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        威特每日新聞:法輪功海外濫訴(中英對照)

        作者:Dan Abendschein 李芬 張滌非(編譯) · 2008-01-02 來源:凱風網

         

          【美國《威特每日新聞》2007年12月29日,作者:Dan Abendschein】柯汶納市議會的委員們上個月聽取了一項抗辯,這個抗辯對于圣蓋博山谷各城市的許多官員來說耳熟能詳。一位聲稱受到迫害的當地法輪功成員李彬(音)正要求市議會通過一項決議以譴責中國政府迫害。

         
          正如大多數人對李的抗辯的反應一樣,柯汶納市長約翰·金(John King)承諾,市議會成員將在后面的會議中進行表決以支持法輪功。兩個星期后,市議員沃爾特·艾倫(Walter Allen)引述了法輪功組織創始人對于不同種族間婚姻與生育的譴責,隨后,那些支持決議的議員對于該決議的積極性迅速減退。聽完對法輪功那些觀點的介紹后,議會成員匆匆進行了表決。
         
          市政府文件表明,自從2001年以來,法輪功分子也頻頻出現在圣蓋博山谷各個會議上,試圖爭取支持決議以反對中國。法輪功成員已經訪問了包德溫(Baldwin Park)、阿蘇薩(Azusa)、拉朋地(La Puente)、阿罕布拉(Alhambra)和柯汶納(Covina)各縣,但波莫納(Pomona)是唯一已通過譴責中國決議的城市。
         
          法輪功,也稱為法輪大法,起源于中國20世紀90年代初,被看作是一個基于佛教教義的健身運動。但它也有宗教色彩,他的創辦者譴責同性戀違反自然,并說不同種族將到不同的極樂世界。
         
          法輪功創始人李洪志于1999年逃離中國,當時在中國還有許多練習者。中國官員估計1998年法輪功在中國有4000萬修煉者(應為200萬,譯者注),而據一個法輪功網站稱,當時法輪功組織在全世界范圍內約有1億成員。但是,一些地方分會代表說,他們不知道在美國有多少修煉者。加州理工學院法輪功組織發言人李建中(John Li)稱法輪功在加州理工學院大約有500個聯系成員,但尚不確定在洛杉磯有修煉者。
         
          熟悉李洪志有關講話和著作的專家們說,自從把美國作為他的組織基地以后,他對一些較具爭議的觀點已不再提及。加州大學伯克利分校的政治學教授瑪麗亞·張(Maria Chang)曾寫了一本關于法輪功的書籍。她說:“我的理解是,自1999年以來法輪功學員在北美正試圖粉飾自己過去的觀點,并試圖規范在市民心目中的組織形象?!?
         
          法輪功一直專注于培養世界各地各大城市的志愿者和活動家,把訴訟作為一種工具來保護其利益,并不以為恥。
         
          法輪功各地分會已對中國官員侵犯人權提出多項控告。一個親中報紙《華僑時報》曾提出反法輪功觀點。2003年,法輪功為此狀告《華僑時報》并聲稱其犯有誹謗罪,但最終法輪功敗訴。法輪功曾被舊金山新年游行拒之門外。隨后他們對此提出控告,并威脅要起訴其他聲稱已采取了反法輪功行動的團體。法輪功成員也一直在積極抗議參加帕薩迪納市玫瑰花車游行的北京奧運花車。
         
          阿罕布拉市前市長保羅·塔爾博特(Paul Talbot)表示,他已習慣在各市議會會議上看到法輪功成員的不時出現?!斑@些年來,他們越來越有規律地經常出現?!覀兺樗麄?,但小城市不得參與外交政策?!?000年,塔爾博特曾宣布當地“法輪大法周”。但此后不久,塔爾博特向中國領事館進行公開道歉,并表示(宣布法輪大法周)并不意味著阿罕布拉市贊同法輪功的觀點。當提及此事時,塔爾博特說:“當年我宣告(法輪大法周)時,其實是把太極和法輪功混淆在一起了。我搞不清我陷進去的是什么?!?
         
