CCP’s ‘Deplorable’ Persecution of Falun Gong Underneath Highlight at Congress Briefing

Ten years in the past, Zhou Deyong was attempting to rescue his spouse who was jailed by Chinese language authorities over her religion. Now, his spouse and son are doing the identical for him.

Every single day, You Ling exhibits up on the Chinese language Consulate in New York holding an indication calling for her husband’s launch. The 62-year-old geological engineer was not too long ago sentenced to eight years in jail for practising Falun Gong, a meditation self-discipline that the Chinese language Communist Celebration (CCP) has brutally suppressed since 1999.

The couple’s son, Florida resident Zhou You, recounted the household’s story of persecution at a congressional briefing hosted by the Worldwide Spiritual Freedom Caucus on Might 23.

“My grandfather died final yr. I couldn’t go to the funeral, as a result of if I return to China, I can be in jail,” Zhou You mentioned on the occasion, which was hosted by Rep. Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.), chairman of the Worldwide Spiritual Freedom Caucus. “My father couldn’t make it, as a result of he was already in jail.”

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You Zhou, a panelist, speaks at a briefing on the persecution of Falun Gong, on Capitol Hill in Washington on Might 23, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Instances)

Zhou You was one among three individuals who shared their tales of loss and separation underneath the Chinese language regime’s 24-year-long marketing campaign that has resulted in tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners being detained in prisons, black jails, and different amenities.

The non secular follow, which entails a set of meditative workouts and ethical teachings centered on the rules of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, surged in recognition within the Nineteen Nineties, resulting in an estimated 100 million practitioners in China. The communist regime perceived that as a menace to its grip on energy, and unleashed a sweeping persecution marketing campaign that continues right now.

“Falun Gong practitioners undergo from persecution, intimidation, censorship, imprisonment, compelled labor, torture, organ harvesting, and even demise by the hands of the CCP solely due to adherence to their spiritual beliefs,” mentioned Bilirakis, calling the repression marketing campaign “deplorable.”

“This isn’t one thing that simply impacts individuals in China,” he mentioned, noting the tales offered on the panel. “That is one thing that has a direct influence; it has a direct influence on the U.S. residents and folks residing in america of America.”

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Wang Shanshan participates in a parade to name for an finish to the Chinese language Communist Celebration’s persecution of Falun Gong, within the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., on April 23, 2023. (Chung I Ho/The Epoch Instances)

A Damaged Household

As Lydia Wang, one other panelist, ready her speech over the weekend, she stared at a 1996 photograph of herself alongside her dad and mom and three siblings in China. Her household hasn’t been in a position to take one other photograph collectively since.

It was laborious for Wang to talk about these painful reminiscences. Throughout the briefing, she paused a number of occasions to wipe away tears that had been flowing down her cheeks.

Wang was nonetheless in highschool when the persecution began. Round 2000, police broke into their residence and made a large number of every thing earlier than forcibly taking away her father in entrance of his 4 crying youngsters.

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Lydia Wang (third R) together with her household in China, in 1996. Her father endured heavy abuse over years in jail for his religion and died from associated accidents in 2009. (Courtesy of Steven Wang)

The police didn’t hesitate to make use of power as the youngsters watched; they beat Wang’s father so brutally that he misplaced consciousness, she recalled.

“Something that had some worth, they took it away,” Wang, now residing in New York, advised The Epoch Instances.

That was one of many many arrests and incidents of police harassment that the household can be subjected to through the years.

Visiting her jailed father after his second arrest about two years later, Wang and her sister may solely see him from behind soundproof glass. He needed to write on a chalkboard to speak.

He advised them his scenario wasn’t good. The guards directed prisoners to beat him, he advised them.

“Why hasn’t your mother come?” Wang remembers her father asking. He wished Wang’s mom to inform the guards that he was wronged and get him freed, she mentioned.

Wang and her elder sister couldn’t cease crying.

“We didn’t know what to do, as a result of our mother had been arrested as effectively,” she mentioned.

After his fourth imprisonment in February 2003, Wang’s father was emaciated and affected by diabetes and kidney failure.

Lastly, a jail physician warned the guards that in the event that they didn’t launch Wang’s father instantly, he’d be lifeless by the subsequent day, Wang mentioned.

After returning residence, her father wouldn’t speak a lot about what he had been via. However the bodily results had been apparent. He had a lot ache from bruises and different accidents throughout his physique that he had bother falling asleep. His leg was so swollen {that a} pit would seem if it was evenly pressed, Wang mentioned.

