May 11 2010

From the Chairwoman of European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights Heidi Hautala

Ms Hautala wrote on 11 May a letter to the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to the EU expressing concern over the disappearance of Mr Jiang Feng.

Dear Ambassador,

I am writing to you concerning the treatment of Mr Jiang Feng.

On 18 February 2010, Mr Jiang Feng travelled to Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport aiming to board Continental Airlines Flight #CO86 to Newark, U.S.A, where his wife was scheduled to meet him.

Inquiries with the Continental Airline confirmed that Mr Jiang Feng did not board the plane and his luggage was removed from the aircraft because he never arrived at the gate, although his friends witnessed him pass through security checkpoint. He did not call back to his wife and friends and his mobile phone has gone unanswered.

Given Mr Jiang’s past imprisonment for practicing Falung Gong, it is widely believed that Mr Jiang Feng was abducted by security agents and is being interrogated and abused in custody.

Dear Mr. Ambassador, I would therefore be grateful if you could inform your authorities of my strong interest in the situation of  Mr Jiang Feng. In this context I would very much hope that his right to freedom of movement be fully respected permitting him to reunite with his wife and family.

I have informed Mr Jerzy Buzek, the President of the European Parliament and Mr Crescienzio Rivellini, Chairman of the European Parliament delegation for relations with China, of this letter so that this matter can be discussed in the framework of our well established inter parliamentary relations including the hearing on human rights in China the Subcommittee on Human Rights will organise on 15 July 2010.

Yours sincerely,
Heidi Hautala

mei_xuan

A copy of the letter was presented to Mei Xuan, erhu virtuoso and wife of Jiang Feng

May 11 2010

Amnesty International URGENT ACTION – arrest of Shen Yun artists’s husband

AI URGENT ACTION FALUN GONG PRACTITIONER MISSING IN CHINA

Falun Gong practitioner Jiang Feng went missing in Shanghai on 18 February and is believed to be detained by the Chinese authorities. He is at risk of torture and other ill-treatment.

On 18 February, Jiang Feng went missing at Shanghai’s Pudong International Airport. He checked in for his flight to New York, but never boarded the flight. Airline staff said he was taken away by public security officials after passing  through the security check point.  The authorities have not told Jiang Feng’s family where he is held, and their efforts to obtain information from police in Shanghai about his whereabouts have failed. Friends in China believe he may have been taken to his home city of Hefei in Anhui province, hundreds of kilometres from Shanghai.

Jiang Feng had previously been imprisoned for three years from 1999 to 2002 for his Falun Gong spiritual practice. When he went missing, he was on his way to join his wife, Mei Xuan, a musician with the New York-based Shen Yun Performing Arts group. She fled to the United States in 2006, following her release from four years’ imprisonment in China for practising Falun Gong. Jiang Feng may have been detained in order to pressure her to cease her involvement with the Shen Yun Performing Arts group, as some of the group’s performances includes artistic representations of the persecution of the Falun Gong.

PLEASE WRITE IMMEDIATELY in English, Chinese or your own language:
Urging the authorities to reveal Jiang Feng’s whereabouts;
Calling for his immediate release unless charged with an internationally recognized crime;
Calling for a guarantee that he will not be tortured or otherwise ill-treated while he remains in custody.

PLEASE SEND APPEALS BEFORE 21 JUNE 2010 TO:
Director of the Anhui Provincial Department of Public Security
XU Liquan Tingzhang
Anhuisheng Gong’anting
282 Anqinglu
Hefeishi 230061
Anhuisheng
People’s Republic of China
Fax: +86 551 2801208
Salutation: Dear Director

Director of the Hefei City Public Security Bureau
Shouqunlu 290
Hefeishi  230041
Anhuisheng
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Director

And copies to:
Minister of Public Security of the People’s Republic of China
MENG Jianzhu Buzhang
Gong’anbu
14 Dongchang’anjie
Dongchengqu
Beijingshi 100741
People’s Republic of China
Salutation: Dear Minister

Also send copies to diplomatic representatives of China accredited to your country. Please check with your section office if sending appeals after the above date.

