In the past four years, Jiang and his followers have given orders to persecute Falun Dafa practitioners, specifically to "ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically." Countless Falun Dafa practitioners have been fired, arrested and jailed. The Jiang regime has been depriving Dafa practitioners of their employment in order to eliminate Falun Gong. As a result, millions of practitioners have lost their jobs and cannot support themselves; many practitioners and their family members were forced to leave their homes and go from place to place, and their formerly happy families were cruelly separated.
The Washington Times posted a guest editorial on this subject on December 3, 2003. Below are portions of this article.
In August, Mary Kay Inc., the American cosmetic giant headquartered in Dallas, required each of its sales associates in the People Republic of China to sign a standard statement. In the statement, the signer promised never to practice or to advocate for Falun Gong.
Although Mary Kay reportedly is in the process of revising the statement, and denied an earlier report that several employees were fired for refusing to sign, the damage was done. By simply linking the term Falun Gong and the threat of employment termination together, the company delivered a strong message to the Chinese people: Corporate America was ready to give in to the demand of the Chinese authorities, and, thus, to participate directly in the persecution of dissident groups.
The message is extremely alarming.
For more than half a century, Chinese authorities have routinely denied the right of employment to citizens who fall into the categories of government enemies. Millions of people have been deprived of basic means of living because they hold political or religious beliefs considered by the government as subversive. These victims and their families have to endure extreme poverty and starvation. Indeed, depriving them of employment has been one of the cruelest punishments to dissidents and their families. Year after year, reports from Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the U.S. State Department have presented to the world a lengthy list of people in China, including intellectuals, workers, Christian leaders, and Falun Gong practitioners, who have been fired for political causes.
For decades, the pro-democracy Chinese have been setting their hope on foreign investment, expecting the arrival of private business from the democratic world to take away this powerful means of persecution from the government. This hope has become reality to a limited degree. As a matter of fact, some dissidents have found employment in the private sector and in foreign business in the past decade. This gives them encouragement and more strength to hold on to their beliefs.
However, with the cooperation of private business, the Chinese authorities can easily reverse this positive change. As soon as foreign corporations in China such as Mary Kay begin to exclude people from employment eligibility simply because the Chinese authorities ask them to do so, they become accomplices of the Chinese government in suppressing human rights and political freedom. To single out Falun Gong practitioners and supporters is particularly disturbing, since the persecution of Falun Gong is generally regarded by international human rights organizations as the most severe human rights violation conducted by the Chinese government in recent years. Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been fired, arrested and jailed. Reports from China reveal that hundreds died in government custody after being brutally tortured. It is despicably unconscionable for an American company to add more pain to the victims by shutting the door in their faces.
It is understandable that American corporations are eager to enter a market of 1.3 billion consumers or a nation with hundreds of millions of cheap laborers. However, with their investment, American corporations will also create their own legacy in China. They can either gain notoriety by collaborating in political persecution or gain respect by being independent and humane. This should not be a difficult choice, even for corporate America.
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