|9/27/2012: Fighting for One's Belief: 'Free China' at the US Capitol - The Epoch Times|
The following article, written by Gary Feuerberg, appeared in The Epoch Times on September 27, 2012 at http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/world/fighting-for-ones-belief-295651.html.
WASHINGTON—Some lucky people in the nation’s capital had a first look at the documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe, which had a private showing at the U.S. Capitol. The 53-minute documentary has won four international awards.
Directed by Michael Perlman of Tibet: Beyond Fear, and produced by Kean Wong of NTD Television, Free China tells the story of two prisoners of conscience and how they survived against physical torture and enormous pressures to recant their beliefs.
“There are not enough human rights fighters in Congress,” Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett told The Epoch Times. She is the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).
Swett said that Free China is “a truth-telling film.” It “lifts the curtain on what is really going on in China—the horrible religious persecution of Falun Gong, the appalling practice of organ harvesting, and the slave labor in [the re-education through labor camps] and prisons. Tragically, we have a Western press that so often turns a blind eye to the stunning revelations of human rights abuses going on in China on an ongoing basis. I think this film can be a powerful tool for telling the truth and spreading the story. I hope it is going to be widely seen.”
Swett is the daughter of the late Congressman Tom Lantos and President of the Lantos Foundation for Human Rights and Justice.
After the showing, a panel discussed the film. Sixteen term Congressman Chris Smith (R-N.J.) led off with the statement, “With story-telling of the film, [it] puts a human face on China’s human rights abuse and arbitrary detention of dissidents, harvesting of organs from live prisoners of conscience, and export of products made by prison labor to the West. The film also examines how Chinese citizens are awakening to demand their rights of conscience in the intense Internet censorship and the end of censorship that is so prevalent in China today.”
The sponsor of the film screening at the U.S. Capitol on Sept. 20 was the Congressional-Executive China Commission (CECC).
Rep. Smith is chairman of CECC. The week before, he co-chaired a congressional hearing on “Organ Harvesting by the Chinese Communist Party.” The day before the screening, Smith co-sponsored a Dear Colleague letter with Congressman Robert Andrews (D-N.J.), asking the State Department to release any information it may have that relates to organ transplant abuse in China.
In Free China, Jennifer Zeng, a mother and former Communist Party member, and Dr. Charles Lee, an American Chinese businessman, practice the spiritual beliefs of Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa). Both get caught up in the forced labor camps ubiquitous in mainland China.
There, they have to endure a life of torture of electric batons, forced feedings, risk having their organs harvested, and working all day on products exported to the West. They manage to survive without bitterness and become determined to end the persecution of their fellows and help China become free.
Both Zeng and Lee were in attendance at the Capitol preview. Lee said that in prison he held two letters for two years that sustained him during the time. One was from the late Congressman Tom Lantos and the other from Congressman Smith. Lee said, “I knew so many people were working together to stop the persecution.”