Restoring Virtue, Honor of Ancient Traditions
An International Call for An End to the Persecution of Falun Gong
ATHENS – The Chinese and Greek ancient cultures are two of the greatest cultures in the world. The teachings of Socrates in Ancient Greece and Lao Tze in Early China lay the spiritual and moral foundations for Western and Eastern Culture. The Olympic Games celebrate Greece's ancient cultural and moral traditions. As the Greek poet Pindar noted, the Olympic contestor’s victory is based on the principle of the “KAIROS,” a principle of balance and harmony between the athlete, the gods, and nature. Similarly, ancient and contemporary Chinese self-refinement practices such as Falun Gong are based upon harmony between human and the divine.
We hold this press conference in honor of the spiritual traditions of the two nations, and in so doing, we urge the faction within the Chinese Government who are carrying out a systematic and brutal persecution of Falun Gong to stop and allow China to return to her true self – a nation and a people who, like the ancient Olympic athletes celebrated by Pindar, embrace balance and harmony between man, nature and the divine.
An ancient practice of exercise, meditation and teachings of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, Falun Gong was introduced to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992 in China. Within a year, more than a million persons in China practiced the five sets of slow and gentle exercise every morning before work. Members of the influential Politburo, high ranking government officials, academics and many others embraced the spiritual principles of Falun Gong. Like the disciples of Socrates, practitioners of Falun Gong look inward to improve both morally and spiritually, and cultivate their character to enlighten to spiritual truths.
Yet, as Socrates was denounced by narrow minded persons in Ancient Athens, the practice of Falun Gong has been maligned by the former Chinese leader, Jiang Zemin, and the faction within the Chinese Government he controls.
Human rights groups such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, the United Nations, the U.S. State Department Country Reports, etc., have reported that since 1999 over 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to forced labor camps, jail, and mental institutions. According to some verified reports, more than 1,000 individuals have been tortured to death while in police custody, notwithstanding the prohibition against torture in Chinese law and international instruments ratified by China. The US Congress, European Parliament, and many governments have publicly condemned the persecution. Lawsuits have been filed in the United States, Europe, Asia and now Greece to bring those responsible for the atrocities to justice and put an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
The Olympic spirit, since its very beginning in Ancient Greece has promoted peace, harmony, fairness, justice, and humanity. There is no better venue than this event to highlight the importance of human rights and dignity in China especially, but also elsewhere around the globe.
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PRESS STATEMENT - Aug. 05, 2004
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa (about), is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Practiced in over 50 countries world-wide, Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture. With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, China's Communist leader Jiang Zemin outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999 (report). Since that time, Jiang's regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. The Falun Dafa Information Center has verified details of 1,022 deaths (reports / sources) since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Expert sources now estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labor camps, typically without trial.
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Contacts: Gail Rachlin (+1 917-757-9780), Levi Browde (+1 646-415-0998), Erping Zhang (+1 646-533-6147), or Christina Chai (+1 917-386-5068).
Fax: 646-792-3916 Email: , Website: http://www.faluninfo.net/