Falun Gong [taps into] TV again in China - Falun Gong [practitioners] practice meditation exercises in Hong Kong in this May photo. [Practitioners] of the movement, which is [suppressed] in China, [tapped] into the TV airwaves in a Chinese city on June 23 to show footage [praising] the virtues of their faith. REUTERS/Bobby Yip


June 26

BEIJING (Reuters) - [Practitioners] of the banned Falun Gong spiritual movement [tapped into] the television airwaves in a Chinese city this week to again show footage [praising] the virtues of their faith, police said Wednesday.

"Falun Dafa is Good," read a banner shown on television screens in Laiyang city Sunday, in the eastern province of Shandong, a Laiyang police official said.

"But it only lasted one minute," she said. However, a Hong Kong-based rights group said that the [transmitted] television images were broadcast for 15 minutes and were followed by a similar [transmission] lasting five minutes on Tuesday in coastal Yantai city, some 60 miles away.

A Yantai police official had no information on the reported [airing], but said: "We received an urgent notice yesterday to be on alert for this."

Falun Gong [tapped] into cable television broadcasts in the northeastern cities of Harbin in April and Changchun in March in a bid to convince the public that [practitioners] suffer wrongful persecution by a Communist government trying to crush it.

Another transmission lasting two minutes was reported in the southern province of Hunan Tuesday but could not be confirmed, the Hong-Kong based Information Center for Human Rights and Democracy said in a statement.

Hunan television and police officials were not reachable for comment.

The transmission in Laiyang interrupted a satellite feed that reached a viewing area of several hundred square kilometers and would have required the use of an antenna more than three meters tall, the rights group said.


The airings have been among the group's most daring actions since it was [suppressed] in 1999. [...]

The New York-based Falun Dafa Information Center said in May that the group had [tapped into] the airwaves of large Chinese cable networks five times in the previous three months. This could not be independently verified.

Police have arrested more than 20 Falun Gong [practitioners] for the March 5 incident in Changchun. They could face prison terms of up to 15 years, according to Chinese officials.