Fearless: Chinese Rights Lawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Letter to the World

By James Burke


Prominent Chinese human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng is one of the bravest men on the planet.

Yes that’s a big call but this is one Nobel Peace Prize nominee who has been to hell and back and it hasn’t broken his spirit. And now Gao wants to say what happened.

There’s not enough room on this page for me to go through what this man has had to endure over the past nine or so years, plus I’d prefer not to get in the way of you reading his letter which is further below.

What I will write is just to help you put his letter, which was written on September 12, into context and assist you to understand what the 51-year-old lawyer is referring to. Some background of sorts.

Described as the ‘conscience of China’, Gao was well known for helping Chinese Christians and any citizen petitioners who had genuine grievances against the state.

But the main reason why Gao was targeted by the communist authorities was his unyielding defense of practitioners of the persecuted Falun Gong meditation practice.

Gao himself is a Christian.

Gao Zhisheng, a lawyer, now himself persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party for defending the Falun Gong. His wife Geng He, daughter and son had escaped, through Thailand, and now reside in the United States.

In his recent letter below Gao refers to three open letters that he wrote years ago to Communist Party leaders calling on them to end the persecution, detailing awful cases of torture used against Falun Gong practitioners. He also wrote an open letter to the U.S. Congress and publicly announced his membership withdrawal from the Chinese Communist Party in 2005.

After years of harassment, which included the authorities closing down his law business, Gao was disappeared by state security and later imprisoned for “inciting subversion of state power.” In prison he endured years of solitary confinement, maltreatment and bouts of torture.

In 2009 his wife and two children fled China and they now live in the U.S.

Just over a year ago, Gao was released from jail a shell of a man and he was* being held under house arrest in Shaanxi province, north-western China.

The following is his translated letter which was published by the Epoch Times.

*Editor’s note: It has just been learnt that Chinese authorities have once again disappeared Gao after the letter below was first published (September 22) and after the Associated Press published (September 23) an interview they recorded with him in March.

Gao Zhisheng’s Letter

Yesterday, when I was looking through the old cabinet my mother left, I came across the bookLawyer Gao Zhisheng’s Collected Works. I sat down and read in one sitting the three letters I wrote to the Chinese communist bandit leaders. Only after having gone through the same torturous experience myself do I now know how catastrophic, deeply disturbing, and shocking it is.

Wei Xiuling, a Falun Gong practitioner from Shandong Province, was “killed,” resuscitated, and then finally killed again. Reading her story again, the misery is simply suffocating. Reading how her lower half was naked when she died, I start quaking again in my heart. Or the story of how when Liu Boyang and his mother Wang Shouhui from Changchun were both tortured to death, they could hear each other’s blood-curdling cries.

It’s been a decade since I wrote these investigation notes, but the murderers are still “leading comrades,” still strutting around with their heads high and their bellies out, long having forgotten about the bloody debt that will follow them forever. This is the achievement of China Central Television, Global Times, Liberation Army Daily, and other wicked media have wrought, going about their shameful work numbing the Chinese people. The words I wrote to Hu Jintao and Wen Jiabao in the end failed to awaken the numbed souls of this world, and the sinister regime continues its crafty, evil conduct, the same as it always has.

Right around me there are still shameless agents of the regime, hanging about day and night, earnestly carrying out the wishes of their master of forever keeping China in a dark, intoxicating dream. This is what United Nations General-Secretary Ban Ki-moon, who attended the Party’s military parade recently, doesn’t see, and doesn’t want to see.

Ban Ki-moon, Russian leader Vladimir Putin, and Korean leader Park Geun-hye are like visitors from other planets, turning a deaf ear to the human rights disaster in China going on around them. They don’t react in the least when the thugs who invited them carry out a brutal crackdown on expression, thought, freedom of belief, or when they thwart constitutional development, education reform, health reform, judicial independence, or derail attempts to spread universal civilized values. Their numbness to all this should be exposed.

This is all a disgrace to the civilized world.

