Index Part II Part III



1 Death and Torture in Custody
2 Detention and Abuse in Mental Hospitals
3 Mass Arrest and Police Brutality
4 Social and Economic Coercion
5 Public Destruction of Books and Tapes
6 Procedure and Prosecution: Flying in the Face of “Rule of Law”
7 A Nation Misled
8 Women, Children, and the Elderly
9 Schools Not Spared
10 The Global Reach of the Campaign


This report details human rights violations, dating from July 22, 1999, committed by the government of the People’s Republic of China against practitioners of Falun Gong. Its aim is to provide a succinct overview of nearly eight months of vigorous, and sometimes violent, suppression of Falun Gong. Details of pivotal events, representative incidents, and individual cases are drawn from reliable sources, while case analyses are used to put these into perspective. Additional materials are provided in supplementary form, offering significant background information.

Falun Gong is a traditional Chinese1 “cultivation practice” (popularly known as qigong) brought to the public by Mr. Li Hongzhi in 1992. It espouses the principles of “truthfulness,” “compassion,” and “tolerance,” taking these as guidance for conduct and thought. It has neither any political agenda nor commercial interests. Benign in nature, Falun Gong has been recognized around the world as beneficial to society for its spiritual principles and ability to improve individuals’ health. As of July 1999, it is estimated that some 100 million people in more than 30 countries practice Falun Gong.

On April 25, 1999, more than ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful gathering in Beijing, China, outside the Chinese leadership compound, Zhongnanhai.2 The assembly was prompted by reports of violence previously inflicted upon Falun Gong practitioners by Chinese police in the city of Tianjin3, as well as an official ban on publishing Falun Gong materials. The entire event was peaceful and characterized by orderliness, as its participants’ sense of civic responsibility was consistent with Falun Gong’s teachings. Consequently, social order was not compromised and the assembly came to a quick and peaceful end after participants presented their case before Mr. Zhu Rongji, Premier of the Chinese State Council. Because of the gathering, Falun Gong at once started to receive international attention.

After the assembly, the Chinese Government, widely speculated to have been misled by some self-seeking officials, decided to launch a crackdown on Falun Gong. It first announced to the public that the assembly, which was held well within parameters set by China’s constitution, would not bring about any punishment.4 The government’s initial, moderate stance on Falun Gong following the assembly - seen by many as a sign of China’s progress in political reform - gave Chinese leadership sufficient time to orchestrate a nationwide crackdown. On July 20, 1999, forceful suppression began, with hundreds of arrests of so-called “key members” of Falun Gong being made across China in the middle of the night. A nationwide ban of Falun Gong was then enacted, making every sort of Falun Gong activity illegal. Just one week later the Chinese Government issued an arrest warrant for Mr. Li Hongzhi, then already a permanent resident of the United States.

A prelude to a prolonged campaign against Falun Gong, the Chinese Government’s unexpected moves immediately led thousands of Falun Gong practitioners to make appeals5 to their local and central governments. They believed Falun Gong and Mr. Li had been wronged. They hoped their appeals could rectify the critical mistake being committed by their government. The government, however, showed little interest in Falun Gong practitioners’ genuine concerns. Even worse, few of these law-abiding people had ever anticipated that their candor and confidence in the government would be answered with beatings, arrests, labor sentences, and unauthorized detainment.

As the anti-Falun Gong campaign progressed, its intensity grew. Rife with extensive human rights abuses, the campaign has provoked repeated criticism from numerous human rights organizations around the world. On October 30, 1999, the Chinese Government declared Falun Gong an “evil cult,” enabling even harsher, “legal” penalties towards Falun Gong practitioners. Nationwide suppression has escalated ever since. By now, more than 5000 practitioners, including the elder-ly, pregnant women, and young children, have been sent to labor camps absent proper legal proceedings; more than 300 have been jailed, with the longest term of up to 18 years6; some 35,000 have been detained, with many held under inhumane conditions7. Shockingly, more than 100 practitioners have reportedly been detained and severely abused in mental hospitals. The victims have been subjected to a variety of tortures, abuses, and humiliations. So far, 11 people are known to have died in custody, while countless others are unaccounted for. The scope and severity of the punishment are difficult to fathom.

The Chinese Government has also launched a farreaching campaign of misinformation about Falun Gong. State-run media have flooded the printing presses and airwaves with fabrications about Mr. Li and Falun Gong in attempts to sway and miseducate their readers and audiences. Conversely, millions of legally published Falun Gong books, audio tapes, and video tapes have been confiscated and destroyed. Practitioners have been forced to quit their practice of Falun Gong or face loss of their homes and jobs, expulsion from school, or suspension of pensions. It is estimated that more than 10,000 college students will be required to discontinue their education if they continue their practice8. Numerous practitioners have lost their jobs and houses for appealing to authorities. Moreover, people not practicing Falun Gong have also been under pressure to “help” the government to “transform” persistent practitioners through “re-education” -- a euphemism for inhumane mind-altering procedures perfected during the Great Cultural Revolution. The entire Chinese nation has been led into a “battle” wherein grandparents, parents, siblings and children suddenly find themselves the “enemy” of one another. Almost no one has remained unimplicated or uninvolved in this divisive state of affairs.

To keep the outside world from knowing the truth about Falun Gong and the suppression, the Chinese Government has taken steps to shut down Internet access and jam or wire-tap phone calls. Efforts have even extended overseas to North America, where Internet Web sites (including the home page of the California Institute of Technology, for instance) have been “hacked” and even shut down by Chinese programmers from the Ministry of Public Security of China. Foreign journalists in China covering Falun Gong and the crackdown have been harassed and even threatened,9 and people reporting the facts to the outside have been severely reprimanded. Notably, the organizer of a clandestine press conference last October in Beijing was recently jailed and sentenced in secret to twelve years.

On the eve of Chinese New Year 2000, the world witnessed (via CNN) Chinese police mercilessly beating Falun Gong practitioners -- including several elderly women -- in Tiananmen Square. More than 2,000 practitioners were detained in that event, despite their having done nothing but sitting quietly or carrying red scarves. Meanwhile, 140 jailed practitioners in northern China staged a hunger strike during the Chinese festival to protest the torture of their fellow practitioners. Practitioners have remained true to their principles of non-violence throughout the entire course of suppression; there has yet to be a single case reported of violent response or initiative -- despite arbitrary and inhumane treatment10.

The international community has paid close attention to the extreme use of force connected with the suppression of Falun Gong. Many international organizations and countries have voiced their concerns. They have called on the Chinese Government to exercise restraint in handling Falun Gong and to show respect for practitioners’ basic human rights, including the freedom of conscience and freedom of assembly. The United States Congress has been a leader in this regard. It is joined by Amnesty International, the Canadian Government and the European Parliament, to name a few. These calls for reform have so far fallen on deaf ears, when not met with harsh rebuttal for meddling in China’s “internal affairs.”

We fear that the current suppression of Falun Gong might, if unchecked, escalate into one of modern history’s most grim tragedies. At present, the livelihood and security, not to mention dignity, of millions of peaceful, law-abiding people are at stake. The scale of the suppression is unprecedented, its needless use of force is beyond comprehension. On behalf of the Falun Gong practitioners around the world whose voices cannot be heard, we hereby repeat our call for help in resolving this acute situation. We wish for international efforts directed at promoting a peaceful dialogue between Falun Gong practitioners and the Chinese Government. Dialogue, we believe, remains a peaceful, viable way to halt the current abuses in China.

Many Falun Gong practitioners have risked a great deal (including torture, imprisonment, homelessness, and severe fines) to publicize their cases and the wrongdoing unfolding in China. Their reports must not be taken lightly, lest the value of hope, courage, or basic human rights be forgotten. In presenting these documents, we now ask you to be a voice for those without one, to do all within your power to challenge the injustice and cruelty.

The enclosed report is organized as follows:

Part I provides summaries of the detailed information contained in the case reports which comprise Part II, offering synopses and some notable details. It proceeds in a structure paralleling that of Part II, consisting therefore of 10 summaries.

Part II is composed of several sections of case reports. Sections 1 and 2 focus on practitioners’ suffering while in custody and in mental hospitals. Sections 3 and 4 detail arrests and mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners. Sections 5, 6 and 7 investigate the avenues used by the Chinese Government to suppress Falun Gong. Sections 8 and 9 present the experiences of special groups of people, including women, children, students, and senior citizens. Section 10 concludes the case reports by analyzing both the Chinese Government’s reactions to efforts by the international community to end the crackdown, and the government’s attempt to tarnish the image of Falun Gong in the eyes of other nations.

Part III is a supplementary component, called “The
True Story,” and represents a slight departure from the objective case materials contained and summarized in parts I and II. Three sections compose Part III. Section 1 answers the question “What is Falun Gong?” from a practitioner’s point of view. Section 2 provides point-by-point and narrative rebuttals to the numerous allegations of the Chinese Government’s public information arm. Section 3 concludes the report with a sampling of international responses to the crackdown on Falun Gong in China.

Several files, referenced in the texts of Parts I, II, and III, are attached at the document’s end.

