San Francisco: Falun Gong Practitioners Call on the Associated Press to Follow Professional Ethics and Correct False Report (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) At noon on January 25, 2005, San Francisco Bay Area Falun Gong practitioners gathered outside the AP Building in San Francisco to peacefully appeal and deliver an open letter. The practitioners called on the AP to clarify its report on the staged "Tiananmen Square Self-immolation" that does not conform with the facts, withdraw its published article, issue an apology for the article, and write another article that reflects the truth of the incident. The bureau chief of the AP in San Francisco, John Raess, came out and accepted the letter from Falun Gong practitioners, and stated that he would transfer the practitioners' requests to the International News Department.
On January 18, 2005, Xinhua News Agency, the mouthpiece for the Chinese Communist Party, once again dredged up the farce of the "Tiananmen Square Self-immolation" that was staged four years ago to frame Falun Gong, in an attempt to incite the people's hatred toward Falun Gong. What is most regrettable, however, is that the AP, as a free media in a democratic society, has reiterated the CCP's propaganda in violation of the professional ethics of news journalists.
Falun Gong spokesperson Zhang Xuerong from the Bay Area, who delivered the open letter to the AP, stated that this report turned the AP into a mouthpiece for the CCP. The media's effect is huge, and it can affect many people. Prior to the CCP's rehashing of the staged "Tiananmen Square Self-immolation," there have been many reports detailing the misinformation put forth by the Jiang regime. A journalist from the Washington Post went to Kaifeng, the hometown of immolator Liu Chunling, to conduct an investigation. Her neighbors said they never saw her practicing Falun Gong. Liu, who worked in a bar, moved to Henan Province with her elderly mother and a 12-year-old daughter. This report was widely circulated.
Zhang Xuerong said, "We have come to the AP today to deliver our open letter to the officer in charge. We request that the AP to withdraw this false report, issue a public apology, and write another report on the truth of Tiananmen Square Self immolation to clarify the facts. The bureau chief in San Francisco listened to the facts and expressed his understanding. He stated that he would report our concerns to AP headquarters.
Zhang Xuerong also noted that AP describes itself on its website as "providing distinctive news services of the highest quality, reliability and objectivity with reports that are accurate, balanced and informed." We hope the AP can correct its mistakes on its report of the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation, and publish an objective and accurate report in its place.
Falun Gong practitioner Bian Xuzhang was in Beijing when the staged Tiananmen Square Self-immolation occurred. Regarding to the AP's false report, he stated, "I hope the AP can follow the facts to correct its mistake and clarify the truth. Prior to the 2001 staged Tiananmen Square Self-immolation orchestrated by Jiang's regime, I was in Beijing and I was deeply harmed by it. Jiang's regime concocted this hoax in order to instigate people's hatred against Falun Gong so as to further suppress Falun Gong."
"Two days prior to the self-immolation, on January 23, seven people from the police station, street administrative office and neighborhood committee came to my home to ask my wife and me to write a "Guarantee Statement" that we would not go to Tiananmen Square. A police officer whose surname was Zhang said, "Your master sent a fax from abroad, asking you to go to Tiananmen on the 23rd to reach Consummation." We immediately asked him for evidence of these charges. He could not produce any and said he did not have any. He said the message was from the higher authority. They were already plotting to stage an incident on Tiananmen Square to make propaganda for their further persecution of Falun Gong.
When asked why took a day off of work to come to the AP, Mr. Zhang said that it was because he read the AP's one-sided report on the staged Tiananmen Square Self-immolation, that is saturated with the CCP's propaganda. Mr. Zhang said, "I know Falun Gong practitioners are very peaceful. Through investigation, we found out that the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation is a hoax fabricated by Jiang's regime to use as an excuse for its suppression of Falun Gong. I hope the AP will reconsider its report and make a correction on it."
Falun Gong practitioner Lu Hui said that the AP's report is unfair to Falun Gong practitioners. The article simply reiterates the reports from the CCP-controlled media. They know Falun Gong practitioners completely disagree with the fabricated contents from the CCP. In the article, however, the AP didn't give any voice to Falun Gong practitioners. Unfortunately, many media outlets carried the AP's report. We feel it's unfortunate that the media in a democratic society would help the CCP to spread lies, and hatred against Falun Gong to the public. We hope the AP can dig into the story, find the truth and make an impartial report, issue a public apology and repair the damage this story has done.
Category: Other Community Events