U.S. Congressman Chris Smith (Image Below)
On the eve of ten years since the beginning of a Chinese regime-sanctioned persecution of Falun Gong, members of the U.S. Congress are calling on President Obama to speak out against the injustice.
The letter, sponsored by Congressmen Rob Andrews (D-NJ) and Chris Smith (R-NJ), was signed by 59 other members of Congress. It asks President Obama to give “all possible public and private diplomatic support to Falun Gong practitioners in China”. Congressman Smith's office expects to publish a statement about the letter on Friday, the same day they expect President Obama to receive the letter.
The text of the letter details the serious plight that Falun Gong practitioners in China have faced since 1999, when the persecution against them began. It is dated July 8, about two weeks prior to the 10-year mark of the day the persecution began, July 20, 1999.
Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa, is a peaceful, spiritual practice of mind and body based on the principles of truth, compassion and forbearance. Falun Gong originated in China, but is now practiced in 114 countries, according to Falun Gong Web sites.
Thousands Dragged From Bed
According to eyewitness accounts of that time, Falun Gong practitioners were literally dragged out of bed and rounded up by police and security forces, beginning at the crack of dawn, in the thousands throughout China. Since then, Falun Gong practitioners in China have been the victims of a relentless campaign of state-sponsored persecution that has included physical and mental torture, abuse, harassment, intimidation and murder.
Many survivors of persecution have escaped to the U.S. and other countries to tell their stories. Crystal Chen, a 36 year-old Falun Gong practitioner who was persecuted in China recently came to the U.S. as a United Nations refugee. Chen feels encouraged that so many members of Congress have stepped forward to help.
“I feel they are very supportive to Falun Gong practitioners and especially of those still suffering in China,” said Ms. Chen, who added that she wants Obama to put human rights first and advise the Chinese regime to do the same. She said the letter is a signal not just from Congress, but from the American people.
“All the members of Congress who signed the letter are representative of the whole country—of all American citizens,” said Ms. Chen. “So the president should take action, too."
A Duty to Speak Out
“Our government has a duty to speak out on behalf of all those whose fundamental human rights are violated,” says the letter in part. “Our government should speak very clearly and specifically on their [Falun Gong’s] behalf to the Chinese government.”
The letter also goes into detail about an extrajudicial security force called the “6-10 Office” that was created to persecute Falun Gong on June 10, 1999 (hence 6-10). According to the letter, the 6-10 office uses “massive propaganda campaigns intended to demonize Falun Gong” and tries to “compel practitioners to renounce their faith”. The 6-10 Office also supervises the arbitrary detention, beating, torture, and brainwashing to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, the letter says.
The Falun Dafa Information Center, which has painstakingly documented the persecution of Falun Gong over the last ten years, lauded the members of Congress who signed the letter.
"We applaud these members of Congress," said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Mr. Erping Zhang in a press release, "for articulating in no uncertain terms that the United States government will not tolerate the arbitrary arrest, torture and death of Falun Gong practitioners—peaceful, law-abiding citizens—as a result of a systematic Communist Party-run campaign. We hope President Obama and his administration will heed their call."
7/7/2009 | Press Release from California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore Office
Leisa Brug-Kline (949) 863-7070 SACRAMENTO - California State Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R-Irvine) today issued letters to officials of the Peoples Republic of China, from Ambassador to the United States Zhou Wenzhong to several local police officials, demanding the release of four unjustly imprisoned women with close ties to California. The imprisoned persons are adherents of Falun Gong, a spiritual discipline that the Chinese Communist Party once supported, but now brutally suppresses.
The imprisoned persons on whose behalf Assemblyman DeVore intervened are:
- Ms. Yao-Hua Li, and Ms. Yi-Bo Zhang, both of whom are reportedly in detention at the Xuhui District Detention Center in Shanghai. These women are the mother and sister, respectively, of Mr. Yi-Yuan Chang, who serves as the Assistant Director of the Center for Esthetic Dentistry at the University of California at Los Angeles.
- Mrs. Jinhua Ma, reportedly in detention at the Anhui Women's Forced Labor Camp since September 2008. She is the mother of MaQiong Wang, a longtime Californian.
- Ms. Chunyan Wang, reportedly in detention at the Laioning Province Women's Prison. She is the mother of Ping Yu, a longtime Californian.
"Though the constitution of the People's Republic of China formally guarantees freedom of religion, the fact is that Communist authorities use force to oppress particular faiths, including Falun Gong, various Christian sects, Buddhists, and Muslims," said DeVore, "I am sending letters demanding the release of these prisoners for two reasons: because their Californian loved ones deserve no less from a Californian public servant, and because the cause of liberty is the cause of every American."
It is not uncommon for people imprisoned for their faith in China to be tortured, then die in custody.
Since 1999, the U.S. Secretary of State has assigned the "Country of Particular Concern" (CPC) designation to China under the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), for particularly severe violations of religious freedom.