1 “China,” as used throughout this report, unless otherwise specified, is equivalent to “People’s Republic of China,” and “Chinese” to its citizens.
2 Though this event has been repeatedly referenced by the media in both China and the West, no careful or in-depth analysis of it has been offered to date. An understanding of this event is so important that we have devoted an entire article to it. See Part III, Section 2, Article II.
3 The police detained 45 Falun Gong practitioners, many elderly citizens, on April 23, 1999 in Tianjin.
4 See “Talks Given by Officials of the State Council and the Chinese Communist Party Central Letters and Visit Bureaus,” Xinhua News Agency, June 14, 1999.
5 Public appeals efforts, while unfamiliar to the West, have played an important role in Chinese history. As a means for individuals to legally petition the government in China, they offer all citizens a peaceful avenue for expressing concerns to higher authorities.
6 See “U.S. And Australian Falun Gong Members Held In China,” Reuters, February 7, 2000.
7 See “China Warns UN Human Rights Chief Over Falungong,” Agence France Presse, February 29, 2000.
8 See “Chinese students face dismissal for Falun Gong,” Reuters, October 26, 1999.
9 See “China: Foreign journalists protest ‘harassment’ in China,” Reuters, November 10, 1999.
10 See Part III, Section 1, Article IV.

1. Death and Torture in Custody

Persecution, an abstract term, does not truly convey the harsh reality facing Falun Gong practitioners for the past eight months. “At least six members of hina’s outlawed Falun Gong spiritual movement have died in detention since August, a Hong Kong human rights group said Friday. One of them was beaten to death by police, four took their own lives to escape persecution and one died after four days of hunger strike.”1

“Zhao Jinhua, female, a 42-year-old farmer from Zhaojia village, Zhangxing, Shandong, died on October 7, 1999 in a police station of Zhangxing County. A Falun Gong practitioner since 1995, Zhao Jinhua was taken away by Zhangxing county police on September 27, 1999 while she was working in the fields. While in police custody, she was put under pressure to renounce her Falun Gong practice and repeatedly beaten with clubs and electric batons when she refused to do so. On October 7, 1999, she was sent twice to the county hospital for emergency treatment. She died the second time before arriving at the hospital. According to the sources, an autopsy carried out on October 8, 1999 by medical experts in Zhaoyuan City and Yantai City found that Zhao Jinhua had wounds and hematomata on many parts of the body, except the head. The autopsy report indicated that her death was caused by beatings with blunt instruments. Her ashes were given back to her family on October 8. The speed with which the body was cremated suggests that the authorities were trying to cover up the circumstances of her death, as is often the case with deaths in custody in China.”2

The Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China “asked a public security official if police had beaten Zhao to death, quoted the official as saying: ‘Since you know why she died, why do you still ask me?’”3

As of February 2000, the death toll had increased to 11, including a 29-year-old engineer who died from force-feeding during a hunger strike4 and a 60-year-old villager tortured to death in police custody5.

In a more recent case, on January 17, Gao Xianmin, male, 41, a Falun Gong practitioner in Guangzhou City “died after he was taken away by police in Guangzhou on December 31, 1999 while he was having a picnic with 10 other Falun Gong followers in a park.”6 The police did not give any reason for his death. During his detention, “Gao went on a hunger strike to protest being tied up and beaten.” He was then force-fed with high-density salt water. “[The Hong Kong Standard] quoted a Falun Gong practitioner from Hong Kong, Kan Hung-cheung, as saying Gao died ‘from circulation and breathing failure.’”7 Ms. Tang Jian from Colorado,
U.S., guessed that Gao might have died from suffocation when he was force-fed with high-density salt water. Ms. Tang had suffered similar torture previously in the same detention center when she went back to China to appeal for Falun Gong. It gave her a feeling close to death8.

Wang Guoping, male, around 40 years old, from Shulan City, Jilin Province, went to Beijing to appeal to the central government and was arrested in October 1999. During the detention, he was stripped and doused with cold water, subjected to various types of torture instruments, and was even insulted beyond words by having his head repeatedly submerged in a toilet. He died on October 17, 1999; the police said he jumped out of the eighth floor of the Jilin liaison office building 9.

Chen Ying, female, 18, a high-school student from Jiamusi City, Heilongjiang Province, went to Beijing to appeal to the central government in early August of 1999 and was arrested in Beijing. Police escorted her back home, and threatened, tortured, and abused her on the train. Crumbling under these offenses, she jumped off the moving train and died. Zhao Dong, male, 38, from Jixi City of Heilongjiang Province suffered the same death. He went to Beijing at the end of September of 1999 and was captured by police. He jumped off a moving train handcuffed and died10.

Dong Buyun, female, 36, an elementary school teacher of Lanshan District, Linyi City, Shandong Province, went to Beijing to appeal on July 20, 1999. Later she was arrested in Beijing and escorted back by the police of Lanshan District on September 10 and detained in her school office on the second floor. On the second day, it was said that she jumped out of the building in the middle of the night and died. The police, again, cremated her body immediately11.

The Chinese Government has officially investigated none of the above cases of deaths, nor have those responsible for the deaths ever been brought to justice. On the contrary, families of the dead were threatened not to reveal the truth to the public, and those who did were sent to the labor camps. The details of most of the deaths are still not confirmed.

While the law prohibits torture, it is routinely ignored. From the long list of cases collected, it can be seen that the quantity and the nature of torture admin- stered to Falun Gong practitioners are unprecedented. The specific means of torture vary from region to region, ranging from physical abuse (such as denying food, sleep, and toilet use, exposure to extreme hot or cold weather, forced labor, harsh force-feeding of those on hunger strike, beating, etc.) to punishment with instruments like lit cigarettes, electric batons, handcuffs (in different painful positions), heated iron bars, or instruments for death-row prisoners. When imprisoned with convicted criminals, practitioners are also subject to personal abuse from criminals. The following are only a few typical cases:

North China (Northeast in particular), where there is a larger population of Falun Gong practitioners, has seen the harshest treatment since the very beginning of the suppression. “Zhu Hang, female, an Associate Professor at the Department of Humanity and Social Sciences of Dalian Polytechnic University was arrested when practicing Falun Gong exercises in a park on 30 August 1999, charged with ‘disrupting social order with feudalistic superstition’ and detained in the Yaojia Detention Center. According to the report, she was shackled in a ‘di lao’ [translated literally as ‘prison in hell’] device in a way that she could not move. As a result, she was not able to use the toilet or feed herself. She started a hunger strike because she did not want to add burden to other detained practitioners and there was not enough food for everyone. Seven days later, the detention authorities apparently started to worry about possible ‘life accidents,’ and ordered several guards to feed her by pricking her mouth open with spoons, which caused severe injury in her mouth. Later, they installed a pipe in her nose to feed liquid. She eventually lost consciousness and was sent to the People’s No. 2 Hospital of Dalian City. Because of the shackles, her left foot had become swollen to almost double its normal size and she had injuries on her right foot. She could hardly open her mouth and had difficulties speaking.”12 Ms. Zhu Hang was later sent to a mental hospital for refusing to give up Falun Gong and posting her stories on the nternet13.

Zhang Chunqing, female, 58, on September 3, 1999, was arrested when she was practicing Falun Gong in a park with her granddaughter. She was detained for 15 days in the Dalian Yaojia Detention Center for “disturbing social order.” She was also put on “di lao” torture device and had her ankle injured. Later, she was sent to labor camps for disclosing her story to foreign media14.

Xiang Jinying is a practitioner from Haiyan County of Zhejiang Province. She was arrested on Tiananmen Square on October 25, 1999 and her left upper arm was broken from the torture15.

Gu Zhiyi, female, 63, a Falun Gong contact person in Chongqing, Sichuan Province was arrested on July 19, 1999. In the jail, she was subjected to 24 types of inhumane torture, including the “tiger stool” (thighs lashed to a bench and legs bent to the opposite direction by adding bricks under the heels), piercing through fingers with sharp bamboo sticks, and electric shocks by connecting electrodes to the head and anus, etc.

Numerous practitioners in many detention centers have gone on hunger strike in silent protest against the inhumane treatment and the detainment. Some practitioners were beaten and physically abused even while on hunger strike. One witness from Changping County, Beijing said “after 3 days without eating any food or drinking any water, they were forced to stand in the burning sun for 3 hours. Some vomited gall, some severely dehydrated. But they were not allowed to drink water or squat down.” At least one death on hunger strike was reported. Zhu Shaolan, female, 50 years old, from Jinzhou City, Liaoning Province, died after 4 days of hunger strike16.

“No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.”17 The brutal persecution and torture of Falun Gong practitioners directly violates the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The Chinese Government also breaks the promise it made in October 1998 as a signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. We call for the persecution and torture to be stopped immediately.

1 See “Falun Gong Members Die In China Custody,” Reuters, November 5, 1999.
2 Amnesty International Public Document. AI Index: ASA 17/54/99, October 22, 1999. For detailed information about Zhao Jinhua’s death, please refer Part II, Section 1.1.
3 See “Murder in China: Practitioner Killed During ‘Education’,” Reuters, October 11, 1999.
4 See “Hunger-Striking Falungong Member Killed By Force-Feeding,” Agence France Presse, February 22, 2000.
5 See “Falun Gong Member Dies in Custody,” Associated Press, February 28, 2000.
6 See “Falungong Member Dies In Police Custody In South China,” Agence France Presse, January 25, 2000.
7 See “Detained Falun Gong Man Dies,” Associated Press, January 26, 2000.
8 Please refer to Part II, Section 3.2 case 3.
9 Internet report on, based on messages provided by Falun Gong practitioners in China, October 27, 2000. Most information therein was gathered via email, phone call, or letters from practitioners in China.
10 Internet report on, message provided by Falun Gong practitioners in China, October 25, 1999.
11 Internet report on, message provided by Falun Gong practitioners in China, November 1, 1999.
12 Amnesty International, Public document. AI Index: ASA 17/54/99, October 22, 1999.
13 Please refer to Part II, Section 1.3 for photographs and details.
14 Please refer to Part II, Section 1.2 for photographs and details.
15 Please refer to Part II, Section 1.4 for details.
16 See “China Detains Policeman,” Associated Press, November 5, 1999.
17 Article 5 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

2. Detention and Abuse in Mental Hospitals

As of February 2000, at least 108 Falun Gong practitioners1 were reported to have been detained in psychiatric facilities for periods ranging from seven days to three months. Some of them were treated with anti-psychotics, sedatives and electric shocks. During the detention, they were not allowed to see their family members. Some people had to leave their children or disabled elderly parents at home unattended. Hospitals, including Jining Mental Hospital (Shandong Province), Zhoukoudian Mental Hospital (Beijing), Third Hospital of Wujin (Jianshu Province), Huilongguan Hospital (Beijing), Second Hospital of Xingxian Medical Institute (Henan Province), and Longqianshan Psychiatric Hospital (Guangxi Province), and two drug rehabilitation centers in Dalian and Jinzhou (both in Liaoning Province), are all involved in detaining and abusing practitioners.

