Hundreds of elected representatives expressed deep concerns about the decadeslong eradication of millions of people in communist China.
A combined 921 lawmakers from a total of 35 countries around the world have condemned the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for arbitrary arresting, jailing, torturing, killing, and organ harvesting of untold numbers of Falun Gong adherents since 1999.
Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) was one of the signatories who was “deeply concerned over the ongoing human rights abuses” against people who perform the Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) meditation exercises and try to behave truthfully, compassionately, and tolerantly in their daily lives.
“[It has been] 21 years since the Chinese Communist government launched a systematic and brutal campaign to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong,” the signatories said in an international joint statement. “Millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed without due process and many have been tortured and even killed. At the very least, thousands have died as a result of such torture and other abuses in police custody.”
Menendez wants the CCP to act according to the U.N. International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that it signed in 1998 and failed to ratify despite promising many times to do so according to Human Rights Watch.
“Immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to unconditionally release all detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience,” the statement says.
From 1992 to 1999, Falun Dafa enjoyed immense popularity with an estimated 70 million to 100 million people practicing in mainland China alone. The practice has also spread to the United States and more than 70 countries across the world while Falun Dafa books have been translated into over 40 different languages.
However, the CCP grew increasingly unsettled by the group’s rapid growth and high number of influential party members who joined. Late in 1999, Chinese dictator Jiang Zemin decided to arbitrarily arrest and torture adherents to death, confiscated and destroyed more than 2 million Falun Dafa books, and ordered state-run media to publish hundreds of articles that defamed the practice.
The two-decade human rights crisis has caused at least 4,363 known Falun Dafa adherents to be persecuted to death, with “tens of thousands more [cases] to be confirmed” according to the latest data collected by the Minghui website. The CCP’s policy to cremate the deceased bodies of victims without asking permission from family members, has only added to the difficulty in ascertaining exactly how many Falun Dafa adherents have been persecuted to death since 1999.
Menendez agreed the persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the “harshest campaigns against a faith group in modern times,” adding these “atrocities” have been well-documented by human rights organizations, governmental bodies, and the U.N.
“The 2007 U.S. State Department Human Rights Report stated, ‘[the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture Manfred] Nowak reported that Falun Gong practitioners accounted for 66 percent of victims of alleged torture while in government custody,'” the signatories stated. “Amnesty International’s 2017/18 report said, ‘Falun Gong practitioners continued to be subjected to persecution, arbitrary detention, unfair trials and torture, and other ill-treatment.'”
The Falun Dafa Information Center (FDIC) in upstate New York believes the joint international statement reflects an “unprecedented effort” from government representatives around the world to stop the CCP’s “injustices” against Falun Gong.
“Together they send a clear message of solidarity to those suffering in China and an unmistakable rejection of the Chinese regime’s campaign to wipe out a peaceful faith practiced by tens of millions in China, and around the world,” FDIC Executive Director Levi Browde said in a statement.
Signatories include current and former elected officials from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Israel, Ireland, the Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Belgium, Romania, Estonia, Finland, Hungary, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Australia, Cyprus, New Zealand, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Argentina, Chile, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan, Venezuela, and Indonesia.