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Lydia Wang, a panelist, speaks at a briefing on the persecution of Falun Gong on Capitol Hill in Washington on Might 23, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Instances)

Wang’s father died in 2009 from afflictions that he by no means fairly recovered from. In the meantime, police continued to focus on the remainder of the household, arresting Wang’s mom 11 occasions in an try to coerce her to surrender her religion.

One of many arrests happened shortly after Wang escaped to america in 2012 in a bid to maintain her second baby, which authorities wished her to abort in step with Beijing’s stringent one-child coverage.

In March this yr, Wang’s mom was sentenced to 4 years in jail after greater than a half-year of detention with out trial. Wang’s second baby, now 11, has by no means met her grandmother in China.

‘I Can’t Maintain Quiet’

Like Wang and Zhou, New York architect Simon Zhang was helpless when his mom, Ji Yunzhi, was arrested through the Chinese language New Yr in 2022, three days earlier than the Beijing Winter Olympics.

Ji, 65, died after 48 days in detention, throughout which guards subjected her to torture, compelled feeding, and humiliation. Handcuffs and iron fetters saved her confined to a hospital mattress for the final month of her life.

“My mother had one sturdy want: to see for herself how individuals can follow Falun Gong freely in America,” Zhang mentioned on the occasion, including that his mom was unable to safe a passport to america due to her perception in Falun Gong.

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Simon Zhang and his mom Ji Yunzhi throughout a visit to Hangzhou metropolis in Zhejiang Province, China, in 2012. (Courtesy of Simon Zhang)

“Now she’s going to by no means have that probability.”

“All she did was keep devoted to the rules of Falun Gong—truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,” Zhang added, recalling that in 2007, his mom was hospitalized for a seizure suffered on account of police harassment.

His cousin requested her why she couldn’t “merely maintain quiet and follow at residence” with out distributing flyers concerning the persecution of their religion.

“Look how a lot you may have paid,” his cousin mentioned.

In a “very weak voice,” she advised the cousin that she couldn’t. “I’ve benefited a lot from practising Falun Gong. I can’t maintain quiet when Falun Gong is defamed so badly,” she mentioned, in line with Zhang.

‘World’s Most Unrecognized’ Persecution

Nina Shea, director of the Heart for Spiritual Freedom on the Hudson Institute and former commissioner on the U.S. Fee on Worldwide Spiritual Freedom, described the Chinese language regime’s repression of Falun Gong as “one of many world’s most unrecognized and critical episodes of non secular persecution and doable genocide on this planet right now.”

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Nina Shea, a senior fellow at Hudson Institute, speaks at a briefing on the persecution of Falun Gong in Washington on Might 23, 2023. (Madalina Vasiliu/The Epoch Instances)

Along with an expansive home marketing campaign focusing on the religion group, together with the killing of detained adherents for his or her organs, the regime has despatched brokers abroad to help within the repression.

Shea cited a current Division of Justice indictment of two New York males allegedly working a secret police station on Beijing’s behalf. The phrase Falun Gong appeared 13 occasions within the indictment.

“It’s a part of the CCP’s obsessive worldwide crackdown on Falun Gong,” she mentioned on the briefing.

Wang stays separated from her elder daughter, who’s nonetheless in China. She was compelled to divorce her husband because of the persecution, and her elder daughter lives together with her paternal grandparents.

“Throughout this persecution, one daughter doesn’t have a mom, the opposite doesn’t have a father,” she mentioned.

Wang’s relations in China have tried repeatedly to see her mom in jail with out success.

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Wang Shanshan and her daughter take part in a rally to name for an finish to the Chinese language Communist Celebration’s persecution of their religion, within the Flushing neighborhood of Queens, N.Y., on April 23, 2023.(Chung I Ho/The Epoch Instances)

She implored the Florida congressman and others on the occasion to assist elevate her mom’s case in order that Liu might be launched and reunited together with her in New York.

Zhou You famous that his father has misplaced nearly all his tooth in jail.

“He can’t eat meat, greens, and even rice as a result of he can’t chew. The one factor he can eat is buns soaked in soup,” he mentioned.

Bilirakis, a sponsor of the Cease Compelled Organ Harvesting Act, which was permitted by the Home in March, mentioned that he desires to see Congress do extra to carry such abuses to an finish.

“We should do extra,” he mentioned. “No individual ought to ever be intimidated, compelled from their ancestral homeland, imprisoned, or murdered merely due to their beliefs.

“We’ve simply begun to struggle.”