7/7/2009 | Press Release: http://arc.asm.ca.gov/member/70/?p=article&sid=151&id=220884
A Falun Gong practitioner has died at her home in Jiangsu Province,
apparently after long-term torture in prison. Ms. Su Zhifeng was
arrested for her belief in the practice, and when released she was in
such poor health that she could not walk or talk.
Ms. Su Zhifeng lived in Suicheng Village of Suixian County,
Jiangsu Province, where she spread information about the state-led
persecution of Falun Gong and refuted propaganda against the practice.
When she heard that she might be arrested, Ms. Su fled to the coastal
city of Qingdao to work. But she was arrested and locked in Nanjing
Women's prison for three years.
When she was released, the formerly healthy 49-year-old could not walk or talk, apparently due to mistreatment in custody.
According to relatives, the family was monitored, intimidated and
harassed by the leader of Suixian County National Security bureau,
named Xu Jun, and agents from the 610 office, which is a secretive
national organization formed to crackdown on Falun Gong. The leader of
the local 610 office is named Zhang Shujun.
Ms. Su's health continued to deteriorate, and she died on May 7 this year after being bedridden long-term.
She is among thousands confirmed dead after the ruling regime began
persecuting the spiritual practice in July 1999. Adherents say
thousands more deaths are unaccounted for.
By Stephanie Lam
Epoch Times Staff
Jun 24, 2009
As the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong nears
the 10-year mark, two New York state politicians have taken action. New
York State Assembly Members Phil Boyle and Vanessa Gibson each wrote a
letter to President Obama on June 18 urging him to denounce the
persecution and demand that the CCP put an end to it.
and Gibson described Falun Gong as a tranquil and peaceful practice
guided by the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance,
numbering 70-100 million practitioners before the CCP started its
persecution on July 20, 1999. Over 3,000 Falun Gong practitioners are
known to have been persecuted to death in the past decade.
wrote that Falun Gong practitioners experience “Torture, malnutrition,
exhaustion, neglect in detention, and even organ harvesting in
hospitals,” and that the actual number of people who died from the
persecution might be over 10,000.
two assembly members are especially concerned because the CCP has
extended the persecution of Falun Gong into the United States. He
reported that “Pro-communist mobs have berated, threatened, and
physically attacked Falun Gong practitioners in New York City. New York
City police officers have had to arrest several members of an
anti-Falun Gong mob for attacks against practitioners, with charges
ranging from assault to resisting arrest.”
and Gibson praised President Obama for his efforts in protecting human
rights internationally, and asked that he continue this by supporting
Falun Gong. Within five days’ time, Boyle’s letter was co-signed by 53
other members of the New York State Assembly.
By Nico Bijnens
Epoch Times Staff Jun 15, 2009
BRUSSELS—Two Belgian Falun Gong practitioners filed a complaint against the Chinese regime for phone harassment in Belgium. They are represented by prominent Belgian lawyer G.H. Beauthier.
Since 2005, at least two Belgians who practice the Falun Gong spiritual practice have been receiving phone calls with threatening, noises and cursing. After tracing the phone numbers, it was found that these calls came from China. They also received virus-infected e-mails from China.
The case was first filed in 2005 and Belgian jurisdiction launched an investigation in Belgium. After sending a request to the Chinese authorities, the hearing took place in May 2009. The defense asked the judge to further investigate this case.
During the hearing it was said that these phone calls show how the Falun Gong persecution is spreading not only in China, but even in Europe. In Flushing, New York during the 2008 Olympic Games, many people were harassed in the streets by individuals who were sent out by the Chinese authorities.
After the hearing, one of the Falun Gong practitioners said in an interview, “We cannot let a bullying regime like the Chinese Communist Party just do whatever it likes, not only on Chinese soil but in the international community. It is simply unacceptable that they can just boldly go forth and get into people’s private lives, start harassing them, spreading propaganda and sending them virus-infectd emails. I think the facts are very clear…. I feel it is important that the public opinion is very aware of what is happening and how aggressive this persecution is.”
This year is the 10th anniversary of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China that started on July 20, 1999. It is also 20th anniversary of the Tiananmen Square massacre.
A flaw in the program could also be used to pull user PCs into botnets, researchers say
Internet filtering software that China plans to distribute nationwide blocks content related to a spiritual movement banned in China, despite government claims that the software targets only porn.
The program automatically closes a browser window when it detects Chinese words related to Falun Gong, according to a keyword blacklist decrypted and posted online Thursday in a report by researchers at the University of Michigan.
Falun Gong, a meditation practice, was banned in China as a cult ten years ago after mass gatherings by followers in Beijing stoked government fear.
China this month ordered PC makers to include the porn filtering software, called Green Dam Youth Escort, either pre-installed or on a CD-ROM with all new computers sold in the country from July 1.
