United States: New York Council Member Calls for Inquiry into Hate Crimes against Falun Gong Practitioners

New York Council member Tony Avella (District 19) announced a resolution that he will introduce in the City Council this summer regarding the recent mob violence against Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing and other parts of the city on June 26. The resolution calls on Queens District Attorney Richard A. Brown to charge those arrested in recent attacks on Falun Gong practitioners with hate crimes. A hate crime denotes attacks on specific people based on their religion or beliefs, ethnicity, etc., and additional penalties apply to those convicted of such crimes.

"I'm here to say on behalf of the members of Falun Gong, that here in this city we are not going to tolerate this," Mr. Avella said. "I hope that some time during the summer I can get quick passage of the resolution."

"If the Chinese government is found in any way, shape, or form to have participated in, encouraged, or supported these attacks, then those individuals should be expelled from this country," Mr. Avella said.

Mr. Avella said we must stand together, because if Falun Gong practitioners are attacked today, then tomorrow others would be attacked. He said people in America have the freedom of belief and speech and if somebody is attacked because of his belief, then nobody is safe.

Falun Gong spokesman Erping Zhang expressed his appreciation for Mr. Avella's resolution. "It is appalling to see that the communist regime in China is treating New York as their own backyard," Mr. Zhang said. "We appreciate this resolution and we move to put an end to this mob violence on US soil as soon as possible."

At the end of the press conference, Mr. Avella stated that the city council and his office will protect the rights of people in America, and no foreign government or diplomats can violate American laws in America.

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