China’s Campaign Against Falun Gong written by Mickey Spiegel, research consultant to the Asia Division of Human Rights Watch.
To the Chinese government:
- Immediately release from detention and incarceration all Falungong followers held for peaceful practice of their beliefs.
- Permit the resumption of public and private Falungong practice.
- Remove all mention of “superstitious sects,” “secret societies, and “evil religious organizations” (Article 300) from the PRC Criminal Law; rescind subsequent interpretations, decisions, and explanations relevant to article 300,and bring other laws and regulations into conformity with the revisions. Human Rights Watch recognizes that individual members of a spiritual group may properly be punished for acts that directly endanger the health and safety of others. A general criminalization of belief, opinion, and expression, however, contradicts international human rights standards. Article 300, as demonstrated in its application to Falungong practitioners, fails to distinguish between belief and dangerous act.
- Abolish the inherently arbitrary reeducation through labor system to allow anyone who has been deprived of his liberty the right a court hearing and due process.
- Re-issue invitations to the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Religious Freedom to visit China on terms consistent with their mandates.
- Permit domestic and foreign observers to attend all trials including those of Falungong practitioners as provided for under international human rights standards.
- Implement the recommendations of the U.N. Committee against Torture, endorsed by the Special Rapporteur, including: revision of the definition of torture in domestic law so that it fully complies with the definition in the Convention Against Torture; investigation of all allegations of torture in an impartial and thorough fashion; and abolition of regulations requiring permission before a suspect in custody may see a lawyer.
- Amend the “Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations” and revise the “PRC Law on Assembly, Procession and Demonstration” to eliminate clauses that allow for politically motivated vetting of applicants.
- Revise the PRC Law on Protecting State Secrets so as to limit the scope of information deemed secret in line with international free expression standards.
- Revise regulations that effectively censor the media and the Internet and that interfere with the freedom to seek, receive, and impart information in accordance with international human rights standards.
To the Hong Kong government:
Do not deny visas or otherwise deny entry on the basis of Falungong affiliation.
- Reject pressure from Beijing to restrict Falungong practitioners’ rights to freedom of association and assembly.
- Oppose the enactment of any anti-subversion law that is inconsistent with international human rights standards on the rights to free assembly, association, and expression. In no case should such legislation permit punishment of individuals for peaceful expression of their beliefs or views or for dissolution of the organizations to which they belong.
To the international community:
- Resist Chinese government pressure to deny asylum or refugee status to all Falungong practitioners; rather treat each case on its merits.
- Accord Falungong practitioners the right to free assembly as provided for under international human rights standards.
- Human Rights Watch urges the international community to continue to speak out against China’s deplorable human rights record, including its treatment of Falungong practitioners, particularly through support for a resolution at the 2002 March-April meeting of the U.N. Commission on Human Rights.
To corporations doing business in China:
- Refrain from assisting Chinese authorities in imposing censorship on websites or on other Internet-related material in China such as e-mail.
- Refrain from complying with demands by Chinese authorities to fire or discipline workers for Falungong practice or related activities protected by international law.