Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights
Fifty-third session, Agenda item 6
International Education Development has followed the topic of terrorism and human rights for many years and we welcomed the appointment of the Sub-Commission's Special Rapporteur Mme. Koufa in 1996. ... We strongly agree with the Special Rapporteur that State terrorism in the form of government terror against its own people -- what she calls "terrorism from above" -- produces far more gross violations of human rights than any other form of terrorism. ...When a regime resorts to State terrorism, the international community can expect to be overwhelmed with cases under the international mechanisms and swamped with persons seeking asylum from that regime. Such is the case in China with the regime's violent assault on practitioners of Falun Gong.
In our statement under item 3 we described the Falun Gong Practice as we have found it to be. The government, in exercise of the right to reply, attempted to justify its State terrorism against the group by calling it an “evil cult" that has caused deaths and the break-up of families. In our investigation, the only deaths have been at the hands of the Chinese authorities; families have been broken up because family members have been killed by the regime; people have been broken down, not by Falun Gong, but by extreme torture, incarceration in mental hospitals with brutal treatment, hard labour in labour camps and other such practices. As was reported in the International Herald Tribune on August 6, 2001, the regime admits that it has officially sanctioned violence against practitioners in order to wipe out Falun Gong. The regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001 as proof that Falun Gong is an "evil cult”. However, we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the government. We have copies of that video available for distribution.
In his most recent report (U.N. Doc. E/CN.4/2001/66), the Commission's Special Rapporteur on Torture attests to tens of thousands detained and tortured practitioners. (Paras. 246-290). The Commission's Special Rapporteurs on Violence against Women and Extrajudicial Executions also attest to these abuses, with similar indications as to numbers. (E/CN.4/2001/73/Add.1, para. 19; E/CN.4/2001/[ ]). We are compiling evidence indicating that at least 50,000 Falun Gong practitioners are detained in prisons, labour camps or mental hospitals, of which thousands are beaten and many tortured to death. Hundreds of thousands (perhaps millions) of practitioners are severely threatened. The UN mechanisms clearly cannot handle this volume of verified cases, nor can the international community easily cope with perhaps millions of asylum seekers -- all of whom would clearly meet asylum criteria. Accordingly, the international community as a whole and the Sub-Commission in particular should address this situation of State terrorism as one of extreme urgency. [...] The end.
*International Education Development is a California-based human rights organization.