Questions and Answers about the April 25 Appeal (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) Since Falun Dafa was made public in 1992, the number of practitioners has grown exponentially. By July 1999, there were one hundred million of practitioners. Between March and May 1995, Teacher Li Hongzhi went to France and Sweden to teach Falun Gong and give lectures by invitation which opened the prelude to the worldwide spreading of Falun Dafa. In July 1999, the evil CCP started to persecute Falun Gong in China. During the past eight years of brutal persecution, Falun Gong has not disappeared, but has quickly spread to more than 80 countries and areas around the world. Falun Dafa's major text, Zhuan Falun, has been translated and published in about 30 languages.
Even now some people still say that the CCP cracks down on Falun Gong because Falun Gong practitioners "besieged" Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999. These people are deceived by lies because they do not know the truth. Actually, the CCP and Jiang Zemin clearly knew what Falun Gong is about and even knew that Falun Gong practitioners are good people. The CCP's nature is "falsehood, viciousness and fighting", which is absolutely irreconcilable to "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance," the essence of Falun Gong. The CCP wants to eliminate Falun Gong. Therefore its suppression of Falun Gong was planned well in advance. In the three or four years before April 25, 1999, Jiang's regime suppressed Falun Gong many times, quietly beginning the crackdown. Their conspiracy escalated continuously. They plotted the arrest of 45 practitioners in Tianjin, and then secretly manipulated the April 25 appeal to suit their propaganda needs. On July 20, 1999, the regime started the official public suppression of Falun Gong. The April 25 Appeal is not the reason the CCP wants to eliminate Falun Gong, nor was it the beginning of the suppression of Falun Gong. It was just an important link in their plots that had been afoot for a long time.
Q: What is the April 25 Appeal?
A: Nine years ago; April 25, 1999, more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners voluntarily went to Beijing to appeal. This large-scale peaceful civilian appeal amazed the world. It was regarded as a miracle in Chinese history. The April 25, appeal of Falun Gong was not a "seige of the Zhongnanhai Central Government Compound" as Jiang's propaganda made it out to be.
Q: Why did they go to appeal?
A: On April 11, 1999, He Zuoxiu wrote an article titled, "I Do Not Recommend the Youth to Practice Qigong" in the Youth Overview magazine published by the Tianjin Normal Institute. The article lied, and defamed Falun Gong, Falun Gong practitioners, and the founder of Falun Gong. After this article was published in Tianjin, some local practitioners thought it was necessary to clarify the truth to the relevant government departments and the magazine's editorial staff. Therefore, from April 18 to 24, some Falun Gong practitioners went to the Tianjin Normal Institute and other relevant departments to clarify the truth.
Q: Why did they go to Beijing to appeal?
A: On April 23 and 24, 1999, the Tianjin Police Department dispatched the riot police to beat the Falun Gong practitioners who were appealing in Tianjin. Some were wounded and bleeding. 45 practitioners were arrested. When others went to City Hall to ask for their release, they were told that the Police Department had stepped in with this incident; that the arrested Falun Gong practitioners would not be released without authorization from Beijing. Tianjin police suggested to Falun Gong practitioners; "Go to Beijing. You can solve the problem only by going to Beijing." The severe escalation of persecution provoked the attention of Falun Gong practitioners. Falun Gong practitioners from all places in the country placed their trust in the Central Government and voluntarily went to appeal at the Appeals Office of State Council to pursue a just resolution.
The persecution of Falun Gong did not originate in 1999. Early in June 1996, the Chinese Propaganda Bureau had already instructed all underling levels to criticize Falun Gong. Guangming Daily published articles criticizing Falun Gong and then the News Publication Bureau forbid publishing, distributing and selling Falun Gong books. The CCP put the labels of superstition and "fake science"on Falun Gong. Successively for two years, the Police Department investigated Falun Gong , dispatching people to watch and pretend to be practitioners. He Zuoxiu attacked Falun Gong on Beijing TV. Falun Gong practitioners kept writing to the Central Government and local governmental leaders, reporting the true situation that Falun Gong benefits the country and the people and benefits people's health in both mind and body. On April 11, He Zuoxiu wrote an article in the Youth Overview slandering Falun Gong. Some Tianjin Falun Gong practitioners went to the relevant departments to clarify the truth. Tianjin police arrested practitioners, which escalated the event.
Q: What did the Falun Gong practitioners want to tell the Government?
A: Falun Gong practitioners wanted to tell the leaders of the Central Government the facts about their improved health after practicing Falun Gong and how people's hearts have been purified by cultivating "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance". They wanted to let the leaders know that Falun Dafa is good and how Falun Dafa can improve the declining morality. They wanted to explain the fact that Falun Dafa benefits the country and the people.
Q: Did they lay siege to Zhongnanhai?
A: On April 25, 1999, more than 10,000 Falun Gong practitioners gathered near "Fuyou Street" in Beijing. Although there were so many people, the crowd was very quiet and in perfect order. The police who maintained public order felt they had nothing to do and started to chat.
