A Taiwanese man held in China for 54 days because of his religious affiliation with the Falun Gong testified before a Congressional panel on Tuesday, telling Congress that China is now targeting international members of the spiritual group, the Agence France-Presse reports:
Chung Ting-pang was seized at an airport in the mainland in June and freed 54 days later. He told a panel in Washington that he was the 17th Taiwanese Falun Gong follower targeted in China, which has also “hired spies overseas” to uncover personal information about the spiritual movement’s members. […]
China banned the Falun Gong – which is loosely based on Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian philosophies – in 1999 after authorities became alarmed over the group’s size and organisational capacity.
Human rights groups say that Falun Gong members have faced intense pressure to renounce their beliefs, including through prisons. Activists say the Falun Gong inmates have been targeted for organs harvested in executions.
Congressional-Executive Commission chair Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said that continuing to suppress diversity is “not an effective strategy” for China. Co-chair Rep. Chris Smith (R., N.J.) characterized China’s campaign against the Falun Gong as “severe, brutal, ugly and vicious.”