The move has raised concern among PC makers and rights groups that the program could be used to block other Web sites as well, but China has insisted the software targets only "harmful" information like porn and violent content. A Chinese Internet official called filtering porn the "only purpose" of the program, according to the state-run China Daily.
Visiting Chinese sites dedicated to Falung Gong with the filter active confirmed the program's response. A pop-up message notifies the user that the information is "harmful" and closes the window. It does the same thing when it detects a small number of political keywords revealed in the University of Michigan report, including "evil Jiang Zemin," a negative reference to China's former president.
Bryan Zhang, manager of Jinhui Computer System Engineering, the program's main developer, said he did not know its keyword blacklist included non-pornographic terms. Jinhui developed the program's image filtering tool, which blocks Web sites when it detects pornographic pictures. Dazheng Human Language Technology, which contributed the program's language filter, declined to comment.
The security of the program could also be an issue. A specially crafted Web address could overrun the buffer the program uses to process URLs, redirect users to malicious sites and take over their computers, according to the U.S. researchers. That control could be used to drag computers into a botnet, steal personal information or send spam, the report said.
The researchers took less than 12 hours to uncover the flaw and other "serious security vulnerabilities due to programming errors," the report said. While those flaws could be easily patched, extensive rewriting would be needed to remove all of the program's problems, it said.
The software can be turned on or off by users with the parental control password, but uninstalling it does not remove all log files of user activity, according to the report.
Jinhui's Web site became inaccessible this week after foreign industry executives and Chinese Internet users protested the move to distribute the software.
China is also working to place the software on all computers in Chinese schools.
Psychology expert speaks at Capitol Hill forum commemorating 10-year anniversary of peaceful appeal
By Nicholas Zifcak
Epoch Times Staff
May 4, 2009
Sun Yanjun (left), professor and researcher of the Psychology of
Religion at the University of Hawaii, quit the Chinese Communist Party
last February; Dr. Ved Pratap Vaidik (center), Chairman of the Council
for Indian Foreign Policy; and Dr. Huang Tsuwei (right), Global Service
Center for Quitting the CCP. They spoke at a forum April 30 in
Washington, D.C., commemorating the 10th anniversary of the persecution
of Falun Gong in China. (Ximing/ Epoch Times)
WASHINGTON, D.C.—Ten years have passed since over 10,000 Falun Gong
practitioners appealed to the Chinese Communist regime on April 25,
1999 for recognition and the right to practice in peace. To commemorate
that appeal, a number of events were held April 30 in Washington, D.C.
to raise awareness of the ongoing persecution, including a forum where
speakers offered their experiences related to the 10-year persecution.
Sun Yanjun, visiting professor of Psychology of Religion at the
University of Hawaii (Hilo), spoke at a forum on Capitol Hill. Sun was
joined by a number of victims of persecution as well as family members
of people recently incarcerated in China. Dr. Ved Pratap Vaidik,
Chairman of the Council for Indian Foreign Policy, also spoke at this
“Research into religious psychology is being conducted by the Chinese
communist regime so as to better control, manage, and persecute
religious groups in China,” said Professor Sun Yanjun.
In 2008, the Chinese regime sent Professor Sun to the United States to
research psychological methods for use in persecution. They sought to
use these methods to force religious groups to conform to their
communist system. However, Professor Sun quit both the research project
and the Chinese Communist Party. For the latter, he used his real name,
making a safe return to China impossible. Dr. Sun was an associate
professor at the Department of Psychology of Capital Normal University
Professor Sun was the first Chinese academic to earn a doctoral degree
in Religious Psychology and also the first in the History of
Psychological Thought. After engaging in research in the United States,
the original plan was for him to return to China to establish a
research institute and laboratory for religious psychology that would
enable the regime to achieve its political goals.
“In order to preserve the one-party dictatorship, Chinese officials
have long since employed all useful related scientific fields, such as
psychiatry and neurophysiology in persecuting Falun Gong and other
religious groups. As violence and deceit became of no use [in
persuading believers to give up their faith], they had no choice but to
seek more nuanced, more deceitful methods,” said Professor Sun.
“Psychology is perfectly matched for these needs. With psychological
torture, as compared with other forms, the methods are easier to
conceal, the effects are more apparent, the political costs are less,
but the damage to the religious group is more extensive, deeper, and
“Psychology can be used in slandering Falun Gong and other religious
groups, in controlling their behavior, deceiving their emotions,
confusing them, and in the end shaking and finally destroying the core
of their belief,” said Professor Sun.