The dark, criminal elements of the Communist Party have sprung forth again around China, disappearing, torturing, and extracting confessions from hundreds of human rights lawyers. The campaign is another open crime against humanity, another evil for the historical record, just like the Tiananmen June 4 massacre, or the persecution of Falun Gong, or the brutal, continuous practice of demolishing the homes of ordinary people and evicting them.

This is all a disgrace to the civilized world. I don’t know what Ban Ki-moon is thinking inside when he does business with these people who blatantly commit crimes against humanity. During the military parade of this gang of bandits, petitioners and dissidents around the country were suppressed and put under strict control; restaurants in Beijing demanded to see their diners’ identification cards; 10 days before the parade, the post office ceased all package deliveries. All of this was done to make a Potemkin Village for the likes of Ban Ki-moon, to give the gang of scoundrels with guilty consciences a chance to congratulate each other.

I can now make public that in mid-August I successfully delivered overseas two manuscripts: One is titled China Stands Up in 2017; the other is not yet named—both will be available within a year. There is much worth reading in those books, so I won’t say more about them today.

I want to solemnly assure you all that all the crimes against humanity taking place in China today will without exception be judged. At the end of 2017, a special tribunal will be set up for this—the details of this are described in the forthcoming books.

After reading the three open letters, I felt the natural urge to pen the above notes to memorialize the noble martyrs who have passed away—they’re the glory and the last energy of our nation, evidence that our people still have promise and grandeur. Commemorating their lives is proof that our consciences have not been entirely destroyed.

Gao Zhisheng, September 12, 2015

For more details about lawyer Gao and how he has been persecuted by the communist state see this video featuring former Canadian politician David Kilgour:

From – http://www.visiontimes.com/2015/09/24/fearless-chinese-rights-lawyer-gao-zhishengs-letter-to-the-world.html


Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?


[VIDEO] Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?



高智晟:纪念高贵的殉道者 他们是民族光荣

高智晟著书即将面世 记录中共八年酷刑


















From – http://www.epochtimes.com/gb/15/9/24/n4534541.htm

[VIDEO] 连环画音像片:评江泽民与中共相互利用迫害法轮功

From Persecutor to Persecuted: Retired Chinese Policewoman Sends Criminal Complaint Against Former Dictator

Growing desperate that the Falun Gong practitioners still clung to their faith, Jiamusi labor camp authorities decided to try a psychological approach—Falun Gong books were issued to policemen, and they were ordered to read them and refute the teachings, part of the attempt to force practitioners to recant their faith.

Cui was given “Zhuan Falun,” Falun Gong’s main textbook. After reading it, “the unexpected happened,” wrote her 26-year-old son in a letter to the public prosecutor in Jiamusi.

Cui quit drinking, stopped playing mahjong—a Chinese tile game that is often used for gambling—cut down on vulgar language, and became healthier. “Zhuan Falun completely changed my mother’s life,” her son wrote.

Jenny Li, Epoch Times and Larry Ong, Epoch Times | August 2, 2015


Cui Huifang, a former policewoman and participant in the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, was moved by the behavior of those she persecuted and became a practitioner herself. (Minghui.org)

When Cui Huifang spotted an elderly labor camp inmate perform slow-moving qigong exercises, she immediately flew into a rage and punched the septuagenarian with such force that she staggered backward and slammed into a metal bed frame.

How dare she do the exercises during my shift, thought Cui, then a policewoman at a Forced Isolation Rehabilitation Center in the northeastern Chinese city of Jiamusi in Heilongjiang Province.

Hurling insults and beating up practitioners of Falun Gong—a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline that involves gentle exercises and adherence to teachings of truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance—was a familiar routine for Cui after persecution of the practice started, at the behest of former Communist Party boss Jiang Zemin, in July 1999.

But before long, Cui had a change of heart. In fact, right after throwing that punch, she immediately had the thought: Please don’t be hurt.

This January, Cui, 52, retired as a policewoman. On Feb. 12, public security officers raided her home, abducted her, and have since kept her in a detention center in Jiamusi, in the far northeast part of China, bordering Siberia.

