Foreign Embassies in China Should Reach Out to Prisoners of Conscience: Rights Group

The organization asked the UNHRC to ‘publicly condemn’ China’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.A Germany-based rights organization is calling on United Nations member states’ embassies in China to visit the communist regime’s prisoners of conscience, particularly Falun Gong adherents.Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) submitted a written statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) late last month, ahead of the start of the U.N. body’s 55th regular session, which began on Feb. 26 and is scheduled to end on April 5. The statement focused on the Chinese regime’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong and concerns about the persecution already expressed by governments, including the European Parliament.The organization asked the UNHRC to “publicly condemn” China’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. It also recommended the U.N. body to “strongly urge China to immediately end” its persecution against all prisoners of conscience, including Tibetans and Uyghurs, as well as Chinese human rights defenders.“Call on U.N. Member States’ embassies in China to monitor the court proceedings of Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians and other prisoners of conscience, as well as to visit them in detention centers or prisons,” says another of STP’s recommendations.STP also called on the embassies to assist in the investigation of China’s state-sanctioned practice of forced organ harvesting against prisoners of conscience.The organization pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ever since it came to power in 1949, “has sought to control the thoughts of the Chinese people, carrying out campaign after campaign to stamp out ideological diversity.”Related StoriesGiven its desire for ideological control, the CCP began targeting Falun Gong practitioners in a “systematic persecution” to eradicate the practice in July 1999, STP wrote, even though the practice is “spiritual in nature” that focuses on “improving the character of the individual rather than advocating for societal changes.”STP explained the need for the UNHRC to take action, given that the human rights atrocities Falun Gong practitioners face “have continued unabated” to this day.“In 2023, the number of Falun Gong practitioner deaths documented by Falun Gong sources surpassed 5,000, yet this number is believed to be only the tip of the iceberg,” STP wrote. “A coordinated, global response to China’s campaign against Falun Gong practitioners is long overdue.”Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice that encourages its adherents to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. By the late 1990s, the practice became enormously popular in China, with 70 million to 100 million practitioners taking up the practice, according to official estimates.Then-CCP leader Jiang Zemin launched the persecution in July 1999, and on the onset, he gave an order that CCP officials have followed ever since: “Ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.”PersecutionSince then, the CCP has forcibly sent hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners to detention centers, prisons, psychiatric wards, and other facilities, subjecting them to forced labor, torture, brainwashing, and other inhuman treatment. Many practitioners have become victims of forced organ harvesting, as their organs become part of an “organ bank” that allows Chinese hospitals to offer short waiting times for matching organs to patients.STP named one Falun Gong practitioner—Ding Yuande—currently incarcerated in China and said UNHRC should call for his “immediate and unconditional release.”Mr. Ding, a tea farmer, was arrested with his wife and at least 70 other Falun Gong practitioners in eastern China’s Shandong Province in May. He was sentenced to three years in December 2023 for this faith.In January, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Mr. Ding and all Falun Gong practitioners in China. The resolution also urged the European Union and its member states to impose sanctions against perpetrators of organ transplant abuses in China.“This resolution is vitally important because it not only clearly articulates the horrors of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal campaign against Falun Gong, but it also calls for decisive measures to investigate these atrocities and punish the perpetrators,” said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Zhang Erping in a statement on Jan. 19.“And it does all of this in defiance of the CCP’s political coercion and attempts to spread disinformation about Falun Gong.”Mr. Ding’s son, Ding Lebin, who currently lives in Berlin, told The Epoch Times on March 1 that he hoped that U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk and UNHRC would speak out against the CCP’s crimes, following the lead of the European Parliament.“The CCP has been trying to cover up and whitewash its crimes against humanity—lar

Foreign Embassies in China Should Reach Out to Prisoners of Conscience: Rights Group

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The organization asked the UNHRC to ‘publicly condemn’ China’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

A Germany-based rights organization is calling on United Nations member states’ embassies in China to visit the communist regime’s prisoners of conscience, particularly Falun Gong adherents.

Society for Threatened Peoples (STP) submitted a written statement to the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) late last month, ahead of the start of the U.N. body’s 55th regular session, which began on Feb. 26 and is scheduled to end on April 5. The statement focused on the Chinese regime’s ongoing persecution of Falun Gong and concerns about the persecution already expressed by governments, including the European Parliament.

