WOIPFG: Report on Chinese Media Involvement in Persecuting Falun Gong
World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong
January 10, 2004
Since the Jiang Zemin regime began persecuting Falun Gong in July 1999, the Chinese media has launched a propaganda campaign to slander Falun Gong, incite hatred, and deceive the Chinese people. Typically, the most influential propaganda reports are first published or broadcast on top-level national media, including China Central Television (CCTV), Xinhua News Agency, Chinese Daily, Chinese News Agency, Guangming Daily, Liberation Army News, and Chinese Youth News. The falsifications are then republished or rebroadcast in all local media. The defamatory propaganda disseminated by the State-run media is the cornerstone of the persecution. Deceptive propaganda, coupled with coercion and incentives, enable the regime to engage all levels of society in accepting or even directly participating in the persecution.
At the beginning of the persecution, Jiang's regime established the "610 Office" (an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Communist Party and all other political and judiciary systems) and its propaganda machinery. Liu Yunshan heads the 610 Office. Liu is also the committee member of the Central Political Bureau, the secretary of the Central Secretary Office, and the director of the Chinese Propaganda Department. Li Dongsheng, the deputy director of the central 610 Office, is the deputy assistant in the team (1). As a crucial member of the 610 Office, Li is also the deputy director of the Central Chinese TV station and the secretary of the Party Committee. He bears responsibility for CCTV's systematic lies to defame Falun Gong. The main goal of Li's propaganda team is to direct the resources of the State media towards defaming Falun Gong and promoting the systematic persecution.
The news media controlled by Jiang's regime serves as the Party's mouthpiece. During the "Sixty Minutes" interview with Wallace on CBS, Jiang admitted, "Media should be the Party's voice." This comment was later edited out of the Chinese version of the interview that was aired by the Chinese government. Jiang also said that the news media must follow "the will and interest of the Party and its people and should serve as the guide of public opinion."
On January 2, 1996, in his address to high-ranking officials of the Liberation Army News, Jiang said, "Our well-operated news media can be a powerful tool in echoing and implementing our Party's policy, principles and mission," and "All Party newspapers, journals, national news agencies, broadcasting stations and TV stations must actively propagandize the Party's position in order to play a major role in guiding public opinions." Jiang further said, "All levels of the Party Committee should frequently discuss the work of the news media. For example, the propaganda policy highlights and the effect of propaganda, etc. must be discussed periodically in Party Committee meetings. The comrade in charge needs to inquire about the news propaganda in person." (2) Under the control of Jiang's regime, the Chinese news media have no credibility. They merely serve as tools to deceive people and to carry out Jiang's policy of eradicating Falun Gong.
On July 23,1999, a China Daily editorial article entitled "Enhance Your Understanding and Realize the Danger; Hold on to the Policy and Maintain Stability" falsely claimed that Falun Gong promotes doomsday theories about the earth exploding, etc. The Xinhua News Agency broadcast the TV series "Spring Breeze Will Bring You Back," with CCTV's news highlights: "Awaken -- A Story of a Former Falun Gong Practitioner," and "Reborn from Hell -- A Documentary of Wang Bo and Her Parents" in order to mislead the public about Falun Gong and the government's harsh measures against practitioners. Falun Gong books, tapes and audio-visual materials have been prohibited and destroyed. Therefore, the public has no way to know the truth about Falun Gong. The news media has created a rationale for Jiang's campaign to eradicate Falun Gong. As a result, Falun Gong practitioners are illegally detained and have been tortured mentally and physically in order to force them not only to give up their beliefs but also to participate in attacking Falun Gong.
When the propaganda campaign seemed to be losing ground in deceiving people, CCTV and Xinhua News Agency conspired in fabricating grave crimes to frame Falun Gong, such as the staged self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square, and two alleged murder cases, "the bloody case in Beijing," and the "brutal murders of beggars in Zhejiang province." The purpose was to incite hatred against Falun Gong practitioners to justify an escalation of the persecution.
Many Chinese media agencies have aided Jiang in his campaign against Falun Gong. Many of the journalists in the State-run media agencies appear to have completely lost their professional ethics when they violate the fundamental principle of truth in journalism. As a tool of persecution, the Chinese news media can be compared to the Nazi Propaganda Department in World War II. The media's lies have either directly or indirectly led to the deaths of hundreds of Falun Gong practitioners. Untold numbers, tens or even hundreds of thousands of practitioners, have been detained or forced to flee from their homes. Millions of practitioners and their families have suffered all kinds of losses--loss of freedom of travel, employment, pensions, housing, education, and basic human rights.
Because of the severity of the harm caused by Jiang's propaganda's machine, WOIPFG has carried out a series of investigations on the individuals and work units that have been involved in fabricating lies and inciting hatred.
1. Propaganda Lays the Groundwork for the Persecution
The fabrication of news and the manipulation of public opinion by China's State-controlled media have enabled the persecution to continue and even escalate.
On June 7, 1999, Jiang gave a talk at the Central Politburo meeting about the need to solve the Falun Gong issue. On July 24, the Press and Publication Administration issued the "Notice on Immediate Confiscation and Concealment of Five Books, Including China Falun Gong." This notice banned the four books--Explaining the Principles of Zhuan Falun, Falun Dafa (Lecture in Sydney), Falun Dafa (Lecture in Europe Fa Conference) and Falun Dafa (Lecture at the First Conference in North America), which had been approved by the Press and Publication Administration for publication by Qinhai People's Publishing House of Qinghai Province Press and by the Publication Department only a few days earlier on June 1, 1999.
