Irish Times: Falun Gong [practitioner] says Irish can help persecuted.


A Chinese TCD postgraduate student, held for two years in a labor camp in China because of his [belief in] the banned Falun Gong, says Irish people can help the thousands who are still being persecuted.

Mr Zhao Ming was released after a high-profile Irish campaign and is back in Dublin. Now he wants to help those who are left behind in labor camps and mental institutions where they are detained because of their [beliefs in] the spiritual movement.

"People know about me but other people are suffering much more than I did. "I want to raise the awareness of Irish people that the torture is still continuing. We know about 428 people who have been tortured to death since July 20th, 1999, when the first large-scale arrests began all over China." Mr Zhao said he wanted to hold a rally on July 20th, on the third anniversary. He had met Mr Michael Hayes, of SIPTU, who he had asked for help, and would have discussions with him next week about it.

He also wants to hold an exhibition. "This has been going on too long. In my case, many Irish people wrote letters to the Government and the Taoiseach raised it when the Chinese Premier visited Ireland. Many also wrote to the labor camp and the Chinese government." He said Irish people could do the same again - write to the Government and to the Chinese government.

Mr Zhao, a computer science postgraduate, said the Falun Gong movement was completely peaceful even after the torture and deaths. He had just received news from China that at the same labor camp Mr Chengao Ling, an assistant medical researcher, had been left unable to do anything because he had lost his mind after electric shock torture.

A friend of his, Mr Jiang Yuan, was reported to have been tortured to death in the Gansu province. He only heard of it when he returned to Dublin. Mr Zhao said he was beaten by 10 men when he was in the Tuan He Farm labor camp in Daxing County, north of Beijing. Every day people were arrested, detained and tortured just for showing a banner in Tiannamen Square.

Mr Zhao was arrested after traveling home to Beijing in December 1999.

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