Russia’s close ties to Communist China is causing Falun Gong practitioners to bear the brunt of their strategic partnership these days. Once again, Putin has chosen to roll back democracy and back up China on Falun Gong issues. Recently the head of the Russian Branch of the Falun Dafa Association was asked to leave the country within a few days. He is now safe in the US. Meanwhile a wave of harassment has hit the community of practitioners especially since the G-8 meeting. Practitioners have had their visa renewals refused, their phones tapped, along with email messages screened, and the National Security Bureau has interrogated coordinators. The buzz is that Russia is preparing to outlaw Falun Gong completely if the practitioners do not stop their peaceful protests and activities exposing the brutal persecution of Falun Gong by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
This is not the first time that Russian authorities pick on Falun Gong. Epoch Times reporter and practitioner Anton Kolyada was beaten by the police on his way to the G-8 meetings last July. At that time they also arrested 12 Russian practitioners planning to go to St. Petersburg "to ask President Putin that he urge Hu Jintao to stop persecuting Falun Gong and end the [illicit] organ harvesting in China." (more)
Lyudmila Alexeyeva, head of the Moscow Helsinki Group and a respected human rights champion, said that totalitarian regimes always suppressed spirituality and said the banning of Falungong "reminds me of the USSR in the 1960s when they banned yoga." (more)
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