On July 22, 1999, the Ministry of Civil Affairs announced the decision to ban the Falun Dafa Research Association. The Ministry of Public Security announced that, "According to 'Regulations Regarding Management of Audio and Visual Products,' any audio/visual products promoting Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), ... must be banned. Also, all levels of cultural administrative departments and audio/visual product management departments must immediately search the audio/visual product market and prohibit any groups or individuals from wholesaling, selling, renting or showing any audio/visual products that promote Falun Dafa. Once identified, these products must be confiscated and destroyed immediately, and those found possessing these items must be punished accordingly." On July 28, 1999, CCTV (China Central Television) reported that, "... In the past several days [the government] confiscated Falun Gong books and audio/visual materials, and destroyed them in large quantities. Sources said that the press management department in Tianjin confiscated twenty-two types of Falun Gong books that totaled over 73,000 copies. The Public Security Department in Wuhan destroyed en masse about 130,000 Falun Gong publications, which included 100,000 books and 27,000 audio/visual materials."
Since then, the public has been unable to access authentic Falun Gong material, and thus they are deprived of the right to know the truth about Falun Gong. The central propaganda agencies and media started to defame Falun Gong by quoting out of context from the books and spreading lies.
1.1 Quoting out of Context and Sheer Fabrication
On July 23, 1999, a People's Daily (Chinese Communist Party's official newspaper) editorial entitled "Improve Your Understanding, Discern Harmfulness, Implement Policies, and Protect Stability," claimed that Falun Gong "preaches that the Earth will explode and doomsday is coming." However, Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong stated in his 1998 lecture in the U.S., "I can proclaim here to everyone in all earnestness that all of those alleged catastrophes on earth, the doom of the universe, and things of this sort in the year 1999 are absolutely nonexistent." (3)
CCTV broadcast a press conference for foreign reporters hosted by the State Council's Bureau of Religious Affairs and played a video recording alleged to be a lecture by Mr. Li Hongzhi. CCTV had edited the tape by cutting out the "non" from "and things of this sort in the year 1999 are absolutely nonexistent." Editors then recombined the sentence with some other sentences that were also out of the context. In this way, they turned the lecture into "preaching about the explosion of the Earth," thus changing Mr. Li Hongzhi's lecture to make it appear to state the opposite of the original. The "doomsday allegation" is also a distortion of a reference in Falun Gong books to our present time as the "Dharma-ending period," a term first used by Sakymuni. Many other fabrications found in China's propaganda similarly take words out of context and reconstruct recorded statements.
1.2 Using Rumors and False Witnesses
On July 28, 1999, a reporter from Xinhua agency started a rumor to discredit Mr. Li Hongzhi by publishing an article called "Pan Yufang Testifies That Li Hongzhi Lied about His Birthday." This article claimed that, "eighty-year-old Pan Yufang still has a very fresh memory. According to Pan Yufang, in the summer of 1952, when she was thirty-three years old, she was invited to Gongzhuling, Huaide County, Jilin Province to deliver a baby for Lu Shuzhen. Because of labor complications, Lu Shuzhen was in a lot of pain, so Pan Yufang had to inject Oxytocin (pitocin) to induce the birth. When the baby came out, his whole body was purple. This baby was Li Hongzhi." However, according to Columbia Encyclopedia (Columbia University, the 5th edition, 1993), the molecular structure of Oxytocin was found in 1953, and it was also in 1953 that scientists first synthesized it in the laboratory. Its use in hospitals did not occur until after 1953.
1.3 Falsely Attributing Crimes to Falun Gong
The Chinese media exploits crimes to make false accusations against Falun Gong. For example, on December 29, 1999, the CCTV nightly news and the program "Focal Point Interview" reported on the "Zou Gang murder case." Zou Gang, thirty-nine years old, was an employee in the Seed Station of Songhuajing City Forest Management Branch of the Forest Industrial Bureau in Heilongjiang province. Since he was a child, Zou Gang had suffered some abnormal mental symptoms such as hearing noises, hallucinating and experiencing paranoia. The day before he committed a murder, his relatives had called the Harbin Mental Hospital to discuss his unstable situation with the doctors (5). According to a prison inmate jailed with Zou Gang, the CCTV "Focal Point Interview" reporters promised Zou Gang that he would not be sentenced to death if he cooperated with them by saying that he committed murder as a result of practicing Falun Gong. After he complied and made the false claim, however, he was still sentenced to death, undoubtedly to keep the arrangement secret. "The Report on the Criminal Case of 'Self-called' Falun Gong Practitioner -- Zou Gang," published in The Inner Reference in Heilongjiang Province, Issue II, Jan. 22, 2000, pointed out that reporters had investigated Zou Gang's case with the Police Department and other relevant departments, and had found that there was no evidence that he was a Falun Gong practitioner except his own claim. According to the main book of Falun Gong, Zhuan Falun (Chapter 7, section 1), Falun Gong's teachings prohibit killing: "The issue of killing is very sensitive. For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives." However, in spite of the fact that Falun Gong teachings are explicitly against killing, the government used the media to attack Falun Gong by circulating rumors that Falun Gong practitioners had committed some widely publicized murders as well as self inflicted injuries. The purpose was to incite hatred against Falun Gong.
2. Covering up the Persecution
The Jiang regime's suppression of Falun Gong, initiated in July 1999, violates the constitution as well as the International Human Rights Treaty. Since that time, more than 100,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally detained in hundreds of forced labor camps in China. (8) Jiang issued secret orders to "defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, and destroy them physically." The detention centers, forced labor camps and prisons in China have adopted brutal methods to persecute Falun Gong practitioners in order to force them renounce their beliefs and even participate in the persecution. The methods of torture include: extended sleep deprivation, extensive use of multiple high voltage electric batons, the dungeon, the water dungeon, the "dead person's bed," sitting planks, painful and life-threatening force-feedings, and "strait jackets." To date, at least 869 Falun Gong practitioners are known to have been tortured to death (9). However, the state media in China not only cover up the brutality of the persecution, they are also paint a false picture of labor camps and detention centers.
