06/23/2006, 00.00
UNITED STATES - CHINA
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USA: Charges "frozen" against woman who interrupted Hu Jintao at White House

Dr Wang Wenyi has reached an agreement with the prosecution: charges against her have been blocked until next April, at which point they will dropped if her conduct is satisfactory. The woman had protested during the Chinese president's speech.

Washington (AsiaNews) – Wang Wenyi, the woman arrested for interrupting a speech by Chinese President, Hu Jintao, during his visit to the United States, has been cleared of all charges thanks to an agreement reached with the American Prosecution. The woman announced the news at a press conference held on 21 June.

Under the deal, charges against Wang – including disturbing the public peace, intimidation and threatening a public official – will be "frozen" until April next year: if she does not commit any crimes in the meantime, the charges will be dropped.

Dr Wang Wenyi, a 47-year-old pathologist, managed to enter the White House with permission on 20 April as a reporter for the Epoch Times, a publication linked to the spiritual movement of the Falun Gong.

From the garden from where the journalists were following the event, the woman called out in Chinese: "Stop the oppression against the Falun Gong!" Turning to Hu Jintao, she said: "Your days are counted" and to Bush, she added in English: "President Bush, stop him from killing!" After a few minutes, she was taken away by security forces.

In a document published after her arrest, Wang explained the reasons that prompted her to public protest. She said: "International media reported what I did, but did not really report very much the reason why I acted. I knew I had to do something shocking when, as correspondent of the Epoch Times, and as a pathologist, I understood the real dimensions and atrocities linked to organ removal from living Falun Gong practitioners."

Wang was referring to multiple accusations – revealed by her newspaper and upheld by several sources – that the Chinese government authorizes, against payment, the extraction of organs from convicts on death row to sell them to private hospitals. In some cases, organs are taken from people who are still alive.

"Throughout my investigations, I talked to doctors and prison guards who admitted that tissues needed for transplants are taken from people who are still alive. One of them told me all we published on the matter was far from the truth, because it did not touch upon the pain felt during these operations."

Until recently, publicity of a hospital in Shenyang, edited in several languages, promised recovery, transplant and rehabilitation in "only three weeks". The doctor added: "To promise this, they must have an immense store of organs, and therefore of bodies. The Falun Gong reports the disappearance of thousands of members each year. The conclusion is clear."

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