Three members of Germany’s parliament, the Bundestag, have expressed condemnation of Beijing’s 20-year-long campaign against Falun Gong, a Chinese spiritual practice.
Michael Brand, Spokesperson for the Human Rights Committee of the center-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), and right-wing Alternative for Germany (AfD) legislators Andreas Bleck and Jürgen Braun sent letters to an Aug. 10 event by scores of Falun Gong adherents in Berlin.
The Falun Gong activities included a parade and rally to raise awareness about the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of their faith, and a vigil to remember those who have lost their lives in the repression.
Falun Gong, which had 70 to 100 million practitioners in 1999, prior to the CCP’s crackdown, is a Buddha-school tradition that incorporates Tai Chi-like exercises with traditional spiritual teachings. Due to its size, it has been one of the most heavily persecuted groups in China for the last two decades. Adherents continue to be arrested and tortured, sometimes to death, as the CCP expands its campaigns against all religion in China.
“The communist ideology that advocates violence has oppressed this peaceful meditation movement for decades, and we demand that this persecution be stopped!” wrote Michael Brand. His party, the CDU, is the party of current German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Brand also brought up the allegations of forced organ harvesting, which experts say has been used to murder Falun Gong practitioners and other religious practitioners en masse and fetch huge profits for the Chinese Communist Party.
“The world can no longer be silent concerning the Chinese leaders’ crimes against Falun Gong practitioners!” he wrote, while affirming Falun Gong as a “testimony to China’s rich culture,” and stating that “the CCP is not China.”
“The world knows that China has a history of thousands of years, and a divinely inspired culture. Yet, the Communist Party fights against the Chinese culture with primitive means, such as violence and suppression.”
“It has been 20 years since the communist regime has persecuted Falun Gong adherents,” wrote Jürgen Braun, of the AfD. “The persecution is systemic, and perpetrated cruelly, which includes the killing for organs from tens of thousands of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners. When seen from a civilization perspective, China has regressed to the darkest period of the Cultural Revolution. What is even more terrifying is that the Falun Gong practitioners they persecute belong to a peaceful movement without any political ambitions.”
The legislators’ statements were translated by Minghui.org, a site founded by Falun Gong practitioners to document the persecution and provide news about the practice.
Braun’s fellow AfD member Andreas Bleck wrote: “Demonstrations such as this lay the cornerstone for practitioners in mainland China, to practice freely, just like their compatriots in Germany. With this hope, I wish success for your rallies. We also wish all Falun Gong practitioners good health and good luck.”
Michael Brand extended some words of encouragement to Falun Gong practitioners protesting the CCP.
“I also want to unequivocally ask you to resist the violation of human rights, insist on your right to meditate, and not stop,” Brand wrote. “We will enforce human rights in China, and we will experience that the suppression and brutality committed by the Chinese communist will end.”
More governmental bodies have stood out to condemn the Chinese authorities for their violations of human rights. Meanwhile, as the Chinese economy weakens, foreign business interests are decoupling from the authoritarian socialist state.
“According to the German Focus, a weekly magazine, Chinese companies have greatly reduced their investment in Europe. Investment in Germany [is] down by 95 percent,” Chinascope reported Aug. 18.
“According to a study that the consulting firm Ernst & Young published in the first half of 2019, Chinese investments in Europe were only US$2.4 billion, or 2.1 billion euros. That represents an 80 percent drop from the same period last year. Although Chinese companies bought the shares of or acquired 81 European companies, most of them were small size investments,” Chinascope wrote in summary of a Chinese-language report by Radio France International.
The three Bundestag members’ letters come on the heels of a statement issued by Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid at the Federal Foreign Office, who condemned the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, the 20th anniversary of the campaign’s beginning.
“For the last 20 years, the Chinese government has taken the most severe measures in its treatment of the spiritual meditation movement Falun Gong,” her statement reads. “I take great concern regarding the still-precarious status of [Falun Gong] adherents.”