The following narratives by the victims and reports from the western media present a grim picture of the Falun Gong practitioners in mental asylums and drug rehabilitation centers.

“ ... The police pressed an official at my workplace to sign a paper saying I was mentally ill... A female doctor gave me an injection.... I struggled desperately but was tied to bed by the four male staffs with thick ropes. In a short while I began to feel extremely anxious and thirsty. I bumped against the wall and the ground anxiously. I thought of death.... On the second day, my head became blank. I felt headache and fainted. I could not think. My legs and arms lost strength. My tongue stiffened and stretched out like being pulled out by someone but I could not pull it back. My neck also stiffened and stretched forward to the extreme. Moreover, I could not control my movements. Being like this, I could not eat at all. They fed me through my nose. My nose bled. They had given me nine injections in total....On the third day they forced me to take perphenazine. At the beginning one tablet only, four or five if I exercise Falun Gong. My reactions to perphenazine were the same as to the injection. I suffered the inhuman mental and physical torture for thirty-six days in the Jining Mental Hospital, now a place detaining more practitioners...‘It is the way we treat the member of a evil religion’ a nurse said. ” --A 22-year-old practitioner from Shandong Province, January 25, 20002

“... Some policemen took me to the Third Hospital of Wujin City, a hospital for mental illness. In the hospital, they forced me to take medicines and tortured me with an electric instrument for five times...this socalled ‘humanitarian hospital’ is detaining many people who appeal to government for various ill treatments they have received. It is an even worse place than jail with much more cruel mental and physical torture...” --Cheng Zhong, a 55-year-old practitioner from Jianshu Province, October 9, 19993

“...[Policemen] brought me to the Huilongguan Mental Hospital, throw me into a special care unit and forced me to take medicines for 7 days. Upon discharge, the hospital refused to give me a certificate of diagnosis and simply said, ‘We will detain you again if go to appeal’...four more practitioners are still kept in this hospital...” --Niu Jingping, a practitioner from Beijing, November, 19994

“...Four Falun Gong practitioners are still being detained in the Second Hospital of Xinxiang Medical Institute of Henan Province...They are Zhao Fangjian from Puyang City, Li Kangqing, a MD, and Zhao Qiaomin, a nurse from the Zhengzhou Hospital for Cancer and Lu Baona from Jiaozuo City... They have been detained and treated for ‘mental illness’ for two months...When questioned by family members why they had treated normal citizen like a mentally ill patients, the doctor on call replied, ‘we do not care about that. We just follow the instructions from the police department’...” --A Report from Henan Province, January 29, 20005

“‘The doctors and nurses made fun of me ‘aren’t you practicing Falun Gong? Let us see which is stronger, Falun Gong or our medicines?’ They would increase the dosage on me whenever they found me practicing Falun Gong.’ Huang Jingchuan, 34, a judge who refused to renounce his belief in Falun Gong has been committed to a psychiatric hospital and injected with drugs daily that left him sleepy and muddled. Last December, 52 practitioners were detained in Zhoukoudian mental Hospital for 40 days” --By Charles Hutzler, Associated Press, February 11, 20006

It is sad to note that Chinese psychiatrists and psychiatric facilities, including mental hospitals and drug rehabilitation centers, have become a major tool to persecute Falun Gong practitioners who refuse to give up their beliefs under threats and pressure from the government. What is worse, strict information blockage makes it extremely difficult to reveal the truth to the outside. Many believe that the known cases are only the tip of the iceberg in enumerating the total cases of psychological torture of practitioners in China. The appalling stories and deteriorating situation have already disturbed medical professionals in the West. For example, Dr. Abraham Halpern, a professor emeritus of psychiatry in New York Medical School, wrote to the New York Times to express his frustration. He said, “It is vitally important for human rights groups, together with psychiatric associations, to organize against the pernicious practices of police agencies in China lest the horrors that prevailed in the Soviet Union in the 1970’s and 1980’s are reincarnated in China.”7

1 This number is counted from the cases reported; please refer to Part II, Section 2.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 2 case 8.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 2 case 3.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 2 case 6.
5 Please refer to Part II, Section 2 case 9.
6 Please refer to Part II, Section 2 case 10.
7 See Letters to the Editor, “Detaining Falun Gong”, New York Times, February 15, 2000.

3. Mass Arrest and Police Brutality

On February 4, 2000, the Chinese Lunar New Year’s Eve, a group of Falun Gong practitioners had barely started to practice their meditation in Tiananmen Square when “police pounced on the protesters immediately, running toward them from all corners of the square. They kicked, punched and dragged protesters to their feet, herded them into vans and drove them away. ...... A man, strolling with a woman and a young girl, quietly pulled out his [Falun Gong] banner. Police set upon him, punching him in the face and torso, while the girl screamed, ‘Don’t hit, don’t hit!’”1 According to the report by Agence France Presse on February 5, 2000, on that night, “Chinese police have detained hundreds, and possibly thousands of practitioners.”

Since the Chinese Government started the crack-down of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Falun Gong practitioners have persistently appealed to the government for a dialogue to resolve the crisis peacefully. However, their kindness and sincerity have been answered with merciless suppression and mistreatment. Practitioners across the country have been subject to arbitrary detention, assault, and even torture. The extent of arrests and mistreatment of citizens, together with the degree of violence employed, constitute a level of systematic suppression seldom witnessed in recent history.

“They [Falun Gong practitioners] wanted to tell the Government that there’s no reason to arrest students of Falun Gong. As people got near Zhongnanhai, the police were ready. They forced them to leave, to get on buses to take them away,” a witness told Mark Landler of the New York Times. Roughly 2000 demonstrators congregated in front of a government building early Wednesday [July 21, 1999] morning, according to Landler. “The police forced most onto buses and they were taken to an unknown destination.”2

Throughout the mass arrest, violence was inflicted extensively upon practitioners regardless of age, gender, or physical condition. A report from Dalian City, Liaoning Province dated July 21, 1999 documented that “July 20, at around 1:00 p.m., [Falun Gong] practitioners went to the Government Appeal Bureau to inquire about the arrest of some practitioners early that morning. At 1:30 p.m., policemen started to drag out young male practitioners and beat them... A 13-year-old girl got a 4-inch long laceration on her arm, and a policeman carried a 10-year-old boy to the police vehicles while holding his legs... Policemen said: ‘We are the authorities here.’...”3

According to another witness, “Policemen pushed and beat practitioners violently, and dragged them to police cars by their hair. Many female practitioners’ hair was pulled off. Some policemen seized some male practitioners into police cars by their throats. Many elder people were dragged, pushed, and beaten by policemen. A practitioner was beaten by four or five policemen simultaneously, and thrown to the police car. Many policemen got so tired that they breathed heavily with sweat all over their faces. An 80-year-old practitioner said in tears: ‘This is the first time for me to see policemen beat people like this.’”4

However, “Falun Gong members make unlikely protesters,” noted Reuters in its report on Chinese practitioners making an appeal to the authorities on October 29, 1999, one day after Falun Gong was declared an “evil cult” by the Chinese Government. “Most have readily admitted their allegiance when questioned by police and walked calmly to waiting police vans. On Friday, October 29, dozens of members escalated their civil disobedience by sitting in the lotus position in the square and staying stoically silent as police kicked, punched, and dragged them to minivans by the hair.” “We don’t hate the people who beat us. We understand they have been told too many lies. They don’t know the truth about us,” one practitioner said5.

At a “Situation Report Meeting” on November 26, 1999, convened jointly by the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee, the Working Commission of Offices directly affiliated to the Central Government, the Working Commission of the Central Offices, the General Political Department of PLA, and the Chinese Communist Party Beijing Committee, the Vice Premier Li Lanqing, gave a special report called “Several Issues in Fighting against Falun Gong” at the Great Hall of the People. In his report, the number of arrests of practitioners who have gone to appeal in Beijing (mainly around Tiananmen Square only) can be summarized in the following table: while visiting China, according to the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China. They have experienced and witnessed the torture and mistreatment of Falun Gong practitioners in different cities of China by the government.

These practitioners from outside China were detained, searched, and interrogated without any search or arrest warrants. Some were continuously beaten or roughed up for as long as six days, some detained for weeks, some struck with stun batons, some handcuffed and put in shackles, some force-fed quantities of high-density salt water, some compelled to do long hours of hard labor in the detention centers. Most of them were expelled from China afterwards. Reportedly, the Chinese National Security Bureau, the Ministry of Public Security and the Customs have recently compiled a “blacklist” of the overseas Falun Gong practitioners to prevent them from returning to China9.
  Table 3.1 An Official Report of Arrested Falun Gong Practitioners Total Arrests 2600325381573892400754230Date 07/20-07/2207/23-08/1208/13-08/1708/18-08/3109/01-09/3009/31-10/0310/25-10/30Daily Average 866712131288019705

A Hong Kong-based human rights group, the Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China, reported that “Li Lanqing, a vice premier and member of the Communist Party’s supreme decision-making body, said in a speech that 35,792 detentions took place in Beijing between July and October.”6

Human rights advocates say, “China has sent more than 5,000 Falun Gong members to labor camps without trial and sentenced another 300 to jail since September.”7 Scores of alleged “leaders” of Falun Gong practitioners have been tried and sentenced to up to 18 years imprisonment for “using an evil sect to sabotage the implementation of the law” and “revealing state secrets.”8

The arbitrary detention, assault and torture are not limited to only Chinese practitioners. In the past few months, more than a hundred Falun Gong practitioners from Australia, Canada, France, Ireland, Japan, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other nations, as well as some from Hong Kong and Macao (where Falun Gong remains legal), were detained by Chinese policemen9.

