The Persecution of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" Violates the Human Rights of 1.3 Billion Chinese People
(Clearwisdom.net) During the 60th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Commission, the issue of human rights in China again came into focus. According to overseas analysts, the issue of Falun Gong is pivotal to China's human rights. If the human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners are not addressed, none of China's other human rights issues can be fundamentally improved, as the persecution of Falun Gong is not only targeted at practitioners, but the human rights of 1.3 billion Chinese from all walks of life are all severely violated.
I. The Choice Between Life and Belief
Falun Gong teaches people to cultivate "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Countless Chinese people have improved their physical health and moral standards by using these principles to guide their daily lives. But driven by his jealousy, Jiang Zemin launched his brutal persecution of millions of Falun Gong practitioners in 1999.
According to the latest news found on the Clearwisdom.net website, by April 11, 2004, 939 Falun Gong practitioners are verified to have been tortured to death. Eighty-nine new death cases were reported since the beginning of this year. Among these 89 death cases, 27 took place during the three months from January 1 to April 10, 2004.
During the last nearly five years, Falun Gong practitioners have been severely harmed. The genocidal policy that aims to "defame the practitioners' reputation, bankrupt them financially and destroy them physically," and the directive that "killing practitioners will be reported as suicide" force the practitioners to choose between their lives and their belief in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." According to a Clearwisdom.net report in April, the police officer Gao Yongjin from the Hehuakeng Labor Camp, Hebei Province said every time that he gave a brainwashing class that he was well known in the province to be able to transform everything except the "ash box." What does this mean? This means he would torture the practitioners until they would renounce their belief, unless the practitioners were dead, cremated and placed in an "ash box."
According to a Clearwisdom.net report in November 2003, some workplaces in Jilin Province received secret documents from their supervisors, outlining an overall policy to punish all Falun Gong practitioners at their workplaces. For example, practitioners who are also Party members would be expelled from the Party, teachers would be deprived of their right to teach, and factory workers would have their contracts terminated. Workers would no longer be considered for promotions and students would not be permitted to study for a post-graduate or doctoral degree. By the end of 2003, the transformation rate should reach 50% to 70%, and by 2005, 95%. If these goals could not be achieved, the practitioners should be sent to brainwashing classes.
The Chinese government keeps whitewashing the severity of the persecution, and denying their use of torture; they even lie to the international community, claiming that their policies towards Falun Gong are humanitarian. In reality more and more torture cases are coming to light in China, and especially with respect to Falun Gong, all means are unscrupulously employed. At least a hundred different types of horrifying torture methods are used against the Falun Gong practitioners, who include a high percentage of women and senior citizens. To coerce people to change their minds and abandon their beliefs is inhumane, no matter what means are used because it tramples on people's basic human rights.
II. International Community Blind Spot: Ordinary Chinese People's Human Rights are also Harmed
We maintain that the persecution of Falun Gong is fundamentally against humanity, not only because the lies and violence employed are immoral, but also because, with his campaign of persecution, Jiang Zemin seeks to destroy the moral foundation that people depend upon. During his five-year campaign to eliminate Falun Gong, Jiang has made use of the country's infrastructure, policies, media, judicial system and national resources. He has also made use of innocent Chinese people. Although the targets of the persecution are Falun Gong practitioners, 1.3 billion Chinese people are also severely harmed. This has not yet attracted the attention of the people being harmed or of the international community.
In the following sections, through identifying the methods of persecution we will analyze the moral and human rights injuries suffered by the ordinary Chinese people.
Eliminate the True and Retain the False
The traditional virtues espoused by Chinese society, such as "promises must be kept," "be true to your word," "treat people with sincerity" etc. have all been challenged during the large-scale persecution of Falun Gong. Many media and news organizations in China received instruction from Jiang Zemin and "610 Offices" [a Gestapo-like agency created by Jiang Zemin to oversee the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, with absolute authority over all local and provincial governments] of all levels from the very beginning of the persecution to report negatively about Falun Gong. According to evidence provided by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong [WOIPFG], in July 1999 at the start of the persecution, the Chinese government used the state-controlled media to spread propaganda. They fabricated stories about practitioners being mentally ill, committing suicide, about the deaths of 1,400 people who allegedly wouldn't take medicine, etc., all of which closely conformed with Jiang's instructions to the "610 Office" in his public speeches. These lies have been perpetuated for the past five years. A typical fabrication was the Tiananmen Square "Self-immolation Incident" staged at the beginning of 2001 by Jiang's followers and designed to demonize and incite hatred against Falun Gong by people who did not know the truth.
