European Friends of Falun Gong is a non-governmental organisation of people who don't practise Falun Gong but support freedom of belief for practitioners.
Rt Hon. Tony Blair MP
10 Downing Street
LONDON SW1A 2AA
31st August 2005
Dear Mr Blair,
In view of your forthcoming visit to China to hold talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao next week, we wish to draw to your attention the plight of the millions of Falun Gong practitioners who have suffered at the hands of the Chinese authorities since the practice of Falun Gong was outlawed by former President Jiang Zemin in July 1999.
Since then nearly 3,000 practitioners have died in custody as the result of torture by a leadership which is inextricably linked to the Chinese Communist Party. The CCP’s history is one of murder and intimidation. Party members have been involved in the killing of those outside and inside the party before and after it took control of China in 1949. About 80 million Chinese citizens have been killed and millions more have been injured and maimed in its struggle to hold onto power in the intervening years.
It has also had at its disposal a colossal propaganda machine with which it has whipped up public opinion against any group brave enough to challenge its ideas and political philosophy. Falun Gong is one of the groups that has borne the brunt of this mighty propaganda weapon. From the moment the persecution began, the CCP has deliberately tried to deceive the Chinese nation into believing that Falun Gong goes against the national interest of China, that the followers of Falun Gong somehow represent an enemy of the state, that the principles of Truth, Compassion and Forbearance cannot sit comfortably alongside the benefits of the nation and its people.
The publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party by the Epoch Times newspaper in November last year has revealed to the world the truth about the evil past of the CCP, and there have been several high-profile defections by Chinese government officials in Australia, Canada and Belgium, who have cited the persecution of Falun Gong as one of the main reasons for renouncing their membership of the CCP. To date almost 4 million people have renounced their party membership in China.
Britain cannot turn a blind eye to these important facts. The British public has shown its full support for the campaign to bring the persecution to an end and to bring Jiang Zemin to justice. We have a petition of 11,839 signatures of the British people, which we are handing in to you today.
There is also the special case of Mr Yu Chang Xin, a former Chinese Air Force High Commander, who has been given a 17-year sentence for practising Falun Gong. Mr Yu is 78 years old and has now spent the last six years in prison despite being a very highly respected figure in the Chinese Air Force. His health has also deteriorated significantly – he has lost the sight in one eye and is deaf in one ear – and his wife, who is 72, has also been locked up in a different prison under the harshest possible conditions.
We strongly urge the release of Mr Yu, and hope that you can bring up this case with President Hu Jintao on your visit to China with a view to having him released early from his sentence.
John Dee (Vice-Chairman)
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