Falun Gong followers meditate in Hong Kong, May 9, 2001 (Reuters/Kin Cheung).
(photo credit: REUTERS/KIN CHEUNG)
Tel Aviv resident and Falun Gong spiritual practitioner Mr. Yang (his full name wont be disclosed), who applied for political asylum in Israel, faces deportation to China despite Israeli state knowledge that Falun Gong practitioners are persecuted in the People's Republic, the Information Center of Falun Gong reported on Wednesday.
Falun Gong is an eastern religion based on the revival of ancient Chinese traditions that gained popularity in the 90s. The Chinese Communist Party claims the Falun Gong is a threat to the Chinese state and has arrested thousands of practitioners who are known as “prisoners of conscience.”
Israeli immigration authorities have knowledge of the brutal crackdown on Falun Gong practitioners and recognize the threat, but have cast doubt on the Chinese Communist Party’s knowledge that Yang practices the religion. However, UN representatives in Israel who interviewed Yang concluded that he is indeed a devoted practitioner of Falun Gong.
Yang has been living in Tel Aviv for 16 years on a work visa and practicing Falun Gong for 11 years. He studies with a small class of Israelis who have trying to help their friend achieve political asylum.
A similar case was won in Germany when a Falun Gong practitioner won political asylum after a court battle.
If deported to mainland China, Yang could face imprisonment, persecution and torture at the hands of the ruling party.