China Still Presses Crusade Against Falun Gong
28 Apr 09 | NYT
In the decade since the Chinese government began repressing Falun Gong, a crusade that human rights groups say has led to the imprisonment of tens of thousands of practitioners and claimed at least 2,000 lives, the world’s attention has shifted elsewhere.
The drive against the spiritual group has eliminated its leadership, decimated the ranks of faithful and convinced many Chinese that the group is an “evil cult,” as the government contends. But 10 years on, the war on Falun Gong remains unfinished.
In the past year, as many as 8,000 practitioners have been detained, according to experts on human rights, and at least 100 have died in custody. Among them were Yu Zhou, 42, a popular Beijing musician, and Cao Changling, the 77-year-old vice director of a paper plant in Wuhan, whose bruised body was returned to his family by the police last summer just as China was reveling in the glory of the Olympic Games.
In recent months, scores of practitioners have been given long prison terms, including Zhang Xingwu, a retired physics professor from Shandong Province who last week was sentenced to seven years after the police found Falun Gong literature in his apartment, according to family members. >>>