Near the end of July, Cui got her relatives to mail a criminal complaint on her behalf to the nation’s highest court and prosecuting body against Jiang Zemin. Over 100,000 complaints have been lodged against Jiang, an attempt to have the Chinese authorities live up to their own promises about the rule of law, to prosecute the former Party leader for crimes against humanity and genocide.

This graph shows the number of plaintiffs and criminal complaints made against former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin since May, according to data from Falun Gong information website Minghui. (Frank Fang/Epoch Times)

“I was an active member and witness of the bloody persecution campaign against Falun Gong,” Cui wrote in her complaint. “I have also personally experienced the goodness of Falun Gong, and became a practitioner.

“Now, I am also a victim of the persecution.”

‘The Unexpected Happened’

In labor camps, Falun Gong practitioners are subjected to brainwashing, abuse, and torture in an attempt to get them to give up their faith. Hundreds of thousands have been persecuted in this manner at any given time, and over 3,800 have been persecuted to death, according to the official Falun Gong website Minghui. The numbers are thought to be much higher, but it is difficult to get independent information out of China given the Communist Party’s tight controls.

Cui Huifang initially thought nothing of persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Years of routinely torturing labor camp prisoners as part of their “reformation” had numbed her to the act; some of her colleagues even enjoyed it.

But the behavior of Falun Gong practitioners started to move Cui. The practitioners not only showed no hatred to their torturers, they returned the brutal abuse by Cui and others with kindness.

“As time passed, I became more and more inclined toward the Falun Gong practitioners,” recalled Cui to a friend, who wrote it in a letter to the public prosecutor in Jiamusi.

Growing desperate that the Falun Gong practitioners still clung to their faith, Jiamusi labor camp authorities decided to try a psychological approach—Falun Gong books were issued to policemen, and they were ordered to read them and refute the teachings, part of the attempt to force practitioners to recant their faith.

Cui was given “Zhuan Falun,” Falun Gong’s main textbook. After reading it, “the unexpected happened,” wrote her 26-year-old son in a letter to the public prosecutor in Jiamusi.

Cui quit drinking, stopped playing mahjong—a Chinese tile game that is often used for gambling—cut down on vulgar language, and became healthier. “Zhuan Falun completely changed my mother’s life,” her son wrote.

Becoming a Falun Gong practitioner was a struggle for Cui. When reading “Zhuan Falun,” Cui felt that Falun Gong “is righteous and teaches people to be kind” and felt the “injustices” of the Communist Party’s slander of the practice. But then she immediately put down the book and thought, “How can I think like that; I’m a policewoman with a job and a family!”

Remarkable Story

Being a first-hand witness to the “harsh terror in China” eventually strengthened Cui’s resolution to practice Falun Gong.

A year before she retired, Cui decided to show support for Falun Gong practitioners who were tortured in Jiansanjiang prison in Heilongjiang. Then, local police beat up and detained the lawyers—Tang Jitian, Jiang Tianyong, Wang Cheng, and Zhang Junjie—who had sought to defend the practitioners.

After the Jiansanjiang case, Cui realized that she was being followed and monitored by the authorities. They made their move in February, arresting her on the charge of “holding state secrets and confidential documents.”

Beijing-based lawyer Li Xiongbin met with Cui, and told Minghui that the charge was “only a formality” and that the key issue behind her arrest was her remarkable story—a former policewoman who became a Falun Gong practitioner.

Cui Huifang “became a practitioner because of her experiences, and she’s telling people why she practiced and what the practice is,” said Li.

“This has a shocking effect on people.”

From – http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1702267-from-persecutor-to-persecuted-retired-chinese-policewoman-sends-criminal-complaint-against-former-dictator/


Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?


[VIDEO] Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?



A Switch to Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School



By Epoch Times Staff
After finishing junior college, Ms Tan Wen Qi didn’t take a straight path to becoming a doctor.

