had committed no crimes and presented valid travel documents. They were given no official explanation as to why they were being turned away.

“We kept asking what the issue was, but they just claimed that they needed to inspect us, and then they had us sit” in the immigrations office, said a Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner surnamed Xu in an interview with New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD), a sister media of The Epoch Times.

Another Falun Gong practitioner, surnamed Zheng, told Radio Free Asia, “They took our identification documents and photocopied all of them before placing our IDs into individual case files,” Zheng said.

Airport security officers perform a thorough pat-down of a Taiwanese Falun Gong practitioner before forcing her to board a return flight to Taiwan. (Radio Free Asia)

He and other Falun Gong practitioners were forced to board returning flights to Taiwan, and their confiscated documents were not returned until they had landed, Zheng said.

This was the largest incident of its kind since 2007, when Hong Kong authorities violently evicted at least 800 Falun Gong practitioners. Hong Kong authorities have sporadically blacklisted and repatriated Falun Gong practitioners since 2001.

The traditional Chinese spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, has been persecuted by the Chinese communist regime since July 20, 1999. In the 1990s, the practice had attracted upwards of 70 million adherents for its moral philosophy and uplifting health benefits. Its popularity drew the ire of then-Party chief Jiang Zemin who decided to wipe out the practice.

Every year, Falun Gong practitioners around the world commemorate the launch of the persecution with rallies, candlelight vigils, and parades, including in semi-autonomous Hong Kong, where Falun Gong practitioners enjoy considerable freedom compared to their counterparts in mainland China who are imprisoned, brainwashed, and tortured to renounce their beliefs.

In an interview with NTD, Taipei City council member Hung Chien-yi said: “A free and democratic society must value religious beliefs.”

“I think Taiwan’s current administration, the Taiwanese Strait Exchange Foundation, and the Association for Relations Across the Taiwan Straits all need to publicly condemn” what happened in Hong Kong, Hung added.

Taiwan’s Falun Gong Human Rights Lawyers Group called out the Hong Kong authorities for violating Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which protects religious freedom.

“We, the Falun Gong Human Rights Lawyers Group, solemnly protest against the Hong Kong government for once again unlawfully repatriating Falun Gong practitioners even though they all had valid travel documents,” said the spokesperson of the organization, Theresa Chu, in an interview with NTD.

“Here, we call on the new Chief Executive Carrie Lam and the Director of Immigration Erick Tsang not to participate in the persecution of Falun Gong and not to damage the policy of one country, two systems,” Chu added.   

Hu Zonghan, Wu Yiqing, and Liu Ziyin contributed to this article.

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  • Category: General

A European marching band and peaceful protestors in Trafalgar Square, calling for an end to an 18-year-long persecution. The music from the marching band is uplifting and hopeful, yet the personal stories of some of the members are heartbreaking.A European marching band and peaceful protestors in Trafalgar Square, calling for an end to an 18-year-long persecution. The music from the marching band is uplifting and hopeful, yet the personal stories of some of the members are heartbreaking.

Practitioners of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong marched through the streets of London and Cambridge on Saturday 22 and Sunday 23 July, appealing for an end to the 18-years of persecution instigated by the Chinese communist regime.

A colourful marching band was followed by protesters peacefully holding banners and placards. On the Sunday evening, a candlelit vigil was held in London’s Trafalgar Square.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese meditation practice that cultivates truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. A brutal crackdown of the practice was initiated on 20 July 1999 by the then-leader of the Chinese communist party, Jiang Zemin.

Since that time there have been 4,112 documented deaths, but this is thought to be the tip of the iceberg. The NGO Freedom House estimates that the number of practitioners detained in labour camps and sentenced to prison terms is in the hundreds of thousands, “making them the largest contingent of prisoners of conscience in the country.”

Each year around 20 July, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters organise peaceful protests to raise awareness of the brutal persecution.

Dongfei Yan was at the protest in London. She was tortured in a labour camp and forced to make 3,000 chopsticks every day.

“The room was soon filled with sawdust and plastic powder and the air was badly polluted, causing us to keep coughing all the time and making it hard even to open our eyes,” she said. “I was handcuffed to a ‘tiger bench’, a torture tool made of steel. I was forced to sit on it with my wrists and ankles all locked onto it. My limbs were locked in this way for over 10 hours.”

She fled to London to seek asylum.

A few days earlier on 18 July, a seminar in Parliament highlighted the issue of forced organ harvesting in China. To coincide with the event, supporters held a rally in Parliament Square.

Investigators have found that forced organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience, mainly from illegally detained Falun Gong practitioners, is happening systematically on a large scale.

“We need to raise the profile of what China is doing in relation to the forced organ harvesting that’s taking place. They deny it, but the fact is, it continues,” said MP Jim Shannon after the seminar.

“Those people have been victimised, politicised and systematically had their organs taken off them because they believe in Falun Gong. Our job is to make sure China stops that,” he told NTDTV.

Matthew Offord, MP for Hendon said: “I’ve come along today to show my solidarity, that we remember what is happening, and to repeat the call that the Chinese government must stop this barbaric practice.”

“It’s known throughout the world and in the West that this practice is occurring, and the amounts of money that are being paid for organs,” he said.

The marches over the weekend were led by a military style marching band made up of around 70 musicians from across Europe. While the music is uplifting and hopeful, the personal stories of some of the members are heartbreaking. Some have had loved ones thrown in jail or forced into hiding in China.

Amy Yu is from north London and plays in the band. Her father was imprisoned for his beliefs, yet even after his release he does not feel free in his native country, she said.

“After so many years of imprisonment and harm to his health, even though now he has been released, our ordeal isn’t over. I cannot talk with my father openly on the phone, because we are sure the phone is monitored. He has to be careful not to reveal his location to authorities – he is effectively in hiding,” she said.

Practitioners of Falun Gong meditate outside the National Gallery in Trafalgar Square on 23 July 2017, appealing for an end to an 18-year-long persecution. (Si Gross/The Epoch Times)

A Falun Gong practitioner enacts being illegally imprisoned in China as part of a peaceful protest outside Parliament Square on 18 July 2017. The NGO Freedom House estimates that the number of practitioners detained in labour camps is in the hundreds of thousands. (The Epoch Times)
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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, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice, have been targeted for suppression by the Chinese authorities since July 1999 when former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a persecution campaign. Today, 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, however, 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.

Also, 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, according to 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.

Over 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 a.m. 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, however, 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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  • Category: General

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

WASHINGTON—Numerous candlelights flickered in the darkness as hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners held a vigil in front of the Lincoln Memorial to remember the victims of the Chinese communist regime’s persecution of the practice.

The traditional Chinese spiritual discipline of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, was first introduced in China in 1992. Many Chinese were attracted to the practice for its physical benefits and moral philosophy rooted in the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. It has been persecuted since July 1999 after it became too popular in the eyes of a former communist leader, who ordered it to be eliminated.

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners in a candlelight vigil at Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Since then, hundreds of thousands of practitioners have been thrown into prisons, labor camps, and brainwashing centers where they are coerced through physical and psychological torture into renouncing their beliefs. A large but indefinite number of Falun Gong practitioners have also been killed for their organs to fuel China’s lucrative transplant industry, according to reports.

Falun Dafa practitioners gathered in Washington D.C. on July 20 for a series of events, including a rally, parade, and a candlelight vigil, to honor the lives lost over the past eighteen years.

Pooja Mor joins Falun Gong practitioners during a candlelight vigil around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Pooja Mor, a fashion model, joins Falun Gong practitioners during a candlelight vigil around the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Pooja Mor, a 25-year-old Indian fashion model, joined in the day’s events in DC to show her support. Mor started practicing Falun Dafa two and a half years ago after her agent in India introduced it to her.

