United States: Congress to "End the Persecution of Falun Gong in China and Abroad, and Release Falun Gong Practitioners from Detention"

In a Dear Colleague letter by Rep. Christopher H. Smith currently being circulated in the US Congress, congressional representatives are calling on President Bush to have "human rights be made an integral part of our bilateral agenda" on his upcoming trip to China. The letter states,

"We are writing to request that the human rights concerns detailed in the letter be the center piece of your talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao during your upcoming visit to China. China continues to have a particularly poor human rights record and we believe that your trip to China provides an opportunity to express our grave concern regarding the lack of progress in China to protect human rights.

"There has been no overall improvement in human rights conditions in China. Chinese citizens are subject to severe government repression for exercising their rights to freedom of religion and thought."

The persecution of Falun Gong was a major topic discussed in the letter, with one of the action items being to "End the persecution of Falun Gong in China and abroad, and release Falun Gong practitioners from detention." Another action item was "Stop the use of torture and other forms of cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment."

The unanimous passing of Congressional Resolutions 188, 277 and 304 over the past several years has signified the strong support of the US Congress towards Falun Gong. This Dear Colleague letter is yet another demonstration of the considerable support the US Congress has continuously given to Falun Gong.

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