Victims Share Their Stories
Zhang Yijie, a former official
at the Chinese Ministry of Commerce, described the methods used against
her to try to break her will in practicing Falun Gong: 28 months of
complete alienation from human contact, sleep deprivation for 42 days,
solitary confinement, and beatings that left her injured from head to
toe. When the Communist regime began persecuting Falun Gong in 1999,
officials at the Ministry of Commerce pressured her to give up Falun
Gong, but she refused. She was then fired and forced to find employment
doing janitorial work. Because of her efforts to appeal for Falun Gong,
she was arrested seven times and persecuted to give up her beliefs. She
eventually escaped to Thailand and was granted asylum in the U.S.
through the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees.
Twenty-year-old Chen Teng began practicing Falun Gong with his mother
when he was 7. Since the persecution began his mother has been arrested
six times and he has been on the go for much of the last six years.
Kicked out of school when he was 12, he had to flee home the following
year to avoid persecution. He has mostly led a homeless life, sleeping
outside and sustaining himself with whatever food he could find.
Pang Jin, a student at Missouri State University, spoke how her mother,
Hao Junping, and aunt Hao Junfeng, were arrested in Shandong province
when the Olympic Torch was passing through last year. Her mother has
been detained for around nine months but they have lost contact. Her
father, who does not practice Falun Gong, was detained for a month for
trying to protect his wife. His car was also stolen by the police.
By Donna Ware
The Epoch Times
May 1, 2009
Chris Smith (R-NJ) speaks on Capitol Hill, April 30, at the 10th
anniversary of the April 25, 1999 Falun Gong appeal of more than 10,000
in Beijing, marking the beginning of the persecution. (Lisa Fan/The
WASHINGTON, D.C—On Thursday, April 30, 2009, The Global Mission to
Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners (GMR) and the Falun Dafa
Association hosted a press conference on Capitol Hill. The press
conference commemorated ten years of persecution of Falun Gong
practitioners at the hands of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) by
bringing victims of the persecution forward to tell their stories.
Sixteen Falun Gong practitioners, including those who have been
persecuted and those whose relatives are currently detained,
participated in the event. Also in attendance were representatives from
GMR, The Falun Dafa Information Center (FDI), and five Congressmen:
Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI),
Gus Bilirakis (R-FL), Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL).
Congressman McCotter’s office reserved the room for the event, while
the others spoke in turn of their solidarity with Falun Gong and their
strong support for ending the persecution of the practice.
Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart (R-FL) described the persecution of
Falun Gong as “brutal and incessant” and said that Falun Gong has both
“friends and admirers” in the U.S. Congress.
Erping Zhang, spokesperson for the
Falun Dafa Information Center, reiterated that the gathering of over
10,000 Falun Gong practitioners at the petition office on April 25, ten
years ago was both peaceful and within their right
s as citizens of
China. According to Zhang, Chinese policy was broken when Tianjin
Normal School defamed Falun Gong and other qigong’s in its publication,
not when practitioners tried to address this issue or gathered at the
petition office when their attempts to correct defaming statements were
met with assaults and brutality.
Since that time, Zhang said
two thirds of the torture cases in China involve Falun Gong
practitioners. Zhang noted several cases, such as that of Chinese music
star, Yu Zhou, who, since he began practicing Falun Gong, had been
immune from persecution due to his star status. During the pre-Olympic
purge of Beijing, both Yu and his wife were jailed for 30 days in 2008.
Yu died in detention and his wife was sentenced to 3 years.
Zhang said that the Olympics became the reason for the further
deterioration of human right
s in China. Those arrested during the
Olympic “clean up” were sentenced to jail and labor camps after the
games. Zhang warned against sacrificing our right
s for economic gain.
He said, “Today our humanity is being tested.”
Charles Lee, a
U.S. citizen who was formerly detained in China for practicing Falun
Gong, spoke on behalf of GMR. GMR was founded in Nov. 22, 2002, just
three months prior to Lee’s arrest and sentencing in China. Lee said
GMR worked diligently on his behalf while he was detained.
Seated quietly in the
room holding pictures of their loved ones, were some of the victims of
the CCPs persecution of Falun Gong. The group included those who have
first hand experience of China’s detention centers and labor camps and
those working for the release of loved ones who are detained.
Shuangying Zhang, a nurse and U.S. citizen from NY, said news of her
father’s arrest in China last week broke her heart. Her father, a
68-year-old physics professor, was kidnapped and her parent’s home
On March 31, her father, whose name is Xingwu
Zhang, was put on trial. Her family was barred from entering the
courtroom. Denied legal representation, her father was forced to
represent himself. Zhang said that the judge told her father that “even
though there was no evidence, her father should be sentenced to a long
prison term of seven years because of his bad attitude.”
pervasiveness of the hatred of Falun Gong exceeds hatred against
others,” said Congressman Chris Smith who raised the issue of Falun
Gong in every meeting on a recent trip to China with Congressman Frank
According to Smith, the U.S. is off to a wrong start
with Secretary of State Clinton’s “outrageous” remarks about not
letting human right
s interfere with U.S. relations with China. Smith
contrasted the current administration’s approach to dealing with China
with former President Clinton’s approach in 1990. At that time,
President Clinton linked Most Favored Nation status to human right
but then reversed his decision a year later.
