NEW YORK—On the afternoon of Sept. 6, victims of a string of violence in Flushing, New York and members of the local community, gathered for a conference at the Bailey Towers. Held by the Committee of the Victims of the Flushing 5-20 Incident, the conference was entitled, “Stop the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Genocide.”
The conference focused on the relation between the genocide-like persecution of Falun Gong in China and the attacks in Flushing which began on May 17 that have targeted the spiritual group. The discussion also covered the new face the persecution has taken during recent years.
During the meeting, human rights lawyer Ye Ning showed a new tee shirt with slanderous phrases against Falun Gong printed on it. The tee shirt is one of many that have been circulated in Flushing recently by a group running a table along Main Street. The table, which distributes hate propaganda against Falun Gong, is run by individuals who have allegedly attacked Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing. Ye warned that individuals and organizations that sell and distribute such items are violating federal law.
Ye also declared that if those tee shirts are still found in Flushing in the next 72 hours he will begin the process of filing litigation on behalf of the victims of the attacks so as to protect their rights and freedom of belief. Many local residents have expressed their opinion that the violence in Flushing is an extension of the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong onto U.S. soil.
When talking about the connection between the genocide in China and the attacks, slanderous tee shirts, and hate propaganda against Falun Gong in Flushing, Ye remarked, “If you know about the background [of the situation], these behaviors become an extension of the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong inside China to areas outside of China.”
“If you see the issue in this way, relate the issues in this way, then this kind of behavior is indeed violating the Federal Law and is unforgivable,” said Ye.
On May 21, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) made a recorded phone call to the New York Chinese Consul General Peng Keyu, who admitted to having personally encouraged and supported those who had attacked Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing. The attacks, which directly targeted Falun Gong practitioners, began on May 17 and have continued till today, on a smaller scale.
By the end of July, 35 U.S. congressmen signed an open letter which urged the U.S. government to thoroughly investigate the violent attacks against Falun Gong practitioners in Flushing, to deport Peng Keyu, and to bring the perpetrators of the attacks to justice.
Ye expressed his opinion that the CCP’s nine-year persecution against Falun Gong in China should be classified as genocide, making reference to reports that would define it as such. “The first supporting document is the 2007 Human Rights Report issued by the U.S. State Department,” said Ye. “As of November 2007, the [documented] number of Falun Gong practitioners who have been killed in China has reached 3,009.”
“According to the 2007 Human Rights Report, approximately 100,000 to 125,000 Falun Gong practitioners were being held in labor camps. This is based on a very conservative estimate,” Ye said. “As per the United Nations Special Rapporteur's report, over 60% of the current detainees in China are Falun Gong practitioners.”
Ye continued, pointing out that, based on the international society's estimation, if there are around 300,000 detainees in Chinese labor camps and detention centers, then the number of detained Falun Gong practitioners reported by the UN officers are higher than the number from the U.S. State Department. The number would then be between 150,000 and 180,000. “With such a huge number, and this is during a period of peace and not a period of war, this evidence is absolutely enough for us to implicate the CCP in having committed genocide,” said Ye.
Also attending the conference was Wang Zhiyuan, who mentioned that over the past several years, the WOIPFG has uncovered numerous examples of the CCP’s crimes against Falun Gong. Wang remarked that he feels it’s obvious that the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners fits the definition of crimes against humanity and genocide.
Three Falun Gong practitioners who had suffered at the hands of the persecution of their beliefs in China presented their testimonies at the conference. Among them were Flushing residents Zhang Derong, Yu Wenzong, and Zhang Yijie, all of whom had been persecuted and imprisoned in China by the CCP before escaping to the U.S.
Zhang was formerly an official in the China Department of Commerce but was fired in 1999 because she practices Falun Gong. Since then, Zhang has been arrested seven times. In 2001 Zhang spent more than two years in a labor camp while enduring “forced labor re-education.”
According to Zhang, the prison guards beat her relentlessly, and subjected her to forced-feedings and injections of psychiatric drugs as forms of torture. On one occasion, Zhang was deprived of sleep for 18 straight days.
“I don’t want to recall the suffering I had,” said Zhang. “There are no words to describe the viciousness of the CCP’s persecution of people with righteous belief.”
During the symposium, Wang Jun, President of China Democracy Party, offered his support to Falun Gong practitioner’s efforts to stop the persecution. Zhang Guiwei, the President of the Alumni Association of the Central Academy of the U.S. Kuomintang Academy, also spoke out to condemn the CCP’s crimes against humanity.