United Kingdom: Former Senior Diplomat Expresses Support for the Appeal Case Outside the Singaporean Embassy

On April 27th 2005, female Falun Gong practitioners Huang Caihua and Cheng Lujin were found guilty by a Singapore court of peacefully practising Falun Gong and giving out Video-CDs. The VCDs contained information about Falun Gong and the persecution against the practice in China.

The practitioners were ordered to pay a large fine and were put into prison. Ms Huang and Ms Cheng decided to appeal against the unjust verdict. The Singapore High Court will hear the case on October 20th.

The Singapore regime’s action, which closely followed the Chinese Communist regime’s brutal persecution of Falun Gong, attracted worldwide protest from Falun Gong practitioners. Since April 2005, UK Falun Gong practitioners have peacefully appealed outside the Singapore Embassy every working day, calling on the Singapore Government not to appease the Chinese Communist regime.

After discovering that the Singapore High Court is to hear the appeal by the two women, former senior diplomat Lord Thurlow also came to the Singapore Embassy. He said, “I am very unhappy about this case. I am also angry. The two ladies only gave out information to people who wanted to learn the truth about Falun Gong at a location where they have practised Falun Gong for many years. They were exercising their citizen’s rights. Falun Gong is not a religion. It is a cultivation method that could help Chinese people to restore their cultivation tradition destroyed during the Great Cultural Revolution.”

Lord Thurlow continued, “Singapore calls itself a democratic society ruled by law. Singapore is recognised by the world community as a responsible member and is respected for its emphasis on the rule of law. But under pressure from the Chinese Communist regime, the Singaporean Government and its courts are facing the shame of ignoring its citizen’s rights to freedom.” Lord Thurlow went on to reveal that he regards the hearing in the High Court as an "opportunity for Singapore to restore its reputation”.

Ms Wang, a Falun Gong practitioner, said, “In July this year, I met a Singaporean mother and daughter who were visiting the UK as tourists. They saw our banners here and were very shocked. They came to ask me why I was sitting here. I told them the reason. They shook their heads and were very disappointed by their government. After obtaining my permission, they took photos of me and the banners, saying that they wanted to take them back to show to their relatives and friends. I would like to say something to the Singapore Government: if you are representing the people’s will, then listen to the voice of Singaporean people.”

Background information

On February 23rd 2003, Falun Gong practitioners Huang Caihua and Cheng Lujin practised Falun Gong at Esplanade Park and clarified the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China to tourists. In May 2004, police charged them with "Assembly without a Permit" and "Possession and Distribution of VCDs without a Certificate”.

After nearly a year of legal procedures, on April 27th 2005, a Singaporean court delivered an unjust verdict against Huang Caihua and Cheng Lujin. They were fined 20,000 and 24,000 Singapore dollars respectively. The two practitioners insisted that they were innocent, refused to accept the verdict and expressed their wish to appeal. They were then sent to Singapore's Changi Women's Prison on the same day, with a possible jail term of twenty-four weeks.

The request by Cheng Lujin to feed her six-month-old baby in the prison was refused. To protest the unjust verdict by the court, she started a hunger strike as soon as she was put in jail. Three days later, Ms Huang also joined the hunger strike.

In the afternoon of May 3rd the two practitioners were released after their families paid the fine. At that time, they were already on hunger strike for seven and four days respectively. Next afternoon May 4th they and the Singapore Falun Gong Association organised a press conference detailing the reason for their hunger strike, their treatment in the prison, how they were released and plan for the future. They appealed to the local media to treat Falun Gong with fairness.

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