Amnesty International site


May 4 2010

Copy of Oblconcerteservice Odessa cancellation letter


Apr 18 2010

LA Times: O.C. official ‘insulted’ by China letter

Supervisors’ chairman Norby is asked not to recognize upcoming events backed by Falun Gong supporters.

January 03, 2008|Christian Berthelsen | Times Staff Writer

The Chinese government has asked Orange County not to recognize two upcoming Chinese New Year performances backed by supporters of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, drawing a stern rebuke from the chairman of the county’s Board of Supervisors.

China regards the Falun Gong as a cult and a threat to the government, which outlawed the group in 1999. Falun Gong says it is an apolitical movement based on Chinese breathing exercises, and asserts its members have been persecuted.

In a Dec. 17 letter, China’s consulate general in Los Angeles said the Chinese New Year Spectacular events aimed to “defame China’s image in the international community and undermine the development of U.S.-China relations.” The letter compared Falun Gong to the Branch Davidians, which engaged federal agents in a standoff over illegal weapons stockpiles that killed 82 members near Waco, Texas, in 1993; and to the Peoples Temple, of which more than 900 members committed mass suicide in Guyana in 1978.

The Chinese New Year performances — Jan. 15 at the California Center for the Arts in Escondido and Jan. 18 at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles — are produced by New Tang Dynasty Television, a satellite station based in New York that says it offers views differing from the Chinese government’s.

A spokesman acknowledged that some of the station’s supporters are involved in Falun Gong and that a past show included an “interpretive” performance seemingly sympathetic to the group.

The letter offended Supervisor Chris Norby, the board chairman, to whom it was addressed. In an interview Wednesday, he said it amounted to “an attempt by a foreign government to dictate to American elected officials what organizations we should support, recognize or associate with.”

Norby said he had not brought up the matter with his colleagues on the board and had no plans to take official action in a board meeting. But he drafted a response to the consulate, saying: “Your letter is a formal request that the Orange County Board of Supervisors cooperate with your government’s suppression of Falun Gong. . . . I am personally insulted by your request and will certainly not honor it.”

It was not clear if the consulate’s letter was sent to Orange County as part of a mass mailing to local officials, or if Chinese envoys had a specific reason to target the board; though the letter was addressed to Norby, it was not signed.

A spokesman for the consulate did not return several telephone calls seeking comment. A spokesman for Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa also did not return a call, and representatives of Yvonne B. Burke, chairwoman of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, could not be reached.

The episode is yet another chapter in the back-and-forth between China and Falun Gong supporters in California. Falun Gong has been allowed to march in several parades but has been banned from others, including those in San Francisco, downtown Los Angeles and the San Gabriel Valley.

This week, Falun Gong supporters and other critics of China’s human rights record planned to protest a float in the Rose Parade celebrating Beijing’s staging of the 2008 Olympics; the protest largely fizzled.

In 2006, the Chinese consulate in San Francisco issued a statement warning supervisors there to “refrain from making any decisions that will cause harm to Sino-U.S. relations” when they were considering Falun Gong’s request to march in a Chinese New Year parade there. The group was allowed to march in 2004, but was denied subsequent permission.


Mar 27 2010

Irish Times: Embassy warns diplomats of Falun Gong-linked stage show

MARY FITZGERALD Foreign Affairs Correspondent

THE CHINESE embassy in Dublin has circulated a letter to all foreign diplomatic missions in the city to “kindly remind” recipients not to attend a performance by a Falun Gong-linked performing arts company at the Grand Canal Theatre this weekend.

The New York-based Shen Yun company, due to perform two shows at the newly opened theatre tomorrow, bills its performances as a mix of traditional dance, mime and music. Most of the cast are members of the Falun Gong movement which is banned in China.

On the Grand Canal Theatre website, the show is described as “weaving a wondrous story of heavenly realms, enchanting dreams, and the classic struggle between good and evil . . . following the tragic erosion of traditional Chinese culture under decades of communist rule, [Shen Yun] endeavours to rediscover a lost artistic and cultural heritage”. According to reviews, the Shen Yun show also features scenes depicting the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

The Grand Canal Theatre website states that Shen Yun has performed to audiences totalling more than 800,000 people in 20countries across the world. This is its first show in Ireland.