1 See “Falun Gong members arrested as China welcomes Year of the Dragon,” Associated Press, February 4, 2000.
2 See “Protests Erupt Over Crackdown on Chinese Spiritual Movement,” New York Times, July 22, 1999.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 3.1 case 5.
4 Internet report on, message provided by Falun Gong practitioners in China, July 20, 1999.
5 See “Despair and devotion drive Falun Gong protesters,” Reuters, October 29, 1999.
6 See “China Denies Detaining 35,000,” Associated Press, December 2, 1999.
7 See “U.S. And Australian Falun Gong Members Held In China,” Reuters, February 7, 2000.
8 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.2 for five typical cases.
9 See “China Draws Up Black List Of Falungong Followers Abroad,” Agence France Presse, January 5, 2000.

4. Social and Economic Coercion

In the early morning of July 20, 1999, the Chinese Government stunned the world by arresting Falun Gong contact persons in about 30 major cities of China. Two days later, CCTV (China Central Television) announced the ban on the “Falun Dafa Research Association.” Since then, Falun Gong practitioners were arrested, detained, and tortured for appealing to central and local governments for their right to practice Falun Gong1. The scope of the suppression was so wide that even practitioners who stayed at home could not escape. Obviously, the target of this suppression has not been the “Falun Dafa Research Association” or key contact persons. It is every single Falun Gong practitioner unwavering in his beliefs. Although the Chinese constitution explicitly guarantees the Chinese citizens their basic freedom in exercising personal beliefs, that protection currently does not apply to Falun Gong practitioners. They must choose to either give up their practice or continue with it under social and financial pressures, and sometimes even threat of torture.

In this anti-Falun Gong campaign, practitioners and their families are subject to enormous pressure from many fronts, including economic retaliation and persecution. “My 79-year old mother was so frightened and asked us not to study and practice any more, otherwise she would commit suicide. This event has brought a crisis to my family. I have no other choice but to come to Beijing to appeal,”2 said a practitioner from Helongjiang Province.

The local security staff turns to punishing the immediate family members or other relatives if the practitioners do not give up Falun Gong. In Changchun City, the government forced family members of Falun Gong practitioners to be “guarantors.” If a practitioner went to Beijing to appeal, his guarantor would lose her job or be expelled from school. One practitioner’s relative working at a police department was assigned to be his guarantor. Another practitioner’s daughter, a second-year high school student, was assigned to be her mother’s guarantor. If her mother went to Beijing to appeal, she would lose all her future employment opportunities.3

The pressure also comes from employers. They were notified of the need to “reeducate” their Falun Gong employees. However, the “reeducation” is not “helping” the practitioners. Many government employees are forced to write a pledge to renounce Falun Gong. They are kept in a room, reading defamatory TV scripts all day long. If they do not write, the detention will last forever. The threat of employment loss is quite common. Wang Yajuan, a practitioner from Shenzhen, is one of the many victims. “The police went to my workplace many times to put pressure on my supervisors. My company had no choice but to suspend my job. The police and the residents committee often came to my home disturbing me. I have to come to Beijing to appeal.”4 Even worse, some workplaces have warned people that they may be fired or their jobs may be changed if they are unable to prevent their family members from practicing Falun Gong.

Practitioners have incurred loss of money and other assets as punishment for practicing Falun Gong. Policemen have imposed heavy fines on practitioners if they went to appeal for Falun Gong. The following is a piece of news from Shandong Province.

“Liu Jie was escorted back on November 23, 1999 and detained in the Heliwujia town of Laixi City, Shandong Province. He has been detained until now because he could not afford the penalty of 10,000 Yuan (above the annual income of an average Chinese worker). His home was ransacked under the excuse of searching his ID cards. The police seized 2,700 Yuan from his home and took away a farm-use three-wheel motor vehicle (about 2,000 Yuan) without leaving any receipt.”5

Practitioners were punished not only for appealing, but also for peacefully practicing at home. Chen Shuxian, a Beijing Falun Gong practitioner, was harassed when practicing at home. “September 21, 1999, when I was practicing at home, police broke into my home and confiscated my audio tapes and cassette players used for my practice. I was then questioned in the police station.”6

Local policemen are trying all kinds of means to prevent practitioners from making appeals. Many practitioners’ daily activities are restricted and under surveillance. When they go shopping, they may be followed and videotaped by the police. In some remote rural areas of the country, local police took drastic measures. Two cases of forced march and public humiliation of practitioners have been reported7. One of them happened in Sichuan Province:

“January 8, 2000 was the market day of Pengjia town of Shuangliu County, Sichuan Province. On that day, the local police forcibly marched fifteen Falun Gong practitioners who had gone to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong through the crowded streets, in the cold wind. These fifteen practitioners were all barefoot.”

Evidently, the daily lives of Falun Gong practitioners will be undermined if they decide to continue with their practice. Moreover, the ongoing pervasive national campaign has brought enormous suffering to many families. In some families, the parents were arrested and detained, while the children were left home unattended. Some families have broken up under the pressure. The following statement of a practitioner offers a glimpse of the suffering visited upon a practitioner and his family:

“July 22, Xinan District government officials took me to the District conference room to watch TV programs on Falun Dafa, and ordered me to write a pledge not to practice Falun Dafa. They forbid me to say anything good about Falun Dafa, and threatened me that those who do not obey them would be fired and detained for fifteen days. I told them I wouldn’t give up Falun Dafa practice. They sent me to the police station and jailed me for twenty-four hours. Because of the threat from the government, my wife was facing unemployment and my mother was so frightened that she became seriously ill and was bed-ridden, so I was forced to write a pledge against my will. After that, they sent me to the security office of my working unit, forced me to study the materials defaming Falun Dafa and to change my thoughts, and demanded that I speak out against Falun Dafa. I didn’t comply with them, so I was detained for another week. After that, they demanded that I report my whereabouts every morning to the security department of my work unit, and to hand in my repentance report every Saturday. A month later, as my mind was still unchanged, my wife divorced me.”8

1 Please refer to Sections 1, 2 and 3 in this summary.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.1 case 4.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.1 case 1.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.5 case 7.
5 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.3 case 4.
6 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.5 case 2.
7 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.4.
8 Please refer to Part II, Section 4.5 case 3.

5. Public Destruction of Books and Tapes

As part of the Chinese Government’s nationwide campaign against Falun Gong beginning on July 20, 1999, tens of millions of Falun Gong books, videotapes, audiocassettes, and other related materials have been confiscated, burned, and destroyed across the country.

“In the afternoon of July 28, the first nationwide unified destruction of Falun Gong publications and promotion materials is held in Beijing, Tianjin, Jiangsu, Jilin and Hubei Provinces and so on,” reported the People’s Daily, July 29, 1999. “It is reported that at this news hour, more than 1,550,000 copies of Falun Gong publications have been confiscated. Large scale destruction of such publications is scheduled on July 29, in Guangdong, Shandong, Hubei, Shanghai, Liaoning, Sichuan and Shanxi Provinces and so on. The picture1 shows the workers are throwing Falun Gong publications into the pulping machine...” In just three months, “Chinese authorities have ... confiscated millions of banned [Falun Gong] books and video tapes in a fresh crackdown on the spiritual group, state radio and television reported October 21. A total of 7.8 million books and 4.9 million videotapes were confiscated in the Chinese cities of Wuhan and Jinan.”2

Destroying legally published Falun Gong publications sent a signal to the Chinese public regarding the government’s seriousness about the campaign. However, this type of public campaign revived memories of the detested Great Cultural Revolution. More important, it revealed the government’s tactic of destroying evidence that could readily disprove its fabrications regarding the true contents of Falun Gong teachings. In many cities and provinces, governmentorganized rallies were held to denounce Falun Gong and destroy its publications. “In Shanghai, authorities fed 45,000 books into a pulping machine today at a ceremony led by city propaganda chief Jin Binghua, the newspaper Xinmin Evening News said.”3

Under the order from the central government, local authorities made an all-out effort to eliminate Falun Gong books and materials. As a result, copy centers were monitored, warehouses thoroughly searched, and private bookstores shut down. “On July 24, the economic supervisory team of the industrial and commercial administration in Urumqi, Xinjiang Province, combed all the bookstores and private book-stands throughout the city in order to stop the sales of the illegal multimedia and book publications of Falun Gong.”4

It is difficult to estimate the total number of Falun Gong-related books and materials that have been confiscated and destroyed. But clues can be found in the frequent articles in official newspapers, which lavish praise on the “triumphs” over Falun Gong -- and often enumerate books burned.

“Up to August 2, more than 7,359 copies of books and 2,132 video/audio products were confiscated in the whole city [Shantou City].”

“On July 27, the authorities concerned in Xiangtan City collectively searched more than 289 bookstores, street vendors, multimedia stores, and printing shops to confiscate more than 40 thousand copies of Falun Gong books and 1,000 copies of video/audio products.”

