Mon, Jul 21, 2003 - Page 1 News List

Falun Gong members target Jiang

By Debby Wu  /  STAFF REPORTER

Activists practice Falun Gong exercises during an event in Taipei City's Ta-an Park yesterday to protest against China's suppression of the movement.

PHOTO: SEAN CHAO, TAIPEI TIMES

The Taiwan Falun Dafa Institute (台灣法輪大法學會) held a memorial service yesterday to highlight its appeal for people to file lawsuits against Chinese President Jiang Zemin (江澤民) for genocide.

"However, we are not able to accuse Jiang in Taiwan because there is no Taiwanese law against genocide," said Chang Ching-hsi (張清溪), director of the institute.

The institute held a memorial ceremony yesterday at Ta-an Forest Park for the Chinese Falun Gong members who suffered during the Beijing government's crackdown on the group on July 20, 1999. The institute has held a memorial service every year since 2000.

To support Falun Gong members who are persecuted in China, the institute has appealed for public support for a global trial of Jiang on genocide charges.

Jiang ordered a crackdown on Falun Gong on July 20, 1999 and large-scale arrests began shortly afterward.

Two days later, Jiang banned the practice altogether, but this did not stop people in China from practicing Falun Gong exercises.

Chang, who is a professor in the economics department at National Taiwan University, said official statistics show that some 700 Falun Gong members have died from the Chinese government's abuse, but the actual figure could be as high as 7,000.

About 500 Falun Gong members showed up for yesterday's ceremony, all dressed in yellow t-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as "Falun Dafa Is Good" (法輪大法好). During the event, Falun Gong exercises were performed and taught, its music sung and films played.

Representatives from the KMT, DPP and TSU attended the ceremony as well as prominent literary figures such as Contemporary Monthly magazine's editor-in-chief Chin Heng-wei (金恆煒).

Falun Gong member Yang Ching-tsung (楊景聰) said colleagues were concerned about the persecution of their fellow members in China.

"Sometimes we send mail and make telephone calls to the relevant authorities or organizations to tell them about our concerns," Yang said.

A similar commemoration ceremony was held in Kaohsiung yesterday.

"We hope that we can get public support for a global trial for Jiang," said Yu Chih-jung (余智榮), the Falun Gong member in charge of the Kaohsiung event.

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