Earlier this week, the Chinese embassy e-mailed a letter marked “urgent and important” to all embassies and consulates in Dublin. The letter, which has been obtained by The Irish Times , draws attention to Shen Yun’s links with Falun Gong and describes the latter as an “illegal” group. “The embassy kindly reminds you not to attend the show,” the letter, which was sent by ambassador Liu Biwei’s secretary, states.

According to the Shen Yun website, the Dublin performances are presented by the Irish Falun Dafa (Gong) Association. All inquiries related to the shows are directed to an Irish e-mail address.

[…]


Mar 13 2010

AFP: Man vanishes before boarding flight

AFP March 11, 2010 10:42am

A NEW York-based musician is appealling for help to find her husband who vanished as he boarded a flight from China to the United States amid fears he was seized for his Falungong beliefs.

Mei Xuan, who fled to the United States from China in 2007, said she went on February 18 to Newark Liberty International Airport to welcome her husband Jiang Feng who was due on a flight from Shanghai.

But he never arrived and phone calls went unanswered. Mei said she confirmed that the 42-year-old Jiang had checked in to the Continental Airlines flight and concluded that he disappeared between security and the boarding gate.

“I’m very, very worried for him,” Mei told AFP on a recent visit to Washington, where she was seeking help from lawmakers.

“Because we both practice Falungong, we have experienced this before and know they can just take you away,” she said. “I thought we could finally be together. We want to have a baby.”

Mei plays the erhu, a Chinese stringed instrument, in the Shen Yun ensemble, which incorporates Falungong themes. The troupe was recently in the spotlight when members said they were denied visas to perform in Hong Kong.

China outlawed Falungong — a spiritual movement loosely based on Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian philosophies – in 1999 following a silent mass gathering in Beijing by its members. China denounces the group as an “evil cult”.

The New York-based Falun Dafa Information Centre, which supports Falungong’s rights, said it had information that Jiang was taken to his native Anhui province where agents are trying to force him to renounce his beliefs.

Mei, who uses an alias for security reasons, said she and her husband suffered abuse in lengthy previous spells in detention.

In one incident, Mei said plain-clothes police shoved her into a car as she waited on the street for a taxi. She said she was then handcuffed to a chair and deprived of sleep for two and a half months.

“The only reason was because I practice Falungong,” she said. “I didn’t want to give up my beliefs so they just tortured me physically and mentally.”

“My feet were so swollen I couldn’t put on any shoes.”

The Falun Dafa Information Centre appealed for international pressure to ensure Jiang’s “immediate release and safe passage to the United States”.


Feb 23 2010

Our erhu player’s husband abducted in China

I’ve known erhu player Mei Xuan for three years – we’ve spent much of that time touring together with Shen Yun Performing Arts. Those who have seen her perform will remember that she plays the two-stringed erhu with tremendous emotional depth. Perhaps some of it stems from she has been through – Mei Xuan, a Falun Gong practitioner, spent spent four years as a prisoner of conscience in China. But her suffering doesn’t end there.

The persecution of her faith has also forced her to be separated from her husband of ten years. Late at night, after our shows, you could often find Mei Xuan sitting alone in the hotel lobby, calling her husband back in China. Until now.

Last Thursday, her husband checked in at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, ready to board a flight for Newark, NJ, to be reunited with his wife. He passed through security and disappeared. He never made it on the plane. Airport employees suggested he was taken by the 6-10 Office, the special police force running the persecution of Falun Gong.

See the full Epoch Times story


Feb 18 2010

The View – Shen Yun and Beijing’s interference with the show mentioned briefly

Watch the short clip


Feb 9 2010

Esther Armah interviews Leeshai Lemish on WBAI Radio

A brief discussion of the significance of what Shen Yun Performing Arts is doing and the upcoming shows at Radio City Music Hall. The interview has been posted online and starts at 19 minutes and 50 seconds.


Feb 1 2010

Wall Street Journal Editorial

Hong Kong and the Falun Gong Drama
One more sign that the territory is bowing to China’s mandarins.

OPINION ASIA FEBRUARY 1, 2010

In New York last month to promote the West Kowloon Cultural District development, Hong Kong Chief Secretary Henry Tang declared that the territory was poised to become “Asia’s cultural hub.” Earlier this week, Hong Kongers got a taste of the kind of “culture” they can expect. Continue reading