“In Shanghai, approximately 40 to 50 thousand copies were destroyed. 3,367 copies were destroyed in Yunnan Province [on July 30, 1999].”

... ...

Not surprisingly, people who print and sell Falun Gong books and materials have been put on trial. “China on Thursday sentenced a husband and wife team to six and eight years in prison for printing millions of Falun Gong books and posters, a human rights group said.”5

A more recent trial involved Li Xiaomei and Li Xiaobing, two sisters arrested for operating a bookstore selling Falun Gong-related books, tapes and other materials. Based on the news from the Associated Press on February 1, 2000, Li Xiaobing and Li Xiaomei were sentenced to, respectively, six and seven years in prison6.

Meanwhile, throughout the country, every Falun Gong practitioner was ordered to turn in his/her book(s). The orders were often accompanied by threats. The following experience of a practitioner from Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province, illustrates a typical incident:

“My husband also experienced similar unfair treatments. The head of his department asked him to turn in the book Zhuan Falun, and said that it was wanted by the ‘upper level,’ and threatened that he would be fired if the book was not turned in. My husband is an obedient person and thought that they wanted the book just for inspection. He told them, ‘This book is more precious than my life. Please take care of the book. Give it back to me in a few days.’ After a few days when my husband approached the division head for the book, he said the book had been given to the ‘upper level’ and burned.”7

To implement the policy of confiscation, the policemen and government staff, openly flouting prevailing law, had to ransack practitioners’ homes and forcibly seize the books. According to a practitioner from Zhangzhou City, officers at Jingcheng police station in Nanjing district “took the book away from practitioner Wu Siwei’s home with force, under the excuse that the government orders the confiscation. They did not show any government documents or follow any legal procedure in the confiscation.”8

1 Please refer to Part II, Section 5.1 for the photographs.
2 See “China Declares War: Arrests Escalate, More Books Burned,” Agence France Presse, October 21, 1999.
3 See “More Than 2 million Falun Gong Related Publications Confiscated, Public Destruction Held across the Country,” Xinhua News Agency, July 29, 1999.
4 See “Collective Destruction of Falun Gong Illegal Publications Across the Country,” Xinhua News Agency, July 27, 1999.
5 See “China Jails Falun Gong Leaders for Printing Books and Posters,” Agence France Presse, January 6, 2000.
6 Please refer to Part II Section 5.2 case 3.
7 Please refer to Part II Section 5.3 case 3.
8 Please refer to Part II Section 5.3 case 2.

6. Procedure and Prosecution: Flying in the Face of “Rule of Law”

The suppression of Falun Gong in China has resulted in large numbers of citizens imprisoned only for the “offense” of practicing personal beliefs not specifically approved by the Chinese Government leaders. According to the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China, since July 20, 1999, more than 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to labor camps and more than 300 have received prison sentences of up to 18 years. Their “crimes:” refusing to renounce their beliefs in, and persisting in registering appeals on behalf of, Falun Gong.

Recently, the Chinese Government claimed that it “settles the Falun Gong issue according to laws, and by doing so it is protecting the basic human rights and the freedoms of citizens and safeguarding China’s Constitution and laws.”1 However, the current Falun Gong situation offers ample evidence pointing to an opposite conclusion: the national legal system and the public security apparatus, under the tight control of the ruling Communist Party, are serving interests other than those of millions of common citizens.

In the suppression, people’s constitutional rights have been routinely and flagrantly violated. On July 22, 1999, the Ministry of Public Security of China issued a public notice “prohibiting all activities in support of Falun Gong.” This law-enforcement guideline not only illegally deprives Falun Gong practitioners of their constitutional rights of freedom of association, speech, assembly, and personal belief, but also abrogates the practitioners’ basic rights to conduct those activities in private.

The Ministry of Public Security “prohibits anyone from hanging up... signs in any place that publicize Falun Dafa;” decrees that “No one is allowed to distribute books and other publications, ... in any place publicizing Falun Dafa;” and “Prohibits anyone from rallying people to ‘practice Falun Gong in groups,’ ... or to carry out any other activities to propagate Falun Gong.”2

Also in its notice, anticipating a public outcry against the unconstitutional policy, the Ministry of Public Security deprived Falun Gong practitioners of their constitutional right to appeal to higher authorities for redress when being mistreated or wronged3.

“The ministry prohibits activities that support or publicize Falun Dafa ... or by appealing to higher authorities for help.”4

By making Falun Gong illegal based on fabrications, and simultaneously prohibiting any attempt to appeal on its behalf, the Chinese Government makes a strong statement on how it safeguards human rights for its citizens. In this instance, at least, it appears that its policy is designed to reinforce the authority of its leaders, not the rights of its citizens.

In order to find a legal pretext for moving against Falun Gong, the Chinese Government created a new law, the “Legislative Resolution on Banning Heretic Cults.” This “cult law” was rushed through the Chinese legislature on October 30, 1999, five days after Chinese President Jiang Zemin had already been quoted by a French newspaper as labeling Falun Gong a cult5, and three months after the government launched its crack-down on Falun Gong. Counter to standard legal processes, this hastily passed “cult law” has been applied retroactively in trials against practitioners arrested in July of 1999. This is how China is governed “according to the law.” Above and beyond serving injustice in the legal sense, these events affront basic human conscience.

Armed with this ambiguous, retroactive, and sweeping “cult law,” the Chinese Government still finds itself in a difficult position to prosecute the innocent Falun Gong practitioners, because no compelling evidence can be found in support of the government’s accusations against them. Many trials against practitioners have been carried out in secret or in semi-secret fashion.

Yu Changxin, a Chinese Air Force general, has been sentenced to 17 years in prison for his participation in Falun Gong. “Yu, 74, a professor at the China Air Force Command Institute, was tried secretly by a Beijing military tribunal on January 6. ‘Yu Changxin is an important military official with high authority who has performed outstanding service to the Air Force. Many retired military leaders expressed dissatisfaction to (Chinese President) Jiang Zemin sentencing this 74-year old to 17 years,’ a Hong Kong-based human rights organization said.”6

The Court of Xigang District of Dalian City sentenced Gao Qiuju, a 59-year-old former president of a foreign trade company and key contact person for Falun Gong in Dalian City, to 9 years in prison. She was sentenced on February 1, but her family did not receive the notice of the sentence until February 107.

Even the widely anticipated major “show trial” of the four key contact persons, Li Chang, Wang Zhiwen, Ji Liewu, and Yao Jie, was conducted in the space of a few hours, and in a semi-secret fashion which disallowed the presence of foreign journalists and Falun Gong practitioners. On December 26, 1999, many practitioners were arrested because they attempted to attend that trial.

Chinese laws and legal procedural regulations stipulate certain legal rights for the accused, including the right to representation. However, in the public campaign against Falun Gong, these rights have frequently been breached. According to an Agence France Presse news report dated August 24, 1999, “Chinese Government has ordered the Chinese lawyers not to plead for Falun Gong practitioners. This order comes from the notices of Bureau of Justice to attorney offices in major cities. The notice also asks every attorney office to report immediately detailed information about every Falun Gong related applicant or inquirer and all answers have to match the one from the central government.”

In one typical case, two independent trial lawyers were not allowed to plead innocent on behalf of a Falun Gong practitioner named Li Jianhui. It happened in Shenzhen, Guangdong Province in January of 2000. 8

The Chinese Government has been using labor camps, or “education through labor,” as their primary tool to coerce the Falun Gong practitioners into giving up their spiritual practice. The Chinese authorities can sentence people to labor camps without public hearing and the accused cannot retain lawyers to defend themselves. Thus, the extensive use of labor camps and other forms of forced labor in Falun Gong cases further deprive practitioners of basic legal rights.

In Part II of this report, we provide several cases detailing how Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to labor camps and have lost their personal freedoms when they refused to renounce their personal beliefs.9 In less than six months, 5,000 Falun Gong practitioners have been sent to labor camps, making them the largest contemporary group of prisoners of conscience as the world begins a new millenium.

1 Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue, October 28, 1999, Beijing.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.6 for full text of the notice.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.5 for related articles in Constitution.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.6 for full text of the notice.
5 See “Falun Gong Members Arrested,” Associated Press, October 26, 1999.
6 See “Chinese Air Force General Sentenced to 17 years for Falungong,” Agence France Presse, January 14, 2000.
7 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.2 case 1.
8 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.1.
9 Please refer to Part II, Section 6.4 for some cases.

7. A Nation Misled

From the time when the Chinese Government banned Falun Gong in July 1999, the Chinese people have been subject to a steady stream of anti-Falun Gong broadcasts and printed materials attempting to justify the suppression. In contrast, the flow of information about the systematic and harsh mistreatment of practitioners has largely been blocked, and therefore unavailable to people outside China. For example, communication via the Internet has been monitored or shut down and foreign journalists have been harassed because of their reporting on the Falun Gong story. As a consequence of the one-sided presentation of the events, Falun Gong practitioners have found themselves isolated and deprived of their rights to verbally defend themselves.

In the two months following the Chinese Government’s official ban on Falun Gong, the nation’s media outlets peppered their readers and audiences with fabricated stories and distorted facts about Falun Gong. Since then, the government has never stopped forcing the media to continue its inaccurate reporting. Such slanted materials were distributed globally through Chinese embassies and consulates, sometimes even hand-delivered by China’s national leaders.