“Before I used to blame people for everything wrong that happened in my life. After learning Falun Dafa, I started to look within,” Mor said. “Instead of finding faults with others, I first look to see where I’m lacking.”

Falun Dafa practitioner Yang Guangyu, a native of Beijing who came to the US in 2009, said, “Falun Dafa practitioners simply want to cultivate themselves, to promote moral values, and to improve their health.” Yang was detained in late 2001 in a prison and later a forced labor camp for peacefully defending Falun Dafa in Beijing’s Tiananmen Square, a popular site of protest in China.

Many tourists and visitors who passed by the candlelight vigil expressed their sympathy and shock at the human rights abuses occurring in China.

“I have trouble understanding why something like this would be persecuted in China,” said Catherine Ramos, a tourist from New Jersey.

Lynne DePalma, who was with Ramos, said, “It’s a communist country, so it’s a closed society. And a lot of things that go on, the world doesn’t know about unless people do something like this and bring it to the world’s attention.”

“It’s an atrocity, and it shouldn’t be happening,” DePalma added. “It’s immoral. It’s abusive.”   

Ma Cunxia, a Falun Gong practitioner from Changchun City in northeastern China, called on the U.S. government to take a firmer stance. “I hope the government, particularly the Trump administration, can act on America’s founding values of human rights and freedom of belief and call for an end to this 18-year-long persecution.”

Eva Fu contributed to this report.

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A little boy joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A little boy joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners hold a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor those who have died during the persecution in China that the Chinese regime started on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A woman joins Falun Gong practitioners at a candlelight vigil at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington on July 20, 2017, to honor the lives lost since the Chinese regime launched the persecution eighteen years ago. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

 

 

 

 

 

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  • Category: General

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. The persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China that started on July 20, 1999 by China's former leader Jiang Zemin. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. The persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China that started on July 20, 1999 by China's former leader Jiang Zemin. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

For months, Li Guiqin, a 58-year-old retired scientist now living in the United States, would crowd into the back of an eight-seat van and cruise the streets of Harbin as she and others made phone calls to China’s public security officials, telling them to stop persecuting her faith community.

The constant motion was a must for this dangerous work. Staying stationary would have made it easy for the Chinese Communist Party’s omnipresent surveillance apparatus to triangulate her position and swarm in with the equivalent of a SWAT team.

So she and a few others—usually three or four, often retired, men and women who practiced the Chinese spiritual tradition of Falun Gong—plied the streets of the gritty northern industrial city near Siberia, making phone call after phone call from the van.

Some of the officials they reached responded with malice, some with indifference. But others responded with a hard-won acceptance of the truth that years of violence failed to conceal.

The Party began its nationwide persecution of the Falun Gong practice on July 20, 1999. Millions are believed to have been sent to labor camps, prisons, and illegal brainwashing centers, where practitioners are tortured in an attempt to force them to recant their beliefs. A large but unknown number are believed to have been killed for their organs.

And against all this has stood a stubborn group of meditators like Li Guiqin and her friends. They and numerous other Falun Gong practitioners in China have over the years adopted a range of creative methods for directly reaching the officials who have been ordered to persecute them, refuting the official narrative about Falun Gong and offering these public security agents a different course of action: to simply ignore the official orders.

‘I Have to Tell the Truth’

Li Guiqin, formerly a scientist at the Agricultural Science Institute of Heilongjiang Province, started to perform the slow-moving exercises of Falun Gong in the spring of 1995. She says she was cured of chronic gastritis and enteritis, which gave her frequent diarrhea.

By 1999, an official survey estimated that upwards of 70 million people were practicing Falun Gong—a number greater than the Chinese Communist Party’s membership at the time. Falun Gong sources say that in 1999, more than 100 million people were practicing.

Finding Falun Gong’s popularity unacceptable, the leader of the Party at the time, Jiang Zemin, demanded that the practice be wiped out.

Besides brutalizing practitioners, the regime launched a nationwide campaign of propaganda, marginalization, and incitement to hatred. Officials organized study sessions in work units and schools, forcing all employees and students to denounce the practice. State-run media manufactured stories of violence, insanity, and suicide, including the staged self-immolation incident of 2001.

Li Guiqin was detained three times, and in October 2002, she was was sentenced to three years in a forced labor camp for reeducation. In one incident, she had three of her front teeth knocked out as she was beaten unconscious by a frenzied guard.

Li’s response to all this is straightforward. “They make us tell lies and say what they want rather than how things actually are. But I have to tell the truth,” she said.

Falun Gong Calling

Across the country, dedicated volunteers like Li have been using both low- and high-tech methods to undercut the political campaign against Falun Gong. Grassroots initiatives like putting up posters and depositing fliers in bicycle baskets are at one end of the spectrum, while creating software that will automatically dial hundreds of phone numbers in sequence, or send one text message after another, is at the other.

Shao Changyong, now living in exile in New York City, uses high-tech methods. Practitioners like Shao—who was an engineering student at a military university when he began the practice, and later became a software lecturer—often create the tools and techniques that older volunteers like Li Guiqin use.

Shao came into contact with Falun Gong in the summer of 1994. He said he was stunned by its moral tenets: truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. “It was like finding a spiritual home,” he said. “My entire outlook on life dramatically changed.”

After a two-year labor camp sentence ended in 2005, he jumped feet first into “telling the truth”—the effort to show Chinese people and officials that Falun Gong was not the nefarious, mysterious organization that the Party claimed, but merely a collection of individuals who found meaning in a powerful faith practice.

In 2013, he learned of the phone-calling initiative, which had germinated a decade before when Falun Gong practitioners began contacting individual Chinese citizens to share the truth about Falun Gong and the brutal persecution. In 2004, practitioners had broadened their message by encouraging citizens to reconsider their membership in the Party, via a movement  to “tuidang”—Chinese for “quit the party.”

Since the communist takeover in 1949, “there has been decade after decade of tragedy, revolutionary movement after revolutionary movement,” Shao said. “They have resulted in the unnatural deaths of 80 million Chinese.”

The tuidang movement calls on Chinese people to take a moral stance against the regime by renouncing (often with an alias) the Chinese Communist Party, the Communist Youth League, and the Young Pioneers, a communist organization that nearly all Chinese children are made to join in primary school.

(Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

(Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

To ramp up efforts, Falun Gong practitioners developed software to dial phones automatically with recorded messages. The software then allows listeners to leave a response and indicate, by pressing a few buttons, if they agreed to renounce their affiliation with the Party, using an alias.

For the summer of 2014, Shao fine-tuned this initiative to maximize its safety and effectiveness in Beijing, right under the nose of the communist leadership. He learned how to change the IMEI number identifying each phone, and determined which SIM cards were safest to purchase and how to buy them in bulk, as they had to be frequently discarded for safety.

He then shared the project with other practitioners in Beijing, including many elderly Chinese practitioners, who circled the city on public buses making calls that reached thousands of Chinese citizens every day.

Every night, Shao left home with 14 phones and turned them on when he was a distance away. He then biked around the city with the phones automatically dialing people with tidbits of censored news or entreaties to quit the Party. After three hours, Shao turned off all of his phones, removed the batteries, and returned home.

Seven hundred miles away, Li Guiqin, the retired scientist, started making phone calls in December 2013 after younger, tech-savvy practitioners in her region had worked out the particulars just as Shao Chaoyong had in Beijing. Besides having two phones automatically making calls, she also made direct calls while riding in the van around Harbin City.

After a few months, in August 2014, the practitioners decided to try calling Chinese public security officials to urge them to stop bolstering the Chinese communist regime in persecuting innocents.

Many Chinese officials hurled threats and abuse at Li, but she showed compassion, knowing the officials had also been deceived by the pervasive propaganda.