Rohrabacher, ranking member of the Human Right
s Subcommittee, remarked
on how China is brokering deals with some of the worst dictatorships
around the world. He said, “The CCP is the epitome of evil and they are
activating evil around the world. We must counteract this evil force.
It can be done, we did it with Soviet Communism.”
who served in the Reagan White House, said that had President Reagan
been in office during the Tiananmen Student Massacre, he would have
simply sent a telegram to China that said, “If you set the tanks on
those democracy students, the deal’s off.” Rohrbacher said China
wouldn’t have dared to do it. “Since nobody called or sent a telegram,
it sent a message that the U.S. doesn’t care about democracy, it cares
about money,” he said.
Rohrabacher recounted a story about his
father who was the first American to land in Shanghai at the end of
WWII. During a very dark time in China’s history, his father and other
American soldiers came to the rescue. Rohrabacher concluded his
comments by saying “That’s our job; we have to save those people.”
Behind the April 25, 1999, gathering of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing
Epoch Times Staff
Apr 22, 2009
a meditation practice with as many as 100 million adherents, Falun Gong
was a relatively well-kept secret outside China in early 1999.
Falun Gong practuitioners meditate in the rain, March 4, 2001 at the National Mall in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
changed dramatically on April 25, when the attention of international
media focused on a peaceful appeal by 10,000 practitioners to the
Chinese authorities in Beijing.
gathering was unplanned, yet orderly. It placed a huge number of people
on the streets, yet was quiet and devoid of any element of protest. The
participants—far from presenting themselves as against the regime—were
there to respectfully petition at the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP)
central office designated to receive petitions.
almost immediately, the event was spun and mischaracterized as a
challenge to authority. Media outside China took their cue from
Beijing, painting an ominous, yet inaccurate portrait of the event.
event was used as an excuse to launch a systematic and violent
persecution of Falun Gong practitioners that began on July 20 and
continues ten years later, with thousands confirmed killed from torture
What led up to this gathering? What happened behind the scenes in Beijing afterwards?
Background: Falun Gong in China
the late 1990s, Falun Gong became extremely popular; it was not unusual
for thousands of people to practice together every morning. Here,
practitioners practice the exercises in Chengdu, China.
People of any age can practice Falun Gong. Here, children in China practice prior to the persecution. (www.faluninfo.net)
Gong is a traditional Chinese practice of meditation and exercise.
Practitioners follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and
Tolerance that the teachings center on.
Li Hongzhi held the first Falun Gong workshop in Changchun on May 13,
1992. He was presented with a number of awards and honors by official
bodies during 1992 and 1993, including the title of “Most Acclaimed
The book Zhuan Falun,
written by Mr. Li Hongzhi was published by a state-run publisher, China
Broadcasting and Television Publishing House, in January 1995. The book
became one of the best sellers listed in the Beijing Youth Daily in
By early 1999,
based on a survey by the Chinese regime, there were at least 70 million
people of all walks of life practicing Falun Gong all over China. Other
credible estimates put the number at 100 million.
Precursors to Formal Persecution
the mouthpiece of the State Council, published an article by a
columnist denouncing Falun Gong on June 17, 1996. On July 24, 1996, the
Chinese News Publication Office issued a nationwide circular banning
the distribution of all Falun Gong publications.
early 1997, the Public Security Bureau began a nationwide investigation
to gather evidence in the hopes of defaming Falun Gong. However, all of
the police stations around the country finally reported after much
investigation: “no evidence found so far.” The investigations thus came
to an end.
On July 21, 1998,
the First Division of the Public Security Bureau issued a 1998-No. 555
circular “Notification Regarding Starting an Investigation on Falun
Gong.” The “Notification” claimed that Mr. Li Hongzhi was spreading
rumors and evil teachings and that some core practitioners were engaged
in illegal activities in the name of Falun Gong. However, the circular
then also mentioned that the Public Security Political Protection
Departments in each area should begin a thorough investigation to get
inside information on Falun Gong activities and find evidence of crimes
committed by core practitioners using Falun Gong.
It appears that the circular followed the
common communist procedure of convicting someone of a crime and then
looking for evidence later. This “Notification” resulted in the local
Public Security departments in a number of areas around the country to
illegally raid Falun Gong practice sites, forcibly disperse
practitioners, search homes, break and enter into civilian residences,
confiscate people’s private property, and so on.
Falun Gong ‘Only benefits and does no harm’
Gong practitioner meditate during a celebration in Sydney commemorating
the tenth anniversary of Falun Gong’s introduction to the public.
