Falungong urges US to appeal to China for members’ release

Radio Australia News, Dec. 15, 2002

The Falungong spiritual group has called on the United States to urge China during human rights talks next week to release more than 100 jailed followers.

A statement from Falungong’s headquarters in New York says the jailed Falungong members have relatives living in 16 countries, including the United States.

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It says some of the detainees were jailed for refusing to abandon the teachings and meditation exercises taught by the group, which China banned as an “evil cult” in 1999.

Others were arrested for calling on the government to lift the ban and stop the massive arrests of Falungong members throughout China.

The group says pressure from the United States, Ireland and other nations in the past has resulted in practitioners being freed from detention centers and forced labor camps.

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