Statement from the Falun Gong Association (UK)

On September 11, 2001, we saw the horrific, disturbing face of evil; an act of hatred by international terrorists. Our deepest sympathy goes out to all who have been affected by these tragedies. But if there is one thing positive that might be drawn from this, it is that we have re-awakened to the presence of evil in the world, its far-reaching threat to all people, and the need to unite to fight it.

For two years now, we have witnessed those who practise Falun Gong in the free world fight against something no less evil or horrific. They have fought against a state-run campaign of terror in China that targets 100 million peaceful, innocent citizens. These people are targeted for simply who they are-a people bonded together in a meditation practice that nurtures in oneself the principles of Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. China’s totalitarian regime perceives the popularity of this practice as a threat. These innocent people’s lives are now at great risk.

The communist regime’s rule of terror in China has stripped Falun Gong practitioners and many others of all human rights. According to rights groups, over 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested; tens of thousands have been thrown into labour camps without trial; at least 1,000 healthy practitioners have been put into mental hospitals for illegal psychiatric abuses. And while 294 are known to have died in police custody, inside government sources put the death toll at well over 1,000. Millions of practitioners have been pressured, threatened, and forced to go through brainwashing programs from which the only release lies in renouncing their beliefs.

Zhao Ming, a student at Trinity College Dublin, languishes under terrible conditions while illegally held captive in prison. He has been held in a labour camp since he visited his family in 1999. He has been subjected to physical and mental torture, including sleep deprivation, beatings and electric shocks simply because he practised Falun Gong.

Yet the millions strong in China who practise Falun Gong have met this evil, which not only represses its own people, but also threatens people everywhere by following "a path of fascism, Nazism and totalitarianism", with fortitude, courage, and goodness. And despite two years of violent, brutal suppression, these people have not bowed before the oppressor. They have answered brutality with compassion, irrational fanaticism with calm reason, lies and deceit with honesty and plain dealing. In their heroic endurance and fidelity to Falun Gong’s principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance, they have demonstrated to the world how Falun Gong has made them persons of profound moral strength. They have resisted the largest totalitarian government in the world, and done so on their own, no less. Now these brave persons need our help.

As the world rallies together and vows to fight terrorism, let us make it clear how determined we are to oppose China’s state-sanctioned terrorism against its own citizens. Let us show the Chinese regime that we are determined to remove all hidden shadows that give aid and shelter to acts of violence, hatred, and terrorism. We must prevent the evil forces from continuing with their reign of terror in China and exporting it to the world at large.

The UK Government will soon be meeting China for a dialogue on human rights next month. We have asked the UK Government that the Falun Gong issue be among the top priorities of the agenda. We appeal to the people of the world to continue with their support for our cause to rescue Zhao Ming and to stop the brutal persecution of innocent Falun Gong practitioners

The world needs justice and living beings need sincerity, compassion and tolerance more than ever. It takes all of us to make sure that this is not an age of terror.

14th October 2001

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