She went on to obtain her engineering degree at the National University of Singapore, graduating in 2011. But despite receiving a first-class honours in biomedical engineering, she realised what she really wanted was to work more closely with people.

“During my third year summer vacation, I worked in the Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory at Duke-NUS, where we studied the effects of sleep-deprivation on health in young men. It was a refreshing and eye-opening experience for me, as I was studying the biology of healthy individuals first-hand, instead of working with test-tubes on a bench. I realised that I wanted to work more closely with people, doctors and patients, and to be able to observe and have a more direct impact on people’s health,” says Dr Tan.

After four years, she is one step closer to her dream. Recently, the 27-year-old graduated with a Doctor of Medicine (MD). She was one of 49 students to collect their MD degrees at this year’s Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School graduation ceremony, which also saw the school’s first batch of eight PhD holders graduate in integrated biology and medicine.

In the interview with Dr Tan, Epoch Times finds out the opportunities Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School offers as well as her insightful training.

She emphasises, “We are often told that medicine is an art, not a science, and that is incredibly true. Medicine is a lifelong journey of learning that doesn’t stop after medical school.”

The petite Dr Tan also shares with us her views regarding the illicit organ harvesting trade, particularly in China.

“I have met a few patients over the past few years who have gone to China for kidney transplants—but most people don’t know where China’s large supply of organs comes from,” she discloses.

What opportunities does Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School offer?
It offers the opportunity to study medicine, particularly for those who didn’t have the chance to pursue undergraduate medicine. My classmates come from a variety of backgrounds—science, engineering, even economics, art history, and anthropology. They’ve also shown that you don’t necessarily need a science background to do extremely well in medical school.

Duke-NUS also has a research year where we are engaged in a research project with a mentor. We can choose to do it in clinical or basic science. I really appreciated the experience and extensive support I received from my mentors, statisticians and others who were part of the school faculty. They were instrumental in exposing me to clinical research and the option of becoming a clinician scientist.

Is medicine a rewarding experience? Why?
It is a rewarding and extremely humbling experience. We are given the privilege of examining and treating patients, and we deal with something so important to them—their health and their lives. Many patients are truly inspiring with their strength in the face of adversity, especially the paediatric patients. Despite all the hardship they experience in their health and personal lives, they remain real troopers. I have learnt a great deal from them!

What are the moral ethics for doctors?
There are four basic principles:
1. Respect for autonomy: respecting the patients’ right to choose or refuse treatment
2. Beneficence: doing what is best for the patient
3. Non-maleficence: “do no harm” to the patient
4. Justice: fairness and equality in the distribution of health resources

Tell us about your training in local hospitals. Share with us your experiences, and some memorable lessons?
I had most of my training at Singapore General Hospital, one of Singapore’s busiest tertiary hospitals, and KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. I was fortunate to have very good mentors at these hospitals who taught me a lot. The patients are also my teachers; without them, I would not have the medical knowledge and experience I know now.

One of my most memorable lessons was following an elderly patient for her follow-up appointment with her cardiologist. She patiently and amicably spent three hours in tests and waiting before she could see the doctor. It made me appreciate all the waiting that a patient has to go through for a 10-minute consultation. At the same time, I’ve also experienced first-hand how hectic the clinics are, where doctors are pressured to see so many patients in a limited time. Time-management and tolerance on both sides become very critical things to have!

What do you think is the most pressing issue in healthcare today?
With Singaporeans living longer, we are already facing a greying population and an increasing burden from chronic diseases like hypertension, diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and dementia. The vast majority of patients who are admitted to hospitals have at least one of these conditions, and these conditions more often than not require lifelong management. Our healthcare system is under pressure to cope with the influx of these patients.

One of our professors, A/Prof Lee Kheng Hock, recently wrote a comprehensive article for Today (“Reinventing Singapore’s GPs”, 12 June 2015) that succinctly highlights the problem and how we can improve our healthcare system to cope with the impending demands. General practitioners and especially allied health workers like nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, pharmacists, and medical social workers are vital to caring for our ageing population in the community.

