Taiwan: Falungong followers protest against Beijing government
TAIPEI : Thousands of Falungong members staged a protest hereagainst the Beijing government's treatment of the banned spiritual movement's followers on the mainland.
About 3,000 Falungong members from across Taiwan linked hands to form a six-kilometer (3.72 miles) long "Great Wall of Justice," holding photos and paintings depicting alleged torture.
"As of January 2, there were 1,247 reported cases of Falungong members tortured to death in China but a lot more victims were unaccounted for," said Chang Ching-hsi, head of the Falungong unit in Taiwan.
China outlawed the Falungong, a movement which combines meditation with Buddhist-inspired teachings, as an "evil cult" in mid-1999 and practitioners have subsequently faced often brutal repression.
Chang said the repression of the Falungong continued after Hu Jintao replaced Jiang Zemin as Chinese president, as new cases of abuse and torture have been unearthed.
The group claims at least 1,247 its followers have been killed, 6,000 others illegally sentenced, 100,000 sent to re-education camps and more than 7,000 jailed.
Chang said the group had filed 47 suits in 28 countries against 18 Chinese officials on a variety of charges, including genocide, torture, libel, and bullying.
He said the group had won two legal victories in Canada and the United States.
There are an estimated 300,000 Falungong members in Taiwan.