          阿罕布拉的官員也曾被法輪功要求參與2005年中國農歷新年大游行的請求弄得焦頭爛額。塔爾博特說因為法輪功的政治性質,商會官員拒絕了這一要求。在隨后洛杉磯和舊金山的游行中,法輪功也由于同樣的理由被拒絕。
         
          法輪功僅在舊金山以受到歧視為由提起訴訟。舊金山灣區法輪功志愿發言人雪莉·張(Sherry Zhang)在提起訴訟時說:“我們只想參與巡游,并不作政治聲明?!彼q解法輪功于2004年以法輪大法的名義參與巡游,沒有人指責法輪功在游行中的政治行為。雖然張表示他們計劃提出上訴,但2月份法輪功敗訴。
         
          紐約一個法輪功分會揚言狀告一個域名提供商,因為他擁有一個反法輪功網站。
         
          來自舊金山的塞繆爾·羅(Samuel Luo),開通了網站www.exposingthefalungong.org。2005年其域名提供商收到一封信,要求他們透露塞繆爾·羅的身份和聯系信息的信件。
         
          信中投訴內容更加側重于聲討羅的網站內容,而不是提出法律異議。該信聲稱他在自己的網站上“誹謗”、“非常不道德”,并指責羅“認可對法輪功練習者的非人道待遇和殺害”。他們認為羅在他的網站上使用了術語法輪功,侵犯了他們的商標權。
         
          “他們要我關閉網站,只因為我批評他們?!绷_稱。于是他向美國公民自由聯盟尋求幫助。美國公民自由聯盟在給法輪功的回復中稱這“顯然并沒有違反商標法”。
         
          2005年夏天,國際邪教研究協會在西班牙召開一項會議,羅和另一人被邀請在會議上就法輪功進行討論。但會議召開前幾個星期,協會官員告訴羅,他們被迫取消了他的講話,因為一位代表西班牙法輪功組織的律師威脅要控告他們。律師卡洛斯·伊格萊西亞斯·希門尼斯(Carlos Iglesias Jimenez)在給該協會的信件中寫道:“批準、支持,或者信任(中國共產黨)關于練習法輪功的宣傳、謊言和誹謗的任何行動,本身就是對種族滅絕和酷刑的合作?!?
         
          紐約市立大學政治學教授夏明表示,極少有美國人了解法輪功:“政客們可以通過接受一個在中國不受歡迎的政治團體,來達到美化他們自身的目的。這就是為什么法輪功在這里發展順利的原因?!保ㄍ辏?
         
        Falun Gong activists make appeals
         

        The Beijing 2008 Olympics float was focused during the 2008 New Year's Day Rose Parade. Tournament of Rose Parade and Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard has resisted the sabotages from Falun Gong. Media presuppose that the failed Falun Gong wouldn't be willing to give up, they would make appeals as usual. According to Whittier Daily News reported on December 29, 2007, they will be lost their lawsuit in the end.

        Members of the Covina City Council heard a convincing plea last month familiar to many officials in San Gabriel Valley cities.

        Bin Li, a local Falun Gong practitioner who was asking the City Council to pass a resolution condemning the Chinese government's persecution of her group. 

        Reacting as most people would to Li's plea, Covina Mayor John King promised council members would vote on a resolution at the following meeting.

        Two weeks later, enthusiasm for the resolution faded quickly after Councilman Walter Allen quoted passages from the group's founder that condemned marriage and reproduction between races.

        After hearing those ideas, council members hastily voted the resolution down.

        In the San Gabriel Valley, Falun Gong activists have appeared at meetings since at least 2001 trying to gain support for resolutions against China, according to city documents.

        Baldwin Park, Azusa, La Puente, Alhambra and Covina are among the cities the group has visited, but Pomona is the only city that has passed a resolution condemning China.

        John Li, a spokesman for local Falun Gong groups, said his group at Caltech has about 500 associated members, but was unsure how many practitioners there are in L.A. County.

        Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, originated in the early 1990s in China as a health and exercise movement based on Buddhist teachings. But it also has religious overtones with a founder who has condemned homosexuality as "unnatural" and said that different races go to different heavens.

        The group's founder, Li Hongzhi, fled the country in 1999, as did many other practitioners.

        In 1998, Chinese officials estimated the group had 40million practitioners (Note: two million practitioners in authoritative source) in China, and the Falun Gong estimated its numbers at 100million worldwide, according to a Falun Gong Web site.

        However, several regional representatives of the group said they have no idea how many practitioners there are in the United States.