Haunted by the time they’d spent in labor camps and brainwashing centers, the practitioners soon stopped their direct calls.

But after several months, they attempted again, beseeching officials to quit the Party or to release arrested practitioners.

“We treated them like family,” Li said. Over time, even many Chinese authorities secretly agreed to quit the Party with aliases.

Turning the Tide

In China, the persecution continues. Between January and May of this year, at least 392 practitioners were sentenced to prison, according to Minghui, a clearinghouse for information on the persecution.

Despite the continued risk of imprisonment, torture, and even death, between 7 million and 10 million Chinese citizens continue to practice Falun Gong in mainland China, according to Freedom House, a U.S.-based human rights organization. Falun Gong sources suggest the figure is between 20 million and 40 million.

Through consistent, unwavering grassroots efforts to expose the communist regime, Falun Gong practitioners are turning the tide.

Over 278 million Chinese people have chosen to renounce their affiliation with the Chinese Communist Party and its related organizations.

More and more local procuratorates have rejected Falun Gong cases because of “insufficient evidence.” Between January and May, at least 53 practitioners were released without charge by authorities, according to Minghui.

Many officials who oversaw the persecution have been purged by Chinese leader Xi Jinping’s anti-corruption campaign, including Zhou Yongkang, the former security czar, and Li Dongsheng, the former head of the 610 Office, a Gestapo-like organization that coordinates the persecution.

And since May 2015, nearly 210,000 criminal complaints have been filed against Jiang Zemin at the Chinese regime’s highest court and procuratorate by Falun Gong practitioners and others who oppose the genocide Jiang oversaw.

Shao Changyong and Li Guiqin eventually left China to escape the persecution, and both now reside in New York City.

Li stands outside major tourist sites like Rockefeller Center talking to Chinese tourists, showing them how Falun Gong is freely practiced in every country aside from their homeland.

Shao works full-time for the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party, a nongovernmental organization that focuses on exactly what he had long been doing in China—exposing a brutal persecution campaign, one phone call at a time.

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  • Category: General

Falun Gong practitioners march in downtown Vancouver on July 16, 2017, to call for an end to the persecution of their spiritual discipline ordered by the Chinese regime 18 years ago on July 20, 1999. A procession of practitioners in white hold memorial wreaths to pay tribute to those who have been persecuted to death. (Tang Feng/The Epoch Times)Falun Gong practitioners march in downtown Vancouver on July 16, 2017, to call for an end to the persecution of their spiritual discipline ordered by the Chinese regime 18 years ago on July 20, 1999. A procession of practitioners in white hold memorial wreaths to pay tribute to those who have been persecuted to death. (Tang Feng/The Epoch Times)

This week across Canada and around the world, thousands are gathering in front of Chinese embassies and consulates to mark 18 years since the Chinese Communist Party launched a campaign of violence and hatred to “eradicate” the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

“The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong is still ongoing. There are 12 Falun Gong practitioners with Canadian ties currently being illegally held in China,” said Falun Dafa Association of Vancouver spokesperson Sue Zhang at a rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on July 16.

As well as giving speeches and holding marches and candlelight vigils calling for an end to the persecution, Falun Gong adherents are seeking help from the Canadian government to free their fellow practitioners from detention and imprisonment in China. Among them is a Canadian citizen, Sun Qian, who has been detained in Beijing since February.

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

ID card image of Sun Qian. (The Epoch Times)

Canadian Prisoner of Conscience Abused in China

Sun, a 51-year-old Chinese-Canadian businesswoman and Vancouver resident, is currently being held at the Beijing First Detention Centre, where she has been shackled, handcuffed to a steel chair, continuously pepper sprayed in the face, and now may be indicted for her faith.

Despite appeals for her release by several high-level Canadian officials, including Conservative members of Parliament Peter Kent and Michael Cooper, former Liberal justice minister Irwin Cotler, and Green Party leader Elizabeth May, Sun continues to be detained.

Canadian Falun Gong practitioners continue to be hopeful that Sun will be released as a result of a strong voice from elected officials. 

Sun Qian has been shackled, handcuffed to a steel chair, continuously pepper sprayed in the face, and now may be indicted for her faith

When former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin initiated the persecution on July 20, 1999, Canada was, in fact, the first country to publicly condemn the persecution. “Canada filed an official protest with China’s foreign ministry after 30,000 Falun Gong adherents were detained in 30 cities across China, sources said,” reported The Globe and Mail on July 26, 1999.

Ottawa-based Xun Li, president of the Falun Dafa Association of Canada, also recalled that it was the strong voice of elected officials, along with steady media coverage, that helped to secure the release of Zhang Kunlun, who is believed to be the first Canadian arrested in China for practising Falun Gong.

Professor Kunlun Zhang with his painting

Professor Kunlun Zhang with his painting “Red Wall,” which is based on his experience as a prisoner of conscience in China, at the Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition in Washington, D.C., on July 18, 2013. (The Epoch Times)

Zhang is a former visiting professor at Montreal’s McGill University. He was arrested in 2000 and sent to forced labour camp for three years but was released in January 2001, shortly before then-prime minister Jean Chrétien’s trade mission to China.

While in custody in China, the professor was subjected to abuse including torture with electric batons. He was also forced to watch broadcasts of hate propaganda vilifying Falun Gong.

“China was afraid of being exposed [for their human rights abuses], because professor Zhang is a Canadian citizen,” Li said.

Large-Scale Killing for Prisoners’ Organs

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises handed down from ancient China that includes teachings based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. In July 1999, the Chinese communist regime ordered a persecution and an extensive hate propaganda campaign against Falun Gong due to the popularity of the practice that was not under the control of the state.

[The Communist Party initiated] the worst instance of religious persecution since the Cultural Revolution, with the clampdown against Falun Gong.

— University of Ottawa professor André Laliberté

“[The Communist Party initiated] the worst instance of religious persecution since the Cultural Revolution, with the clampdown against Falun Gong,” wrote University of Ottawa professor André Laliberté, a leading scholar on religion in China, in a paper in 2015.

The persecution has garnered condemnation from human rights groups, the United Nations, and various governments around the world.

Sue Zhang cited a February 2017 Freedom House report that details how Falun Gong adherents continue to be subjected to widespread and severe human rights abuses. And the most recent 2016 U.S. Congressional-Executive Commission report states how extreme physical and psychological abuse continues against Falun Gong.

[Our] review found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale.

— Freedom House 2017 special report

There are also reports by investigators including two Canadian researchers estimating that 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year are performed in China—as opposed to the official Chinese figure of 10,000 per year—with the primary source being Falun Gong detainees having their organs forcibly removed, and being killed in the process, to supply China’s extremely lucrative transplant industry.

Freedom House noted that it had reviewed the available evidence compiled by these investigators and “found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale.” “There are reasons to believe that such abuses continue,” the report stated.

Over 50 Falun Gong  adherents participate in a 36-hour hunger strike on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 13, 2002, to appeal to the Canadian government to help stop the Chinese regime's order to

Over 50 Falun Gong adherents participate in a 36-hour hunger strike on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on March 13, 2002, to appeal to the Canadian government to help stop the Chinese regime’s order to “kill [Falun Gong practitioners] without mercy,” in this file photo. Police received orders to “shoot on sight” if Falun Gong practitioners are seen handing out or posting Falun Gong flyers in China. (Minghui.org)

Moral Principles

At the Vancouver rally, Li Jianfeng, a former judge in mainland China, praised the principles taught by Falun Gong and called for greater support of the spiritual practice in Canada.

“I call on all Vancouverites to support Falun Gong,” Li said. “What it spreads is ‘Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance.’ … These high-level moral principles, if they can flourish in Canada, will bring us blessings and a good future.”