There have been reports of people going overseas for organ transplants, particularly to China. What are your thoughts?
It is unsurprising that people are going to China for organ transplants. The average waiting period for a kidney in Singapore is nine years. Conversely, the waiting period in China for organs is within weeks, and over 10,000 organs are transplanted per year. I have met a few patients over the past few years who have gone to China for kidney transplants.

But many don’t know where China’s large supply of organs comes from. Unfortunately, these organs are harvested from prisoners and prisoners of conscience, particularly Falun Gong practitioners, Uighur Muslims, Tibetans, and House Christians. These innocent people are detained for years in prisons across China, where they are tested and matched to recipients, and killed to fuel the organ trade.

The evidence from global investigations has been so serious that the United Nations Special Rapporteurs and UN Committee for Torture have repeatedly called attention to the matter, and governments in Europe, North America, and Asia have passed legislations against China’s organ harvesting practice.

If there is greater awareness of what is happening in China, I believe people will stop going there for organ transplants. It will discourage the organ harvesting trade, and save thousands of innocent lives in China.

For more information on organ harvesting in China, please visit http://stoporganharvesting.org

From – http://printarchive.epochtimes.com/a1/en/sg/nnn/2015/07%20July%202015/513/July_10-23_24_lowres.pdf

Ride2Freedom: Children Small in Size, but Big in Heart (Photos)



Ride2Freedom riders get a moment to play among hollyhocks on June 26 in downtown Lawrence, Kan. (Cat Rooney/Epoch Times)

25 Ride2Freedom cyclists aim to rescue orphans in China

In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.

“In spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”  – Anne Frank


The Jewish girl Anne Frank wrote her famous diary during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. Anne Frank was one of the most discussed Jewish victims of the Holocaust.

Newly Crowned Miss World Canada Says Father Threatened in China

By Matthew Little, Epoch Times | May 21, 2015

Anastasia Lin campaigned for title on human rights platform, now faces direct threat against her family


Chinese security forces have moved quickly to silence newly crowned Miss World Canada Anastasia Lin, threatening her father who lives in China that if she keeps up her human rights advocacy he and the rest of her family in China will pay for it.

Lin, who won the national beauty pageant on May 16 and will go on to represent Canada at the Miss World contest, received a distressed phone call from her father in Changsha, Hunan Province on Wednesday night, May 20, telling her he had been visited by Chinese security forces.

Until then, he had been thrilled with her win.

“At the beginning my dad was so happy because all those Chinese media were reporting about my win, and he was forwarding the news—in my hometown they were really proud,” said Lin who grew up in Changsha.

“He told me he was getting 100 to 200 messages every day congratulating him.”

“But then suddenly my dad told me to stop doing what I am doing,” she said. Something changed.

Family and friends told Lin that news stories about her started disappearing from the Chinese Internet. Any of the stories that mentioned her human rights advocacy were apparently blocked by China’s Internet censors.

Then Lin got text messages from her father telling her that security forces threatened to put him through Cultural Revolution-style criticism.

“They said they would turn on my family like in the Cultural Revolution, where a father does not recognize a son and son would expose the father,” said Lin.

“My dad was really scared. He said, ‘You must stop what you are doing now, otherwise we will just go our separate ways.’”

Although frightened by the call, Lin said she was not surprised. Like many human rights activists with family in China, it’s a threat she knew she might face.

“I don’t want to put my family at risk, but it is precisely because of them, because of this situation, that I have to keep doing what I am doing. Otherwise, all I have done before is in vain.”

Heart for Human Rights

Born in China, 25-year-old Lin campaigned for the title of Miss World Canada on a human rights platform, pledging to continue her work in Canada for religious freedom and that she’d be a “voice for the voiceless.”

A theatre major with a minor in history and political science from the University of Toronto, the model and actress has built a career acting in films that expose human rights issues in her native China.

Her first film dealt with the controversy of the poorly built schools that collapsed in the 2008 Sichuan earthquake killing thousands of children. She played a student who was killed in one of the collapsed schools.

