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FALUN GONG & FALUN DAFA

Media articles

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Sampling of media articles about the Falun Dafa:

bullet1999-DEC-26: Leadership imprisoned: The No. 1 People's Court in Beijing sentenced four top organizers of the Falun Dafa movement to jail terms of 7 to 18 years. All were members of the Communist party. They were charged with using a cult to "obstruct justice, causing human deaths in the process of organizing a cult and illegally obtaining state secrets." The state claimed that 1,400 followers died because they rejected needed medical attention or committed suicide. 1
bullet2000-FEB-2: Zhong Gong groups closed down: According to Newsroom, a religious news service, the Chinese government is cracking down on other religious groups: 

"The Information Centre of Human Rights & Democratic Movement in China said on Monday that China has closed down 100 offices of the Zhong Gong spiritual group, which claims more than 10 million practitioners in the country. Zhong Gong, like the banned Falun Gong movement (with an estimated 100 million practitioners worldwide), is based on the traditional Chinese meditation practice of qigong. Chinese officials said earlier this month that they would step up monitoring of hundreds of similar health and spiritual groups, fearing that they might gain the kind of following that Falun Gong has attracted.

The Information Centre said Chinese police began the crackdown on Zhong Gong last November after President Jiang Zemin labeled it as a cult.

One week ago the Information Centre confirmed that China has sent more than 50 practitioners of the Falun Gong movement to a psychiatric hospital in Beijing since December where they are being treated like psychiatric patients. The Hong Kong-based Information Centre says that at least four practitioners have died in police custody." 2

bullet2000-SEP-5: Book Published: Akashic Books announced the publication of an insider book on China's crackdown on the Falun Gong, non-violent spiritual practice. Their book review mentions that "Hundreds of practitioners of a meditation- and exercise-based spiritual movement were rounded up on mid-JUL as they non-violently marked the first anniversary of a Chinese government crackdown that has led, according to human rights groups, to more than 24 deaths, 50,000 arrests, pervasive torture, and the burning of as many as 7.8 million books written by the controversial founder of Falun Gong, Li Hongzhi." 
bullet2000-SEP-11: U.S. Government report: According to Newsroom: 
Earlier this month, in its second annual report on religious freedom, the U.S. State Department said that in the past year China had intensified its repression against the Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, Muslim Uighurs, and underground Protestants and Catholics. Some Chinese religious believers, the report said, face "harassment, extortion, prolonged detention, physical abuse, and incarceration in prison or in ‘re-education through labor’ camps."

Prior to the Millennium World Peace Summit in New York City this month, however, Bishop Michael Fu Tieshan of the state-controlled Chinese Patriotic Catholic Association insisted that "there is no religious persecution in China."

The International Commission on Religious Freedom, nevertheless, renewed a call last week for the U.S. Congress to withhold Permanent Normal Trade Status unless China "makes substantial improvement in respect for religious freedom." Later this week the Senate is expected to begin debate on a measure that would give China the trade benefits accorded most other nations. The measure was passed earlier this year in the House of Representatives, and passed in 2000-SEP in the Senate.

Last week a Hong Kong-based human rights group reported that three Falun Gong practitioners had died in recent months after suffering mistreatment while in detention. The Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said Liu Yufeng, 64, of eastern Shandong province, died July 23 of multiple injuries, four days after he was detained while participating in a mass Falun Gong exercise. Li Faming, 52, of northwestern Gansu province, died August 10 after a fall from a window in his apartment where police were conducting a search for Falun Gong leaflets. In northeastern Heilongjiang province, 29-year-old Zhang Tieyan died August 11 after fainting in a hot, poorly ventilated detention center. She had fainted before many times, the rights group said.

According to the Hong Kong monitor, at least 30 Falun Gong followers have died of mistreatment while in custody since July 1999, when the movement was banned. Authorities have detained at least 35,000 practitioners, and 5,000 have been sent to labor camps without trial.

On September 6, some 1,000 practitioners demonstrated peacefully at the New York U.N. Millennium Summit, which was attended by Chinese President Jiang Zemin. In a U.S. television interview, Jiang also denied reports that religious believers in China are persecuted.