Following the rally on July 16, Vancouver practitioners and supporters held a march downtown. They will also hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese consulate on July 19. Events are planned in other Canadian cities later this week, including in Ottawa on July 19 and in Toronto on July 21.

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Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. The persecution, now entering its 18th year, began on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters, hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. The persecution, now entering its 18th year, began on July 20, 1999. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—On July 16, hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners from the greater New York area gathered near the Chinese Consulate in New York for a rally and candlelight vigil to mark 18 years since the Chinese regime launched a brutal persecution campaign against their spiritual community.

The rally featured Falun Gong spokespeople, practitioners who had endured severe persecution in China, members of human rights NGOs, and seven Chinese citizens who had just quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.

A mother and daughter join Falun Gong practitioners for a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

A mother and daughter join Falun Gong practitioners for a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“We are here gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York to call on the international community to help end this persecution and expose this crime against humanity that’s been going on for 18 years,” said Erping Zhang, a Falun Gong spokesperson, in an interview.

Over the past 18 years, numerous Falun Gong practitioners have lost their homes, jobs, even their lives,” Zhang continued. “Worse still, there is the horrific crime of organ harvesting against these prisoners of conscience.” Principal researchers of forced organ harvesting in China estimate that the Chinese communist regime has killed large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners for their organs from 2000 to 2015 to fuel a lucrative transplant industry, according to a 2016 report.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, was first introduced to the Chinese public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Inspired and uplifted by the practice’s moral principles and tranquil exercises, 70 to 100 million people in China had taken up the practice by 1999, according to state and practitioner estimates.

Among them was Li Dianqin, a native of Liaoning Province in northeastern China. Li was practically on her deathbed when she first learned of Falun Gong in 1995—she had a massive liver tumor and intestinal adhesions that caused constant, excruciating pain in her abdomen.  

Li Dianqin with Falun Gong practitioners in front of Chinese Consulate in New York for a rally and candlelight vigil calling for an end to the persecution on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Li Dianqin with Falun Gong practitioners in front of Chinese Consulate in New York for a rally and candlelight vigil calling for an end to the persecution on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

After practicing Falun Gong, however, Li slowly overcame not only her illness, which doctors deemed incurable, but also gained the mental strength to weather the Chinese regime’s persecution.

In March 2000, Li was detained at a brainwashing center in a Shenyang City mental hospital where she was bombarded day and night with hate propaganda against Falun Gong.

Three months later, Li was thrown into Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, a detention facility notorious for its horrific treatment of female Falun Gong practitioners. Masanjia guards were known for shocking women practitioners’ genitalia with electric batons, as well as for stripping practitioners naked and locking them up in the cells of male prisoners to be gang raped.

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Li, now 66, came to the United States last July. At the rally in New York, however, Li and other Falun Gong practitioners continue to be targeted by the Chinese regime.

Around 50 Chinese people dressed in red shirts with pro-communist slogans and hats had gathered on the opposite side of the street from the Falun Gong rally. They shouted anti-Falun Gong slogans into loudspeakers and waved the Chinese regime’s red flags.

Collin Ding, a 17-year-old high schooler, said he attended the event to peacefully protest the continued persecution of his beliefs.

Collin Ding, with Falun Gong practitioners for a rally and a candlelight vigil n front of Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Ding said he was there to peacefully protest the continued persecution of his beliefs. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Collin Ding, with Falun Gong practitioners for a rally and a candlelight vigil n front of Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Ding said he was there to peacefully protest the continued persecution of his beliefs. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

“As Falun Dafa practitioners, we cultivate ourselves based on the standard of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance,” Ding said.

Ding said that Falun Gong’s principles help him to self-reflect and improve himself when faced with adversity rather than harbor resentment towards others.

“There will always be some people around you who are nice to you and some who are mean to you,” he said. “But even if people are mean to you, you should be genuine towards them.”

Cristina Oz, 32, learned of Falun Gong in late May of this year after coming across practitioners doing the slow-moving exercises in Madison Square Park in downtown Manhattan.

“It was like finally coming home after a long journey,” Oz said. “I’d been looking for this all my life.”

Cristina Oz with Falun Gong practitioners in front of Chinese Consulate in New York for a rally and candlelight vigil calling for an end to the persecution on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Cristina Oz with Falun Gong practitioners in front of Chinese Consulate in New York for a rally and candlelight vigil calling for an end to the persecution on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

And coming from Romania, formerly part of the Soviet Union, Oz was familiar with how communist regimes trample spiritual practices. “A lot of people were killed, a lot of people were persecuted” by the former communist regime in Romania, she said.

“That’s why I relate so much to China because I feel and understand it very well,” Oz said. “Communism destroys people’s origins, people’s values.”

The Chinese people must learn the truth of the Chinese regime and see through the communist propaganda, said Falun Gong practitioner Li Dianqin.

“It requires our realization” of the Chinese regime’s repressive tendencies, Li said. And when the world’s people come to the same realization, the “Chinese regime will thoroughly disintegrate,” she added.

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners pass out pamphlets to passerby near the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017, about the practice and the persecution that is still happening inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners pass out pamphlets to passerby near the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017, about the practice and the persecution that is still happening inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners pass out pamphlets to passerby near the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017, about the practice and the persecution that is still happening inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Falun Gong practitioners pass out pamphlets to passerby near the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017, about the practice and the persecution that is still happening inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners and supporters hold a candlelight vigil in front of the Chinese Consulate in New York on July 16, 2017. Launched on July 20, 1999, the persecution is now entering its 18th year inside China. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Woman perform a song and dance at a rally in front of Chinese Consulate in New York calling for an end to the Falun Gong persecution inside China in New York on July 16, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

 

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Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)Brothers Wanqing Huang and Xiong Huang with their family in China. (Courtesy of Xiong Huang)

Every time Huang Wanqing walks past a promotion of “Body the Exhibition” he may wonder if it’s the mutilated body of his brother staring at him from the posters.

Mr. Huang’s brother, Huang Xiong, was persecuted by communist authorities in China for his beliefs. He was held at a labor camp and monitored after release. In 2003, he disappeared in Shanghai. Huang believes his brother was kidnapped by the regime and likely died in custody.

Huang Xiong practiced Falun Gong, a traditional system of self-cultivation involving meditation exercises and based on principles of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance. Falun Gong has been hugely popular in China during the 1990s and praised by authorities for its health benefits. By 1999, about 70-100 million practiced it, based on government estimates at the time.

Some in the regime’s leadership, however, especially the Communist Party head Jiang Zemin, treated Falun Gong’s rising popularity as an ideological threat to the party’s doctrines and in 1999 launched a statewide campaign of repression and propaganda against Falun Gong.

Human rights organizations have estimated millions have been imprisoned as part of the campaign and, conservatively, thousands have died, usually as a result of torture in detention.

More than a decade of investigations have also uncovered the regime has been killing detained Falun Gong practitioners, as well as other prisoners of conscience, and stealing their organs for a massive state-sanctioned transplant business.

“Body the Exhibition” displays actual, plastinated (silicone-preserved) human bodies. It caused controversy for lacking documentation of the source of the bodies and consents of the deceased or their relatives regarding their posthumous public display for profit.

Tom Zaller, chief executive officer of Imagine Exhibitions which is currently presenting the exhibition in Prague, told Nevada Public Radio that he worked with a doctor in China who gathers unidentified bodies to plastinate.

JVS Group, the company that invited the exhibition to Prague, thanks Zaller and a Chinese plastination company Dalian Hoffen Biotech in its promotional materials.