Jiang's hate propaganda not only deprives the Chinese people of their right to know and their right to information, it also capitalizes on people's trust in the national media to brainwash them and instigate hatred. Then they promote such hate propaganda to the whole society through local government channels, through the Party and Youth committees, education circles, culture circles, through the so-called "Anti-Cult Association," worker's unions and women's associations. Jiang's regime further spreads it throughout the world by diplomatic means.
Taking an example from the field of education, on February 6, 2001, based on direct orders from Wang Maolin, head of the central "610 Office," Zhou Qiang, the first secretary of the Youth League Central Committee and Zhao Yong, head of the Youth League Central Committee, nearly eight million young people in 100 cities throughout China were directly exploited to participate in anti-Falun Gong propaganda activities. Within one day, they posted more than 500,000 propaganda pictures, distributed more than ten million flyers and held more than 200 gatherings. In the month of February 2001, over 1500 youth groups in over 100 cities under the impetus of the brainwashed young students who didn't know the truth about Falun Gong, motivated over 12 million community residents to sign their names on the guarantee that they "won't believe or spread and will resist" Falun Gong. Jiang's regime made use of the impressionable youths to spread the anti-Falun Gong campaign throughout society.
A report published in the Washington Post on August 5, 2001 quoted a Chinese official as saying that whether the campaign would be effective would depend on three elements: violence, propaganda and brainwashing. He said that high-pressure propaganda was critical. When the Chinese society turns against Falun Gong, the pressure on Falun Gong practitioners to give up their belief would increase, and it would be much easier for the government to use violence in forcing the practitioners to renounce their belief.
As Jiang Zemin and the "610 Office" perpetrators spread lies, they also jointly blocked circulation of truthful information about Falun Gong. When the persecution first began, Jiang's regime destroyed huge numbers of Falun Gong books and video and audio materials so people could not directly learn about Falun Gong. They also hired large numbers of Internet police to monitor the Internet, blocking overseas Falun Gong websites. People were thrown into jail just for sending an email to their family or friends that mentioned the truth about Falun Gong. He Lizhi, the husband of Canadian resident Ms. Zhang Li is such an example. Falun Gong practitioner Liu Jie was beaten to death for giving people postcards inscribed with the words Truthfulness- Compassion-Tolerance. Falun Gong practitioners such as Liu Chengjun, who clarified the truth by tapping into a local cable TV system, were tortured to death. Some were sentenced to lengthy prison terms.
Through these methods, the propaganda and the brainwashing of the whole Chinese population have inflicted severe harm to the Chinese people.
Encouraging the Corrupt and Suppressing the Good
People's evil side is being encouraged during this ongoing persecution. Political pressure and financial interests have led many Chinese people to choose self-interest over justice and morality to participate in the persecution. Most people in the Chinese government judge the performance of local government officials by whether they can effectively stop Falun Gong practitioners within their precincts from going to Beijing to appeal. The head officials of a local government would be removed from his post if a Falun Gong practitioner from a subordinate precinct appealed in Beijing. Jiang's regime stops at nothing in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners who appealed in Beijing. According to a report in Press Freedom Guardian, the central government ordered Party agencies all over China to treat control of Falun Gong activities as their top priority. The local officials' achievements in this area is an important criterion in their work evaluation. When many Falun Gong practitioners were going to Beijing to appeal, Beijing held provincial meetings during which the three provinces with the most number of Falun Gong practitioners appealing were named and reproached.
According to an investigation by the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong,, in early September 2001, the "610 Office," headed by Luo Gan, issued a secret order, "It is permitted to secretly arrest and detain Falun Gong practitioners; those police officers who spot Falun Gong practitioners but do not arrest them will be fired and their household registration will be suspended." The numerous secret orders issued by people from the "610 Office" on persecuting Falun Gong directly has resulted in a drastic increase of torture deaths of Falun Gong practitioners.