She also stars in the Canadian-produced television series “Big Shorts,” a satirical take on Chinese state-owned television station CCTV, and recently starred in “Red Lotus,” which is in post-production. The film tells the tale of a female Falun Gong practitioner in China imprisoned for her beliefs.

Lin also practices Falun Gong, a Buddha-school meditation practice that was banned and subjected to severe persecution in China after it attracted some 100 million adherents in the early 1990s. The persecution still continues today.

Lin said the “Red Lotus” role was particularly moving and she doubted at times whether she could play it. “I had to interview many people, victims of human rights abuses,” she said.

She was unsure she could really play the role of someone who had been through imprisonment and torture and remained steadfast in their belief. Playing the part made a big impact on her.

“It was almost like the more hardship they went through, the more grounded they were in their faith,” she says.

‘Exporting Tyranny’

Until Wednesday night, that role and those interviews were the closest she had come to being directly threatened by the Chinese communist regime. Speaking about the call from her father, her voices hovers between fear, calm, and outrage.

Lin came to Canada when she was 13 and was deeply affected by what she describes as “the spirit of freedom” here.

Lin says she will use the Miss World Canada title to push harder regarding human rights issues and that she plans to engage governments and officials who have authority to address the human rights problems in her homeland.

The fact that she had won hadn’t even really sunk in when her father called.

Lin says she will be reaching out for help and support from the government and friends. She is worried for her family in China, but believes silence would just embolden the regime.

She said it is important to speak out about the threats against her family. She said if she keeps silent it will encourage the people threatening her dad and they will know they have a way to control her.

“If I speak out, I think it will protect my family, because the last thing those security people want is international coverage that they are threatening innocent people in China just because their daughter in Canada talked about human rights.”

From Europe to Brooklyn: Hundreds Stream Across Brooklyn Bridge for Human Rights in China

By Larry Ong, Epoch Times | May 13, 2015


Falun Dafa practitioners cross the Brooklyn Bridge from Brooklyn into Manhattan, New York, on May 13, 2015. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

NEW YORK—They flew in from over the Atlantic to Brooklyn, and silently marched across one of America’s oldest suspension bridges bearing a simple, poignant message: People in China should be free to meditate.

On a clear, breezy Wednesday morning, nearly 600 practitioners of the Chinese spiritual practice Falun Gong set off from Cadman Plaza Park and crossed the Brooklyn Bridge to Foley Square. Mostly from Europe, they hailed from 47 nationalities.

They wore yellow T-shirts with the words “Falun Dafa is Good” and the hashtag “#Free2Meditate,” and carried brightly colored banners that read: “Falun Dafa: Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance” and “Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong in China.”

The march is part of World Falun Dafa Day celebrations this week, where an estimated 8,000 Falun Gong practitioners from all over the world are taking to the boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan to remind New Yorkers that millions of peaceful meditators in China aren’t free to keep their faith.

Falun Gong, or Falun Dafa, involves slow moving exercises and the observance of moral teachings based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. Although the practice provided health benefits for millions of Chinese after its introduction to the public in 1992, the Chinese Communist Party launched a sweeping suppression in 1999—millions were persecuted, vilifying messages were spread in international media, and tens of thousands are suspected of having been executed in a state-run organ harvesting program.

“We hope that people in New York will note the severity of the persecution in China,” said Jana Skovajsova, a 31-year-old translator and interpreter from Czech Republic.

A Solemn March

“We want to let Americans know about the heinous crimes being committed by the Chinese Communist Party,” said Betty Hunter, a Brooklyn resident who organized Wednesday’s march.

Hunter, a retired law firm librarian, feels that a solemn, silent march is a good way of getting the attention of people who have never heard of the persecution and engaging them in conversation.

Hunter’s plan worked: On Brooklyn Bridge, Falun Gong practitioners handled out pamphlets about the practice and traumatic events from the past 16 years to passersby, and quietly explained to enquirers why they were marching. A policeman overseeing the proceedings was heard telling an elderly participant that it was “beautiful to see people from Germany, Finland, and other countries come together” to march.

