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Rep. Lee Writes Letter Urging Release of Incarcerated Falun Gong Adherent

Rep. Lee Writes Letter Urging Release of Incarcerated Falun Gong Adherent

Congresswoman Barbara Lee’s letter to Secretary of State Antony Blinken, asking him to help secure the release of the mother of one of her constituents. (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

Mary Hong

Mary Hong

10/5/2023

Updated: 10/5/2023

Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), co-chair of the Policy and Steering Committee, condemned the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) arbitrary detention and human rights abuses against Falun Gong adherent Ms. Kong Qingping.
In a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Sept. 29, 2023, Ms. Lee asked that the secretary contact his Chinese counterparts and the associated judicial agencies “in the strongest terms” to secure the release of Ms. Kong, who is currently incarcerated in China for her faith.
Ms. Lee stated, “Ms. Kong practices Falun Gong and was taken into custody without just cause for peacefully exercising her religious beliefs. Consequently, I have deep concerns regarding the well-being of Ms. Kong during her confinement by the authorities of the People’s Republic of China (PRC).”
Ms. Kong’s daughter, Liu Zhitong, has been working tirelessly to rescue her mother since the CCP arrested her on Oct. 22, 2022.
Ms. Liu recalled her parents’ visit to San Francisco where she resides: “She prepared a lot of dumplings for me before she returned to China … it took me a long time to finish it, and the taste just reminded me of mom’s love … I have not seen her since then,” said Ms. Liu to the Chinese language edition of The Epoch Times.
The visit took place at the end of 2019. After Ms. Kong returned to China in January 2021, the regime abducted her twice and she lost her freedom in 2022.
As stated in the letter by Ms. Lee, security officials also raided her home and conveyed that “Ms. Kong was only able to meet her lawyer once before her trial in April 2023, and there was scarce evidence against her.”
The 57-year-old Ms. Kong, a full-time mom, is imprisoned in the northern Dalian City.
Liu Zhitong holds a photo of her mother during an event at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on June 19, 2023. The board reads, “Immediately release my mother Kong Qingping.” (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

Liu Zhitong holds a photo of her mother during an event at the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco on June 19, 2023. The board reads, “Immediately release my mother Kong Qingping.” (Courtesy of Minghui.org)

According to Ms. Liu, since her mother started the practice of Falun Gong in 2004, her once ill-tempered mother was able to restore her relationship with her mother-in-law and sister-in-law, which had caused much bitterness in the family.
After Ms. Liu saw how the practice of Falun Gong improved her mother’s life both emotionally and physically, she was confident of her mother’s choice and fully supportive of her practice.
On June 19, in an event protesting the regime’s persecution of Falun Gong adherents outside of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, Ms. Liu vowed to put all her effort into rescuing her mother and raising awareness among all the conscientious people.
“I want to tell my mother that this is a very difficult process, but our whole family and more and more righteous and kind-hearted people at home and abroad are working unremittingly to fight for your freedom and justice. You are not alone! You must take good care of yourself and stick to your righteous thoughts. Dark clouds cannot cover the sky! Let’s work hard together! Never give up!” said Ms. Liu.
As stated by congresswoman Ms. Lee in the letter: “These actions by the People’s Republic of China (PRC) have garnered widespread condemnation from the global community.
“This case, among others, underscores the importance of raising awareness and unequivocally opposing such transgressions against human rights,” said Ms. Lee.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a peaceful cultivation based on the universal principles of truth, compassion, and tolerance. After the introduction of Falun Dafa in 1992, the practice gained an estimated 100 million practitioners in China.
However, the communist regime began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999, as it has done to other orthodox religions and beliefs in China.
In June 2023, the number of Falun Gong believers documented to have died due to the persecution surpassed 5,000, reported the Falun Dafa Information Center.
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Mary Hong

Mary Hong

Author

Mary Hong has contributed to The Epoch Times since 2020. She has reported on Chinese human rights issues and politics.

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