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bullet2000-SEP-13: Response to religious report  According to CWNews.com
The year 2000 report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom criticized the government of China for its brutal repression of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, Tibetan Buddhists, Roman Catholics and other groups. An unidentified spokesperson for the Chinese government denied the validity of the report. He responded: "Relying solely on rumors and lies to accuse other governments and interfere in internal affairs of other countries is a mistake repeatedly made by the U.S. State Department report. This bad habit should be addressed."
bullet2000-SEP-15: New restrictive regulations announced: According to the Associated Press:
China published new regulations on SEP-15 which will prevent exercise groups like the Falun Dafa from discussing religion. It also severely limits their size and range of activities. Their teachers must register and be certified by sports officials. Activities with more than 200 participants need the prior permission of police. They will not be allowed to organize in state-run companies, government offices, schools, army bases, etc.
bullet2001-FEB-27: U.S. State Department criticizes Chinese: According to the Associated Press:
The State Department, in its annual report on the status of individual freedom in all countries of the world (other than the U.S.), severely criticized the Chinese Government for its oppression of the Falun Dafa. The Chinese Foreign Ministry stated: "This is a typical action showing U.S. double standards on human rights." They accused Washington of "going so far as to defend openly the anti-humanity evil cult Falun Gong". Liu Jing heads a Cabinet office that was formed in September to coordinate the campaign against Falun Dafa. He rejected the State Department criticism, saying that the group acts like a "spiritual drug" on its followers, and that labor camp guards treat Falun Dafa as doctors would patients. Liu said: "They choose to turn a blind eye to the dangers and harm caused by the Falun Gong cult. This shows they are using this issue to make a fuss and using human rights as a pretense to interfere in other countries affairs.'' He said followers are convicted because they practice Falun Gong; they are charged with committing crimes like protesting. The Falun Dafa and various human rights groups estimate that the death toll of Falun Dafa practitioners who have died in prison or work camps as a result of maltreatment now exceeds 100. Liu rejects this figure.
bullet2001-JUL-28: Stories of torture and execution in China: Many accounts of detentions, arrests, beatings, torture, execution and other numerous crimes against humanity continue to flow out of China. The Falun Gong authorities say that torture of their followers is common. 250 have been killed. The state is currently executing about 50 of its members at per month. Because of the nature of the dictatorship, these accounts are impossible to verify. However, one Falun Dafa follower, has made it to the U.S. Tan Yongjie had started to practice Falun Dafa in mid-1998. He was detained several times for 15 day intervals, but refused to renounce his practices. Tan was arrested on APR-26 for distributing pamphlets calling for government persecution to end. He was beaten and sent to a labor camp. After many brutal tortures, he was tied to a post and a red-hot rod was used to burn his legs, in a fruitless effort to force him to give up Falun Dafa. He escaped from Hong Kong by stowing away on a cargo ship. On JUL-13, he was admitted to a hospital in Houston TX. Jack Xiong, a member of the local Falun Gong community, said: "He's had extensive skin graft surgery on his legs." Doctors expect Tan to make a full recovery. 3
bullet

2001-DEC-23: China: Small scale genocide continues: According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, the Chinese government has detained over 100,000 persons for the "crime" of practicing Falun Dafa -- a spiritually-based exercise and belief system. Over 20,000 have been sent to labor camps without trial. "Chinese President Jiang Zemin has called this the 'golden age of human rights' in China, but this 'golden age' has resulted in the deaths of over 1,600 innocent citizens who practice falun Gong...millions have been devastated by this persecution. This is state terrorism." Those who have died appear to have been maltreated or tortured so severely that they either died during captivity, or shortly after having been released. The genocide continues with no indication of slowing down. 4 On DEC-19, 156 Falun Gong practitioners filed a lawsuit in the Superior Court of the Province of Ontario, Canada, against the Sing Tao Daily. This is one of the largest overseas Chinese language newspapers. The Statement of Claim filed with the court states, in part that the Sing Tao: "in publishing the expose did engage in inciting hatred against an identifiable spiritual group which is contrary to the Criminal Code of Canada...[they] are parties and co-conspirators in these hate crimes and crimes against humanity for which civil liability arises." 5 Hate speech in the U.S. is not illegal, and is often heard directed against women, and racial, religious and sexual minorities. But certain types of hate speech are illegal in Canada.

bullet

2002-MAR-5: China: Falun Gong members take over cable television company: A group of Falun Gong members took over control of a stare-run cable television company in Changchun city. They broadcast pro-Falun films. Stop and search checkpoints were allegedly established throughout the city. Dozens of people were detained. According to Amnesty International, the broadcast "included footage of the US-based Falun Gong spiritual leader, Li Hongzhi, who was born in Changchun. They also included a film accusing the government of staging the incident in Tiananmen Square last year when alleged Falun Gong members set themselves on fire. Footage of the incident has been broadcast widely in China in an apparent attempt to turn public opinion against the group." 7

bullet 2002-OCT-31: China: Falun Gong members issue statement from Wanjia forced labor camp:

"During the past two years in custody we have suffered from all kinds of inhuman torture…some of which was caused by persecution from police and inmates. Several "night watchers" (inmates) often said, 'We will not be held responsible even if we beat you to death,' (and) 'If we beat you to death our sentences will be reduced.' They (prison guards) stop at nothing to persecute Falun Dafa practitioners. The main punishments include forcing us to stand up for a long time, sealing our mouths with tape, letting us starve, exposure to biting cold or standing in the scorching sun, hanging up in the shape of an airplane, being locked in a small cell, sitting on an iron chair, wearing handcuffs, being shocked by electric batons, beatings with clubs as well as cuffing and kicking. Incidents of Falun Dafa practitioners taking beatings have occurred frequently." 8

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2003-JUL-14: Photos Expose Torture Death of 56-year-old Falun Gong Woman: Ms. Fengxia Xiong  was allegedly tortured to death in a detention center in Liyuzhuang Town, Dingxing County, Hebei Province in China, on 2002-OCT-13. After several months of effort, her family of obtained autopsy reports and photographs. The report allegedly Indicated force-feeding and other forms of torture. Her family counted more than forty wounds and bruises over her body. The county government has given her family 60,000 Yuan (about $7,200 in U.S. funds) as compensation. 9

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2003-DEC-29: Man dies in police custody: Mr. Chengjun Liu was allegedly one of the Falun Gong members who tapped into cable TV signals in the city of Changchun in Northeast China. The group broadcast programs which exposed alleged atrocities against practitioners in China. According to the Falun Dafa Information Center, "Sources in Beijing reported that the broadcasts infuriated then-Chinese leader Jiang, who subsequently ordered a series of executions targeting all persons involved in the broadcast and other practitioners of Falun Gong throughout China." Liu was sentenced to 19 years in jail and sent to the Jilin Provincial Forced Labor Camp. He died on DEC-26, apparently as a result of torture. As is normal in these circumstances, no autopsy was performed and his body was cremated within hours. 10

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2006-APR-20: Event at President Bush's press conference: Wenyi Wang, a member of the Falon Gong, attended a press conference involving President Bush and Chinese President Hu Jintao. She asked that Bush help end persecution of the group by the Chinese government. Bush allegedly apologized to Hu Jintao after the event. Fr. Patrick Mahoney, director of the Christian Defense Coalition said: "The focus of the episode at [the] news conference should not have been an apology by President Bush. Rather, it should have been an honest and open dialogue by the White House on human rights and religious freedom." The coalition is also calling on the U.S. government to drop criminal charges against Wenyi Wang. Mahoney said: "It was also troubling to see the repeated characterization of Wenyi Wang by the national press as a heckler. This woman was simply attempting to draw public attention to the religious persecution of the Falun Gong by the Chinese government." 11

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Further information:

bullet"Lead Stories," Falun Dafa Information Center, at: http://www.faluninfo.net/indepth.asp
bulletAmnesty International has many news releases on the Falun Gong. Search for Falun Gong on their home page at: http://www.amnesty.org/

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References used:

  1. "Falun Gong Sentences Based on Facts and Law," People's Daily Online, 1999-DEC-27, at: http://fpeng.peopledaily.com.
  2. Newsroom's web site is at: http://www.newsroom.org/ 
  3. "Tortured member of banned Chinese sect recovering in Houston," Fox News, 2001-JUL-28, at: http://www.foxnews.com/story/
  4. " 'Golden Age of Human Rights' in China leaves four more tortured to death by Chinese authorities," Falun Dafa Information Center, 2001-DEC-20. Their web site is at http://www.faluninfo.net
  5. "Lawsuit filed to stop China's state-run media from inciting hatred against Falun Gong in Canada," Falun Dafa Information Center, 2001-DEC-24.
  6. "Lawsuit filed to stop China's state-run media from inciting hatred against Falun Gong in Canada," Falun Dafa Information Center, 2001-DEC-24.
  7. "Fear for safety/Fear of torture or ill-treatment 15 March 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun City," at: http://web.amnesty.org/
  8. "Death Toll Escalates as 'Transformation' Attempts Increase at Wanjia Forced Labor Camp," Falun Dafa Information Center, 2002-OCT-31, at: http://www.faluninfo.net/
  9. "Photos Expose Torture Death of 56-year-old Falun Gong Woman," Falun Dafa Information Center, 2003-JUL-14, at: http://www.faluninfo.net/
  10. "High-profile Prisoner Named in Amnesty Urgent Action is Tortured to Death the Morning after Christmas," 2003-DEC-29, at: http://www.faluninfo.net/
  11. "Christian coalition disappointed by Bush's apology to Chinese president," Catholic News Agency, 2006-APR-24, at: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/

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Site navigation: Home page > Faith groups > Falun Gong > here

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Copyright © 1999 to 2006 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 1999-NOV-26
Latest update: 2006-APR-25
Author: B.A. Robinson

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