This campaign occasionally went to extremes. For example, it played up stories of deranged patients’ suicide and put the blame on Falun Gong. The CCTV, China’s leading TV network, used technology to tamper with a videotaped lecture given in the U.S. by Falun Gong founder Li Hongzhi. After the fraudulent processing, the sentence heard on the tape was opposite in meaning from that of Mr. Li’s original sentence1. Similar techniques were used extensively in the govern-ment’s effort to discredit Falun Gong and Mr. Li. While such falsified evidence was used in the unrelenting media campaign against Falun Gong, the practitioners’ voices could not be heard.2

One of the Chinese Government’s most deceiving measures was to concoct the so-called “1,400 cases of death.” Ma Jinxiu was among the “1,400 cases.” Her death, “caused by Falun Gong,” has been publicized on TV channels controlled by the Chinese Government. On January 26, 2000, Jin Youmin, Ma’s daughter, revealed the true details of this particular case. In fact, her mother, an elderly last-stage diabetic patient with two previous strokes, had shown noticeable health improvement from practicing Falun Gong for only a short time. Then, after her third recurrent stroke, “she was sent to the hospital immediately with no delay, and received all the possible medical treatments and intervention. She never refused medication and died in the hospital ” after a three-month hospitalization.3 Falun Gong may or may not have prolonged her life, but in any case, it cannot reasonably be attributed as her cause of death.

Harsh punishment has been applied to prevent the outside world from knowing the truth about Falun Gong. Xu Xinmu, a practitioner in Shijazhuang City, was charged with “leaking state secrets” and sentenced to four years for initiating an open letter to the Chinese state officials. Professor Hong Jirong at Sichuan University was sentenced to three years in a labor camp for writing an appeal letter to General Secretary of the United Nations Kofi Annan. Professor Li Fujun in Henan Province was sentenced to four years in prison for posting an article defending Falun Gong on an over-seas Web site. To the dismay of the Chinese Government, a clandestine press conference was held in Beijing by some practitioners in October 1999. Within two weeks, the practitioners involved were searched, arrested and put into prison. The foreign reporters and journalists attending the conference were later followed, detained, interrogated and threatened4.

During the suppression, people have also become targets of mistreatment for revealing the torture of Falun Gong members. For example, four Falun Gong practitioners in China were charged with “illegally providing information to those outside China,” the official characterization of making public the true story about Ms. Zhao Jinhua’s death5. In another case, Professor Zhu Hang was detained in a mental hospital after the photos showing her injured body from torture in the detention center were made public through the Falun Gong Web sites. Similarly, Ms. Zhang Chunqing, whose sufferings have received much attention from both the overseas practitioners and western media, was sentenced to three years in Mashanjia labor camp6.

The Chinese Government also managed to block the free flow of information, especially through the Internet. The Ministry of Public Security has launched its own “cyber war.” Internet sites related or sympathetic to Falun Gong were shut down, e-mails with terms related to Falun Gong filtered out7, and anti-Falun Gong Web sites were supported. Under the new rules publicized by People’s Daily, security inspection of Web sites is required to ensure that they are not “leaking state secrets.” Such efforts at altering the flow of accurate information have even transcended the boundaries of China. In some cases, Falun Gong Web sites located overseas were reportedly attacked by computers based in China8. By the same token, the Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement, a major provider of information on human rights violations in China, complained to the public that its telecommunications services were frequently jammed with crank calls from China9.

The manufactured evidence against Falun Gong did confuse and mislead many innocent people having little previous knowledge about Falun Gong. Under the influence of the government’s campaign, a segment of the Chinese population has unquestioningly accepted the concocted stories offered by the government. This segment has developed a somewhat apathetic, detached attitude towards human rights violations against Falun Gong practitioners. This detachment can also be attributed to the marginal role traditionally played by the rule of law in the history of the nation, long a feudal empire, and the public’s timidity in face of authoritarian rule.

Based on their own interactions with Falun Gong practitioners and their experiences with similar political movements in the past, many people understand that the government has over-reacted. However, the misinformation campaign and intimidating tactics have made it difficult for practitioners to gain understanding, let alone support, from their neighbors and friends. The apathy of a small segment of the misled public towards the crackdown, and the diversions of the prevailing gold-rush mentality and economic boom times, have emboldened the government to intensify the suppression, and deepened the predicament of Falun Gong practitioners.

1 In a lecture given at a New York conference, Mr. Li Hongzhi made it very clear that “... all of those alleged catastrophes on earth, the doom of the universe and things of this sort in the year 1999 are absolutely non-existent.” -Falun Dafa (Lecture at the First Conference in North America), Li Hongzhi, 1999, Falun Fo Fa Publising House. p. 36. The “non” in his sentence was cut out by CCTV and the tampered sentence is used as evidence to attack Falun Gong for “spreading the cultist teaching of the ‘end of the world’”.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 7.2 for details.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 7.2 case 3.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.2 for details.
5 See “Four Falungong Arrested For Revealing Police Beating,” Agence France Presse, December 13, 1999.
6 Please refer to Part II, Section 7.1 case 2.
7 Please refer to Part II, Section 7.4 for details.
8 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.3 for details.
9 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.2 case 3. Section 10 elaborates on this subject.

8. Women, Children, and the Elderly

In September of 1998, an official survey of 12,500 Falun Gong practitioners in Guangdong Province showed that female practitioners accounted for 72.1% of the sample, and people aged over 50 accounted for 51.6%1. These results indicate that the majority of Falun Gong practitioners in China are female and senior citizens. To our dismay, these female and senior citizens, along with young children, have borne the brunt of the harsh suppression.

So far, many reports on maltreatment endured by Falun Gong members have provided disturbing evidence showing that female practitioners, including pregnant women, children, and senior citizens have been handcuffed, stripped, beaten and tortured in detention centers and prisons. It was reported that a young woman was raped by a group of security guards during her detention, and there were at lease five confirmed deaths of female practitioners resulting from physical torture, abuse, or carbon monoxide gas poisoning in detention centers. Ample evidence has also revealed that female practitioners, including children and senior citizens, were subjected to various physical torture, humiliation, sexual harassment and assaults on a scale unprecedented in decades.

As detailed in previous sections, five female practitioners--Zhao Jinhua, Chen Ying, Liu Zhinan, Zhu Shaolan, Dong Buyun--died in police custody. Section 1 of Part II includes some typical cases about practitioners tortured while under detention. Again, quite a few are women. One example is given below.

Cheng Fengrong, a 42-year-old woman from Shunyi County, Beijing, was arrested by the Shunyi police department. A policeman slapped Ms. Cheng while handcuffing her to a tree. She was later brutally beaten by the policeman with a broom so hard that the broom was broken into two pieces. Then she was forced to stand on snow barefoot. She was then handcuffed to a tree and forced to squat half down. Later, she was punched and kicked when she could not stand erect. The policeman also poured two basins of cold water over the back of her neck. The pooled water froze at her feet2.

The campaign of maltreatment has witnessed numerous insults to human dignity. They include vicious humiliation and sexual harassment of female practitioners. One case involved Li Juhua, 25, from Meichen Town, Anhua County, Hunan Province. On July 25, 1999, Li was taken away by the local Public Security Team3. She was subsequently raped by a group of team members and went insane afterwards4.

“The Chinese policemen often take the opportunity of searching female practitioners’ bodies to harass them sexually. Sometimes, the policemen forced other prisoners [non-Falun Gong practitioners] to strip off female practitioners’ clothes, beat them, or pour cold water on practitioner’s bodies in cold weather. In order to prevent practitioners from reciting Falun Dafa writings, they squeezed pages of the books, dirty underwear, socks and rags into female practitioners’ mouths. Their mouths were sealed with tape after they spat the materials out. The police’s excesses have gone to so far that a handcuffed female practitioner was not allowed to change her sanitary pad or clothes during her menstrual period. Even further, they have encouraged male criminals to rape female practitioners.”5

Even pregnant women cannot avoid the inhumane torture. According to news reported from Changchun City on October 3, 1999, more than 800 practitioners were detained, including pregnant women. Some of them were breast-feeding their children, and some were handicapped. What was “...especially shocking, a police officer used his leg to kick a pregnant woman’s belly. The pregnant woman’s face was twisted in pain, and the sweat covered her face from the pains...”6

Many teenager practitioners and infants have also suffered in the nationwide persecution. Young children were left unattended when their parents were arrested, and infants detained with their mothers cried out from cold and hunger.

Gao Shanshan is a 16-year-old high school student of Qiqihar City, Helongjiang Province. She was arrested for carrying a Falun Gong book. During the detention, a policeman interspersed his talk with curses and added a foreign substance to a plate of lamb. Then the policeman pulled Gao’s hair and forced the lamb into her mouth. Other policemen joked and made fun of her.7

Elderly people are no longer respected if they practice Falun Gong. Many contact persons for Falun Gong are senior citizens, partly because they have more time to serve other practitioners after retirement. Among the sentenced and tortured, we find many elderly practitioners, including the following:

Cheng Zhong, 55, tortured in mental hospital;

Gao Qiuju, 59, sentenced 9 years in prison;

Gu Zhiyi, 63, sentenced (unknown) years of imprisonment, and severely tortured in jail;

Li Chang, 59, sentenced 18 years in prison;

Su Fengxia, 52, forced into mental hospital and detained;

Wang Zhiwen, 50, sentenced 16 years in prison;

Yang Shufang, 50, cheated and detained in a mental hospital;

Yu Changxin, 74, sentenced 17 years in prison;

Zhang Chunqing, 58, tortured and sentenced three years in a labor camp;

Zhu Shaolan, 50, died from hunger strike in detention8.

1 Please refer to Internet report on gb/kexue/0899/tizong.html for details.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 8.1 case 2.
3 A subsidiary of the public security system.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 8.2 case 2.
5 Internet report on, based on messages provided by Falun Gong practitioners in China.
6 Please refer to Part II, Section 8.2 case 4 for details.
7 Please refer to Part II, Section 8.3 case 5 for details.
8 From Part II, various sections.