For example, a comparison of the following two pictures reveals the effects of the torture Falun Gong practitioner Wu Lingxia experienced at Jiamusi Forced Labor Camp in Heilongjiang Province. Wu Lingxia, thirty-seven years old, was from Shuangyashan city, Heilongjiang Province. She was seized by police while visiting a fellow practitioner in May of 2001 and was sent to Shuangyashan Detention Center. After being illegally detained there for one month, she was transferred to Xigemu Labor Camp in Jiamusi City on July 2, 2001. She passed away on July 27, 2002 as a result of the injuries caused by prolonged torture.
Wu Lingxia's picture shows the effects of the torture she received in Jiamusi Labor Camp: cirrhosis of the liver and ascites [abnormal buildup of fluid in the abdomen] as well as festered lower limbs.
2.1 CCTV, China's State-run TV Station, Fabricates News
Professor Zhang Kunlun, a renowned sculptor currently residing in Canada, was seized three times for practicing Falun Gong when he lived in Shandong Province, China. Professor Zhang reported, "Several policemen pressed me onto the ground all of a sudden and kicked and hit me violently. Before torturing me, the head of the police station claimed, 'The highest leader, President Jiang, declared, 'It does not matter how badly you torture Falun Gong practitioners. If they die, just bury them and say they committed suicide for dread of punishment for their crimes.' Then they shocked me with electric batons all over my body and two policemen shocked me at the same time... It was so painful, and I was not allowed to shout. They would jab the electric baton into my mouth if I shouted..."
Professor Zhang was rescued as a result of the efforts of private citizens and the Canadian government. He returned to Canada and exposed the fabrications of a CCTV program, which had broadcast a video-clip of professor Zhang painting and watching others playing Chinese chess. The footage painted a rosy picture of prison life in China. Professor Zhang described how the scene was fabricated: " In reality they are making a show! At that time, a commissar said that a person who teaches painting hoped that I could provide him some guidance. They put out papers, pen and ink and insisted on my instruction. I did not know it was a trap and said to them, 'Let me draw a bit and let you see.' They video recorded the moment when I was drawing. I only realized this after seeing the TV program. Regarding the scenes they broadcast of prisoners playing chess, these types of fabrications are what make it hard for people to know the severity of China's labor camp system. On the day they recorded the video, they brought chess and poker and let everyone play together. They asked me to play, but I replied that I did not know how to play poker and did not understand chess either. They said to me: 'Just sit here and take a look if you do not know how to play.' As they were talking, they pressed me onto to the chair with force, and video recorded the moment when I sat down. All of the scenes on TV are just a scam!" (10)
The same thing also happened to Zhao Ming, who had been studying in Ireland. Zhao Ming was detained in 2000 when he went back to China to appeal. He suffered many kinds of torture in Beijing's Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp. He reported, "In the forced labor camp, everyday is a fierce battle. The police instigated many criminals to beat me together. I was abused physically, not allowed to sleep and shocked by a group of policemen surrounding me and using electric batons. They first threatened me and asked me to 'transform.' After I firmly refused, they began to tie me onto a bed board (to prevent my body from moving during the electric shocking). They tied my feet, legs, upper body, and arms respectively, with a cord through my mouth to tie my head. After they tied me onto the bed board, they again threatened me and asked me to 'transform.' After I refused again, they brought a bundle of electric batons and began to distribute them. The electric batons are over fifty centimeters long. Other than the two electrodes on the top, the whole electric baton is covered with spiral metal, if this part is used, the electric shock can cover a long range. They used at least six electric batons to shock all over my body." (11)
In the second half of 2001, CCTV reporter Li Yuqiang, who has made several TV programs slandering Falun Gong, went to Tuanhe Forced Labor Camp where he interviewed Zhao Ming for a whole afternoon. Zhao Ming described the experience, "They appear to highly support Falun Gong and asked me when I began to cultivate, what experiences and benefits I have from practicing Falun Gong. Then, I told all my experiences about how I benefited both physically and mentally during the cultivation of Falun Dafa and my understanding of Dafa principles from the perspective of science. Ostensibly, it looked like a pleasant interview that could only possibly happen before 1999." (11)
Zhao Ming was rescued by the efforts of the Irish government and private citizens. When he returned to Ireland and saw the shots of this interview in an anti-Falun Gong VCD produced by CCTV, he commented, "I found that it was the shots of this interview, but they had manipulated the context of my words and added voiceover. It was totally opposite of what I said, and they used this to attack Falun Gong. In fact, they spent so much effort putting on an act to steal some words from me and try to obliterate the fact that I had been tortured."
In a report entitled "There is Nothing the Spring Breeze Can Not Bring Back," Xinhua News Agency reporters Li Shanyuan, Yu Li, and Zhang Feifei characterized the cruel tortures of Falun Gong practitioners as the "meticulous care of policemen." They depicted the Masanjia Forced Labor Camp, which is notoriously cruel in its abuse of Falun Gong practitioners, as the "cradle of educational transformation, teacher of rebuilding the soul." These media spokesmen misrepresented the brainwashing of Falun Gong practitioners as "transformation" and "rescue," thus seriously distorting the facts and misleading the public. (12) Because the State-run media made such fabrications and hid the truth, most Chinese people do not know that Falun Gong practitioners are cruelly persecuted and that many have even lost their lives for not giving up their beliefs.