"Transformation quotas" requiring a certain number or percentage of Falun Gong practitioners to be "transformed" (forced to give up their belief) were issued to local work units and labor camps. To fulfill these quotas under such high pressure, officials in provincial, city and county police departments, labor camps and brainwashing classes cruelly tortured Falun Gong practitioners physically and mentally and also tried to destroy them financially.
Government officials who actively persecuted Falun Gong practitioners were promoted, such as Luo Gan, Zhou Yongkang and Wu Guanzheng. Labor camp guards, police officers, and officials such as Su Jing, head of the notorious Masanjia Labor Camp and Chen You, political head of the Tiananmen Police Department in Beijing, were rewarded and praised as "heroes." Even prisoners who tortured Falun Gong practitioners received reduced sentences.
According to investigative reports by the WOIPFG, in May 2002, Jiang and Luo issued "internal orders" to entice police officers with monetary rewards to arrest Falun Gong practitioners. According to a news source in Guangdong Province, all local security agencies received this order. The document states that a security officer can earn 3,000 Yuan (1) for arresting a person who is "still practicing Falun Gong." According to Clearwisdom.net, there is confirmation that up until April 10, 2004, twenty-six Falun Gong practitioners have died from torture in Guangdong Province.
In order to prevent Falun Gong practitioners from going to Beijing to appeal, some local authorities put photos of Falun Gong's founder on the ground at the entrances of bus stations, railway stations and ferries. In some areas, passengers were asked to slander Falun Gong and its founder. People who refused to do so were arrested as Falun Gong practitioners. Jilin Province Railway System train tickets are printed with slanderous anti-Falun Gong statements on the back. Passengers are forced to read those sentences before they can get on the train.
Some Falun Gong practitioners renounced their belief in Falun Gong against their will because they could not bear the tremendous social and psychological pressure. After they gave up the practice (or were "transformed" as it is called in labor camps), they were forced to write some statement to slander the practice that had brought them health and lifted their moral standard, and Teacher, whom they respected so much. Furthermore, they were required to slander Falun Gong publicly on television and in newspapers and to cover up the brutal persecution and torture taking place in labor camps. Labor camps even use those who betrayed "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" to brainwash other Falun Gong practitioners. Many of those brainwashed people were able to awaken later and come back to the practice. When they looked back at this special experience of being transformed from a good person into a bad person, they described it as "making you want to die."
The essential outcome of the persecution is to turn good people bad and bad people worse.
After the persecution began in July 1999, China's state-run media published article after article slandering Falun Gong, and at the same time published numerous articles to boost Jiang Zemin's "Three Representatives" theory. Whether such high contrast propaganda can make people accord with the "Three Representatives" is not clear, but Jiang's jealousy is obvious. Because of such jealousy, even from the very beginning Jiang looked at differences in beliefs as contradictions between the Party and the Party's enemies.
Derived from this jealousy, competitiveness and hatred are purposely spread and deepened in Chinese society. After the deception of the staged "Self-immolation" came out, the state-controlled criticism of Falun Gong turned into a nation-wide campaign to condemn Falun Gong. Hate-propaganda has been spread to every corner of China through radio, newspaper and television. In Chinese official reports, numerous anti-Falun Gong seminars described the persecution of Falun Gong as a serious political battle that shouldn't be taken lightly, and they even suggested that the government reinforce the persecution of Falun Gong. The hatred flowing in people's veins became denser and denser with each passing day.
The Jiang regime doesn't leave anyone alone -- everyone must declare his/her position on Falun Gong. People who support or sympathize with Falun Gong could lose their jobs, be deprived of education, or even be imprisoned. According to investigative reports from the WOIPFG, the 2003 Master's Program admission process of East China Normal University stated clearly that prospective students must state their attitude and understanding of some important political issues (such as "Falun Gong," etc). According to a Clearwisdom.net report, a female college student in Guizhou City who didn't practice Falun Gong was abducted by police simply because she was considered "a Falun Gong sympathizer."
At the same time, hatred against Falun Gong is written into school textbooks and included in all levels of exams. For example, in the Politics exam for the 2001 Master's Program admission (according to media reports, more than a half million people enrolled in the 2001 Master's Program admission exam), Questions 18 and 22 in the second section (multiple-choice questions) are related to Falun Gong. Both questions and their answers slander and accuse Falun Gong practitioners as being weird and dangerous.
