Asian lawmakers are among the more than 600 elected officials from 30 countries who have called on China’s communist rulers to immediately halt the “systematic and brutal campaign to ‘eradicate’ the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong.”
The joint statement of 606 parliamentary signatories was published July 20, the 21st anniversary of the beginning of the persecution of the spiritual practice in China.
“The persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the harshest campaigns against a faith group in modern times,” said the statement that included lawmakers from Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan.
“Since July 1999, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed without due process and many have been tortured and even killed. At the very least, thousands have died as a result of such torture and other abuses in police custody,” the statement said.
“These atrocities have been well-documented by human rights organizations, governmental bodies, and the United Nations,” it said.
The statement likewise referred to an independent tribunal in the UK, chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, that last year found that Falun Gong practitioners were the main target of state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting in China.
Watch this video below about the tribunal’s findings.
Free to learn and known for its health benefits, Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) became widely practiced in China during the 1990s until the persecution was instigated by then communist leader Jiang Zemin. The core of the practice is a set of standing exercises and a mediation plus teachings explained in the book Zhuan Falun centered on the three principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance.
One of the signees of the letter, Wang Ting-Yu, a member of the Legislative Yuan, Taiwan said in another statement that Falun Gong, as a faith, has been persecuted for a long time with large number of people being targeted.
“The techniques accumulated through this persecution have been used on the Catholic, Christian, Taoist, and Uyghur people, so solving the Falun Gong issue is fundamental in solving all these problems,” Wang said.
Dr. H. Guspardi Gaus, M.Si., a member of the House of Representatives in Indonesia, was also a signee who made an individual statement.
“These are humans who are being slaughtered, something inhumane, something very barbaric. In my opinion therefore, a legal process must be undertaken to end it,” Gaus said.
UK-based Christian Solidarity Worldwide (CSW) said they supported the calls to end the persecution.
“We join these signatories in calling on China to stop all violations against the community, releasing all those detained in connection with their religion or belief and ensuring that Falun Gong practitioners and people of all faiths and none fully enjoy their right to freedom of religion or belief,” said CSW’s Kiri Kankhwende.
More than 20 US lawmakers and other officials also released separate personal statements calling for the end of the persecution while US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo issued a press statement.
“Extensive evidence shows the PRC government continues to repress and abuse this community to this day, including reported torture of Falun Gong practitioners and detention of thousands,” Pompeo said.
“Twenty-one years of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners is far too long, and it must end,” he said.