Line of appeal people in a perfect order
Police chatted near the appeal crowd
The Appeal Office of State Council at that time was at "Xi'anmen Avenue," next to Zhongnanhai. The original idea of China's setting up the appeal system was to provide a message channel from the lower lever to the upper lever for people's grievances.. It was the first time in China that more than 10,000 people directly went to the highest level office of appeal in the country. Widespread media attention resulted. Although there have been very different attitudes towards this incident between the Chinese official media and the overseas media over the years, we can see from the news flashes of the Chinese Central Government TV station and the pictures they used behind the appeal people were not the special red wall of Zhongnanhai, but across the street was the red wall and the west entrance to Zhongnanhai. It is well known that the official entrance to Zhongnanhai is Xinhua Gate, facing Chang'an Avenue. Actually, on April 25, no appeal people gathered at Chang'an Avenue. The appeal people mainly stayed at Fuyou Street and Xi'anmen Avenue. And no one stayed by the side of the red wall of Zhongnanhai.
Q: Did Premier Zhu Rongji properly resolve the "Tianjin Incident" and "April 25, Appeal"?
A: At around 8:15 am on April 25, then-premier Zhu Rongji led a group of people to walk out from the West Gate to the State Council across the street and came in front of the practitioners who were appealing. Applause arose among the appealing practitioners. Premier Zhu asked, "What do you come for? Who asked you to come?" Many practitioners answered, "We came to report the situation about Falun Gong. No one made an arrangement for us." Premier Zhu asked again, "Why do you write letters to appeal? Why are so many people here?"
Many practitioners were answering. One practitioner said, "The letters I wrote can almost fill a gunnysack. But I did not get any response." Premier Zhu said, "I had replies to your issue." Practitioners said, "We did not get any reply." The premier asked the practitioners to select several representatives to enter the State Council and further report the situation.
At noon on April 25, 1999, Li Chang and Wang Zhiwen from the Falun Dafa Research Association and three Beijing practitioners went into the State Council as Falun Gong representatives and had a conversation with the governmental officials. They stated three requests of Falun Gong practitioners:
- Release the Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested in Tianjin
- Provide a relaxed environment so Falun Gong practitioners could practice publicly without fear of government retribution.
- Allow the publication of Falun Gong books.
The governmental officials who attended the conversation included the person in charge of the Appeal Office of State Council and the people in charge of Beijing City and Tianjin City. At dusk, Tianjin City released all detained Falun Gong practitioners according to the instruction from the Central Government. Afterwards, the practitioners left quietly. The whole process was very peaceful and orderly.
It is necessary to state that the Appeal Office of State Council is located at the West Gate to Zhongnanhai, otherwise, the Falun Gong practitioners would not go near Zhongnanhai. However, since the persecution started in July 1999, the CCP's media spread a rumor saying that "Falun Gong beseiged Zhongnanhai". The purpose clearly was to put blame onto Falun Gong.
Q: Why did Jiang Zemin reverse the Premier's conclusion and decide to crack down?
A: Jiang Zemin, the CCP leader, had risen by fabricating his family background. He was a central figure in the CCP's bloody repression of the student appeal of June 4, 1989, also known as the Tiananmen Square Massacre. Out of fear and jealousy towards Zhu Rongji, who successfully resolved the incident and earned a huge reputation, Jiang Zemin ignored objections from the other six members of the Standing Committee of the Politburo and personally determined to crack down on Falun Gong. In a meeting of the Central Government, he claimed, "Whereas the historical lesson regarding the downfall of the Soviet Union, the Central Government has determined to sterilize the domain of ideology. Falun Gong advocates 'Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance', which gives us a chance to sterilize. We can give a free hand in this attack issue. Later on, the experience we earn can be applied to other Qigong organizations."
On July 20, 1999, the CCP started to fully crack down on Falun Gong. It employed the inhuman policies such as "defaming their reputation, crippling them economically, destroying them physically" and, "killing them and attributing it as suicide". The media in the whole country intensively fabricated and spread all kinds of lies, which seemed to be a recurrence of the Cultural Revolution.
Q: Does the persecution continue today?
A: Since the CCP started to crack down on Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, up to now, tens of millions of Falun Gong practitioners who insist on their beliefs were sentenced, sent to labor camps and some even tortured to death. Practitioners became homeless and destitute, their organs were harvested while alive and their families were broken. The CCP's crimes are too numerous to record.
During the past eight years, although the CCP strictly blocked the truth of the persecution, 3,148 cases of Falun Gong practitioners tortured to death were confirmed by April 25, 2008. The deaths occurred all over China.
The persecution proceeds secretly, continuously and inhumanly. Every year, thousands of Falun Gong practitioners, who insist on their belief and speak true words, are illegally arrested, sentenced and sent to labor camps. They experience all kinds of persecution. Death due to torture has happened often. It is known by now that the CCP has 36 secret concentration camps. Since 2001, the concentration camps have harvested and sold practitioners' organs, cremating the murdered bodies to destroy the evidence. Just in the Sujiatun Concentration Camp in Shenyang City, Liaoning Province, about 4000 practitioners were killed. The true scope of the persecution remains a closely guarded secret, buy in time, justice will be served and the persecutors will pay the inevitable price of their wrongdoings.