Gong practitioners perform a public demonstration of the exercises
outside the National Theater in Taipei, Taiwan. (www.faluninfo.net)
demonstrator holds a sign at rally on Ottawa’s Parliament Hill calling
on the Canadian government to act on reports of secret death camps for
Falun Gong practitioners and harvesting of organs from live
practitioners in China. (Matthew Hildebrand/The Epoch Times)
Gong practitioners participate in a vigil in front of the Washington
Monument in Friday July 20, 2007 (Shaoshao Chen/The Epoch Times)
the latter half of 1998, a group of retired National People’s Congress
cadres led by Qiao Shi, the former chair of the Standing Committee of
the National People’s Congress, conducted a detailed investigation and
study over a certain period of time on Falun Gong because so many
members of the public had sent letters mentioning the Public Security
Bureau’s illegal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners. The conclusion
of the study was that “Falun Gong only benefits and does no harm to the
nation and the people.” This report was delivered to the Politburo
headed by Jiang Zemin.
this, the National Sports Commission had also conducted a comprehensive
investigation and study into Falun Gong in May 1998. In September, in
order to coordinate with this study, a team made up of medical experts
did a questionnaire survey of a sample of 12,553 Falun Gong
practitioners. The results clearly indicated that the rate of
effectiveness for improving health and fitness was 97.9 percent. On
October 20, 1998, the head of the research team sent to Changchun and
Haarbin by the National Sports Commission said: “We feel that both the
Falun Gong exercises and their effectiveness are quite good. The impact
on the stability of society and the strengthening of the spiritual
culture are all quite evident. This deserves to be fully recognized.”
During this time, independent studies into the efficacy of Falun Gong
in Dalian, Beijing, and elsewhere also produced consistent results.
The Tianjin Incident
On April 11, 1999, He Zuoxiu published an article in the Tianjin College of Education’s Youth Reader
magazine entitled “I Do Not Agree With Youth Practicing Qigong.” In
this article, He drew upon the same examples to slander Falun Gong as
he had presented on a Beijing TV Station program in 1998. Because these
examples had already been fully debunked at the time they were
broadcast, this article of He’s had already been strictly boycotted by
Beijing’s media and propaganda system.
that this article was appearing in Tianjin, some practitioners in
Tianjin felt that it was necessary to explain the facts and the truth
to Tianjin officials. They also hoped to lessen the negative impact of
the article through contact with the editors of the magazine.
Therefore, on April 18–24, 1999, some practitioners went to the Tianjin
College of Education and other related agencies to clarify the truth.
April 23 and 24, 1999, the Public Security Bureau of Tianjin dispatched
riot police to beat up the Falun Gong practitioners who had come to
appeal, resulting in injuries to the practitioners. The police arrested
45 people. When Falun Gong practitioners requested the release of the
detained practitioners, they were told at Tianjin City Hall that the
Public Security Bureau had become involved in this matter, so the
arrested Falun Gong practitioners would not be released without
authorization from Beijing. The Tianjin police suggested to Falun Gong
practitioners, “Go to Beijing. Only going to Beijing can resolve the
From attacks in
the media in previous years to this incident in which police actually
used violence against Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin, the
escalation of the persecution shocked Falun Gong practitioners. Word of
the “Tianjin Incident” spread rapidly among Falun Gong practitioners
all across the country.
Going to Appeal at the State Council Appeals Office on April 25
news of the police brutality and arrests in Tianjin and the need for
Beijing’s authorization to release the incarcerated practitioners
spread throughout the country, Falun Gong practitioners, trusting the
regime, started heading to the Appeals Office of the State Council of
their own accord, one after another, beginning on the evening of April
24. They were hopeful that they would find a just resolution of the
Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside Zhongnanhai to silently, peacefully appeal for fair treatment. (The Epoch Times)
As Ms. C
who lives in the Haidian District of Beijing recalls: “At 7:00 p.m. on
April 24, some practitioners told me how the practitioners in Tianjin
had been beaten and arrested. They said that some practitioners wanted
to go to the Appeals Office of the State Council to report on the
situation, and those individuals who wanted to go could go. So, four or
five practitioners and I took the bus and arrived at the North entrance
of the State Council at 8:00 p.m. on the same day. We were probably the
first group of practitioners who went to appeal for the ‘Tianjin
Incident’ and the guard at the entrance asked us what it was about.”
and Mrs. P from Beijing’s Chaoyang District recall: “By the morning of
April 25, the west side of Fuyou Street was full of people; there was
no one on the other side of the street (where the State Council is
located). Young practitioners stood in a row at the very front, leaving
open the sidewalk and the special sidewalk for the blind. Behind the
front row of practitioners all the way to the corner of the wall were
seated practitioners. Everyone was very quiet. The traffic was not
Authorities Resolved the “Tianjin Incident” and the April 25 Gathering Disperses
noon on April 25, Li Chang and Wang Zhiwen of the Falun Dafa Research
Society and three other Beijing practitioners, acting as
representatives of Falun Gong, entered the State Council to have talks
with regime officials. They presented three requests from Falun Gong
1. Release the Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested in Tianjin
2. Give Falun Gong practitioners a loose and relaxed cultivation environment
3. Allow Falun Gong books to be published.
officials who participated in the talks included members of the Appeals
Office of the State Council, officials from the city of Beijing, and
officials from the city of Tianjin. At dusk, Tianjin released all of
the detained Falun Gong practitioners in accordance with instructions
from the central authorities.