Falun Gong practitioners also hope New Yorkers can appreciate the “beauty of truthfulness, compassion, forbearance,” said May Bakhtiar, a designer from Switzerland.

May Bakhtiar, a Falun Gong practitioner and designer from Switzerland, does a Falun Gong standing exercise in Cadman Plaza Park on May 13, 2015. (Samira Bouaou/Epoch Times)

Bakhtiar, a youthful looking 52-year-old, was introduced to Falun Gong by a friend in 1997. After doing the exercises for three months, her allergies disappeared and her health improved, she said. Being mindful of Falun Gong’s moral teachings, she said, even tamed her fiery temper.

“Falun Dafa is good for the mind and body, and truthfulness, compassion, and forbearance is the answer to ending the violence in the world,” Bakhtiar said.

Then and Now

Many passersby accepted the pamphlets, and a handful stopped to listen to the Falun Gong practitioners.

This wasn’t the case the last time Falun Gong practitioners marched across Brooklyn Bridge in 2000, one year after the persecution began. The Communist Party’s propaganda against the practice was still in full swing, and the violent nature of the persecution and the peaceful nature of Falun Gong had not become clear to the world.

Qiu Ying, a 48-year-old Chinese teacher at a senior middle school in Italy, who has attended large-scale Falun Gong activities in New York since the early 2000s, recalls that New Yorkers then wouldn’t accept material from practitioners or even hear them out.

At an event outside City Hall on Tuesday, however, “casual strangers in the streets asking for directions accepted our pamphlets, were curious to hear about the persecution, and even expressed interest in learning the practice,” said Qiu, who is an Italian citizen.

The Beginning

An hour and a half after the march began, the last Falun Gong practitioners—a mother with a little girl in tow—stepped into Foley Square, the end point of the march. Banners were folded and stored away, and most of the marchers headed off in different directions.

“They’re going to Bowling Green Park, Central Park, and Times Square,” said David Tompkins, one of the organizers of World Falun Dafa Day.

Tompkins and co-coordinator Yi Rong have plenty planned for the week—Falun Gong exercise demonstrations in Central Park, candlelight vigils outside the Chinese Consulate, and a parade on Friday.

Some of the Brooklyn Bridge marchers stayed behind at Foley Square where festivities were already under way: performances of classical Chinese dance, traditional instruments, and a helping of Western music.

From – http://www.theepochtimes.com/n3/1356780-from-europe-to-brooklyn-hundreds-stream-across-brooklyn-bridge-for-human-rights-in-china/


Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?


[VIDEO] Why Jiang Zemin and CCP Persecute Falun Gong?


Iranian Scholars: Two Paths Converge at Shared Belief in Falun Dafa

April 06, 2015 | By Minghui correspondent Wang Mei

(Minghui.org) Mahnaz and Mohammad Esmaeili, an Iranian couple now living in Vancouver, Canada, met each other at a Falun Dafa activity. “Mohammad said to me, ‘I’m not going to get married this life.’ I responded, ‘No one would want to marry you, don’t worry.’” Mahnaz recalled with a smile, “Yet we fell in love and got married two years later.”

Iranian scholars Mahnaz and Mohammad Esmaeili

Two Paths Converged at Shared Beliefs

Different paths led these two scholars to start practicing cultivation in Falun Dafa.

Mahnaz was teaching at Semnan University in Iran after completing her Ph.D. in psychology. Yet academic success didn’t bring her happiness. “I wasn’t able to solve my own psychological problems even though it is my field,” Mahnaz recalled. “I was constantly in anxiety. The anxiety caused me to have stomach and kidney problems. A car accident 20 years ago added back pain to my list of problems. I was often unhappy.”

“I hoped that something would save me someday.”

Mahnaz learned about Falun Dafa through a friend. They went to watch the nine-day Falun Dafa lecture video series in 2003. Practitioners from Sweden visited Iran a few times during 2002 and 2003 to introduce Falun Dafa.

