U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo called on the Chinese Communist Party to “immediately end its depraved abuse and mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners,” release the detained adherents and address the whereabouts of those gone missing, according to a statement.
Five representatives of the spiritual discipline Falun Gong met with U.S. State Department officials on July 20, as the group commemorated the 21st year of an all-out persecution campaign unleashed by the Chinese regime.
Assistant Secretary of State Robert Destro and Sam Brownback, U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom, who attended the meeting via phone, especially expressed concerns about the continued practice of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, according to adherents who relayed contents of the discussion with The Epoch Times.
The statement of support came just days ahead of the State Department’s surprise move on Wednesday that it directed China to shutter its consulate in Houston “in order to protect American intellectual property” and the “private information” of U.S. citizens. Presumably, that consulate was being used as a cover for economic espionage and the Trump Administration wanted to draw a line under the spy operation.
The tit-for-tat diplomatic war could continue as each side pulls its pieces, though U.S. acknowledgement of the Chinese dissidents must have been a huge blow to Beijing’s honor.
Levi Browde, executive director of the Falun Dafa Information Center, said that Beijing’s drawn-out persecution campaign of Falun Gong has allowed the regime to develop a systematic mechanism to suppress other religious groups and dissidents, not just to break a person, but to force that person to to profess their allegiance to the Communist Party.”
Falun Gong is an ancient Chinese discipline with meditative exercises and moral teachings centered on truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.
In the United States, the Epoch Times newspaper, based in New York, was created by the Buddhist-Taoist movement, Falun Gong. After 70 million Chinese had joined its ranks, Falun Gong was outlawed in 1999 for being “engaged in illegal activities, advocating superstition and spreading fallacies, hoodwinking people, inciting and creating disturbances, and jeopardizing social stability.”
Falun Gong members appear on the streets by the dozens in major cities, wearing yellow, handing out flyers, asking people to meditate. We’ve been indoctrinated by our mockingbird media which calls Falun Gong “a cult,” but the terrifying real news is that tens of thousands of its members in China have been disappeared into gulags and then murdered, dismembered and their body parts sold in Chinese government-sponsored organ trafficking.
In June last year, an independent people’s tribunal in London concluded, after a yearlong investigation, that forced organ harvesting has taken place in China for years “on a significant scale,” with Falun Gong practitioners as the main source of organs.
In its final judgment in March, the tribunal said this human rights crime was still in practice, stating that the “tragically unchecked action allowed many people to die horribly and unnecessarily.”
Zhang Yuhua, 59, a former dean of the Russian department at Nanjing Normal University, spent a combined period of 7 1/2 years in prison before escaping to the United States in 2015.
Thirty four members of the U.S. Congress have also issued statements condemning the 21-year-long campaign by the CCP for its brutality against Falun Gong practitioners and calling for an end to the persecution.
The series of support from top U.S. officials, Zhang said, is a “fatal blow” to the Chinese regime, which considers Falun Gong a major threat, and will likely spur further action from other countries to expose China’s human rights abuses
Around 70 million to 100 million Chinese took up the practice by the end of the 1990s, according to official estimates at the time. Thousands have since died under torture, according to Minghui.org, a U.S.-based website that documents the persecution.
Millions of adherents have been detained, with hundreds of thousands tortured, according to estimates by Falun Dafa Information Center. More than 5,300 cases of detention or harassment in the first half of 2020 were reported according to Minghui.
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