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US ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Repression of Falun Gong in Russia: State Department

Asia & Pacific China China Human Rights Falun Gong persecution Russia US US News US-China relations World

US ‘Deeply Concerned’ by Repression of Falun Gong in Russia: State Department

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The United States is “deeply concerned” by a Russian court’s recent decision to suppress a regional branch of faith group Falun Gong by branding it as “extremist,” the state department said on July 9. The court decision criminalized the “peaceful practice of [the group’s] spiritual beliefs,” the department added. “Russian authorities harass, fine, and imprison Falun Gong practitioners for such simple acts as meditating and possessing spiritual texts,” Department Spokesperson Ned Price said in a statement, one day after a Russian court upheld a ban on the Khakassia regional branch of Falun Gong. “We urge the Russian government to end its practice of misusing the ‘extremist’ designation as a way to restrict human rights and fundamental freedoms,” he said, adding that the court decision was “another example of Russian authorities labeling peaceful groups as ‘extremist,’ ‘terrorist,’ or ‘undesirable’ solely to stigmatize their supporters, justify abuses against them, and restrict their …

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