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Local delegates endorse letter seeking end to Falun Gong persecution in China
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Local delegates endorse letter seeking end to Falun Gong persecution in China

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Del. Nick Freitas (left) and Del. Mike Webert are pictured in 2018.

Dozens of members of the Virginia General Assembly, both Democrats and Republicans, recently sent a letter to U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo asking for “forceful and sustained action by the United States” to help end the 21-year-long persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party.

Del. Nick Freitas, R-Culpeper, and Del. Michael Webert, R-Marshall, both endorsed the letter asking to cease the ruthless campaign of torture and the non-consensual organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners, according to Tiny Tang, a Falun Gong follower who lives in Vienna, Virginia.

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Falun Gong is a spiritual and meditation discipline with the main tenet being the practice of virtue. Tang’s mother, now past, was arrested six times in China for practicing the belief focused on truthfulness, compassion and forbearance, she said.

It is practiced in more than 100 countries by more than 100 million people, including in Virginia. A number of survivors of the persecution reside in the state, including Shumei Shen, a Chinese woman who lives in Culpeper, according to Tang. Shen was taken into Chinese police custody and put on the “wanted” list.

“We applaud the 49 Virginia legislators for their support of human rights and religious freedom and for calling out the CCP for its atrocities,” Tang said.

The letter from state legislators to Pompeo stated, in part, “In China, people are risking their lives to raise awareness of the truth. We are writing in solidarity with the survivors and those who can no longer speak for themselves. We ask for your leadership, and the considerable leverage of the United States, to ensure that next year we are not observing 22 years of persecution.”

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