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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Couple traveling state raising awareness to stop torture

Friday, June 29, 2007

Joe and Lixuan Tackett display a banner raising awareness to stop the torture of those who practice Falun Gong.
Lixuan and Joe Tackett have been taking several trips around central Indiana lately.

But they haven't been making the treks for the scenery.

The Tacketts have been making car tours throughout the central part of the state to raise awareness regarding organ harvesting in China and the two paid a visit to Brazil Tuesday.

Lixuan said she hoped the car tours the two have made in recent weeks -- and will continue to do so -- would help bring the situation to the front of the minds of people statewide.

"We started in May," Lixuan said. "On each car tour, we cover three to four cities."

While in Brazil, the Tacketts had attempted to meet with Mayor Thom Arthur, but were unable to set up a conference.

The duo both practice Falun Gong, an ancient Chinese meditation and spiritual practice based on universal principle of truthfulness, compassion and tolerance.

Lixuan said the practice is free and open to the public and is similar to Tia Chi or Yoga. It is practiced, she said, in local parks in more than 80 countries worldwide.

They said the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) originally supported the practice, which was introduced to the country in 1992. However, things changed in 1999.

Since 1999, Lixuan said inhumane acts, including more than 100 forms of torture, have been carried out in the country against those who practice Falun Gong in order to get the people to "relinquish their beliefs," according to a investigation she said was conducted.

She said that recent evidence showed that thousands of imprisoned Falun Gong practitioners have been used as a "living organ bank."

"(The Chinese Government) saw it as a threat," she said. "(The practitioners) were brutally tortured."

The information the Tacketts provided regarding the torture included a study conducted by Canada's fomer Secretary of State David Kilgour and David Matas, human rights attorney.

Upon hearing of the abuse, Falun Gong practitioners in the United States began to rally.

The Tacketts said other car tours have taken place in Missouri, Colorado, Kansas, Ohio and various other states. In fact, the two themselves have traveled to Terre Haute, Bloomington, Richmond, Anderson and a host of other central Indiana cities to raise awareness.

"Other practitioners out west are doing it," Joe said. "But there are just a few in Indiana. We're just trying to raise awareness.

"They can't continue to do that if you bring it out in the light."

The Tacketts said some of the practitioners in China have been killed so various body parts could be harvested and sold. Some body parts, according to information provided by the Tacketts, are being sold for more than $100,000.

On Tuesday, Lixuan -- who is originally from China -- told The Brazil Times a story of a family friend who she recently learned was sentenced to prison for practicing Falun Gong. While in prison, she said she learned he received a blood test, which bothered his family

"He's a prime candidate," Joe said of the man, who they described as being in his early 30s. "It's time to start looking at the morale line, not the bottom line."

The Tacketts said they intend to attend two rallies in Washington, D.C., later this year. One rally will take place in front of the U.S. Capital while the other will take place by the Washington Monument.

Lixuan said thousands are expected to attend the rally.

While Falun Gong practitioners have been rallying together to get public support, the Tacketts said the response of the United States Government has not "been much."

"This is not working," Lixuan said. "(We need to) spread the word."

For more information regarding the practice, visit www.falundafa.org. In addition, those interested may visit www.faluninfo.net regarding the torture of those who practice Falun Gong.

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