With just weeks to go before the start of the controversial Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the Congressional-Executive Commission on China (CECC) once again called out the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. They cited, in particular, the imprisonment of a Chinese citizen jailed for distributing information about the ancient discipline.
On Dec. 27, CECC tweeted the case of Deng Cuiping, an elementary school teacher from Yuxi City, Yunnan Province, who is serving a six-year prison sentence for distributing Falun Gong materials in China.
Congress members called for an end to more than two decades of horrific abuses against practitioners of the discipline, including illegal imprisonment, torture, murder, and forced organ harvesting, among other atrocities.
“#FalunGong practitioner #DengCuiping was given a six-year year sentence for distributing Falun Gong religious materials in China. The Chairs call for the end to over two decades of horrific abuses targeting #FalunGong, including torture and arbitrary detention. #OlympicPrisoner,” the Twitter message reads.
The CECC’s Twitter post is part of a recent initiative expressing their rejection of holding the Olympic Games in China. Since the beginning of the month, they published the image of one CCP political prisoner per day, with a brief summary of their story.
The International Olympic Committee (IOC) awarded the CCP the honor of hosting the next Winter Olympic Games. However, human rights groups worldwide expressed their rejection, given the enormous amount of evidence on the systematic abuse of fundamental rights of political dissidents, ethnic and religious minorities.
CECC has repeatedly written to the IOC pressing for the relocation of the 2022 Olympic Games, giving the CCP the honor of hosting the Games with all the promotional and financial benefits.
After being repeatedly ignored by the IOC, Congressional committee chairman Senator Jeff Merkley and co-chairman Representative James McGovern announced the #OlympicPrisoner campaign, which will continue until the start of the sporting event.
The Commission for International Religious Freedom reported that Deng was convicted on Feb. 24, 2017, for her religious activities and fined nearly $1500.
On July 24, 2016, officers from the Chengjiang County Public Security Bureau decided to arrest her and four other fellow practitioners with whom she was distributing informational materials about the Falun Gong discipline.
That same day they also raided her home and stole several of her personal belongings, including her computer, printer, books, and CDs.
Deng’s family was uncertain of her whereabouts until Sept. 1, 2016, when her arrest was made official on charges of “organizing and using a cult to undermine the implementation of the law.”
Before her arrest, Deng had been heavily harassed and detained on several occasions in connection with her Falun Gong practice. She was also banned from teaching, and on April 8, 2006, Deng was reportedly sentenced to three years’ imprisonment in Yunnan Province’s Second Women’s Prison, where she was tortured on several occasions.
Deng is currently being held in Yunnan Province’s Second Women’s Prison, which has a serious history of mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners.
The discipline practiced by Deng is also known as Falun Dafa, an ancient Chinese spiritual practice consisting of a series of meditation exercises and gentle movements, along with teachings that promote truth, benevolence, and tolerance in daily life.
According to official estimates, its popularity peaked in the late 1990s in China, with nearly 100 million followers. However, the CCP has banned the practice and repressed its members since 1999.