China's Falun Gong persecution :

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The men from China's national security brigades came for Natalie Qiao's parents at 10pm on 8 June. Five young men in plain clothes bundled the elderly couple into an unmarked car.

The crime of Qiao Yongfang and his wife, Yan Dongfei, both aged 60 and residents of Huhot City, in Inner Mongolia, was to be practitioners of the banned Falun Gong religion, which has tens of millions of followers in China.

Ten years after the prohibition on Falun Gong was ordered by China's former leader Jiang Zemin, commencing a brutal crackdown on its adherents, believers such as Qiao's parents are still being pursued, despite international protests.

The only change is that the persecution is now more secretive.

Amid new protests in Britain, including a march today from the Chinese embassy to Chinatown to mark the anniversary of the Falun Gong crackdown, Natalie Qiao and a former detainee have described the continuing abuse, providing a detailed insight into how those deemed enemies of the Chinese state are dealt with.


Anyone practising religious observance outside officially sanctioned channels, including members of unofficial Catholic churches or Protestant house churches, risk detention. Other groups at risk include Muslims in the Xinjiang Uighur autonomous region, especially those branded as religious extremists by the authorities.

Falun Gong has been treated most harshly. Supporters outside China claim 2,000 have died in custody since 1999, and the UN alleges that the group's members feature disproportionately among those who have suffered torture and abuse. It is this that Qiao – who will hand in a petition to Downing Street on Monday – fears most.

"They took my parents after dark. They don't want people to know. The persecution is almost underground," said the 35-year old purchaser, who lives in Watford. "I got a call from one of the members of my family in China. They had tried to call my parents' phone and a strange man had answered and demanded to know who was calling. They do that to find other members of Falun Gong.

"My uncle then went to my parents' house. The building attendant didn't want to talk but finally he said what happened. But even then the local police would not admit they had been arrested. They said they didn't know. In the end we heard it through a friend in the police who told us they had been taken to detention centre number one.
 

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We are not allowed to talk to them. When we rang the National Security Brigades they said my parents were not co-operating. They have not written a letter denouncing Falun Gong or given names of other practitioners. My extended family at first refused to believe what was going on. They said the persecution of the Falun Gong was over. But it's happening every day."

Natalie is terrified about what is happening to her parents, amid well-attested reports of the serious maltreatment of Falun Gong detainees who refuse to renounce their beliefs, as well as darker, unproven allegations that some who have died in custody have had their organs harvested.

Annie Yang, an antiques dealer who fled to London after being released from a re-education through labour camp, knows at first hand what Qiao's parents are going through.

"I was arrested in March 2005," she said. "I was living in Beijing and was a practitioner of Falun Gong. They came for me in the evening. I'm a single mother and I was with my 16-year old son. Only one of the men was wearing a uniform. None of them showed ID.
 

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The reality of human organ harvesting in China.

http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/re...a/news-story/14d3aa5751c39d6639a1cc5b39f223b7

The (Communist Party) says the total number of legal transplants is about 10,000 per year. But we can easily surpass the official Chinese figure just by looking at the two or three biggest hospitals,” Mr Matas said in a statement.

The report estimates that 60,000 to 100,000 organs are transplanted each year in Chinese hospitals.

According to the report, the tens of thousands of organ transplants not reported by the government, are sourced from executed political prisoners who were locked up for their religious or political beliefs.

“That increased discrepancy leads us to conclude that there has been a far larger slaughter of practitioners of Falun Gong for their organs than we had originally estimated,” the report read.

“The ultimate conclusion is that the Chinese Communist Party has engaged the state in the mass killings of innocents, primarily practitioners of the spiritually based set of exercises, Falun Gong, but also Uyghurs, Tibetans, and select House Christians, in order to obtain organs for transplants.”

The authors claim that detained Falun Gong practitioners were forced to undergo medical tests before their results were put on a database of living organ sources so quick organ matches could be made.
 
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