NEW YORK -- As Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visits the United Nations in New York, the Falun Dafa Information Center urges President Obama to call upon Wen to free all Falun Gong prisoners of conscience, and end the systematic campaign of vilification, arbitrary detention and torture against them.
The healthy development of the Chinese nation as well as sound relationships with its partners in the international community depend on it. Why?
By the Chinese government's own estimates, there were 70-100 million people in China practicing Falun Gong by 1999 -- more than the entire population of France. For the past decade, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has led a campaign to 'eradicate' the practice, sending millions to detention centers, forced labor camps and prisons. The use of torture to 'transform' Falun Gong practitioners is wide-spread in these facilities. Thousands have died as a direct result of persecution.
Democratic governments and international human rights groups affirm this reality.
In March 2010, a U.S. House Resolution asserted "Falun Gong practitioners and their family members ... have suffered persecution, intimidation, imprisonment, torture and even death for the past decade solely because of adherence to their personal beliefs." (news / full text)
The Amnesty International 2010 Annual Report says, "the campaign against Falun Gong intensified, with sweeping detentions...enforced disappearances and deaths in detention following torture...Former [labor camp] prisoners reported that Falun Gong constituted one of the largest groups of prisoners." (report)
The "Falun Gong issue" is much more than a human rights atrocity -- it is a central factor eroding the moral fabric of Chinese society, and precluding the healthy development of a peaceful, stable China. Until Falun Gong practitioners are free, China itself will remain a prison of sorts.
President Obama, you face the premier of a nation where 8% of the population is being systematically 'eradicated'. We urge you to take this opportunity to help China and the world, by advocating for the basic freedoms we all deserve.