EL PAIS [Spain]: Falun Gong Denounces Tortures by the Chinese Government

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by Anna Carbajosa
Madrid 13 July

Falun Gong, the Chinese spiritual movement landed yesterday in Madrid, one day before the possible election of Beijing as home of the 2008 games, in order to denounce the human rights violations which the followers are being subjected to by the Chinese government.

"I was incarcerated in a prison for men, they chained my feet and beat me every day. I drank the water from the toilet and ate the leftovers from the other prisoners." Cuiying Zhang, an Australian citizen who was detained in China when she went there to get to know other members of Falun Gong, relates. The usage of electric shock batons, which are inserted into the women's vagina, the whipping with poisonous plants, and the forced inhalation of acid, are some of the methods, which the government of China uses to torture them. "The label of the word 'sect' is a weapon used by the government of Jiang Zemin to criminalize the movement," said Liwei Fu, an Argentine artist and practitioner of Falun Gong, who further clarified that they are not a religion and that they don't have a structured hierarchy and they do not give worship to any religious figure.

Falun Gong, which became known in 1992, has 100 million followers around the world, almost double of the Chinese [party name omitted] party. According to the group, at least 280 have been tortured to death and more than 10,000 have been locked up in forced labor camps in the last two years.

The followers of Falun Gong clarified that it is an ancient Buddhist discipline based on the principles of Truth and Compassion and the well-being of the mind, body and spirit. Falun Gong's principles that are not shared by the Chinese [party name omitted] regime are the source of the persecution, which they are being subjected to. But in spite of the timely nature of their visit, they declare they have no opinion concerning Beijing's nomination for the Olympics. "The government is only trying to show to the Western countries that it is just like them," added Liwei Fu.

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