Dalien was a hub of the plastination industry. Bo Xilai, who was Dalien Party boss at the time and was later handed a life sentence for corruption, was involved in a scheme that supplied killed Falun Gong practitioners to transplant hospitals as well as plastination facilities, based on The Epoch Times investigation.

Many of the detained Falun Gong practitioners refused to provide their names to the authorities to protect their families from persecution. Huang’s brother was one of them. That allowed the regime to declare their bodies unidentified.

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Xiong Huang was arrested in China for telling others about the persecution of Falun Gong. (Courtesy of Wanqing Huang)

Huang, who lives in the U.S., has recently filed a criminal complaint against the exhibition in Prague, Czech Republic. He’s asking authorities to identify the bodies, such as by DNA tests, to determine if his brother’s body is or isn’t among them.

The exhibition has run into significant resistance in Czech, where law requires deceased human bodies to be treated with respect and properly buried.

Czech Ministry for Local Development has asked Prague officials to confiscate and bury the bodies on display, but police has refused to act on the request without a court order. Jan Čižinský, mayor of the Prague municipal district where the exhibition takes place, intends to take the matter to court.

“It is necessary to turn to court so it becomes clear, once and for all, that such unethical exhibitions can’t be in our country and that respect for the deceased isn’t just an empty phrase in an unenforced law,” Čižinský said.

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During a rally joined by thousands of Falun Gong practitiioners at Taipei 23 April 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists' killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps.  (PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)During a rally joined by thousands of Falun Gong practitiioners at Taipei 23 April 2006, four demonstrators play in an action drama against what they said was the Chinese communists' killing of Falun Gong followers and harvesting of their organs in concentration camps.  (PATRICK LIN/AFP/Getty Images)

“There was bleeding. He was still alive’, Chinese doctor, Enver Tohti, recalled to a panel of experts in Ireland on China’s lucrative practice of organ harvesting from prisoners of conscience.

The Joint Committee on Foreign Affairs and Trade, and Defence listened to evidence presented by organ harvesting experts, including David Matas and Ethan Gutmann, who have both been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize for their investigative work in China.

The panel listed a series of recommendations at the committee, including urging the government to ban ‘organ tourism’—a hugely profitable business predominantly abused by China, where citizens travel overseas to receive an organ transplant.

The main body of victims of these organ transplants is from practitioners of Falun Gong—a peaceful, traditional meditation practice whose main tenets are truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The Chinese Communist party began a bloody persecution of its practitioners in 1999 that continues to this day.

Hundreds of thousands of practitioners are in the vast network of labor camps across China at any one time and are highly vulnerable to being put on lists for organ extraction.

Organ tourism is already banned in Israel, Taiwan, Italy, and Spain. Gutmann said these countries did so out of a sense of “integrity, a highly-developed sense of tragedy, a historical wisdom to know that the big players, [such as] the U.S. the U.K., may not interfere in a world tragedy.”

Gutmann went on to say that this is a critical moment in a critical time, and now is the time to act.

Dr. Tohti said he performed an organ harvesting operation in the 1990s and thought he was doing his duty to “eliminate the enemy of the state.”

“Every time I give this account it seems like a confession,” he said, before talking to the committee.

He describes how in Chinese society, under communist rule you become a complacent slave, a “fully-programmed member of society, ready to fulfill the task ahead without asking questions.”

In 1995, he said two chief surgeons asked him to prepare a team for “the largest possible surgery” for the next morning.

Tohti and his team were brought outside the hospital and told to wait for gunshots.

“After gunshots were heard, we rushed in. An armed officer directed us to the far-right corner, where I can see a civilian-clothed man lying on the ground with a single bullet wound to his right chest,” Tohti said.

Then he said chief surgeons ordered and guided him to extract the liver and two kidneys. “The man was alive,” he said. The wounded man tried to resist but was too weak.

After signing up for organ transplants outside China, wait times are months to years, depending on the type of organ. But what experts have found is that if the organ was bought in China, a fresh organ can be delivered within days or weeks.

One of the driving factors pushing this organ tourism trade is the high demand for organs.

Tohti described the callous nature of the organ trade in China, referencing terms used on Chinese transplant websites such as “unlimited supply” and “predate for your heart transplantation.”

“It is not acceptable that a normal ‘by-one-get-one-free’ shopping pattern can be seen in organ transplantation,” he said. 

Tohti also mentioned recent reports of free national health check-ups in the Xinjiang region for “improving the quality of life of Uyghurs.”

“We suspect that the CCP is building a national database for organ trade,” he said. Uyghurs are a muslim ethnic minority also targeted for persecution by the CCP and have reportedly also been targeted for organ harvesting.

Gutmann and Matas found that in China there are between “60,000 transplants to 100,000 transplants per year” in a nearly 700-page report they published last year in June.

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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 in Beijing, 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 in Beijing, 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.

In July 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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From left to right, Dr. Teng Biao, Chinese human rights lawyer, Xia Chongyu, son of the imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Xia Lin, Xiaorong Li, an independent scholar. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)From left to right, Dr. Teng Biao, Chinese human rights lawyer, Xia Chongyu, son of the imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Xia Lin, Xiaorong Li, an independent scholar. (Paul Huang/The Epoch Times)

Amidst reports of the Chinese regime’s continuing persecution of its political dissidents and rights advocates, witnesses before the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) slammed the communist regime’s human rights abuses in a a public hearing on June 28. To help curb the regime’s gross mistreatments of dissidents, the U.S. government must confront China firmly and publicly since the regime has “very thin skin,” according to one expert witness who testified.

Speaking of the attempts by U.S. Congress to seek redress for the persecuted dissidents in China, CECC co-chairman Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) said that he had heard too many reports of the “horrifying and sadistic accounts of torture and enforced disappearances experienced by [Chinese] lawyers and rights advocates.”

Xia Chongyu, son of the imprisoned Chinese human rights lawyer Xia Lin testified at Wednesday’s hearing that due to his campaign for his father’s case, Chinese regime agents had threatened his family and friends back in China. Currently living in the United States and enrolled as a student at Liberty University, Xia Chongyu has gathered more than 90,000 signatures petitioning for his father’s release.

CECC co-chairman Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) asked the panel witnesses whether it would be a good idea at all for the U.S. government to voice some of the human rights concerns more privately and discreetly to its Beijing counterpart, in the hope that the dissidents might receive better treatment or be released early.

Senator Marco Rubio, the co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) speaks on Wednesday's hearing on China's human rights. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

Senator Marco Rubio, the co-chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) speaks on Wednesday’s hearing on China’s human rights. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

Terence Halliday, co-director of the Center on Law & Globalization at the American Bar Foundation opined that based on his experience working with many rights activists in China, “there is absolutely no doubt that Chinese regime must be spoken to publicly and the Chinese government must be publicly shamed.”

According to Halliday, whenever there is an international call for the release or news about a particular jailed dissident in China, his or her treatment is noticeably improved. “The Chinese government has very thin skin,” said Halliday.

Teng Biao: Dr. Teng Biao, a Chinese human rights lawyer testifies on Wednesday's hearing held by Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

Teng Biao: Dr. Teng Biao, a Chinese human rights lawyer testifies on Wednesday’s hearing held by Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

The congressionally mandated CECC is noted for its vocal criticism of China’s human rights abuses, persecution of religious and ethnic minorities, and Beijing’s strong-armed control of Hong Kong. In the past few years the CECC’s approaches were in sharp contrast to that of the Obama administration, whose State Department preferred low-key, discreet communications with the Chinese regime when it comes to issues related to human rights.

Congressman Chris Smith, the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) speaks on Wednesday's hearing on China's human rights. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

Congressman Chris Smith, the chairman of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) speaks on Wednesday’s hearing on China’s human rights. (Leo Shi/The Epoch Times)

The CECC and many rights activists on the other hand believe that the Chinese regime can only be held accountable for its human rights abuses by exposing its misdeeds to the world. “The Chinese government doesn’t want to lose face,” said Xiaorong Li, an independent scholar who testified on Wednesday.

