US State Department Official: Anyone Who Was Responsible for or Directly Carried out Severe Violations of Religious Freedom Are Inadmissible for Entry into the United States

It has been six years Since July of 1999, when the brutal persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China started. In the beginning, Chinese Communist Party (CCP) officials who obeyed Jiang Zemin's orders to persecute Falun Gong were not fearful of any consequences of their evil acts. But now, they have begun to realise that they have to bear responsibility for all the consequences arising from their actions.

Chinese Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai, the former Governor of Liaoning Province and Mayor of Dalian City, Liaoning Province, planned to visit Canada with CCP Leader Hu Jintao. During Bo's tenure in Liaoning Province, the persecution of Falun Gong was especially severe among all the provinces in China. He bears responsibility for the severe persecution. Therefore, Bo's name was included in Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program (CCAHWCP) watch list for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP). On September 5th, Bo's name disappeared from the list of delegates. On September 8th, Bo was not seen in Hu's delegation to Canada. It is believed that the cancellation of Bo Xilai's visit to Canada was because of the strong appeal of the Canadian people, Members of Parliament, attorneys and supporters of Falun Gong.

On the occasion of Bo Xilai's possible visit to the US, Falun Gong practitioners appealed to the US government to bar Bo's entry into the US. Ms. Julie Furuta-Toy, Director of the Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison, US Department of State, in response to Falun Gong practitioners' appeal, reaffirmed that "any alien who, while serving as a foreign government official, was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time during the preceding 24-month period, particular severe violations of religious freedom......are inadmissible" for entry into the United States. She expressed that "the United States firmly stands against acts of religious persecution anywhere in the world." Below is the letter from Ms. Julie Furuta-Toy.


United States Department of State

Washington, D.C. 20520


September 22nd, 2005

Thank you for your letter of August 29th, 2005 to Secretary Condoleezza Rice expressing your concerns regarding potential visa issuance to Mr. Bo Xilai. Due to mail screening procedures, I have only recently received your letter. I appreciate your patience in awaiting a response.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) strictly regulates the issuance of visas for travel to the United States. The enactment of the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 amended the INA to contain Section 212(a)(2)(G), which states "any aliens who, while serving as a foreign government official, was responsible for or directly carried out, at any time during the preceding 24-month period, particular severe violations of religious freedom......are inadmissible" for entry into the United States.

The United States firmly stands against acts of religious persecution anywhere in the world, and we appreciate you bringing the matter of Mr. Bo Xilai's possible ineligibility under section 212 (a)(2)(G) to our attention. You may be assured that all visa applications, regardless of race, gender, nationality, or religious affiliation, are adjudicated equally according to the criteria of the INA.

I hope this information is helpful.

Sincerely,

Julie Furuta-Toy
Director
Office of Public and Diplomatic Liaison
Visa Services

Image of the letter

Eventually, Bo Xilai was not seen in Hu's delegation to North America. He was not alone. From September 22nd to 24th, 2005, a delegation from Dalian City, China visited Toronto, Canada. Dalian Mayor Xia Deren, who planned to lead the delegation, did not appear in the delegation's visit to Canada. Based on Canada's Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Program, Xia Deren was also on the watch list of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) for his crimes in the persecution of Falun Gong.

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