The video lecture was in English. Mahnaz didn’t understand English back then. However, she was impressed by the energy field—it was strong and comfortable. Her back pain was significantly reduced. She realized that the practice was very powerful. She soon got a copy of the Persian version of Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, and began practicing cultivation.

Mohammad is a process management scholar. He said, “People thought I was successful, but I wasn’t happy.” He, too, was troubled by stomach problems and shoulder pain and resorted to smoking and drinking to ease his suffering. He went to Turkey and hoped to find a way to go to Europe, but didn’t succeed.

After he retuned from Turkey, Mohammad was in low spirits. His colleague gave him a copy of the Persian version of Falun Gong, Falun Dafa’s introductory book. Falun Gong is another name for Falun Dafa. He finished reading the book in one day and was happy to have found Falun Dafa, especially the tenets of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

“I’ve obtained answers to a lot of my questions in life,” Mohammad said.

He quit smoking and drinking in a week. “I didn’t even know when my pain and diseases disappeared! One day, I suddenly realized that I was pain free! I also became lighthearted.”

Mahnaz Esmaeili introducing Falun Dafa at an international conference

Mohammad Esmaeili doing the Falun Dafa meditation outdoors

Better Relations with Others

Mahnaz attributed her different state of mind to her Falun Dafa cultivation, “I’m peaceful and able to forgive those who wronged me. I am no longer angry at them. I sincerely hope to help them because I feel their pain.”

Applying the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance was difficult at first. Mahnaz works in a very competitive environment. Professors compete for research topics and students. They often get into arguments during thesis evaluations.

“Many students want to study under me. Other professors weren’t happy about that. Some even ignored me when I greeted them. Our relations were once quite tense,” Mahnaz recalled.

“I often thought others were to blame for my problems. I thought I was right. After practicing Falun Dafa, I started looking within and realized that I had much to improve on my end. I still greeted my colleagues warmly, gave them my sincere compliments, and was able to improve my work relations. A colleague who used to be in a ‘cold war’ with me became a good friend of mine in the end.”

Mohammad had similar experiences, “I used to think that I was better than others based on my intelligence. I was attached to my skills. However, I understood the principle of looking inward and reevaluated my past success. I learned to be more down to earth and gained more trust from my friends and colleagues.”

Relaying the Truth

Ever since he learned about the persecution in China, Mohammad has made it his mission to clarify the truth. He raises awareness about how Chinese Communist propaganda has misled Chinese and people around the world and prevented them from knowing what Falun Dafa is. Due to economic relations between Iran and China, a lot of Iranians don’t know about the severe human rights violations in China, nor the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners.

Mohammad told his friends, colleagues, and local media about the persecution, especially about how Falun Dafa practitioners detained in China are subjected to state-sanctioned organ harvesting.

Mahnaz, with other practitioners’ help, translated Bloody Harvest, a book by Canadian human rights lawyer David Matas and former Canadian Secretary of State David Kilgour on the subject of organ harvesting, into Persian. The first print was published in 2012 and sold out.

Mahnaz made a presentation about forced organ harvesting at an international human rights conference in Tehran in November 2012. The issue was reported by local media and had a notable impact on the public.

Moving to Canada

Practicing Falun Dafa has also sparked the Esmaeili’s interest in Chinese culture. They felt close to Chinese people and the culture, so they had the idea to move to a place where they can practice freely and be in touch with many Chinese. In the end, they chose Canada.

They arrived in Vancouver in January 2015. They were happy to see so many Chinese. “I very much want to let my new Chinese friends know that they should get to know Falun Dafa on their own, independent of the communist propaganda. Don’t be deceived by the Chinese Communist Party that persecutes innocent people for its own political gain,” Mohammad said.

The Esmaeili’s feel certain that, just as predestined connections brought them to the practice and together on the journey, their move to Vancouver will facilitate many more predestined encounters with Chinese who are yearning to learn the truth about Falun Dafa.

From – http://en.minghui.org/html/articles/2015/4/6/149625.html


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