State Department Urges Beijing to Release Falun Gong Practitioners

The State Department is urging Beijing to release imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners.

In an email to NTD, a State Department spokesperson said, “Thousands of Falun Gong practitioners face detention, harassment, and reported torture and abuse each year for simply peacefully practicing their beliefs.”

“We call on the PRC government to immediately cease its campaign against Falun Gong practitioners, release those imprisoned due to their beliefs, and address the whereabouts of missing practitioners.”

The statement is a response to a New York resident’s plea. She’s urging the U.S. government to speak out and call for her father’s release.

Zhang Hongyu is a graphic designer living in New York. Her father has been taken into custody for practicing Falun Gong, a spiritual meditation based on the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance.

Zhang says her father’s life is on the line. His blood pressure is shooting up, but even so, the police frequently interrogate him.

Her father, Zhang Ming, is one of the tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners that have endured arrest and prison terms for practicing their belief in China.

Last year, authorities abducted over 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners in China. And in the first half of 2022, over 2,000 practitioners lost their freedom because of the regime’s persecution campaign, according to Minghui.org, a U.S. based organization that tracks first-hand information on the persecution inside China.

Falun Gong is an ancient spiritual practice that became popular in China the 1990s. At the time, over 70 million people were practicing it, but the regime launched a nationwide persecution campaign against the practice in 1999. Since then, millions have been detained and tortured. At least 4,000 have been killed.

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