Chris Smith said that U.S. leadership is more important than ever when it comes to human rights in China, as China’s growing economic power and persistent diplomatic efforts have succeeded in dampening global criticism of its escalating repression.

“We cannot, and will not forget those in China bravely seeking liberty and justice and the unalienable rights we all share,” said Chris Smith.

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WASHINGTON—The evidence of forced organ harvesting of large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners in China continues to mount.

Last year, two reports were published that broadened our picture of the scale and method of this atrocity. “Bloody Harvest/ The Slaughter—An Update” by investigators David Matas, David Kilgour, and Ethan Gutmann was released on June 22 in Washington, D.C. This report shows detailed evidence of the massive number of organ transplants taking place in Chinese hospitals. It analyzed hospital revenue, bed counts and utilization rates, surgical personnel and other data and reached the conclusion that China is performing 60,000 to 100,000 transplants per year, far exceeding the Chinese government’s claim of 10,000 per year.

The other report, “Summary Report of the Crime of Live Organ Harvesting in China,” by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), was published in August. It provides extensive evidence that the organ harvesting is orchestrated from the top levels of the Chinese government and is not a crime of just some rogue hospitals and unethical surgeons. The WOIPFG report claims that organ harvesting is a state sanctioned crime on a massive scale that is going on at this moment, with the aim to kill practitioners of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline, who will not renounce their faith.

Now comes WOIPFG’s second major documentary film, “Harvested Alive – Ten Years of Investigation,” which samples the key findings of their report from last year.

Hearing actual audio of high-level Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials, surgeons and hospital personnel speak nonchalantly of their role in the forced organ harvesting of innocent prisoners of conscience provides a horrifying perception that the printed page of the WOIPFG report cannot come close in emotional impact. 

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary,

Mr. Li Jun (r), director and producer, Awards-Winning Documentary, “Harvested Alive, 10 Years of Investigation,” answers questions after the English premiere of the documentary, June 23, at a Congressional building in Washington, D.C. To his right is Dr. Peng Tao, who is the co-producer of the awards-winning film. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

The film won the Hollywood International Independent Documentary Awards best director and foreign documentary feature for January 2017.

WOIPFG was founded on Jan. 20, 2003. Its stated mission is to investigate and expose the criminal conduct of individuals and organizations involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. Seeking hard data to make its case, WOIPFG investigated more than 865 hospitals and over 9500 surgeons in China.

The English language premiere of the film was held on Capitol Hill at the House of Representatives’ Rayburn Office Building, on June 23. Producer and director Li Jun, co-producer Dr. Peng Tao, and Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, who narrates the film, were present at the showing and answered questions from the audience. WOIPFG officials and Ethan Gutmann, one of the principle investigators of live organ harvesting in China, also spoke before the screening.

Shortly before the U.S. premiere, the film became available for viewing online. This film and the original Chinese language version were produced by Deerpark Productions, with the latter released in Nov. 2016.

Hospital Boiler Room ‘Cremations’

The host of the film is Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, whose words are translated. Dr. Wang spent 30 years as an aviation military doctor in China and then came to the U.S. in 1995 to conduct research in cardiovascular disease at Harvard School of Public Health. He was the founder of WOIPFG, and is its president. In the movie, he says that after practicing medicine and saving lives for 30 years, he never imagined he would devote the next 10 years investigating doctors taking the lives of innocent people.

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

Dr. Wang Zhiyuan, founder and president of the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG), speaks at a forum held in a Congressional building in Washington, D.C., on forced organ harvesting in China, June 23. (Gary Feuerberg/ Epoch Times)

In the film, Wang said his life changed forever on March 9, 2006, when he heard allegations of large-scale organ harvesting of Falun Gong prisoners while they were alive in the Sujiatun Thrombosis Hospital in Shenyang. A woman using the alias “Annie” claimed her ex-husband, an eye surgeon driven by guilt, confessed to her that he had extracted corneas from more than 2,000 Falun Gong practitioners. 

Wang, who was skeptical, said that he and his WOIPFG colleagues decided they must investigate further. They were looking for evidence, but the doctors and nurses at the Sujiatun hospital were no help. Then Wang called the hospital boiler room and learned that corpses were being burned there. From his own experience, he thought that was most unusual as deceased patients are normally moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang thought that [burning corpses in the hospital boiler room] was most unusual as normally the deceased patients are moved to the hospital morgue and sent to a funeral home for cremation.

Wang found this matter disturbing and so based on it and the other allegations at Sujiatun, he and his WOIPFG colleagues began a preliminary investigation. WOIPFG investigators in 2006-2007 called 23 hospitals in China asking if there were liver organs available from Falun Gong practitioners. In the movie, we hear a recording on Mar. 6, 2006 of a doctor from Shanghai Fudan University, Zhongshan Hospital Transplant Center, reply, “All we have is of this type.”

High Level CCP Officials Know

WOIPFG investigators, posing as working out of other CCP offices, elicited several statements via telephone from high level officials, who unbeknownst to whom they were really talking to, acknowledged and confirmed their involvement in organ harvesting. Here are some examples from the documentary.

Tang Junie, Vice Chairman, Liaoning Province Political & Legal Affairs Commission, was asked about orders to take organs from Falun Gong practitioners for transplant surgeries. He said, “I was in charge of this. The [CCP] Central Committee was actually managing this issue, and it had widespread impact.” Tang also said the matter was discussed at Central Committee meetings.

Li Changchun, Politburo Standing Member, was asked about Bo Xilai, who, a week before, had come under investigation by the CCP Discipline Committee. When the caller (WOIPFG investigator) asked on April 17, 2012 about Bo’s involvement in the crime of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners, Li answered immediately, “Zhou Yongkang is in charge of this; he knows; go ask him.”

Zhou Yongkang was at the time a member of the Politburo Standing Committee, the most important decision making body in the Chinese regime. As domestic security czar, Zhou wielded enormous power in general, and specifically over the Falun Gong detainees in concentration camps. He was later sentenced in June 2015 to life imprisonment on corruption-related changes.

When active on the Standing Committee, Zhou was once asked by investigators about the more than 20 Falun Gong practitioners who had escaped a military post (i.e., concentration camp). He was not in denial or surprised, and said he would investigate himself, according to WOIPFG’s Director for Public Awareness Dr. Charles Lee, who spoke at the Capitol forum.

WOIPFG investigators played a careful ruse on serving Politburo Standing Committee member Zhang Gaoli to get him to unwittingly acknowledge Jiang Zemin’s principle role in the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners. Jiang, the former CCP boss, launched the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, and coerced the other members of the Politburo to go along with his wishes.

WOIPFG knew when Zhang would be out of the country in Kazakhstan. After Zhang arrived and checked into the hotel, WOIPFG investigator called him, posing as “Secretary Liu,” who works at Jiang Zemin’s office. The investigator told Zhang that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had lodged criminal complaints against Jiang at the Supreme People’s Procuratorate for harvesting the organs of millions of Falun Gong practitioners, and that the subject will be brought up at the next Politburo meeting. In the recording, he asked Zhang if he could stop it from discussion and investigation. We hear Zhang’s voice reply, “Yes! Yes!”

The WOIPFG investigator repeats four times that Jiang had ordered the organ harvesting of millions of live Falun Gong practitioners and that the responsibility was very serious. Without any reservation or disagreement, Zhang promised he would prevent the investigation and told the caller to tell Jiang not to worry. He ended the call wishing Jiang a long life and good health.

