EXPRESSING SENSE OF CONGRESS REGARDING OPPRESSION BY CHINA OF FALUN GONG IN UNITED STATES AND CHINA -- (House of Representatives - October 04, 2004)
Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I move to suspend the rules and agree to the concurrent resolution (H. Con. Res. 304) expressing the sense of Congress regarding oppression by the Government of the People's Republic of China of Falun Gong in the United States and in China.
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Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, I would like to express my support for H. Con. Res. 304, a resolution honoring the tradition and practice of Falun Gong. As a cosponsor of this resolution, I urge my colleagues to vote yes on this important piece of legislation.
H. Con. Res. 304 calls on the Chinese Government to stop interfering with the religious and political rights of individuals in the United States to practice Falun Gong. The Chinese Government has gone so far as to spread falsehoods about Falun Gong and to harass, detain, abuse and imprison Falun Gong practitioners. The practitioners are simply exercising their legitimate right to freedom of religion and expression, and the actions of the Chinese Government conflict with international standards of freedom and human rights and must end immediately.
I have an admiration for the practitioners and adherents of Falun Gong and I am invested in the movement both in the United States and abroad. I remain committed to the task of making Falun Gong safe to practice in any country in the world. The members of Falun Gong are opposed by a Chinese government that unjustly views them as dissenters. This view is entirely without merit. In reality, Falun Gong is an inherently peaceful, apolitical movement that stresses nonviolence and meditation. Since Falun Gong was outlawed in 1999, hundreds of nonviolent practitioners have been arrested, tortured, libeled, and detained without charge or proof of any wrongdoing.
Sadly, the unwarranted and unprovoked aggression against Falun Gong has not ceased, nor is it limited to China. There have been unprovoked attacks in the United States and Falun Gong members have been subjected to a humiliating and denigrating blacklist.
One incident that I found particularly offensive took place in June 2003. Falun Gong members were attacked and beaten while holding a nonviolent protest in New York City. In an effort to end the discrimination that confronts Falun Gong practitioners, I wrote a letter to the Manhattan District Attorney, Robert Morgenthau, requesting an investigation of this case. I hope that justice prevails in this case.
With passage of H. Con. Res. 304, we can send a strong signal condemning China's human rights abuses and we can take one step closer to ensuring Falun Gong members the freedom of religion and assembly guaranteed to them by law.
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