In The News

Congress Members Ask Obama to Support Falun Gong

posted Jul 10, 2009, 6:01 PM by Rescue Moms   [ updated Jul 10, 2009, 6:06 PM ]

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."

California Assemblyman Chuck Devore Demands Freedom For Chinese Prisoners Of Conscience

posted Jul 8, 2009, 6:10 AM by Rescue Moms

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:

Falun Gong Practitioner Su Zhifeng Persecuted to Death

posted Jun 25, 2009, 4:44 PM by Rescue Mom

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.

55 NY Assembly Members Urge Obama to Denounce Persecution of Falun Gong

posted Jun 25, 2009, 4:41 PM by Rescue Mom

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.

Boyle 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.

Boyle 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.

The 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.”

Boyle 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.

Belgian Falun Gong Practitioners Harassed by Threatening Phone Calls

posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:33 AM by Rescue Mom

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.

PC World: China's porn filter blocks Falun Gong sites

posted Jun 16, 2009, 7:30 AM by Rescue Mom

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.

Chinese Regime Uses Psychology To Persecute Religious Groups

posted May 6, 2009, 3:59 PM by Rescue Mom   [ updated May 6, 2009, 4:00 PM ]

Psychology expert speaks at Capitol Hill forum commemorating 10-year anniversary of peaceful appeal

By Nicholas Zifcak
Epoch Times Staff
May 4, 2009

Dr. 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 event.

“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 (Beijing).

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 longer lasting.”

“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.

Five Congressmen and Victims Commemorate China’s 10-Year Persecution

posted May 6, 2009, 3:55 PM by Rescue Mom

By Donna Ware
The Epoch Times
May 1, 2009

Congressman 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 Epoch Times)
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 rights 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 rights in China. Those arrested during the Olympic “clean up” were sentenced to jail and labor camps after the games. Zhang warned against sacrificing our rights 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 ransacked.

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.”

“The 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 Wolf.

According to Smith, the U.S. is off to a wrong start with Secretary of State Clinton’s “outrageous” remarks about not letting human rights 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 rights, but then reversed his decision a year later.

Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, ranking member of the Human Rights 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.”

Rohrabacher, 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.”

Taking the World Stage (April 25, 1999)

posted Apr 24, 2009, 11:20 AM by Rescue Mom

Behind the April 25, 1999, gathering of 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing

Epoch Times Staff Apr 22, 2009

Falun Gong practuitioners meditate in the rain, March 4, 2001 at the National Mall in Washington, DC. (Alex Wong/Newsmakers)
For a meditation practice with as many as 100 million adherents, Falun Gong was a relatively well-kept secret outside China in early 1999.

That 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.

The 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.

Yet 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.

The 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 and abuse.

What led up to this gathering? What happened behind the scenes in Beijing afterwards?

Background: Falun Gong in China

By 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. (

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese practice of meditation and exercise. Practitioners follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance that the teachings center on.

Mr. 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 Qigong Master.”

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 January 1996.

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

Guangming Daily, 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.

In 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’

Falun Gong practitioner meditate during a celebration in Sydney commemorating the tenth anniversary of Falun Gong’s introduction to the public. (
Falun Gong practitioners perform a public demonstration of the exercises outside the National Theater in Taipei, Taiwan. (
A 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)
Falun Gong practitioners participate in a vigil in front of the Washington Monument in Friday July 20, 2007 (Shaoshao Chen/The Epoch Times)

In 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.

Before 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.

Now 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.

On 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 problem.”

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

Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside Zhongnanhai to silently, peacefully appeal for fair treatment. (The Epoch Times)
As 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 “Tianjin Incident.”

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.”

Mr. 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 obstructed.”

Authorities Resolved the “Tianjin Incident” and the April 25 Gathering Disperses

At 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 practitioners:

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.

The 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.

By 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 litter behind.

Jiang Zemin Used Secret Documents to Instigate Persecution

In 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.

In 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 [1999] 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’”).

On 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 [1999] 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’ Without Delay’”).

Certain 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.

Starting 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.

During a 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

On 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 practitioners.

However, 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.

Confidential Documents Portray Persecution of Falun Gong

posted Apr 12, 2009, 3:30 PM by Rescue Mom

'Not guilty' verdicts banned

Some 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 Committees.”

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

A 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 enforcing it."

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 accused.

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 prison terms."

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.

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