2.2 The Persecution Breaks up Families -- The Story of Wang Bo's Family
On April 7 and 8, 2002, CCTV's "Focus Topic" program entitled "From Destruction to Rebirth --Wang Bo and her Father and Mother" (13) and Xinhua News Agency's report entitled "Life --Music--Rebirth --Former Falun Gong Practitioner Wang Bo's Life Story" (14) distorted the facts to blame Falun Gong for the breakup of the family when the breakup was actually caused by the persecution. Wang Bo's parents were separated from the rest of the family when they were illegally detained in a forced labor camp.
Wang Bo described how she was brainwashed: "It was extremely painful in the forced labor camp. There was no personal freedom at all.... They detained me in the Beijing Xin'an Forced Labor Camp. They did not allow me to sleep at all for twenty-four hours a day for six continuous days. They indoctrinated me with lies that reverse right and wrong, and forced me to watch tapes that distort Falun Gong. They forcibly brainwashed me."
In the words of the policemen there, "We just use the kind of means that we use to deal with spies to make you collapse mentally." (15) Wang Bo was forcibly "transformed" when she was tortured to the point of mental collapse. They forced Wang Bo to give up Falun Gong. She told her father, "Father, do you know how I live these days? After being transformed, my mind is full of conflicts. I am mentally depressed and feel life is bitterer than death. Sometimes I feel I am like a person who is over sixty years old. I have already died mentally several times...."
Wang Bo's father Wang Zhongxin described how he was also forcibly "transformed": "I wasn't allowed to sleep for days. Under the deceit of all kinds of lies that quote out of context and perpetrate fraud and tapes that slander Falun Gong, and also the mental torture of not allowing me sleep for many days, I became muddled and mentally disturbed and was so-called 'transformed.' But this was absolutely against my will." (15)
Wang Xinzhong described how the CCTV "Focus Topic" program fabricated its story: "When I saw the program broadcast by "Focus Topic," I was shocked by such contemptible blame of Falun Gong, distortion, slander and fabrication. During my talk with the CCTV reporter, I talked about our family's cultivation and how people from the 610 Office had beaten me in my workplace," but these were deleted. They deceitfully substituted one thing for another, made important deletions to change my talk, purposefully giving the program content that has a totally different direction in order to defame cultivators and viciously attack Dafa. A reporter said, 'Some content cannot be reported. It is the need of politics.'" (15)
What is the true story of the Wang family's experience with Falun Gong that CCTV misrepresented in its program? According to Wang Xinzhong, "Before 1996, my wife and I did not have a good relationship, and we planned to get divorced based on agreement after Wang Bo went to high school in 1996. Our family had a crisis. In 1995, Wang Bo stopped learning piano, and my health was not good. I had neurasthenia, myocarditis, gastroenteritis, and my wife had neurasthenia and rotator cuff tendonitis. We often argued over very little things, would not yield to the other person, and our conflicts became extreme. I was prepared to get divorced. In July 1996, my wife began to cultivate Falun Gong, and I found she changed greatly mentally and physically. Even her personality changed from the cultivation, so I changed my view and attitude, and later I began to cultivate too. We did things according to truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance, always thought of other people and checked for our own faults whenever there was a conflict. My wife and I communicated with each other, understood each other. Our life once again thrived, and our family became harmonious. All the illnesses disappeared. We threw away the big case that had been used to store medicines for many years and returned to the house that was used to prepare for the divorce. Wang Bo had a happy family." (15)
The story of Wang Bo's "transformation" is only one of many such stories fabricated for propaganda. The media sided with the persecution to shift blame for broken families from the government to Falun Gong practitioners themselves. The media alleged that Falun Gong practitioners "do not care about families," "destroy their families," "have no human nature," etc. They never mentioned that Falun Gong practitioners have benefited physically and mentally from cultivating Falun Gong. The media characterized Falun Gong practitioners' perseverance in reporting the truth as "being stubborn." They reversed right and wrong, good and evil, by presenting the persecution as an effort to save lives. What does it mean to "transform" a person through brainwashing? Kong Fanyun, from the Educational Center of the Legal System told the people who had been transformed, "The time when I see you beat people and curse people is when you are truly and completely transformed." (15)
3. The "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation" Story -- A Fabrication
Chinese media claimed that, on the afternoon of January 23, 2001, a "self-immolation" took place on Tiananmen Square, Beijing. The Chinese Government's mouthpiece, Xinhua News Agency and CCTV, immediately reported the incident, claiming the five individuals who set themselves on fire were Falun Gong practitioners.?Their quick response was in stark contrast to the way news is usually handled in China, with lower-level officials reporting to superiors until top officials allow the report to be published.?/P>
An act of "self-immolation" would be a serious violation of Falun Gong's principles and teachings, which explicitly state, "For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives."(7) "Therefore, committing suicide is sinful."(16) For this and other reasons, Falun Gong practitioners rejected the charge that practitioners could have participated in the act. Some third party agencies and international media also raised questions regarding Beijing's allegations. Washington Post journalist Philip Pan published an article after he interviewed the neighbors of Liu Chunling, one of the alleged participants who lost her life in the "self-immolation." Pan wrote, "None ever saw her practice Falun Gong." (17)
Reports from Focus Interview on CCTV were even more questionable. Analysis of the "self-immolation" footage broadcast by CCTV showed Liu Chunling was struck by a heavy object immediately before she was knocked to the ground, indicating that she did not die from the fire but was murdered in order to avoid any possible leaks. Her daughter Liu Siying, another alleged participant, died suddenly on March 17 after appearing very lively and being deemed ready to be discharged from the hospital. We can infer that, like her mother, Liu Siying was murdered to prevent her from leaking the truth about the staged event. (18)
1. (Left) Liu Chunling is facing the extinguisher. The fire on her body has already been put out. At this very moment, an outstretched arm reaching toward Liu Chunling's head is faintly visible. Liu is struck on the head.