The organization asked the UNHRC to “publicly condemn” China’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. It also recommended the U.N. body to “strongly urge China to immediately end” its persecution against all prisoners of conscience, including Tibetans and Uyghurs, as well as Chinese human rights defenders.

“Call on U.N. Member States’ embassies in China to monitor the court proceedings of Falun Gong practitioners, Uyghurs, Tibetans, Christians and other prisoners of conscience, as well as to visit them in detention centers or prisons,” says another of STP’s recommendations.

STP also called on the embassies to assist in the investigation of China’s state-sanctioned practice of forced organ harvesting against prisoners of conscience.

The organization pointed out that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), ever since it came to power in 1949, “has sought to control the thoughts of the Chinese people, carrying out campaign after campaign to stamp out ideological diversity.”

Given its desire for ideological control, the CCP began targeting Falun Gong practitioners in a “systematic persecution” to eradicate the practice in July 1999, STP wrote, even though the practice is “spiritual in nature” that focuses on “improving the character of the individual rather than advocating for societal changes.”

STP explained the need for the UNHRC to take action, given that the human rights atrocities Falun Gong practitioners face “have continued unabated” to this day.

“In 2023, the number of Falun Gong practitioner deaths documented by Falun Gong sources surpassed 5,000, yet this number is believed to be only the tip of the iceberg,” STP wrote. “A coordinated, global response to China’s campaign against Falun Gong practitioners is long overdue.”

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice that encourages its adherents to live by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. By the late 1990s, the practice became enormously popular in China, with 70 million to 100 million practitioners taking up the practice, according to official estimates.

Then-CCP leader Jiang Zemin launched the persecution in July 1999, and on the onset, he gave an order that CCP officials have followed ever since: “Ruin their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically.”
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Persecution

Since then, the CCP has forcibly sent hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners to detention centers, prisons, psychiatric wards, and other facilities, subjecting them to forced labor, torture, brainwashing, and other inhuman treatment. Many practitioners have become victims of forced organ harvesting, as their organs become part of an “organ bank” that allows Chinese hospitals to offer short waiting times for matching organs to patients.

STP named one Falun Gong practitioner—Ding Yuande—currently incarcerated in China and said UNHRC should call for his “immediate and unconditional release.”

Mr. Ding, a tea farmer, was arrested with his wife and at least 70 other Falun Gong practitioners in eastern China’s Shandong Province in May. He was sentenced to three years in December 2023 for this faith.
In January, the European Parliament adopted a resolution calling for the “immediate and unconditional release” of Mr. Ding and all Falun Gong practitioners in China. The resolution also urged the European Union and its member states to impose sanctions against perpetrators of organ transplant abuses in China.
“This resolution is vitally important because it not only clearly articulates the horrors of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) brutal campaign against Falun Gong, but it also calls for decisive measures to investigate these atrocities and punish the perpetrators,” said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Zhang Erping in a statement on Jan. 19.

“And it does all of this in defiance of the CCP’s political coercion and attempts to spread disinformation about Falun Gong.”

Mr. Ding’s son, Ding Lebin, who currently lives in Berlin, told The Epoch Times on March 1 that he hoped that U.N. Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk and UNHRC would speak out against the CCP’s crimes, following the lead of the European Parliament.

“The CCP has been trying to cover up and whitewash its crimes against humanity—large-scale forced organ harvesting against Falun Gong practitioners—via the U.N. Human Rights Council,” the young Mr. Ding said.

“Western democratic countries now clearly see that the very existence of the CCP is a great threat to humanity, freedom, and the rule of law.”

Earlier this year, several UNHRC members, including China, underwent a peer review process called the “Universal Periodic Review.” According to STP, China “did not mention its persecution of Falun Gong and continued to whitewash its abuses against Uyghurs and Tibetans as legitimate means for countering terrorism or maintaining political stability” in its national report submitted for review.

“Publicly condemn organ transplant abuses in China, appoint a Special Rapporteur on forced organ harvesting of living prisoners of conscience in China, and establish an international criminal tribunal for forced organ harvesting in China,” says another recommendation from STP in its written statement.

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