9. Schools Not Spared

Asubstantial number of Falun Gong practitioners in China are students and teachers. In this ongoing campaign that has affected every dimension of Chinese society, students and their teachers have not been exempt from punishment. Based on a Reuters report dated October 27, 1999, an estimated 10,000 Chinese university students would face expulsion if they did not quit Falun Gong. The situation for the teacher practitioners was no better, for they were forced to make a choice between practicing Falun Gong and continuing their employment at school.

With the official ban of Falun Gong, the winds of official suppression swept through all schools in China, especially the universities. The Ministry of Education of China required all universities to prohibit their students from practicing Falun Gong. More and more students and teachers were dismissed from school and forced to resign their memberships in the Communist Party. Youthful student practitioners were punished in a manner similar to adults. Zhang Ji (male, 20), a student at Qiqihar University in Heilongjiang Province, was arrested in October, 1999 for sending e-mails to practitioners in the United States and Canada that described what was happening to the Falun Gong practitioners in his home province. The authorities charged him with “using the Internet to spread subversive information,” and he was expected to receive a jail term of between three and five years1.

Most of the universities followed the government policy and set rules to deal with their faculty members and students practicing Falun Gong who were unwilling to quit. Tsinghua University, one of the most prestigious in China, is a case in point. A new rule of Tsinghua University regarding Falun Gong practitioners requires that “All these students must hand in some written materials. These materials have to cover the following points: the student’s own criticism on ‘Falun Gong’, their introspection on their mistake of participating in Falun Gong activities, their promise to abide by the laws and rules in the future, and other questions that the university requires them to talk about.”2 Otherwise, they will be expelled from the university.

Under the new rule, many students were suspended from their regular studies and research work. Some were sent back to their hometowns, and others were placed in isolation to receive an intensive “re-education.” For those students continuing to practice Falun Gong after going through the “re-education” program, they will be forced to withdraw from the school.

After October 25, 1999, Tsinghua suspended at least 25 students, including 10 undergraduate, 8 Master’s level, and 7 Doctoral level. These students and a young faculty member were sent home under the escort of their parents. Two graduate students had to withdraw from the Communist Party under high pressure3.

In early December 1999, the university asked the students on suspension to write confessions. The confessions had to meet certain requirements, including admitting that Falun Gong is an “evil cult.” If the confessions were not satisfactory, the suspended students would not be permitted to resume their education that semester4.

Because of its prominent status among Chinese universities, Tsinghua University serves as a model for others. Other universities follow its lead in many areas. Therefore, the circumstances of Falun Gong practitioners in Tsinghua University can be considered as being representative of those of practitioners in educational institutions all over China. In fact, similar cases have been reported in most universities. Students and faculty members have also been punished for coming forward with accounts of mistreatment and for appealing to the central government.

Lei Xiaoting, an instructor in the Foreign Language Department of the Beijing University of Industry and Business, was arrested by public security personnel in the morning of November 5, 1999. Police reportedly suspected her of having attended the Falun Gong news conference held on October 28, 1999 and served as an interpreter for the foreign journalists5.

Pang Dongzhen, a graduate student in the Foreign Language Department of Hunan Normal University, was dismissed from the university because she went to Beijing to appeal several times. After she was released from administrative detention for the second time, she was arrested again when she was having a meal with four practitioners at home6.

1 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.2 case 8.
2 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.1 attachment 1 for full text of the regulation.
3 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.1 for details.
4 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.1 for details.
5 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.2 case 2.
6 Please refer to Part II, Section 9.2 case 1.

10. The Global Reach of the Campaign

As a popular meditation practice, Falun Gong embraces practitioners from more than thirty countries around the world. Its spread is not limited to those in ethnic Chinese communities. In Europe, especially in the Scandinavian countries, Falun Gong has largely been localized because of the region’s early exposure to Falun Gong.1 In North America, open-minded scholars and professionals spearheaded its propagation. In Asia, Australia, New Zealand and other areas, local Chinese communities have played a pivotal role in Falun Gong’s swift growth. For all the possible differences in its transmission, people gravitate towards Falun Gong for the same reasons: its upright principles and its effectiveness in attaining physical and mental health.

To the deep concern of overseas Falun Gong practitioners, the Chinese campaign against Falun Gong has taken on a global reach. During an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, President Jiang Zemin surprised his interviewer and the world by calling Falun Gong an “evil cult.”2 What is more, during the 1999 APEC summit at Auckland, New Zealand, President Jiang Zemin personally distributed an anti-Falun Gong book to the president of the United States and leaders of other countries3. The book Li Hongzhi and His ‘Falun Gong’: Deceiving the Public and Ruining Lives is a collection of fabricated charges against Falun Gong published by the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee of China, an arm of the Communist Party Central Committee. Western diplomats were stunned that President Jiang could be so out of touch with the reality. The World Daily commented that “President Jiang Zemin has made a fool of himself by presenting President Clinton with a gift to show some propaganda material with bloody content.”

To cover up its human rights violations committed at the expense of Falun Gong practitioners, branches of the Chinese Government have stretched out of the country. What follows outlines the usual tactics employed by the government, of which the international community has become more aware and vigilant.

10.1 Harassment of Foreign Journalists

Based on Reuters’ report on November 10, 1999, the Foreign Correspondent’s Club of China sent a letter to the Foreign Ministry and Cabinet spokesman, in protest of what it called official “intimidation and harassment” associated with coverage of the Falun Gong situation. The report revealed that: “Journalists from a number of news organizations, including Reuters, the New York Times and the Associated Press, were questioned at length by police, obliged to sign a confession of wrongdoing and had their work and residence papers temporarily confiscated.”

The letter said, “Our members have been followed, detained, interrogated and threatened, ... Several of those reporters are now under heavy police surveillance. ... We find this worrisome and unacceptable. ... Such harassment is completely out of line with international practice, ... It impedes our legitimate journalistic work and violates the private lives of our members and their families.”

“The letter complained of interference with television satellite transmissions - which must be routed through China Central Television - and delays in shipping video tapes. It argued that foreign journalists had a duty to report on all sides of the Falun Gong story. ”4

On October 28, Falun Gong practitioners in Beijing held a press conference, presenting the truth of the suppression of Falun Gong. Five foreign journalists from various media agencies were invited to attend the conference. After the conference, the five journalists were “called in for questioning, interrogated about the secret press conference on October 28, and had their residence permit as well as journalist accreditation card taken away from them.”5 The Chinese Government “warned foreign journalists against covering activities by members of the spiritual Falun Gong group, a day after confiscating five journalists’ documents for attending a secret press conference by practitioners.” “ ‘You must be aware that Falun Gong is an illegal organization. A so-called press conference held by them is illegal,’ foreign ministry spokeswoman Zhang Qiyue said during a news briefing.”6

Even outside China, journalists’ independent reporting has been interfered with by the Beijing authorities. In October 1999, the United Nations Correspondents Association was to invite two Falun Gong practitioners for a briefing of the situation. “Erol Avdovic, president of the U.N. Correspondents Association, said the press spokesman at China’s U.N. Mission phoned him to ask whether the event could be postponed or canceled. He refused, saying the association, founded in 1948, adheres to the principle of free expression.” “Despite an unofficial request from China, the United Nations Correspondents Association refused to cancel or delay an invitation Wednesday to the Falun Gong spiritual movement which Beijing banned in July. ”7

Harassment was also carried out against those reporting the massive wave of arrests in Tiananmen Square during the Chinese New Year of 2000. “Police screamed at tourists and families of Chinese enjoying the New Year to stay away from their activities and demanded they hand over any film of the arrests, which included violent kicking, punching and jostling. Foreign press photographers were threatened with arrest if they did not leave the square immediately.”8 

10.2 “Cyber War” against Falun Gong

To prevent international publicity of the plight of Falun Gong practitioners in China, the Chinese Government has monitored or blocked information channels within and outside China. Since the start of the suppression, many e-mail accounts have been monitored, access to foreign Web sites blocked, and even foreign news programs have been terminated. Similarly, Falun Gong Web sites based outside China’s territory have been blocked and constantly attacked, or even destroyed.

The California Institute of Technology, a top US university, was under pressure from Beijing to remove its Falun Gong Club’s Web site from the Internet. When the request was rejected, access within China to the university’s entire Web site was blocked for several months, disrupting the work of many users of the site9.

In Ireland, four days (on July 23-24, 1999) after the Falun Dafa Europe Web site ( was set up (on July 20), it started to receive continuous attacks from China. The hackers disabled the server when it had just started to run. Later on, they deleted all the original files, and substituted a slanderous article from the Chinese state-run news media titled “The Person and the Affairs of Li Hongzhi,” and then falsely listed the author of this article as “Falun Dafa Research Society.” The United Kingdom-based server company (NetScan, admitted that the hacker had obtained through certain means their very high-level password, and thus was not willing to investigate this attack. This Web site had to be removed10.

Shortly after the campaign of suppression began, a Maryland-based Falun Gong Web site crashed under the weight of a denial-of-service attack. What is of significance is that one of the return addresses the attackers had used happened to be the IP address of a U.S. Department of Transportation server. The webmaster eventually traced the hacker to the IP address registered under the name “XinAn Information Service Center” in Beijing. A reporter made a phone call to the phone number in the directory, and was informed that that center belongs to the Ministry of Public Security of China. According to the reporter, the operator of the Ministry later said that the phone number belongs to the Internet Monitoring Bureau, a branch of the Ministry of Public Security. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and the Ministry of Public Security refuse to comment on this issue.11

The above evidence is consistent with a Newsweek article in its October 11, 1999 issue titled “The Great Firewall of China.” It says: “By channeling all Internet communications through a very few carefully monitored service providers, authorities have managed to block access to many foreign Web sites, including Western media like CNN, the BBC. ... Now, the authorities seem to be deploying their own black guests [computer hackers].”