2. (Middle) A heavy object hits Liu Chunling's head and bounces up. Liu is struck so hard that she turns away from the extinguisher as she is knocked to the ground.
3. (Right) Although Wang Jindong appears to have been blackened or burned by the fire, the sprite bottle that was alleged to hold gasoline remains intact between his legs. An officer standing behind Wang Jindong holds a fire blanket but doesn't immediately apply it.
The National Taiwan University Language Laboratory conducted an independent voice analysis of Wang Jindong, whose voice was broadcast in the initial coverage of the "self-immolation" and again in the Focus Interview program on CCTV one year later. Based on voice analysis, the researchers concluded definitively that the "Wang Jindong" who first appeared on the scene of the "self-immolation" was not the same person as the "Wang Jindong" who made his appearance in the Focus Interview one year later. (19)
Li Yuqiang is a senior reporter for CCTV's Focus Interview program. In early 2002, Li Yuqiang visited the brainwashing center known as the "Law Education and Training Center for the Capital of Hebei Province" to interview Wang Bo. During her visit, she talked with Falun Gong practitioners illegally detained there. They brought out the suspicious nature of the CCTV program containing the "self-immolation" scene. Practitioners pointed out the incongruities to her, such as the fact that Wang Jindong seemed to have been severely burned, yet the Sprite bottle of gasoline between his legs appeared to have been untouched by the fire. Confronted with such evidence and their analysis, Li Yuqiang acknowledged that officials had put the Sprite bottle between Wang Jindong's legs after he had been burned and that the scene had been staged. She admitted that the scene had been arranged in an attempt to convince the public that Falun Gong practitioners had committed the "self-immolation." She even admitted that if they had known that people would doubt its authenticity, they would not have filmed the scene. (20)
The International Education Development (IED) office in USA California made an official statement at the United Nations on August 14, 2001: "...The regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001 as proof to slander Falun Gong. However, we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the government."
The alleged "Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation" was the first case that WOIPFG investigated. Please refer to detailed reports from WOIPFG for more information. (18) New Tang Dynasty TV, a non-profit privately owned Chinese language TV station, produced a documentary film entitled "False Fire: China's Tragic New Standard in State Deception." The film won a Certificate of Honorable Mention at the 51st Columbus International Film and Video Festival. The movie "False Fire" systematically analyzed many suspicious details of the "self-immolation" incident. The analysis exposed beyond a doubt that the self-immolation was staged and left the viewer to conclude that the event had been directed by the Chinese government to frame Falun Gong and create a rationale for the persecution.
The "self-immolation" incident occurred a little over one and a half years after the suppression of Falun Gong was launched in July 1999. At the time of the "self-immolation," the Chinese public had started to express disapproval of Jiang's suppression of Falun Gong practitioners, and the campaign to turn public opinion against Falun Gong appeared to be destined for failure. The staged "self-immolation" incident instigated hatred toward Falun Gong practitioners and turned the general public from Falun Gong sympathizers into people who accepted the repression with indifference. Cases of hatred against Falun Gong increased markedly after the widely publicized "self-immolation." Jiang's regime seized the opportunity to intensify the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. According to incomplete statistics, during the first eighteen months of the persecution, officially starting on July 20, 1999 (before the staged "self-immolation" incident), 173 practitioners were persecuted to death. After the "self-immolation" incident, the death toll increased sharply to 869 in the following thirty-six months. (Among these victims, 696 practitioners died from torture after the "self-immolation" incident.)
WOIPFG has conducted a number of investigations of the media and individuals involved in this fabrication. Because all the reports on the "self-immolation" from Xinhua News Agency were unsigned, WOIPFG has investigated the related departments in Xinhua News Agency. The head of Xinhua News Agency Net center, Zhou Xisheng claimed that he himself "was not in charge of this issue." WOIPFG learned from other sources that the Department of Internal Affairs in Xinhua News Agency was responsible for the "self-immolation" reports. The head of the Department of Internal Affairs replied, "I can't help you look for the name of the reporter of concern ...... Xinhua News Agency is not in a position to answer questions related to Falun Gong." Several Focus Interview staff denied their involvement in the production of the "self-immolation" video program. They said they didn't know why their names showed up as video editors, etc. Some CCTV staff members wouldn't admit who they were and denied their phone numbers were CCTV numbers. Yang Taozhou, who was responsible for technical production, admitted that he was engaged in the later-stage production of the "self-immolation" videotape. Several stage staff of Focus Interview told the investigator it was Li Yuqiang who was responsible for the production of all Falun Gong related videotapes from the Focus Interview team. WOIPFG has interviewed Li Yuqiang several times. When the investigator pointed out the suspicious points in CCTV's "self-immolation" video, Li Yuqiang showed fear. She said, " I don't understand what you are talking about. You have to talk to the CCTV General Station first."