late evening, the 10,000-some practitioners had quietly dispersed and
gone home on their own accord, without leaving so much as a scrap of
Jiang Zemin Used Secret Documents to Instigate Persecution
2001, certain high level officials in the Communist Party came forward
with comments made by Jiang Zemin in two classified documents as he
decided to persecute Falun Gong.
the evening of April 25, Jiang Zemin, in the name of the general
secretary of the Communist Party, wrote a letter to the members of the
Standing Committee of the Politburo and other relevant leaders. In the
letter, Jiang Zemin charged that there were masterminds “behind the
scenes” of the April 25 incident who were “planning and issuing
commands.” (This letter was marked “Highly Confidential,” distributed
as the CCP’s issuance  No. 14 entitled “Notice of the Communist
Party Central Office regarding the printing and distribution of
‘Comrade Jiang Zemin’s Letter to the Standing Committee of the
Politburo and other Concerned Leading Comrades’”).
June 7, Jiang Zemin gave a speech at the meeting of the CCP Politburo
and stated, “The issue of ‘Falun Gong’ has a very deep political and
social background and even a complicated international background. … It
is the most serious incident since the political turbulence in 1989.”
On June 13, this document was secretly transmitted inside the Communist
Party. (This document was categorized as highly confidential and issued
by the CCP as  No. 30 entitled “Notice of the Communist Party
Central Office regarding the printing and distribution of ‘The Speech
of Comrade Jiang Zemin in the Meeting of the Politburo of the Central
Government Regarding Handling and Resolving the ‘Falun Gong Issue’
high-ranking officials within the Communist Party have revealed that in
the above two classified documents, Jiang clearly raised the issue of
“whether there were overseas and Western connections to the April 25
incident and whether there were ‘masterminds’ behind the scenes who
were planning and issuing commands.” They have revealed Jiang’s
mentality of being overly protective of his personal power and
interests, and how, without any concrete evidence, he made the flawed
and fateful policy decision to persecute Falun Gong.
in late May 1999, the daily practice activities of Falun Gong
practitioners in many areas were subject to forced dispersal by the
city administrative agencies and the Public Security Bureau. The public
security officers in some areas used high pressure hoses to drive
practitioners away and high volume loudspeakers to disturb their
meditation. The persons in charge of the Falun Gong assistance centers
were called in by their workplaces and by public security officers for
discussion and interrogation, they were put under surveillance and
followed, their phones were tapped, and they were not allowed to leave
the local area.
high-level meeting on July 19, Jiang Zemin officially announced
confirmation of a total ban on Falun Gong. July 20 saw the beginning of
a wave of arrests of Falun Gong practitioners all across the nation. A
persecution campaign with grave consequences was underway.
April 25 and Its Aftermath in Brief
April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners went to the
Appeals Office of the State Council on Fuyou Street in Beijing to make
an appeal in accordance with the law.
Their first request was to release the Falun
Gong practitioners who had been arrested by the Tianjin public security
officers just days before. On April 24, the situation was handled and a
resolution was reached that was acceptable to both the regime and the
after the “April 25 Incident,” Chinese top leader Jiang Zemin used two
secret documents to accuse Falun Gong of two crimes that he wanted to
charge them with—namely conspiring with foreign forces and being
directed by senior insiders in the Communist Party.
In the absence of any corroborating
evidence, Jiang decided on a policy of persecution instead, a policy
that is still in force today.
'Not guilty' verdicts banned
lawyers who’ve defended Falun Gong adherents (L-R): Lee Subin, Mo
Shaoping, Guo Guoting, Jiang Tian-Yong, Li Heping (The Epoch Times)
UPDATED APRIL 3, 9:55 p.m. ET.
“Not guilty”is not allowed. That is the directive in one of two top-secret Chinese documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times
that reveal some of the inner workings of the Chinese regime’s
continuing persecution of Falun Gong. These documents provide a mixed
picture of a crackdown made more severe even while officials worry that
a court might choose not to go along with it and defense lawyers seek
to prove the persecution is illegal.
The persecution of Falun Gong officially began on July 20, 1999,
almost ten years ago. When the persecution began, it received very
prominent media coverage in the state-run media and featured show
trials of Falun Gong adherents.
In recent years, the regime’s strategy has changed. Media do not report
on cases brought against Falun Gong adherents, and the courts, the
legislature, and the police have enforced the persecution largely out
of sight of the public.
