(L-R) Yaning Liu, Jason Si, and Jin Pang
each have family members in China imprisoned by the Chinese regime because they
practice Falun Gong. (The Epoch Times)
and friends of Chinese labor camp victims call for help
members of Falun Gong practitioners who have been sent to labor camps in the
run-up to the Olympics, decried the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of
Falun Gong on August 19 in front of the Los Angeles Chinese
Jason Si, a computer
engineer from Moreno Valley, explained how his sister, a Falun Gong
practitioner, was arrested in China last Apr. 22. "About 20 Chinese national
security agents and local police raided my sister's home." Police thoroughly
ransacked the apartment and arrested his sister and father, Si said.
After three days of
interrogation, according to Si, police were unable to charge them with any
crimes, yet placed his father under house arrest and sent his sister to
Shijiazhuang Women's Labor Camp. "I now ask for help from everyone who cares
about justice and human rights. I demand that the Chinese authorities release my
sister from the labor camp immediately. As the Chinese regime continues with its
Olympic 'show' business, let us not forget the severe human suffering and
sacrifices that the Communist government has forced upon tens of thousands of
innocent people–all in the name of the Beijing Olympics."
This year, over 8,000
Falun Gong practitioners have been imprisoned without trial because of their
beliefs, according to the Falun Dafa Information Center.
According to Amnesty
International's most recent report, "Preparations for the 2008 Olympic Games in
Beijing were marked by repression of human rights activists," and "Growing
numbers of human rights activists were imprisoned, put under house arrest or
surveillance, or harassed.[...] Falun Gong practitioners were at particularly
high risk of torture and other ill-treatment in detention."
Jin Pang, a first-year
MBA student at Missouri State University, traveled to Los Angeles for the press
event. "On July 29, just one week from the Olympics, my parents were kidnapped
by police when they were at a friend's home in Weifang City," according to Pang.
She said police took computers, a digital camera, Falun Gong books and other
personal property worth a total of US$7,000. "They are now illegally detained in
Weifang City Detention Center," she said.
As if Pang's family's
situation couldn't worsen, she received another shocker: "Yesterday, I learned
that my aunt, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner, was sentenced to one year
in a forced labor camp on August 10," the second day of the Olympics. According
to Pang, her aunt had been tortured in China before by being bound to a bench
for six days, not allowed to move, and not given food for several days.
Park resident Yaning Liu also attended the press
event. With the Chinese Consulate in the foreground, she described how, for the
past year and a half, she has advocated for the release of her 62-year-old
mother, Shuying Li, who was sentenced to two and a half years in a labor camp in
2007 because she practices Falun Gong. Local Congressional Representatives Adam
Schiff and Hilda Solis have helped Liu with rescue efforts.
Within the past few
months, in addition to her mother, Ms. Liu's aunt, Shuqin Li, and cousin,
Chunxiu Li, have also been detained and sentenced to labor camps because of
Liu believes that the
most challenging task of the Chinese Communist Party during the Olympics has
been to cover up the tortured victims in labor camps and to silence people. She
explained, "Last weekend, when I called my father who has been visiting my
mother every month since she was sent to Beijing Women's Labor Camp, he told me
that this month's routine visit has been cancelled."
"He also told me that
many Falun Gong practitioners in the labor camp, especially the younger ones,
have been transferred to other jail facilities outside Beijing, some as far as
She added, "This is
what the Olympics has brought to China–more cover up, more persecution, and more