4. Using Mental Patients to Accuse Falun Gong of Murder
4.1 The Fu Yibin Murder Case
On December 16, 2001, Xinhua News Agency and two programs of CCTV--News Report and Focus Interview--launched another round of attacks against Falun Gong with a defamatory report entitled "Capital Murder--Fu Yibin Kills His Father and His Wife." This fabricated report escalated the slander and defamation of Falun Gong from alleged suicide to murder. The level of fabrication also intensified from quoting out of the context and reconstructing text to "pure fiction." In Focus Interview, Fu Yibing said, "I killed all of them. When I succeed in my cultivation, my whole family will go to Paradise and live a happy life forever." Such distorted logic--"killing is saving"--can't be found in any Falun Gong books. On the contrary, Falun Gong's main publication Zhuan Falun, states explicitly, "For practitioners, we have set the strict requirement that they cannot kill lives." (7)
As Dr. Vivian Galli, an American psychiatrist, points out, "From a psychiatric point of view, it is very clear that this is a psychiatric case. Assuming that the perpetrator, Fu Yibin, is telling the truth to the reporter, we can conclude that he was psychotic in November 2001 when he killed his father and wife. Sadly, he still seemed to be psychotic during the interview that took place on December 17, 2001. He was not only delusional but he also was having command hallucinations and excessive energy at the time of the killing. He also seemed to have a chronic psychiatric condition." (21)
In the Focus Interview on CCTV, mental patient Fu Yibin appeared to speak with ease, not as one would expect of a prisoner detained for murder.
Ms. Ma Ruijin, who knew one of Fu Yibin's relatives, confirmed that Fu Yibin had a long history of mental disease. Ms. Ma stated, "Actually, Fu Yibin has been insane for several years. One of his relatives lived in the vicinity of Huangsi Street. That relative of his was my colleague. It was around 1993 that his relative told us he often went around without any clothes. His family members were unable to control him, no matter how hard they tried. That is to say, as early as eight years ago, he was already insane." (22)
On December 16, 2001, a Canada-based Chinese TV station, Television broadcast a report of the alleged Fu Yibin murder case made by CCTV. On August 16, 2002, the Canadian Broadcast Standard Council announced a ruling that the report by Television violated the Code of Ethics on news reports as listed in the Canadian Broadcast and TV Regulations and other regulations regarding violent content. Therefore, the report was deemed to be "improper and unjust." (23)
4.2 Alleged Murder by Poisoning Case in Zhejiang Province
An article published on Xinhua Net on July 2, 2003 claimed that the extraordinary June 26 poisoning case had been solved the night before, which would be July 1, and that a Falun Gong practitioner had committed the murder. When WOIPFG inquired on July 3, a member of the Department of Propaganda in Cangnan County, Wenzhou City told the investigators that the case had not been solved. He had not heard that the suspect was a Falun Gong practitioner, and said that more than five hundred policemen were still assigned to investigate this case.  On July 14, CCTV's Focal Point Interview reported that seventeen beggars had been poisoned and claimed that the suspect was a Falun Gong follower.
Chen Fuzhao, who was involved in the murder, was a diagnosed psychotic. Chen Fuzhao's father, a medical center in Cangnan County, as well as the local government of Longgang Town, in Cangnan County have all verified this fact. A doctor who knows Chen Fuzhao told a WOIPFG investigator, "Chen Fuzhao has been psychotic for many years." Before the poisoning-murder took place, Chen's father took him to the Neian Mental Hospital for treatment. 
However, the Xinhua News Agency and CCTV reports intentionally omitted his history of mental illness and instead attributed Chen Fuzhao's eccentric behavior to Falun Gong. The Xinhua News Agency report of July 14 in particular alleged that Chen Fuzhao committed murder due to his "reversed cultivation" of the Falun Gong principles of Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. However, they did not explain how behavior completely against Truth-Compassion-Tolerance could somehow be connected with Falun Gong. Investigations reveal that the 610 Office was behind the coverage of this murder case. The news reporter who is specially engaged in slandering Falun Gong deliberately ignored Chen Fuzhao's psychotic condition and claimed that his illogical statements were induced by his Falun Gong practice; however, he failed to explain any connection. The report insinuated further that Chen Fuzhao had committed a series of "beggar-murders" out of need because he practiced Falun Gong. Such allegations furthered the government's campaign to slander and persecute Falun Gong. The investigation also discovered that people who knew about the deception were warned to keep silent.
When an investigator from WOIPFG questioned the Zhejiang Branch of Xinhua News Agency about the coverage, the reply was, "We are a government-run news agency, and all of our published articles follow a specific line of rules and regulations." We conduct interviews according to information provided by the government. How we wrote the report and the process of writing it was not up to any individual or the branch. It had to follow the requirements of the department concerned, and it was written with group efforts from many people."
According to factual evidence collected by WOIPFG, it was found that: 1) The Xinhua News Agency and CCTV selected certain media to monopolize news reports. All other media were excluded. 2) The selected media fabricated news reports, including the fact that the undersigned reporter did not even participate in gathering the news. In addition, many alleged witnesses who were quoted in the news reports claimed that they had never been interviewed. 3) The police and the central 610 Office were directly behind this case. Reporters from Xinhua News Agency and people working in the special group selected who would participate in investigating and reporting this case. Recently the reporters have either been promoted or transferred elsewhere. 
Similar to the Beijing murder case, another case of a psychotic patient committing murder was also used to frame Falun Gong practitioners. On December 30, 2003, Wenzhou Court, in Zhejiang Province, sentenced Chen Fuzhao to death. This is not only against the law of China and relevant laws of the international community, but is also appears to be an effort to do away with a witness. From the murder of family members in the earlier Fu Yibin case to the group murder of the Chen Fuzhao case, the evidence points to the fact that the Jiang Zemin group has escalated the severity of its libel of Falun Gong. Such propaganda has incited the Chinese public's hatred and fear of Falun Gong practitioners. People have been deceived to the extent that they report on and aid in the arrest of Falun Gong practitioners who try to clarify the truth. Thus the public has been duped into cooperating with the persecution.
