Press Statement: Who's Behind Tiananmen Self-immolation
PRESS STATEMENT FROM FALUN GONG (FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 2/1/2001)
It's obvious to anyone who has any knowledge about Falun Gong that last week's attempted suicides in Tiananmen Square were not the actions of Falun Gong practitioners. Killing and suicide are simply against the teachings of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong. The past 18 months have demonstrated that all the public appeals by Falun Gong practitioners on Tiananmen Square have been peaceful and non-violent.
The question that immediately arises is then, what is really going on, and who is behind it?
It is troubling to us that the Party line from the PRC mouthpieces, Xinhua News Agency and CCTV, is being given so much airtime, and so much credibility, by the foreign press. Xinhua and other state-run media outlets are generally never considered credible sources, as even they openly admit that their function is to disseminate propaganda for the Chinese regime. In fact, Xinhua is the Party line. There is so much that remains unclear and unknown about the circumstances surrounding the incident. And no one knows what occurred in the week after the actual event and before the Chinese media outlets finally released its fully engineered news articles and television programs. We must remember that the Chinese regime is so tightly controlling every aspect of this case that none of Xinhuas claims have been corroborated by independent sources.
As a result, we have noticed many inconsistencies in the Party version of events. We will share a few of them here:
- Xinhua News Agency itself claims that within a minute of the man setting himself ablaze, police had dashed over to him with four fire extinguishers and quickly put out the flames. A European journalist based in Beijing, however, told us: "I have never seen policemen patrolling on Tiananmen Square carrying fire extinguishers. How come they all showed up today? The location of the incident is at least 20 minutes round trip from the nearest building -- the Peoples Great Hall. If they were to have dashed over there to get the equipment, it would have been too late." Is it even possible that the police could have responded with not one, but four fire extinguishers within the space of a minute if they didnt have prior knowledge that this was going to occur?
- In terms of response time, another foreign journalist in Beijing expressed shock that Xinhua was able to release the first report on the incident almost immediately, and in English no less. Every Chinese citizen knows that every report from Xinhua usually has to first go through several rounds of approval by higher-ups and is generally "old news" by the time it is published. Moreover, the Chinese state-run media has never released any photos or video of Falun Gong protests in the course of 18 months of persecution to the foreign press, so why now, and with so little hesitation? And why only in English and not in Chinese?
- Xinhua also claims that after the police valiantly put out the fires it was only seven minutes before three ambulances arrived and took the people to the hospital. By contrast, CNN reported:
"One badly burned victim lay on the ground waving his or her hands as police looked on, offering no help. About 25 minutes after the incident two ambulances arrived and took the victims away. One appeared to be a woman, and was left on the pavement the longest -- possibly indicating that she was dead."
- The CNN crew reports witnessing one man being taken away while four others set themselves ablaze. PRC authorities are now claiming that among those four was a 12 year-old girl, but if the CNN crew was at the scene, would they not have noticed if one of the burn victims that day had been a child? Would they not have also witnessed the grisly scene that CCTV aired in its special program showing video footage of the child writhing on the flagstones calling for her mother? How come the CNN crew witnessed five persons involved in the incident, and yet Xinhua turned the total number into seven persons?
- Xinhua reports that because the victims had injuries from smoke inhalation, doctors feared that the victims might suffocate due to swelling of the trachea and so the trauma teams operated on all of them, cutting open their trachea and throats to allow them to breathe. All of the victims were badly burned and some had gone into shock. What is strange about this is that according to the articles, they were nonetheless able to field questions from journalists and have conversations allegedly renouncing Falun Gong. One doctor we consulted here in the U.S. expressed disbelief when he read the Xinhua article. He said that patients would never be able to recover the ability to speak so quickly after this kind of surgery. He said: "Either Xinhua News Agency is lying or theyve created a medical miracle!"
We wish to remind the international press that the propaganda released by the Chinese press is misleading and cannot be trusted. Ultimately, it is the Chinese government that will one day have to answer for this tragic turn of events and for the millions of innocent Falun Gong practitioners who have endured unimaginable hardship and pain throughout these past 18 months.
Misinterpretation in the media of the recent article by Li Hongzhi
Some people, Falun Dafa practitioners and others alike, have interpreted the concept of Forbearance as meaning remaining passive and silently enduring all injustices. By writing his recent article "Beyond Forbearance," Mr. Li Hongzhi explains that exposing the crimes committed by the Communist regime during this crackdown is consistent with the principles of Falun Dafa. For example, it is not against the principle of forbearance to make appeals against unjust persecution, nor is it wrong to actively and non-violently speak out against police brutality, torture, and sexual abuse. Over the past 18 months, Falun Dafa practitioners in China have never once resorted to violence. Their dedication to seeking a peaceful resolution to the crackdown is clear, and that will never change.
Category: Self-Immolation Hoax on Tiananmen Square