|27-year-old Bo Qiu was released from a forced labour camp one year early due to international pressure.|
Mr. Qiu was arrested in October 2000 when he and his father, Zhaojin Qiu, went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong. He was sentenced to 3 years in a forced labour camp and was jailed with his father in Liuchangshan Labor Camp in Jinan City, Shandong Province.
On October 23, 2002, he was released because of international pressure. On September 28th, his father, Zhaojin Qiu, was released for medical reasons. Now the father and son are both home in Jinan City.
The "Rescue Our Family Members" persecuted in China campaign started in Canada in July 2002. Within two and a half months two Falun Gong practitioners with Canadian family members were released.
In September 2002, the global "Rescue Our Family Members" action committee was established.
On October 10, New York architect and Falun Gong practitioner, Yibing Shi, received confirmation that his mother had been released from a Chinese forced labour camp, making her the third family member to be released since the campaign started in July.
Global Campaign Intensified During Jiang's Visit to US
In October during Jiang's visit to America, four SOS rescue teams started a tour from Toronto, San Francisco, Atlanta and Washington. They called for help from people in all major cities along the route. They joined each other along with thousands of supporters in Texas when Jiang arrived to meet President Bush.
Canadian Government Steps Forward
On October 24th, the Canadian parliament unanimously passed motion M-236 requesting the Canadian Prime Minister to use the opportunity of the APEC Economic Leaders' meeting in Mexico to talk with PRC head Jiang Zemin and call for the release of 13 imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners with Canadian family ties. The motion was submitted by MP Mr. Scott Reid. Mr. Reids' staff member describes this result as "a great achievement for a Private Members motion, which rarely receive all party support in the House..."
One of the coordinators of the rescue committee in Canada, Ms. Carolyn Jin said, "Overseas pressure is crucial for improving Falun Gong practitioners' situation in China. While we express our gratitude to the Canadian government, we continue to elevate awareness of Falun Gong practitioners' situation in China amongst all kind-hearted people in the world. We hope all governments step forward to help stop this persecution and urge Jiang's regime to release our family members and millions of other innocent Falun Gong practitioners from torture in China. There are so many without family ties overseas who are suffering brutal persecution."
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's President Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it.
The Falun Dafa Information Centre has verified details of 511 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. Government officials inside China, however, report that the actual death toll is well over 1,600, while expert sources estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labour camps, typically without trial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE FALUN DAFA INFORMATION CENTRE
North American Contacts: Cindy Gu 416-419-9981, Jason Loftus 416-977-7576
English Contact: Peter Jauhal 44 (0) 7985 034 543.
More contacts: http://www.falungonginfo.net/europe.htm
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