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H.Res. 605 (111th): Recognizing the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 11th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party campaign to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement and calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners.

The text of the bill below is as of Jun 26, 2009 (Introduced).


IV

111th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. RES. 605

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

June 26, 2009

(for herself, Mr. Poe of Texas, Mr. Bilirakis, Mr. Burton of Indiana, Mr. Rohrabacher, Mr. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida, Mr. Minnick, and Ms. Waters) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs

RESOLUTION

Recognizing the continued persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China on the 10th anniversary of the Chinese Communist Party campaign to suppress the Falun Gong spiritual movement and calling for an immediate end to the campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners.

Whereas Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese spiritual discipline which consists of moral teachings for daily life, meditation, and exercise based upon the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance;

Whereas, according to the 2008 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, tens of millions of Chinese citizens practiced Falun Gong in the 1990s and adherents to the spiritual movement inside of China are estimated to still number in the hundreds of thousands despite the government's ongoing crackdown.;

Whereas in 1996, Falun Gong books were banned in China and state media began a campaign criticizing Falun Gong;

Whereas in 1998 and 1999, Chinese police began disrupting Falun Gong morning exercises in public parks and began searching the homes of Falun Gong practitioners;

Whereas, on April 25, 1999, over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the State Council Office of Petitions in Beijing, next to the Communist Party leadership compound, to request that arrested Falun Gong practitioners be released, the ban on publication of Falun Gong books be lifted, and that Falun Gong practitioners be allowed to resume their activities without government interference;

Whereas on the same day, immediately after then-Prime Minister Zhu Rongji met with Falun Gong representatives in his office and agreed to the release of arrested practitioners, Communist Party Chairman Jiang Zemin criticized Zhu’s actions and stated that the Communist Party must “defeat” Falun Gong in order to “avoid becoming a laughing stock.”;

Whereas, on June 10, 1999, Jiang Zemin ordered the creation of the 6–10 office, an extrajudicial security apparatus, given the mandate to eradicate Falun Gong;

Whereas, on July 20, 1999, Chinese police began arresting leading Falun Gong practitioners;

Whereas, on July 22, 1999, Chinese state media began a major propaganda campaign to ban Falun Gong for disturbing social order and warning Chinese citizens that the practice of Falun Gong was illegal;

Whereas in October 1999, Party Chairman Jiang Zemin, according to western press articles, “ordered that Falun Gong be branded as a ‘cult’, and then demanded that a law be passed banning cults”, the term “evil cult” was subsequently utilized by Chinese authorities to undercut public sympathy in China for Falun Gong and to play upon Western fears of cult movements;

Whereas Chinese authorities have devoted extensive time and resources over the past decade, both at home and abroad, to distributing false propaganda claiming that Falun Gong is a suicidal and militant evil cult rather than a spiritual movement which draws upon traditional Chinese concepts of meditation and exercise;

Whereas Chinese official harassment of Falun Gong practitioners has extended to interfering with the exercise of the constitutional rights of assembly and free speech by United States citizens and lawful permanent residents within the boundaries of the United States, including the physical assault on Mr. Sheng Mei on October 22, 2000, in San Francisco's China Garden Park by a mob of thugs who shouted allegations about Falun Gong practitioners identical to those published in various Chinese government-controlled newspapers while he was distributing Falun Gong literature, the physical assault on Falun Gong practitioner Bill Fang outside the Consulate of the People's Republic of China in Chicago on September 7, 2002, by an assailant with reported ties to the Chinese Government who pleaded guilty to battery charges in the Circuit Court of Cook County, and the physical assault on May 19, 2008, on United States citizen Judy Chen, the mother of two United States Marines then serving in Iraq, outside the public library in Flushing, New York, by individuals who also have reported links to the Chinese Government;

Whereas, on October 18, 2005, highly respected human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng wrote a letter to Chinese Communist Party Chairman Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao calling for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong and Chinese authorities, in response, closed his law office and took away his law license, with Chinese security forces suspected of being directly involved in Mr. Gao’s disappearance on February 4, 2009;

Whereas Gao Zhisheng’s family has subsequently been granted political asylum in the United States;

Whereas in July 2006, former Canadian Secretary of State, David Kilgour, and Human Rights Lawyer David Matas, published a report, titled Report into Allegations of Organ Harvesting of Falun Gong Practitioners in China, of their investigation into the reports of organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China which concluded that large numbers of Falun Gong practitioners are victims of systematic organ harvesting, whilst still alive, throughout China and that the practice is still ongoing;

Whereas the Amnesty International 2008 annual report states that Falun Gong practitioners were at particularly high risk of torture and other ill-treatment in detention … during the year 2007 over 100 Falun Gong practitioners were reported to have died in detention or shortly after release as a result of torture, denial of food or medical treatment, and other forms of ill-treatment.;

Whereas, according to the 2008 Department of State’s Human Rights Report on China, Some foreign observers estimated that Falun Gong adherents constituted at least half of the 250,000 officially recorded inmates in re-education through labor (RTL) camps, while Falun Gong sources overseas placed the number even higher.;

Whereas, according to the 2008 Annual Report of the Congressional-Executive Commission on China, The (Chinese) central government intensified its nine-year campaign of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in the months leading up to the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games.;

Whereas, according to the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group report of March 6, 2009, in April 2007, a secret document of the Public Security Bureau listed Falun Gong among 11 groups that were to be monitored and prohibited from attending the Olympics, in February 2008, the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games of the XXIX Olympiad issued an internal instruction to strictly monitor and control Falun Gong, and subsequently over 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners were arrested in the name of the Beijing Olympics’ security.;

Whereas Falun Gong-related websites remain among the most systematically and hermetically blocked by China's internet firewall, clearly demonstrating the paranoia and hostility directed against Falun Gong by China's communist leaders; and

Whereas the Falun Dafa Information Center received reports of over 8,000 practitioners having been detained in 2008, with numerous reports of death from torture or other abuse while in custody: Now, therefore, be it

That the House of Representatives—

(1)

expresses sympathy to Falun Gong practitioners and their family members who have suffered persecution, intimidation, imprisonment, torture, and even death for the past decade solely because of adherence to their personal beliefs;

(2)

calls upon the Government of the People's Republic of China to immediately cease and desist from its campaign to persecute, intimidate, imprison, and torture Falun Gong practitioners, to immediately abolish the 6–10 office, an extrajudicial security apparatus given the mandate to eradicate Falun Gong, and to immediately release Falun Gong practitioners, detained solely for their beliefs, from prisons and re-education through labor (RTL) camps, including those practitioners who are the relatives of United States citizens and permanent residents;

(3)

calls upon the Government of the People's Republic of China to end all harassment and intimidation within the borders of the United States of Falun Gong practitioners and to end all interference in their exercise of rights guaranteed under the United States Constitution and applicable laws of the United States;

(4)

calls upon the Secretary of State to ensure that officials of foreign embassies and consulates are not engaged in activities incompatible with their diplomatic status, including interference in the exercise of constitutional rights by United States citizens and permanent residents within the borders of the United States; and

(5)

calls upon the President and Members of Congress to mark the 10th anniversary of Chinese official repression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement appropriately and effectively by publicly expressing solidarity with those practitioners in China persecuted solely because of their personal beliefs, and by meeting with Falun Gong practitioners whenever and wherever possible to indicate that support for freedom of conscience remains a fundamental principle of the United States Government.