PALM BEACH, Fla., April 4, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While President Trump hosts Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mar-a-Lago on April 6-7, Falun Gong practitioners and supporters will gather on Bingham Island, Palm Beach, to appeal to President Xi to end the 18-year long persecution of Falun Gong and to bring the architect of the persecution—former Communist Party chief Jiang Zemin—to justice.
TIME: April 6 & 7, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
LOCATION: Bingham Island, Palm Beach, Florida
Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline which consists of moral teachings, meditation, and qigong exercises. Practitioners strive to live their lives based upon the principles of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. Falun Gong's popularity rose to 70 million practitioners by early 1999, and initially enjoyed the support of the Chinese government due to its health benefits. However, it made some Party members uneasy over the fact that it outnumbered the Communist Party membership. Its revival of traditional values and emphasis on spirituality were perceived by some communist hardliners as a threat to the Party. In July 1999, then-Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin launched an intensive, nationwide campaign to "eradicate" Falun Gong, reflecting the Party's atheism and intolerance of independent, civil society groups.
As a result, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been detained extra-judicially in labor camps, detention centers, black jails and prisons, where torture and abuse are routine and death often occurs. According to multiple sources, including Freedom House, the U.S. State Department and the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, Falun Gong practitioners constitute the largest group of prisoners of conscience in China.
Last June, the U.S. House of Representatives unanimously passed H.Res.343, a resolution that condemns the Chinese Communist regime for harvesting the organs of living Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience. A Feb. 2017 Freedom House report "found credible evidence suggesting that beginning in the early 2000s, Falun Gong detainees were killed for their organs on a large scale."
President Xi inherited this persecution from his earlier predecessor. Amid his anti-corruption campaigns, President Xi sacked several key perpetrators of the persecution, though ostensibly on corruption charges. While these steps were in the right direction, the persecution still continues. Since 2015, 200,000 Chinese have filed legal complaints charging Jiang with crimes against humanity. Practitioners appeal to President Xi to accept the will of the people to bring Jiang Zemin to justice and end this 18-year brutal persecution.
Among the victims of the persecution is Tampa resident Iris Lu, whose mother was recently sentenced to six years in prison in China for distributing Falun Gong materials. Ms. Lu and other victims of the persecution will be available for on-site interviews.
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SOURCE Florida Falun Dafa Association