The United States on Wednesday sanctioned a former Chinese official from Sichuan Province for “serious human rights violations,” particularly for “arbitrarily detaining Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs.”
When the State Department published and presented the 2020 Annual Report on International Religious Freedom to the US Congress, Secretary of State Antony Blinken pointed out that the country “has a duty to promote the accountability of those responsible for such abuses.” “”
For this reason, she has appointed the former director of the office of the Central Leadership Group for the Prevention and Treatment of Heretical Religions in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, Yu Hui.
The sanction against Yu Hui and his immediate family members, who are now no longer eligible for entry into the United States, is based on their “involvement in grave human rights abuses, namely the arbitrary detention of Falun Gong practitioners for their spiritual beliefs,” according to a statement by the Department.
In addition, Blinken stressed that they will continue to “consider all appropriate instruments to promote the accountability of those responsible for human rights abuses and violations in China and elsewhere”.
This annual report on religious freedom provides “a detailed and factual presentation of the state of religious freedom in nearly 200 countries and territories and documents reports of violations and abuses by governments, non-state actors and individuals”.
Falun Gong is a Chinese spiritual practice that includes a mixture of Buddhist and Taoist beliefs and that gathers hundreds of people for their practice in parks and squares across the Chinese nation. It combines qigong exercises – a method of breathing and meditating – with moral teachings.