The Justice Department has launched an internal inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the handling of the criminal case of Roger Stone, former political adviser to President Donald Trump. The probe by the department’s inspector general will reportedly look into Attorney General William Barr’s February decision to override a sentencing recommendation for Stone made by rank-and-file prosecutors. The prosecutors recommended a sentence of seven to nine years in prison for Stone, but the department later filed another recommendation asking for a lighter sentence. The DOJ’s Office of the Inspector General would not “confirm or deny the existence of any ongoing investigation” to The Epoch Times. Meanwhile, DOJ spokeswoman Kerri Kupec told media outlets that they “welcome the review.” She did not immediately respond to The Epoch Times’ request for comment. The revelation…
LOS ANGELES—The Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong has recently intensified, and practitioners of the spiritual meditation practice living in Los Angeles, Calif., gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate on Sept. 13 to call for an end to the persecution.
In the first half of 2020, 40 practitioners of Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, were persecuted to death, according to Minghui, a website that documents the persecution. Many succumbed to long-term torture in prison, and many were denied needed medical treatment.
More than 5,300 practitioners were targeted in the same time period, including those arrested for their faith and those whose homes were ransacked.
“Those are all innocent people,” said Dr. Yingnian Wu at the rally in Los Angeles. Wu is a professor at UCLA and a Falun Gong practitioner.
“So that’s why we’ve come here: to condemn the evil crimes of the communist regime. And at the same time, we ask the U.S. government and the governments of all civilized countries to stand up against the Chinese communist regime’s brutal persecution and bring those criminals to justice.”
Xian Jijung attended the rally and spoke of his friend, Jiang Quande, 66, who died on Aug. 26 due to persecution. His wife, Sun Xiuying, was also arrested and is currently being held at a detention center in Nong’an County, Jilin Province.
“I was shocked and heartbroken to hear this,” Quande said of Quande’s arrest and death. “I once stayed together with Mr. Jiang for about half a year. He was a very kind-hearted and courageous person. He worked hard and selflessly to raise public awareness about the persecution of Falun Gong.
“I miss him dearly and highly respect him. I urge the Chinese authorities to release his wife … and other Falun Gong practitioners.”
“[He] was brutally beaten after he was taken to the Ganjin street police station in Dalian City. His heart and kidneys became very weak consequently, and he was sent to the hospital for emergency treatment.
“We don’t know what his condition is. I’m extremely worried for his safety. I am also worried about other Falun Gong practitioners who were persecuted simply for their belief. I urge people to pay attention to this and demand the Chinese regime to release all detainees,” Wang said.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has recently started implementing a “zero-out” campaign. Officials go to the homes of Falun Gong practitioners and demand they sign documents renouncing the spiritual discipline. Officials threaten to arrest them if they don’t, according to Minghui.
The persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999. It was Oct. 7, 1999, that Zhao Jinhua was beaten to death by police in China—the first known death in the persecution of Falun Gong.
A couple of the recent deaths that have been detailed by Minghui, include those of Li Ling and Wang Fengchen.
Li Ling’s family has reported that she was seized by a village official and a group of paramilitary soldiers in Dazhangjia Village, Penglai City, Shandong Province, on June 28, 2020. She was seized because a neighbor had told authorities she possessed Falun Gong literature.
Wang Fengchen was a middle school teacher in Daqing City, Heilongjiang Province. He was arrested on Jan. 18, 2017 for being a Falun Gong practitioner. He had almost finished serving his four-year sentence when he died on Aug. 9, 2020. He had become critically ill in prison, but his family’s application for medical parole, filed July 2, was reportedly rejected.
“Today we are here to protest a condemned new rung of persecution of Falun Gong in mainland China,” said Michael Ye, host of the rally in Los Angeles.
Ye said the reason the Chinese regime persecutes Falun Gong is that the spiritual practice “advocates the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, and [because of] its independent thinking.”
“And we know the Chinese Communist regime has been trying to control Chinese people, including their minds,” Ye told The Epoch Times.
In 1999, the CCP estimated there were 70 million to 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China. With the number of practitioners greater than the number of CCP members at the time, then-leader of the CCP, Jiang Zemin, sought to eradicate Falun Gong.
After 21 years, Falun Gong continues to have a strong presence in China, and the persecution continues.
Ye said, “If you speak out, different from the government, then you’ll be persecuted. You may not be able to make a living or even lose your life. And then outside of China, they basically try to use economic tools to try to keep every government silent. So they basically want every country to put their economic interests in front of human rights.”
President of the U.S. Southwestern Falun Dafa Association, Dr. Youfu Li, said that the CCP has committed “a crime that has never been seen on this planet—the crime of forced organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.”
Li said at the rally, “The CCP is a mortal enemy that undermines the moral conscience of mankind and persecutes the traditional culture of China. We urge the U.S. government to designate CCP as a transnational criminal organization and completely eliminate it.
“We urge the U.S. government and other countries to work together to stop the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong as soon as possible, and to pass bills to penalize and impose sanctions against major perpetrators, including Jiang Zemin,” Li said.
Dr. Dana Churchill, the U.S. West Coast delegate of Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting, said at the rally: “The Chinese Communist Party has been found guilty of state-sanctioned forced, illegal, live organ harvesting of the Falun Gong and other religious prisoners of conscience in China for the past 20 years.”
In June of 2016, the U.S. House of Representatives passed its fifth resolution condemning China’s persecution of Falun Gong, calling for an end to the “eradication” campaign of Falun Gong and forced organ harvesting.
Churchill told The Epoch Times: “We want the world to know and want other governments to know that you have to get a lot tougher on the Chinese government—a lot tougher.”
Focus News: Rally at LA’s Chinese Consulate Calls for End to New Wave of Persecution
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