All phone recordings are tagged with receipts from the telephone companies with the time, duration and phone numbers called. The voices of the high-level officials in the recordings can be compared to their voices available online and elsewhere and verified by acoustic labs, states WOIPFG.

Altogether, WOIPFG holds the recordings as evidence that organ pillaging in China is a crime that is directed by the CCP and carried out by the military, state institutions, hospitals, and transplantation professionals.

The above is only a sampling of the recordings pertaining to high-level officials’ knowledge and influence in a massive state sanctioned crime in the murder of thousands of practitioners since 2000. There is more evidence in the documentary on other aspects of the crime.

Police Guard Comes Forward

One recorded interview is especially chilling and shocking. It was from the only actual witness of the gruesome surgery in the film. At a military hospital in Shenyang, an armed security guard from Liaoning Province witnessed the killing of practitioners for their organs in 2002.

What the security guard described was “too vividly horrible,” said WOIPFG president Wang Zhiyuan, and said he suffered from insomnia and depression after hearing the testimony. In 2009, the security guard’s conscience bothered him and so he contacted WOIPFG with which he had been in contact for over a month. The security guard recalled witnessing two military doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain (“sucked the brain pulp out”) from a still-living female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

He witnessed two doctors extracting the heart, liver, cornea, and the brain from a female Falun Gong practitioner without the use of anesthetic.

“When the knife touched her chest, she shouted, ‘Falun Dafa hao,’” which means Falun Dafa is good. The heart was carved out first. She had been tortured with electric batons for a week, he said. Wang concluded that this was not normal surgery but instead was “a continuation of torturing of Falun Gong practitioners.”

Why Premiere at the U.S. Capital

Li Jun, the director and producer of “Harvested Alive,” said after the screening that they consciously chose the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Congress to hold the English premiere. Speaking through a translator he said, “It is very apparent that this crime [of pillaging organs from Falun Gong practitioners on a massive scale] is state-sanctioned by the CCP. We want the U.S. government as the world leader, to do something about it.”

Dr. Peng Tao, the co-producer of “Harvested Alive,” hopes the film will enable everyone to “understand the crimes the CCP has committed and we have to stop it.”

Dr. Wang expressed frustration that the world does not pay much attention to what is going on in China. “It’s a shame to the human race. That’s why I wanted to tell the U.S. government and the entire world, we should really work to stop this.”

If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.

— Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), letter, June 23, 2017

Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.), co-chair of the Congressional Executive Commission of China (CECC), wrote a letter to be read at the premiere screening of “Harvested Alive.” Observing that he held a hearing on this issue in 1998, Rep. Smith said that trafficking organs for profit has been happening in China for two decades and that the evidence in the documentary shows that not much has changed.

“If even half of the claims made by your documentary are true, we must call organ trafficking in China truly barbaric and a crime against humanity.”

Rep. Smith continued, “We need a concerted effort to stop this barbaric practice—in China and globally.”

Dr. Wang said that in this month of June, a hospital in Jilin Province is giving away free liver transplants to 10 children. (He noted that on April 28, 2006, a hospital in Hunan Province, where the persecution of Falun Gong had been particularly severe, ran a promotion announcing 20 free liver or kidney transplants.) Wang said the hospital’s “give away” could only mean an abundance of organs and a very large pool of practitioners available to be harvested and killed.

In the U.S. which has a much more mature system of organ donation, the wait time for a liver organ is two to three years. In China, however, the wait time is one to two weeks.

When asked by The Epoch Times what is behind the free organs, Wang said, “I think [the CCP] very likely wants to eliminate all the Falun Gong practitioners who still remain in the concentration camps as soon as possible.”

Data Tipping Point

Ethan Gutmann said regarding the past year, 2016-2017, that the two reports alluded to at the beginning of this article were significant for the power of raw data and have brought on a “global tipping point” in the acceptance of live organ harvesting. Referring to the emergency liver transplants discussed in the film, he said, “There is a stable of people ready to be killed.” There is no question there is live organ harvesting going on, he said.

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of

Ethan Gutmann, investigative writer and author of “The Slaughter (1914) and its 2016 updates, participates in a forum on forced organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience. Event took place on Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C., June 23. (Leo Shi/ Epoch Times)

Gutmann, who is also the author of the 2014 book “The Slaughter,” noted that both reports had received rigorous scrutiny by researchers at the CECC. After devoting two months checking over the sources, the CECC researchers authenticated the documents, which Gutmann said was a testament to their validity.

Forced organ harvesting in China has gained widespread acceptance in the past year, Gutmann said. The human rights organizations Freedom House and Amnesty International report on it now, and even the New York Times, which had ignored the issue for over a decade, is now reporting on it, he added. 

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Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (Epoch Times)Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer. (Epoch Times)

Zheng Enchong, a Shanghai-based human rights lawyer, has been under house arrest for over a decade. Local security forces have frequently harassed and abused him during his confinement.

But early last year, Zheng, 67, found the restrictions gradually relaxed after he revealed sensitive information about various top members of a powerful Shanghai political clique to The Epoch Times.

In July 2016, the Shanghai authorities tried to buy Zheng’s silence by sending him and his wife on a staycation at a luxury villa. The security detail assigned to the Zhengs was reduced, their curfew was removed, and the police stopped tailing the Zhengs wherever they went. On Christmas day, security agents allowed Zheng, a Christian, to attend church services and other Christmas festivities.

This June, however, the Shanghai authorities reverted to repression.

In the morning of June 2, Chinese internal security agents Shi Jinrong and Zhang Xiaomin barged into Zheng’s apartment and warned him against giving interviews, supposedly because the anniversary of the Tiananmen Square Massacre (June 4) was coming up.

The agents’ behavior is to be expected. Every year, Chinese security forces go on heightened alert around so-called “sensitive dates,” or dates that the Chinese Communist Party considers to be politically sensitive. Security personnel even proactively seek out and suppress activists, dissidents, or persons of faith connected with the events that occurred on those dates.

Zheng told agents Shi and Zhang that he couldn’t make any promises to stay silent after June 11, the day close to a “sensitive date” for practitioners of Falun Gong. On June 10, 1999, the Chinese regime established the “610 Office,” an extralegal, Gestapo-like agency that coordinates the persecution of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline. Former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin officially launched the persecution on July 20.

Jiang also heads the “Shanghai Gang,” a clique of influential officials who were responsible for Zheng Enchong’s house arrest. Zheng told the internal security agents that he feels obliged to speak out about the misdeeds of the Shanghai Gang given that one prominent clique member, Chen Xu the former Shanghai chief public prosecutor, recently became the subject of an official corruption investigation.

Agents Shi and Zhang soon left Zheng’s apartment.

Around 6 in the morning of June 11, Zheng was ambushed by four police officers while taking out the trash on the ground floor of his apartment building. The officers, who were part of the security detail guarding Zheng, beat him with a steel radiator, leaving him with a bloody head injury and swelling in the left side of his face.

Zheng believes that he was assaulted “because I exposed Chen Xu” the ex-chief public prosecutor and Shanghai Gang acolyte, and not because of “sensitive dates.”

Zheng said that people whom he knew weren’t interested in politics were coming up to him in the streets to talk about his exposing Chen’s corrupt activities and political allegiance. Local residents, as it turns out, had been widely circulating Zheng’s recent interviews with The Epoch Times on the popular Chinese social media platform WeChat.

Zheng believes that the circulating of The Epoch Times articles in Shanghai is a good omen for the future—this newspaper is banned in China, and Chinese citizens could run afoul of the authorities if they are caught reading a publication that frankly addresses human rights abuses by Communist Party agents.

“That people dare to breakthrough the Chinese regime’s control and circulate my interviews with The Epoch Times shows that the authorities no longer have the situation under control,” Zheng said.