5. Falun Gong Practitioners Who Expose Media Lies Receive Harsh Sentences or Death
The constitution of China and various international pacts that the Chinese government has agreed to all state that people have freedom of speech and freedom of belief. However, in the past four years, Falun Gong practitioners have been completely deprived of these rights. Jiang's group has violated the constitution of China and international agreements. The regime has directed all TV stations and other propaganda machinery to slander and frame Falun Gong. In order to allow people to learn the truth about Falun Gong and to expose the persecution, Falun Gong practitioners have resorted to various peaceful means, including tapping into cable TV systems.
On March 5, 2002, several Falun Gong practitioners in Changchun tapped into the cable TV network to broadcast truth clarification videos about Falun Gong, including "Falun Dafa Around the World" and "Self-immolation or Staged Act?" This was considered the first large-scale civil act to break through the one-sided state media propaganda since the Communist Party took power in 1949. Because Jiang's group is terrified of people learning the truth, they sentenced Falun Gong practitioners thought to be involved in the action to heavy prison terms or had them tortured to death. On September 20, 2002, Changchun Intermediate People's Court sentenced fifteen Falun Gong practitioners, including Zhou Runjun, Liu Weiming, Liang Zhenxing, and Liu Chengjun to four to twenty years' imprisonment. During the illegal trial, the judge and court officials showed no concern for the policemen's vicious beating of Falun Gong practitioners. 
On March 12, 2002, Liu Haibo died at the hands of the police from Kuancheng Police Station. They had tried to extort a confession from him by torture because he was suspected of providing room and board for Falun Gong practitioners involved in the TV tapping incident. On March 18, 2002, police beat Liu Yi to death in their office at Luyuan Police Station. On March 16, 2002, an unknown Falun Gong practitioner was beaten to death at Jincheng substation under the jurisdiction of the Changchun City Police Department. 
Liu Chengjun is unable to sit up in a natural position after suffering horrendous tortures.
Liu Chengjun, a Falun Gong practitioner from Nongan County, Jilin Province, was one of the main participants in the cable TV tapping incident. After twenty-one months of imprisonment and torture, Liu Chengjun died at 4:00 a.m. on December 26, 2003. Witnesses saw blood running out of Liu Chengjun's nostrils, ears, and thighs. At 11:00 a.m. that same day, Jilin Prison gathered many police officers to forcibly cremate Liu Chengjun's body without conducting an autopsy, despite protest from Liu Chengjun's family. During his detention, Liu Chengjun was tortured with various means, including fifty-two days on the Tiger Bench. 
6. Individuals and Work Units Involved in Media Fabrication
A small number of people working in the Chinese media didn't truthfully report on the unjust persecution imposed on millions of Chinese citizens. Instead, they made up lies to slander Falun Gong, which deceived the country's media and the people into supporting the persecution. They thereby legitimized the genocide, and became accomplices to the persecution. The following are the main work units and individuals that took part in the media persecution of Falun Gong.
Within the 610 Office, the person in charge of controlling the media is Liu Yunshan, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee, Party Secretary of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, Minister of the Ministry of Propaganda, and core member of the 610 Office, the one who is mainly in charge of the propaganda machinery for the persecution.
The head of CCTV is Zhao Huayong. The deputy head is Li Dongsheng.
Since Jiang's group began the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, CCTV willingly cooperated with the persecution and made numerous TV programs that slandered Falun Gong. Within less than two years, from April 25, 2002 to the end of 2003, as many as 332 Falun Gong-slandering programs aired on the Focal Point Interview, News Program, Science Channel, Parlance Weekly, China Diplomacy Forum, TV Criticism, China Net Media Forum, Life Channel and other TV channels.
The Focal Point Interview group of CCTV
The Focal Point Interview group has broadcast a series of cases that viciously slandered Falun Gong, including "Tiananmen Self-immolation," "Murder Case in Beijing," "Zhejiang Beggar Poisoning-murder" and has played an extremely negative role in inciting hatred (see attachment 1). On August 21, 2003, Ji Bingxuan, deputy head of the Propaganda Ministry stated in Focal Point Interview, series 1, "On important propaganda issues such as exposing and criticizing Falun Gong, Focal Point Interview has always been in the forefront of news propaganda and has received great attention from the Party and the government. We can say the Focal Point Interview has achieved the unison of news and propaganda work in both keeping direction and improving the guidance level, and has become a leading banner for news commentary programs."
Reporter Li Yuqiang, who never shows her face and has specialized in slandering Falun Gong.
Main persons in charge of the Focal Point Interview:
Editor and reporter: Li Yuqiang took part in making and reporting many Falun Gong-slandering programs, both printed and televised. Among them are the series of programs on "Tiananmen Self-immolation," "Interview with Wang Bo," "Zhejiang Beggar Case," "Interview with Zhao Ming," and others. (WOIPFG will provide special reports on these.) Almost all the slanderous programs on the Focal Point Interview were by Li Yuqiang, who also was the interviewing reporter on the spot in almost all these cases (attachment 1). When WOIPFG inquired of other members of the Focal Point Interview group, they clearly pointed out that Li Yuqiang was the one in charge of Falun Gong programs. Li Yuqiang made slanderous films, such as "The Nature of Evil Cult is Destroying Lives," which is related to the "Tiananmen self-immolation" incident. Li Yuqiang never showed his face on TV during all the interviews. One could only see his dark silhouette, mostly from the back.
