Members of the German Parliament’s Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, led by Gyde Jennsen, held a hearing on November 18th in the Bundestag. Individuals gave testimony about members of oppressed minority groups in China including Uyghurs, Tibetans and members of the Falun Gong spiritual practice. Some of these individuals recounted personal experiences as to how the Chinese Communist Party carries out repression of beliefs that are in conflict with communist ideology.
In her testimony, freelance journalist Lea Zhou drew attention to China’s “extrajudicial brainwashing facilities.” The first such center was set up in 2001, partly to persecute followers of the Falun Gong movement. Dissenters or members of other religions, such as Christians, Buddhists and Muslims, are also held in these facilities and forced to give up their faith. China’s “thought transformation” procedures can involve arbitrary mass arrests, brainwashing, ill treatment, and torture.
The Bundestag hearing carries a strong sense of urgency as these practices have increased under Xi Jinping ‘s rule rather than decreasing, as was anticipated by Western democracies. The majority of experts testifying accused the Chinese regime of engaging in human rights abuses and encouraged the German Government to take more decisive action to pressure the Chinese government to stop such offenses.
Zhou Lei, spokesperson for the German Falun Dafa Association and senior media professional, said eliminating the CCP is the only way to fundamentally end the severe human rights abuses in China.