After the beating, Zheng decided to hide out at a friend’s home. But he soon ran into a Kafkaesque situation.

On June 16, the Shanghai police summoned Zheng for a chat, and announced that the four police officers who assaulted Zheng were going to be “transferred away.” Also, the Shanghai authorities decided to house Zheng and his wife in a two-bedroom suite in a big hotel for their “safety.” But on arrival at the hotel, Zheng found that the four police officers had been assigned there to guard him.

“The fact that you’re made to live here implies that we who beat you are not really going to be transferred anywhere,” Zheng recalled one of the police officers telling him.

Yi Ru contributed to this article.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/larry-ong/" rel="author">Larry Ong</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
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Pro-democracy demonstrators hold up photo of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo during a protest to urge for the release of Liu, who was sentenced to imprisonment seven years ago on Christmas day, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, China on Dec. 25, 2016. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)Pro-democracy demonstrators hold up photo of jailed Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo during a protest to urge for the release of Liu, who was sentenced to imprisonment seven years ago on Christmas day, outside the Chinese liaison office in Hong Kong, China on Dec. 25, 2016. (REUTERS/Tyrone Siu)

BEIJING—Chinese Nobel Peace Prize winning rights activist Liu Xiaobo has been released from prison on medical parole and is being treated in hospital for late-stage liver cancer, his lawyer said on Monday.

Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms in China.

In December 2010, Liu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his activism promoting human rights in China, causing Beijing to freeze diplomatic ties with Norway. The Chinese regime and Norway normalized ties in December last year.

Mo Shaoping, Liu’s lawyer, told Reuters that Liu was being treated for late stage liver cancer in Shenyang and that medical parole had been approved. He did not elaborate.

Messages seen by Reuters from another lawyer for Liu, Shang Baojun, confirmed the news.

When asked about Liu, China‘s foreign ministry, the only government body that will regularly answer questions from the foreign media, said it was not aware of the situation.

The public security ministry and justice ministry did not immediately respond to faxed requests for comment.

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is seen in this undated photo released by his families. (Handout via REUTERS)

Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo is seen in this undated photo released by his families. (Handout via REUTERS)

A man who answered the telephone at the Shenyang hospital where Liu is being treated said he could not check information on individual cases as there were too many patients there.

Tibetan writer and family friend Tsering Woeser said she had been in tears after reading online reports of Liu’s illness.

“I’m shocked and deeply saddened,” she told Reuters. “All we can do now is pray for him.”

Liu Xia, Liu’s wife, who has been under effective house arrest since her husband won the Nobel Peace Prize, is suffering from depression but has been allowed to visit him in prison about once a month, a source close to the dissident told Reuters.

Liu was not allowed to attend his father-in-law’s funeral last year and his mother-in-law’s funeral this year, said the source who asked not to be identified.

Liu had been incarcerated at Jinzhou Penitentiary in Liaoning, his home province in northeast China, before being moved to the hospital for treatment.

‘Incredibly Sad’

In Oslo, the five-member Norwegian Nobel Committee which awards the peace prize strongly criticized Beijing.

“The committee is pleased that Liu Xiaobo is out of prison, but at the same time regrets in the strongest terms that it took a serious illness before the Chinese authorities agreed to release him,” it said in a rare statement.

“He was in reality sentenced for exercising his freedom of expression and should never have been jailed,” it added, reiterating a standing invitation for Liu to come to Norway.

Rights group Amnesty International also confirmed the news of Liu’s illness. Patrick Poon, a China researcher for Amnesty, said on Twitter that the diagnosis was made on May 23.

William Nee, also of Amnesty, said authorities should ensure Liu was getting adequate medical care and he called for the immediate and unconditional release of Liu and his wife.

“Obviously, it’s a shameful situation and it’s incredibly sad to see one of China‘s most prominent intellectuals suffer from such a terrible illness when he never should’ve been detained in the first place,” Nee said.

He also called for the Nobel Committee and the international community to speak up “forcefully” for Liu now.

Supporters, many of whom have been campaigning for Liu’s release for years, took to Twitter and other platforms to express sadness at the news of his illness and denounce the Chinese government’s treatment of him.

Activists have flagged numerous cases of abuse in detention over the years, including denial of medical treatment for political activists, charges generally disputed by the government.

“There have been lots of similar cases where the individual was released on medical parole just before they die,” well-known and outspoken activist Hu Jia told Reuters.

China has acknowledge problems of mistreatment in the criminal justice system and has repeatedly vowed to crack down to address them.

By Christian Shepherd and Benjamin Kang Lim

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In total, Bai spent nearly 14 years in some form of detention before she passed away on June 15. (Minghui.org)In total, Bai spent nearly 14 years in some form of detention before she passed away on June 15. (Minghui.org)

Bai Gendi, a Chinese citizen who endured multiple and lengthy stints in detention for refusing to give up her faith, vomited and suffered severe headaches after consuming prison food last year.

As the months passed Bai became increasingly delusional, and she had to be frequently checked into a hospital as her health deteriorated. On June 15, Bai passed away at the age of 65.

Formerly a mid-level manager at a state-owned petroleum company, Bai was a healthy middle-aged woman living in Shanghai when she was first arrested in July 1999 for practicing Falun Gong.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline espousing the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. The practice spread widely in China in the 1990’s, reaching an estimated 70 to 100 million adherents by the end of the decade, according to state and practitioner estimates.

Feeling threatened by Falun Gong’s popularity, then Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin launched a nationwide persecution in July 1999 to eradicate the practice and force adherents to renounce their beliefs.

Over the next two decades, Bai Gendi would be arrested five more times for her faith. In total, Bai would spend nearly 14 years in some form of detention, according to Minghui.org, a clearinghouse for firsthand information about the persecution.

During a stint in a forced labor camp in Shanghai, Bai was frequently starved and forced to work 18-hour days. Once, she was handcuffed to the ceiling until she fainted from the pain. The labor camp authorities refused to allow Bai’s family to visit her, and they confiscated letters and other items her family sent.

Bai was most recently arrested on Sept. 10, 2012. After a show trial, the Xuhui District Court in Shanghai sentenced her to six-and-a-half years in prison. Bai was often locked up in an isolated soundproof room and forced to listen to loud propaganda attacking Falun Gong around the clock. Inmates who were assigned to monitor Bai often beat and abused her if she disobeyed orders.

Bai was still in relatively good health when her family visited her in prison in March 2016. But within a year, she was mentally and physically incapacitated.

Bai Gendi in the hospital in late August. (Minghui.org)

On Aug. 24, 2016, Bai hospitalized in an intensive care unit after sustaining a bleeding wound on the side of her head. Prison authorities claimed that Bai had hurt herself after falling from a chair.

Over the next few months, Bai suffered excruciating headaches and fainting spells on a regular basis, and had to be frequently checked into a hospital.

When Bai met her family in September, she said that her prison rations had been laced with unknown drugs that induced vomiting, according to Minghui.org. Bai said that she had arrived at this conclusion after her vomiting stopped when she consumed the communal rice and vegetable soup but not the rations assigned only to her. At this point, she was still lucid.  

By the end of September, however, Bai had become delusional and unresponsive. At times, she mistook her family members for prison guards, and accused them of poisoning her food.

In the months before her death, Bai slipped in and out of consciousness, frequently spoke unintelligibly, and sometimes failed to recognize her family members.

By early June 2017, Bai Gendi’s limbs had atrophied, and she suffered breathing difficulties until her death. Despite her incapacitated state, Bai was still being monitored at the hospital by security officials.

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  • Author: <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/author/irene-luo/" rel="author">Irene Luo</a>, <a href="http://www.theepochtimes.com/" title="Epoch Times" rel="publisher">Epoch Times</a>
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