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CNN World/GPS -- U.S. should press China over Falun Gong


July 24, 2013 | By Katrina Lantos Swett and Mary Ann Glendon

The following appeared in CNN World/GPS on July 23rd, 2013.

Editor"s note: Katrina Lantos Swett is chairwoman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Mary Ann Glendon is vice chairwoman of USCIRF. The views expressed are their own.

As much of the world"s attention has been focused on the huge human rights abuses in Syria, a severely persecuted group from China has quietly marked nearly a decade-and-a-half since the start of a brutal campaign of detention, defamation and public degradation.

On July 20, the Falun Gong - a peaceful movement founded in 1992 and characterized by the practice of meditation exercises and moral precepts - marked 14 years since the launch of a government campaign against it. It is time for Washington and the world to take note of its plight.

Beijing"s efforts against the Falun Gong, which stem from fears over its substantial growth as an independent-minded group thriving outside of Communist ideology and control, have been remarkable.

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