To fool the international community and prevent them from criticizing its persecution of Falun Gong, Jiang's group again used the deceived public to get what they wanted: this time it was "A Million Signatures." According to investigative reports of the WOIPFG, the "Million Signature" campaign started in Beijing on January 11, 2001, and was spread throughout the whole country. In mid March, the "China Anti-cult Association" (CACA) brought 100 rolls of signed fabric to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva in 2001. The cloth weighed about a ton and the host claimed that there were around 1.5 million signatures, about 0.1% of the Chinese population. The WOIPFG report also pointed out that since the Chinese government prohibits multi-provincial non-governmental organization activities, this nation-wide "Million Signatures" campaign completely relied on governmental organizations to carry it out. For example, the Tianjin Communist Youth League Committee organized the campaign in Tianjin City; one of the signature collecting sites in Jiangxi Province was located in the provincial government compound, the Department of Education and local Commissions of Education jointly organized the signature collection in colleges and universities.
Under such hateful propaganda, few people can think rationally and calmly. A group of people who practice "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" cannot be understood and respected by society, but instead become targets of hatred.
Alienating Falun Gong Practitioners Using Various Means
In addition to instigating hatred towards Falun Gong practitioners through propaganda, Jiang's regime also uses various means to isolate practitioners from the rest of the citizens. These means include implicating practitioners' family members, rewarding people who report practitioners to the authorities, and monitoring the information flow on the Internet. Even if practitioners are not sent to labor camps or brainwashing classes, they are still under great pressure and close surveillance by family members, street committees, workplace leaders and local police stations. In the cities of Changchun and Dalian in Northeastern China, some street committees even carry out a policy of having five people monitor a single practitioner. Just because of their steadfastness toward their belief in Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance, practitioners are isolated and alienated.
In dealing with Falun Gong, Jiang's regime has resorted to its usual tactic, that is, to instigate a majority (95%) of the public to attack a minority (5%) they do not like. Numerous people have felt the threat of such state-run terrorism. Also, in order to be part of the majority, many people betray their conscience and even turn in their own family members or relatives to the authorities to show that they are loyal to the government. Liu Jing, head of the central "610 Office" once made the following statement in his public speech when he said something good about the forced labor education system in China, "Wives are happy to send their husbands to labor camps to receive re-education through labor." Such a statement clearly exposes the warped nature of this persecution that attacks human morality.
III. The Harm this Persecution of Human Morality Has Caused to Society is Immeasurable
While trying to brainwash a Falun Gong practitioner, an official in Guizhou Province said, "We do not currently promote Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance in China." During the past several years of the persecution against Falun Gong, Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan (head of the "610 Office") once made it clear that "we don't care about murder or arson, we only arrest Falun Gong [practitioners]." Under such a policy, corruption in China is running rampant and social order is going downhill at a feverish pace.
It is well known that virtues such as good faith, sincerity, kindness, tolerance and understanding are a guarantee of social stability and security. If we deny these virtues, what's left for a country and a nation?
When the general public, even the media outlets that are supposed to adhere to the principle of good faith most strictly, do not mind telling lies, every word they say is a lie. Out of their own self-interest, people hurt each other, yet they are not ashamed of their behavior at all. They pay no respect to the principles of not fighting back or not cursing back when being hit or cursed at, and their minds are filled with hatred and strife. Who can anticipate what kinds of potential peril those people will bring to society? When Jiang's followers are persecuting Falun Gong, they are also destroying the most fundamental thread of humanity and morality.
Just as some insightful people have mentioned, many people inside and outside of China have come to know about the existence and brutality of the persecution. In an environment without pressure and threats, they would have expressed their support for Falun Gong. However, when they were warned that they could lose their job, have their reputation smeared, be labeled as allied with anti-China forces, or lose opportunities to do business in China if they did not take the same stand as the authorities, they would not dare to say just words, and they would simply let the persecution of human rights and freedom of belief continue without saying a word. Some people even help the evil-doers do evil. Such damage to human morality and conscience is impossible to measure.
April 12, 2004
(1) Yuan is the currency in China; 500 Yuan is equal to the average monthly income of an urban worker.