The main text of the spiritual practice Falun Gong is studied in 114 countries around the world, has been translated into 30 languages, and was a runaway best seller in Beijing, but last week a regional appeals court in Russia banned it. Human rights activists and Falun Gong practitioners say the ban is due to pressure on Russia from the Chinese regime.
The main Falun Gong text, “Zhuan Falun,” along with two Falun Gong leaflets, and human rights investigations—two reports and one book—detailing the forced, live organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China were banned nationwide by a court in the southern Russian city of Krasnodar in October. On Dec. 22, an appeals court decision upheld the ban.
In a report on Monday, Human Rights Without Frontiers International (HRWF), a nonprofit based in Brussels, Belgium, suggested that the court decision was influenced by China. The report said that Moscow has been helping Beijing in its fight against Falun Gong on the basis of two treaties: the 2001 Treaty of Friendship between Russia and China, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a mutual-security organization founded in 2001.
The harassment of Falun Gong practitioners in Russia has included the forced repatriation to China of Chinese nationals who practice Falun Gong, banning public activities by Falun Gong practitioners, and the refusal by authorities to register new Falun Gong organizations.