George W Bush
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
February 15 2003
Dear Mr President
Re: Detention in China of US citizen Dr Charles Li
We write to call your attention to the plight of Dr Charles Li, a United States citizen from Menlo Park, California who was seized and illegally detained in China on January 22, 2003. In Australia, we are shocked to hear that some three weeks later he is still held in Yangzhou Detention Centre, Yangzhou City, Jiangsu Province. With respect, we urgently request that you invoke every channel at your disposal to secure Dr Li's immediate release.
Charles Li was travelling to China for business and to visit relatives yet he was arrested at Guangzhou airport upon entry because he practises Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). Here in Australia we share the same traditional Chinese spiritual practise based on the universal principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance and we are calling for your help to rescue Charles Li.
While the Jiang regime has manipulated Chinese laws since July 1999 to render Falun Gong "illegal" in China, and succeeded in terrorising and brutalising millions of their own citizens, it is clear that the detention of Charles Li heralds an ominous escalation of the persecution. It can only mean that no one is safe when entering China if they are known to support the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
An Australian citizen, Nancy Chen who practises Falun Gong in Sydney, was arrested in Chengdu, China on January 22, 2003, the same day Charles Li disappeared. While visiting relatives Nancy found herself followed then arrested by National Security Bureau officials and was detained and interrogated as a "spy" for eight consecutive days. She was taken to the Nanmusi Female Forced Labour Camp, Zizhong City, Sichuan Province and saw first hand the sickening treatment forced upon Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to renounce their belief in goodness and the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.
Yet Nancy has safely returned to Australia through the kind hearted persistent efforts of many people in the Australian and overseas governments, the media and even people ringing up the Chinese authorities to let them know what they are doing is wrong and exposing it to many people around the world.
But what is happening to Charles Li? It is hard for us living comfortably in Australia, or in the USA to realise what he is currently facing. Please listen with your heart to the following extract from the Washington Post Foreign Service, "Torture is Breaking Falun Gong - China Systematically Eradicating Group", by John Pomfret and Philip P. Pan, August 5, 2001.
"A university student in Beijing, Alex Hsu said, "They said if they didn't achieve their goals, if we didn't give up our beliefs, we'd be taken to the Labour camp. Reeducation through Labour is a frightening thing to a Chinese person. We all knew we would be harmed and our lives would be in danger. We all knew someone who had died in the camps......It was very painful. They forced us to lie. We knew Falun Gong is good, but they forced us to say it was evil." and;
"The sting of torture was felt by James Ouyang, a slight man with thick glasses and crooked teeth. On the sixth day of beatings this April (2001), he recalled, he began to denounce the Falun Gong...Officers continued to (electric) shock him about the body and he soiled himself regularly. Finally, on the 10th day, Ouyang's repudiation of the group was deemed sufficiently sincere.....The pressure on me was and is incredible," he said. "In the past two years, I have seen the worst of what man can do." "
Mr President, it may be at this time the US government's international responsibilities require a delicate balance of cooperation with China. Be that as it may, under International law and Human Rights conventions, under the moral high ground that initiates US action on the global stage, under the simple everyday right and wrong that anyone can appreciate - it is illegal and immoral to detain Charles Li in such a manner - it is illegal and immoral to ignore such a persecution of peaceful people with peaceful beliefs.
Evil and lies flourish in darkness and secrecy behind closed doors. We implore you to help the American people find their voice of justice to speak up for Charles Li. He has done nothing wrong. We urge you to see his unlawful detention with a clear vision and move swiftly to secure his release. The longer he is detained, the more there is the opportunity of fabrication to substantiate his detention. If the Chinese government succeeds in framing Charles Li, a US citizen, what message does this send to the rest of the world?
As fellow human beings who value honesty, kindness and tolerance we call on you to make every effort to see that Charles Li is returned home immediately.
Falun Dafa Association of NSW Australia
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