Apart from this cyber war, the Chinese Government has made other efforts to hinder the spread of Falun Gong overseas and muffle voices of truth. For those purposes, the activities of overseas Falun Gong practitioners, open to the public, have been infiltrated and made vulnerable to sabotage by Chinese embassies and consulates.

10.3 Behind the Rescinding of Awards

In the United States of America, local governments routinely present awards to an international constituency as a gesture of goodwill and a sign of ethnic harmony as well as cultural growth. Beginning in 1996, a number of states and cities in the US have bestowed awards and made proclamations, such as “Honorary Citizen” or “Falun Dafa Day,” to honor founder Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong. However, several cities, namely Seattle, Baltimore and San Francisco, have succumbed to pressure from Chinese officials and rescinded their awards12.

Maryland State Governor Parris N. Glendening had awarded Mr. Li “Honorable Citizenship” of Maryland on August 14, 1999. Similarly, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke had proclaimed August 13, 1999 as “Li Hong Zhi Day” in Baltimore, Maryland.

On December 7, 1999, practitioners in Baltimore read an article in the Baltimore Sun reporting that the Maryland State Government had apologized to the Chinese Government about the awards. Afterwards, the practitioners made an appointment with Ms. Elizabeth Pike, the director of the state’s federal relations office.

“She said a Chinese officer called her office angrily and requested her to take back the award. After meeting with the Governor, she wrote a letter, which emphasized on explaining the award doesn’t mean to hurt Chinese people’s feelings. Maryland Government didn’t intend to take the award back. But later, Ms. Pike learned that this issue was on Chinese CCTV and her name was mentioned. She pointed out that what the news said was not quite the same as what she wrote down into the letter. ... According to Ms. Pike, the Maryland Government has decided that this is the end of the issue. ... Maryland Government didn’t and will not take back the award to Mr. Li Hongzhi13”.

According to the Columbia Daily Tribune of Columbia, Missouri, US, on January 5, 2000, the Columbia City Council proclaimed, and the Boone County Commission had planned to proclaim, a Falun Dafa week, and was allowing a local group of practitioners to use the Boone County Government Center grounds. The city recognized the week December 26 through January 1, and the county’s week had been planned for January 9 through January 16.

The following is based on a story in the newspaper about the subsequent episode: “The deputy consulate of the People’s Republic of China in Chicago has asked local officials to cease supporting Columbia’s practitioners. He called presiding commissioner Don Stamper two weeks ago to urge him to disallow the group’s use of public property and to refrain from passing a proclamation declaring Falun Dafa Week... He sent materials to both mayor Darwin Hindman and Stamper denouncing the group and asked the officials to renounce the proclamations...” The request was declined since “To withdraw this would be symbolic of interfering with their rights.”14

The Chinese Government prominently announced the withdrawal of these awards in the Chinese state-run media, claiming that the U.S. governments have rescinded the awards after realizing that Falun Gong is an “evil cult.”15 The Chinese Ambassador has even called for international effort to curb Falun Gong activities worldwide. Mr. Keith Orton, Chief International Specialist for the mayor of Seattle, however, said that they were fully aware of the human rights violations raised by the Falun Gong issue, but decided to rescind the award because it coincided with the WTO meeting16.

10.4 The Role of Embassies

On November 26, 1999, in a special report on “Several Issues in Fighting against Falun Gong,” Vice Premier Li Lanqing concluded that while the large-scale arrest of Falun Gong practitioners “has achieved a decisive victory,” the struggle with Falun Gong would certainly be “long-term, arduous and complex.” He added that the Propaganda Department of the Central Committee has “achieved good results in criticizing Falun Gong using the Internet and embassies abroad,” but he proposed to achieve “complete victory” by continuing to “launch attacks on our own initiative.”17 Mr. Li Zhaoxing, the Chinese Ambassador to United States of America, attended a symposium focused on “Politics of Doing Business in China” at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill on November 5, 1999. During his half-hour speech at the symposium to promote Sino-US trade, he surprised his audience by spending over five minutes denouncing Falun Gong18.

On November 21, 1999, the Chinese Embassy in Canada held a meeting in Ottawa to vilify Falun Gong. Chinese ambassador Mei Ping and Consul General Huang Ping were present. The meeting was not open to the public. At the meeting, a defamatory film called “Evil Cult Falun Gong” was shown. The film was based on fabrications. Only two or three selected Chinese Government media outlets (Xinhua News Agency and People’s Daily) were used as sources.

Due to its principles’ depth of thought and their implications for the future development of science, Falun Gong has taken root and flourished in institutions of higher learning and in professional circles. The Chinese Government, based on its ability to quell any dissent from Chinese universities, has attempted to interfere with Falun Gong activities on campuses beyond China’s borders. A recent example involves the California Institute of Technology. When the school’s Falun Gong Society, a registered student organization, was planning a conference on campus, officials from the local Chinese consulate intervened by asking the school administration to cancel it. The request of the consulate was quickly declined. Caltech’s President, David Baltimore, who is also a Nobel laureate in the field of biology, told the group: “I certainly support your right to practice your faith.”19

1 Outside China, Europe is the only region where programs of Falun Gong were conducted by Mr. Li himself.
2 See “Falun Gong Members Arrested,” Associated Press, October 26, 1999. Jiang’s remark, made even before the official announcement of the “evil cult” act.
3 See “Jiang gives Clinton book on banned meditation group,” Associated Press, September 12, 1999.
4 See “Foreign Journalists Protest ‘harassment’ in China,” Reuters, November 10, 1999.
5 See “Beijing Warns Foreign Journalists Against Falungong Coverage,” Agence France Presse, November 4, 1999.
6 Same as above.
7 See “U.N. Correspondents Host Falun Gong against China’s Wishes,” Associated Press, October 6, 1999
8 See “Chinese Police Crackdown on Falungong in Tiananmen Square,” Agence France Presse, February 5, 2000
9 See “Top US Institute Won’t Bow to Dictatorship,” Central News Agency, February 20, 2000.
10 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.3 case 3.
11 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.3 case 1 and 4.
12 See “Falun Gong Honors Rescinded,” Washington Post, December 11, 1999.
13 Based on Part II, Section 10.4 case 1.
14 See “Chinese upset with Columbia, Boone County,” Columbia Daily Tribune, Columbia, Missouri, January 6, 2000.
15 See “Some Cities in United States Rescind the Honors Awarded to Li Hongzhi,” People’s Daily, November 15, 1999
16 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.4 case 3.
17 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.5 case 3.
18 Please refer to Part II, Section 10.1 case 1.
19 See “Top US Institute Won’t Bow to Dictatorship,” Central News Agency, February 19, 2000


On February 17, 2000, the State Council’s Press Office of the People’s Republic of China released a white paper: 50 Years of Progress in China’s Human Rights.1 It has six parts, yet nowhere is the ongoing and ever-deepening Falun Gong suppression even mentioned. It appears that history is now negotiable in China, something written to fit present agendas. As the Chinese Government seeks to eradicate Falun Gong not only from the soil of China, but also from the pages of China’s history, we petition the international community to raise its individual and collective voices against such remorseless, unconscionable actions as those detailed herein.

At the time of this writing, word has just been released of yet another Falun Gong-related tragedy in China. According to an Associated Press article dated February 28, 2000:

“Police beat to death a Falun Gong follower unable to pay a fine ... Authorities in the eastern city of Weihai detained Chen [Zixiu] Feb. 17, accusing the 60-year-old of heading to Beijing to join protests, and they demanded a [US]$120 fine her family could not pay. On Feb. 20, a fellow detainee told her family that Chen was being beaten, and the next day, police notified them she was dead. ‘The body the relatives saw was too horrible to look at. It was covered in purple and black bruises, the ears, nose and mouth had bloodstains and the teeth were broken,’ the center2 said. Police prevented the family from videotaping the corpse, and lawyers approached by relatives who wanted to sue refused to take the case, saying the government would never approve, the center reported.”3

Such incidents repeat themselves across China on a daily basis, though often unknown to the outside world. Use of the term “progress” in relation to human rights in China (as in the above-mentioned title of an official publication) seems more an ironic juxtaposition and less a fitting description of China’s decidedly uneven record on human rights. When met with a recent round of heavy criticism from around the world, including from United Nations Human Rights High Commissioner Mary Robinson, China has replied in formulaic fashion. A Chinese ministry spokesperson, Zhu Bangzao, offered the following response to the world:

“It must be pointed out here that at present the human rights situation in China is at its best period and various fundamental rights of the Chinese people including the rights and freedom of speech, assembly and religious belief are fully guaranteed. The Chinese people are satisfied with this and this is also a fact acknowledged widely by the international community.”4

As we conclude this report, such statement by the Chinese Government suggests that there is still no end in sight to the Falun Gong crisis. The number of people arrested, detained, and tortured grows daily and unrelentingly. With all our hearts, we hereby repeat our call for international intervention to broker a peaceful dialogue between the Chinese Government and Falun Gong practitioners, particularly founder Mr. Li Hongzhi, to resolve this crisis without delay. Millions of lives are at stake, making this issue of grave concern. With a timely resolution, many peaceful, law-abiding people will be spared further maltreatment, degradation, and disregard for their human rights.

1 Please refer to english/features/white/human.html.
2 Hong Kong-based Information Center of Human Rights and Democratic Movement in China.
3 See “Falun Gong Member Dies in Custody,” Associated Press, February 28, 2000.
4 See “UN Human Rights Chief Laments ‘Deterioration’ in China,” Agence France Presse, March 2, 2000.
Index Part I I Part III