Orchestrating the persecution behind the scences hs been the 610
Office, an extra-constitutional office with power over all levels of
the state’s bureaucracy established for the purpose of persecuting
Falun Gong. The regime has denied that the 610 Office exists.
The two documents confirm the existence of the 610 Office and show that office seeking to manage the persecution.
A document issued by the Qingdao Municipal Committee of the Chinese
Communist Party (CCP) on Feb. 27 is said to be on the authority of a
“unified directive from the Central, Provincial, and Municipal Party
According to the document, Qingdao City is required to “strictly
eliminate, investigate, guard against, and control the Falun Gong
adherents; prevent Falun Gong adherents from watching and disseminating
the New Tang Dynasty TV program; coordinate relevant departments to
strengthen measures to control the Internet, radio, television,
telephone, and fax; prioritize online publicity and strengthen foreign
propaganda,” and so on.
According to Mr. Erping Zhang of the Association for Asian Research,
“The detailed list of actions the Qingdao City officials are required
by this document to take, including making sure that Falun Gong
adherents not disseminate TV programs, suggests that the Falun Gong
they are enjoined to ‘control’ are in fact very active.”
Prohibiting ‘Not Guilty’ Verdicts
610 office in Shenyang City issued this secret document on Feb 10,
2009. It provides a few pieces of detailed information about how the
610 office controls the legal processes in cases dealing with Falun
Gong. Double click on the photo to see a larger image.(Photo provided
by a CCP official)
A document issued on Feb. 10 by the 610
Office of the Tiexie District in Shenyang City describes various
judicial processes used in persecuting Falun Gong.
The document requires that, “City courts implement internal audit
systems, check guidelines, and strictly carry out orders to ensure ‘not
guilty' verdicts are denied to Falun Gong adherents. Otherwise, the
first case of a ‘not guilty' verdict will be a national political joke.
“Those charged can be, according to the individual's transformation
[‘transformation' refers to coercing a Falun Gong adherent to denounce
Falun Gong, inform on other Falun Gong adherents, and apologize for
practicing Falun Gong], performance, and evidence, given a sentence
reduction, deferred, or freed. However, the not-guilty verdict is
absolutely not allowed.”
Zhang commented, "The ban on 'not-guilty' verdicts for Falun Gong
adherents is not new—for ten years persecuted Falun Gong adherents have
in most cases not even been allowed a trial. What is new is the need
the 610 Office now feels to try to enforce 'not guilty' verdicts. The
610 Office clearly fears that a court might return such a verdict, and
so they issued this document. This document is a testimony to how the
Falun Gong adherents have been changing the situation in China so that
the failure of the persecution is now anticipated by those charged with
Emerging Defense Lawyers
According to the analysis of a
lawyer in Mainland China, the persecution of Falun Gong has no legal
standing. According to this lawyer, the documents obtained by The Epoch Times
are in fact encouraging and instigating regime officials at all levels to commit crimes.
Many more lawyers are coming out to defend Falun Gong adherents. In
court, these lawyers base their defense on the claim that the Chinese
law does not prohibit practicing Falun Gong or telling others the facts
about Falun Gong and its persecution.
Recently, there have been reports of nine attorneys representing 13
Falun Gong adherents in Qingdao, seven lawyers pleading not guilty for
Zhong Fanqing and 10 other Falun Gong adherents, and ten lawyers
pleading not guilty for 6 Shenyang Falun Gong adherents.
The 2008 Shenbei Case
Around the time of the Olympic Games,
four Falun Gong adherents in Shenbei, in the New District of Shenyang
City, were arrested. They were Xi Changhai, Wang Sumei, Sun Yusu, and
Huo Fefu. Xi Changhai is a retired 60-year-old elementary school
teacher, and Sun Yusu and Huo Defu are both from the same village.
According to insiders, there was serious disagreement in the handling
of the case. A public-security-bureau-level official of the Shenbei New
District, suggested going through the formalities and releasing the
However, the head of the local 610 Office, Sun Yong-Gang, insisted on
complying with the regime’s policy and dealing with the Falun Gong
adherents quickly and severely.
As a result, at the end of 2008, the Shenbei case concluded with heavy
sentences. Wang Sumei was sentenced to 10 years in prison, Xi Changhai,
11 years, Sun Yusu, 8 years, and Huo Fefu, 6 years.
The sentences given the four in Shenbei appear to be part of a pattern.
The Falun Dafa Information Center reports in a recent article since the
end of the Beijing Olympics "a significant increase in the number of
Falun Gong adherents being sentenced via criminal trials to lengthy
The harshness of the verdicts in Shenbei pushed for by the 610 Office,
occurring in the context of at least one official's ambivalence in
enforcing the persecution, perhaps mirrors the essence of the
confidential documents recently obtained by The Epoch Times.
Read the original Chinese article here.