International Religious Freedom Report: Condemn the Persecution of Falun Gong The U.S. Department of State released its 2013 annual report on International Religious Freedom. The report says that last year, the number of people forced to leave their home due to their faith has reached a historical high. The report strongly condemns the Chinese Communist Partyâ€™s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. It urges China to release Falun Gong practitioners and human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. 2014-08-01 02:11 AM EST Last Updated: 2014-08-01 02:16 AM EST - See more at: ntd.tv/en/programs/news-politics/china-forbidden-news/20140801/182297-international-religious-freedom-report-condemn-the-persecution-of-falun-gong.html#sthash.dMemgSY8.dpuf youtube.com/watch?v=4l5xCAci_mo The U.S. Department of State released its 2013 annual report on International Religious Freedom. The report says that last year, the number of people forced to leave their home due to their faith has reached a historical high. The report strongly condemns the Chinese Communist Partyâ€™s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong. It urges China to release Falun Gong practitioners and human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng. The report says that although Masanjia Labor Camp has been closed, increased detention of Falun Gong practitioners around sensitive dates still continues. â€œIt was reportedly said that the CCP instructs the district residential committee to report information regarding Falun Gong practitioners to officials in return for cash rewards,â€ the report says. Tom Malinowski, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Democracy, openly condemned the persecution of Falun Gong. He highlighted the CCPâ€™s persecution policy of Falun Gong and urged the Chinese regime to release Falun Gong defender and lawyer Gao Zhisheng as scheduled in August. Since 1999, China has been listed as a Country of Particular Concern due to its religious freedom violations, the report says. Theresa Chu, spokesperson of Human Rights Lawyers For Falun Gong: â€œThe persecution of Falun Gong has lasted for 15 years. Actually, in many countries, particularly in Europe and the U.S., there are governmental reports about this. These reports reveal that the persecution of Falun Gong hasnâ€™t been lessened after the downfall of Bo Xilai and Zhou Yongkang. The severe persecution manifests around sensitive dates with the large-scale arrest of Falun Gong practitioners. The situation is still severe now in 2014.â€ The report points out that Falun Gong hasnâ€™t been protected under the law in China. The report also shows concern for Falun Dafa Association member Li Chang. It says, â€œFalun Gong practitioner Li Chang has been sentenced to 18 years in jail. Li was a volunteer assistant of Falun Gong. He co-organized a peaceful protest in 1999, and is currently still being held in jail. Falun Gong practitioner Yu Changxin was sentenced to 18 years in jail in 2000, and he is still in jail.â€ Theresa Chu: â€œWhether or not Gao Zhisheng can be released as scheduled, whether or not the Falun Gong assistant can be released, whether Falun Gong will have to continue to suffer severe persecution in China; We say it is like a kind of indicator. Thus, the U.S. can stand up and openly demand Gao Zhishengâ€™s release, as well as a group of Falun Gong practitioners that are currently facing persecution as mentioned in the report. We think it is significant.â€ The report lists several cases of the persecution. â€œIn November 2012, Beijing police arrested Falun Gong practitioner Zhang Fengying as she was shopping,â€ it said. Zhangâ€™s daughter explained that at that time, Zhang was telling a resident about the benefits of Falun Gong. The regime transferred Zhang to Tiantanghe Womenâ€™s Labor Camp for two years.â€ Zhu Keming was the first Falun Gong practitioner who sued Jiang Zemin. Zhu said that Zhang Jie, another practitioner who sued Jiang, was arrested and persecuted to death soon after. During Zhangâ€™s five year jail sentence, he faced brutal tortures in jail and nearly died. Zhu Keming: â€œFrom my personal experience in China, I noticed that people only knew the surface of Chinaâ€™s human rights status. It is far worse actually. Falun Gong practitioners in prison were treated worse than inmates. Their human rights conditions were far worse than that of criminals. People are still unclear about the persecution of Falun Gong.â€ Theresa Chu points out that the live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners still carries on in China, but it wasnâ€™t mentioned in the U.S.â€™ report. Theresa Chu: â€œRegarding the atrocities of live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners, no one should avoid crimes against humanity on earth. However, the report didnâ€™t mention it. We believe the U.S. Department of State still has some evidence and documents of the CCPâ€™s organ harvesting in its hands. We hope the U.S. government, being a big human rights powerhouse, when faced with such inhumane atrocities, should help stop the organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners both in the report and in action.â€ The report pays special attention to the harassment against Falun Gong by Hong Kongâ€™s pro-Beijing group Youth Care Association Limited. Hong Kong resident Zhu Keming says that he believes the U.S. will openly condemn the CCP. However, if the U.S. doesnâ€™t take extreme measures with the CCP and pressure the CCP to stop the persecution of Falun Gong, condemnation alone wonâ€™t work.