        Experts familiar with the speeches and writings of Li Hongzhi say he has dropped references to some of his more controversial views since establishing the United States as his group's home.

        "My understanding is that since 1999 the Falun Gong in North America are trying to whitewash their past views and normalize the organization in the eyes of the public," said Maria Chang, a UC Berkeley political science professor who wrote a book on the Falun Gong.

        Falun Gong has dedicated volunteers and activists in major cities across the world, and has not been shy about using litigation as a tool to protect its interests.

        The group lacks a central national organization, according to Gail Rachlin, a volunteer spokeswoman in the New York organization, and lawyers who have represented Falun Gong groups usually work pro bono.

        Local chapters have filed numerous lawsuits against Chinese officials for human-rights violations. They also sued the China Press, a pro-China paper that takes an anti-Falun Gong point of view, claiming defamation, in 2003, but lost.

        They have also sued San Francisco after the group wasn't allowed to march in its Chinese New Year's parade and threatened lawsuits against other groups that they say have taken an anti-Falun Gong line.

        Group members also have been active in protesting the Bedding Olympic Games float in Pasadena's Rose Parade.

        Paul Talbot, the former mayor of Alhambra, said he was accustomed to seeing group members occasionally at City Council meetings.

        "Over the years we'd have them show up regularly," said Talbot. "We sympathized, but a little city does not have to step into foreign policy."

        Though Alhambra did not pass a resolution, Talbot did declare a Falun Gong week in 2000, honoring a local group that met regularly in the city.

        Shortly thereafter, Talbot issued a public apology to the Chinese Consulate and said the city did not mean to endorse the views of the Falun Gong.

        When asked to comment, Talbot answered: "I think I actually confused Tab Chi and the Falun Gong when we made the proclamation. ... I had no idea what I was getting into."

        Alhambra officials also struggled with what to do about a Falun Gong request to march in a Chinese New Year's parade in 2005.

        Chamber of Commerce officials denied the request, said Talbot, because of the political nature of the group.

        The same rationale applied to denials of the group's annual request to march in parades in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

        Only in San Francisco did the group file a lawsuit, which claimed Falun Gong was being discriminated against.

        "We just wanted to be in the parade, not to make a political statement," said Sherry Zhang, a volunteer spokeswoman for the Bay Area Falun Gong group that filed the lawsuit.

        She noted that the group did participate in the 2004 parade when it applied under the name of "Falun Dafa," an alternate name used by the group. She argued that nobody accused Falun Gong of behaving politically in that parade.

        The Falun Gong group lost the lawsuit in February, though Zhang said they plan to file an appeal.

        A regional chapter in New York threatened a lawsuit against a domain name provider that hosted an anti-Falun Gong Web site.

        Samuel Luo of San Francisco, who runs the Web site www. exposingthefalungong.org, sought help from the American Civil Liberties Union in 2005 after his domain provider received a letter demanding they reveal the identity and contact information of Luo.

        The complaint was more focused on denouncing the content of Luo's Web site rather than raising a legal objection.

        The letter called his Web site "defamatory" and "highly immoral," and accused Luo of "endorsing the inhumane treatments and killing of Falun Gong practitioners."

        Their legal objection, according to the letter, was that Luo had infringed on their trademark by using the term "Falun Gong" on his Web site. That "clearly did not violate trademark law" the ACLU explained in its response to the group.

        "They want to shut me down just because I criticize them," said Luo.

        In the summer of 2005, Luo and another presenter were set to speak about the Falun Gong at a conference at the International Cultic Studies Association in Spain.

        A few weeks before, group officials told Luo they were forced to cancel his speech because a lawyer representing the Falun Gong in Spain threatened to sue them.

        "Any action that validates, supports, or gives credence to the (Chinese Communist Party's) propaganda, lies, and defamation about the practice of Falun Gong is in itself collaborating in the genocide and tortures," wrote attorney Carlos Iglesias Jimenez in a letter to the association.

        Ming Xia, a political science professor at the City University of New York, said he thought few Americans know much about the Falun Gong.

        "Politicians can make themselves look good by taking on a Chinese regime that is unpopular," said Xia. "That is why the Falun Gong have done very well here."

        (Whittier Daily News, December 29, 2007)

        Original text from: http://www.whittierdailynews.comews/ci_7840130

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