Photography: Zhang Xuefeng, Lin Gang
Hosts of the Focus Point Interview: Zhai Shujie, Bo Yang, Jing Yidan, Fang Hongjin
Producer: Liang Jianzeng, Bo Yang, Sun Kewen, Guan Haiying, Chen Hong
Editor-in-chief: Yang Jihong, Sun Jie
Editor: Li Changsheng, Wang Qibing
Program Inspector-General: Sun Yusheng
Synthesis: Yang Taozhou
Xinhua News Agency
Director: Tian Congming
Deputy Director: Ma Shengrong
Editor-in-Chief: Nan Zhenzhong
According to incomplete statistics, from January 2000 to October 2003, Xinhua Net has published 522 articles that slandered Falun Gong.
Reporters Who Have Participated in Slandering Falun Gong
Xu Jiajun (Jilin Branch): Wrote an article on July 28, 1999 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Zhang Min, Zhou Wei (Beijing Branch): Wrote an article on February 6, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Duan Xianju, Ming Xing (Beijing Branch): Wrote articles on February 17, 18 and 19, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Zhai Wei, Wang Leiming (Headquarters): Wrote an article on March 18, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Gao Jianxin (Headquarters): Wrote an article on March 20, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Chen Maodi, Li Zhenghong (Shanghai Branch): Wrote an article on March 20, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Li Shanyuan, Yu Li, and Zhang Feifei (Liaoning Branch): Wrote an article on March 23, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Li Zhaodong (Headquarters): Wrote an article on March 28, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Peng Hong (Headquarters), Wang Hengtao, Li Lijing (Henan Branch): Wrote an article on March 29, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Zhang Feifei (Liaoning Branch): Wrote an article on June 15, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wang Leiming, Chen Kaixing, and Ling Weijia (Headquarters): Wrote an article on June 17, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Cui Junqiang, Zhang Duo, and Niu Aimin (Beijing Branch): Wrote an article on December 23, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wu Huanqing (Headquarters): Wrote an article on January 23, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wang Hengtao (Henan Branch) and Zhai Wei (Headquarters): Wrote articles on January 23, 2002 and May 19, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Jiang Yaping, Lu Dasheng (Headquarters): Wrote articles on April 17, 18 and 25, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Shen Hongbing, Hu Jinwu (Jiangxi Branch): Wrote an article on May 23, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wang Leiming (Headquarters), Dong Zhiyong, Wang Jinliang (Hebei Branch): Wrote an article on June 26, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wang Shihuan, Zhao Zhuoyun (Xian Branch): Wrote an article on August 25, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Li Shufeng (Headquarters), Qian Yonghong (Inner Mongolia Branch), and Huang Yan: Wrote an article on May 8, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Li Yabiao, Zha Xin (Jilin Branch): Wrote an article on September 20, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Niu Jiwei: Wrote articles on July 19, 2001 and July 21, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Zhang Qizhi, Zhang Heping (Zhejiang Branch): Wrote an article on July 14, 2003 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Wang Yu (Headquarters): Wrote an article on August 27, 2003 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
China News Service
Pan Xulin and Qi Bin: Wrote an article on April 8, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Yuan Jianda: Wrote an article on February 12, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Zhu Weiguang and Wang Qi: Wrote an article on May 18, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Gao Jianjin: Wrote an article on April 17, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Sun Xiantao: Wrote articles on March 23 and 26, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Mu Zi: Wrote an article on March 23, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Liu Liqiang and Wang Shaoxiong: Wrote an article on Feb. 17, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Cui Zhijian and Liu Xianqin: Wrote an article on February 5, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Xiao Yuhua: Wrote articles on July 29, 1999 and December 8, 1999 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Miao Jiasheng: Wrote articles on November 27, 1999 and January 3, 2000 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Yang Hao: Wrote an article on February 16, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
China Youth Daily
Wang Haizhou: Wrote an article on May 20, 2002 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
Yue Shuangxi and Zhang Jianjun: Wrote an article on January 26, 2001 that slandered and defamed Falun Gong
WOIPFG investigated the people involved in making these false propaganda programs. When asked why they ignored professional ethics and made up lies, some of these reporters said, "All articles related to Falun Gong were assigned to us. I would never have written [them] myself. As a reporter, the boss at the news agency tells us what to write and what not to write. If he asks me to do an interview, of course I would do it. If he says I can't write something, then I can't write it." Another reporter said, "On this issue, I'm not a natural person, I'm a social person. Please understand. The name I put on the articles for Xinhua News Agency is reporter xxx, not [speaker's own name], so it's different." Thus these reporters for the state-run media betray professional ethics, their sense of justice, and their very consciences. They are in fact helping a tyrant persecute innocent people.
WOIPFG will send the criminal evidence of related work units and individuals who slandered and persecuted Falun Gong to international human rights organizations and file lawsuits against them for their violations of human rights. Regarding the main work units and the individuals mainly responsible for using the media to slander and frame Falun Gong, WOIPFG will document and investigate their cases individually, and will also verify their crimes and deliver the facts and evidence to the international courts, the human rights organizations and foreign governments, to sue them and to expose their crimes in the persecution of Falun Gong.
During the investigation of this case, WOIPFG received help from various sectors, including some persons in charge of the media, and WOIPFG will ask the court to take into consideration the assistance they gave in the investigation. We will not publish the names of individuals and work units who cooperated with or have assisted WOIPFG in its investigation to determine the source of slanders. We will keep in mind their positive actions to rectify their criminal involvement. For those who have missed the opportunity to clarify matters during the investigation, we hope they can contact us as soon as possible to provide us with the facts.
Please contact WOIPFG for the reference list.
Category: Falun Dafa in the Media