It has been over a year and a half since Mr. Liu Chengjun and many other Falun Gong practitioners in China broadcasted TV programs that clarified the truth about Falun Gong over Changchun Cable TV network on March 5, 2002. On October 29, 2003, the "World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong" announced in its investigation report that Mr. Liu Chengjun is now at death's door due to the atrocious torture he suffered in Jilin City Prison. Falun Gong practitioners and supporters in Europe, Asia, North America, Australia, and many other countries promptly held press conferences or appealed in front of Chinese embassies and consulates, demanding the immediate release of Mr. Liu Chengjun. That Falun Gong practitioners in China repeatedly risk their lives broadcasting Falun Gong truth-clarification TV programs on Chinese TV networks has caused widespread concern in overseas Chinese communities.
Broadcasting Truth-Clarification Videos on TV is an Act of Immense Wisdom and Bravery
Ms. Wang from China is a department manager at a high-tech company in Silicon Valley, California, U.S.A. Ms. Wang felt that broadcasting truth-clarifying TV programs over TV cable networks in China was an act of immense wisdom and bravery. She said, "Overseas Chinese are able to obtain some facts about the persecution against Falun Gong practitioners in China. It is very cruel because the Chinese Communist government controls all media in China. I had no negative views on the government's unreasonable blocking of information until I moved overseas and had a chance to experience the difference. Falun Gong practitioners must have overcome tremendous difficulties to broadcast Falun Gong truth-clarification videos over the Chinese TV network. I think they are immensely brave and intelligent to be able to break through the dictator's barriers and give the general public an opportunity to watch truth-clarifying programs at home."
Mr. Zou is a biological researcher at the University of California, Berkeley. He said, "In the last century, countless people have tried to speak the truth in China and have suffered many types of persecution for their efforts. There have been countless prisoners of conscience in China as a result. However, few people in China are able to spread the truth successfully and persistently. Few people in China are willing to risk their lives to spread the truth to the general public. Falun Gong practitioners' spirits have given hope to those wanting to speak the truth in China. Some people in China might not like what Falun Gong practitioners have accomplished. Perhaps it is because the Falun Gong truth-clarification TV programs have hit their Achilles' heel, or perhaps they are used to vigilantly worrying about what they might lose [if the truth comes out.]"
Chinese TV Networks Spread Propaganda; They Do Not Have Freedom of Speech
When asked if tapping into Chinese TV network has violated the rights of the TV networks, a Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Dai said (paraphrasing) that if the Chinese TV networks are the public's media, they should protect their audience's right to know the truth. However, whether willingly or not, they have twisted the facts about Falun Gong and broadcast fraudulent lies. In any country with the slightest respect for the law, an overseas TV network would have been sued and brought to justice.
Ms. Dai added, "Before the Chinese Communist government started to persecute Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, there were 70 to 100 million Falun Gong practitioners in China according to the Chinese government's statistics. Their friends, families, colleagues, and classmates have also been directly or indirectly persecuted, adding an additional several hundred million as victims of the persecution against Falun Gong. During the persecution, Jiang Zemin and the "610 Office"* coerced all levels of government organizations, business corporations, and cultural institutions to participate in the unjust treatment against Falun Gong practitioners, some of which includes firing Falun Gong practitioners from their jobs. They also assisted in abducting Falun Gong practitioners [into forced brainwashing centers] and assisted in pressuring Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief in Falun Gong, and the list goes on. [Note: Due to the pressure from the international community, the Chinese Communist government has renamed "610 Office" as "Purge the Evil Cult Office", and lied to the world, stating that the "610 Office" has been "disbanded."] With ignorance of the truth and pressure from the government, many may have unwittingly done something they will regret later, such as acting as persecutors of Falun Gong practitioners. These people are also victims of the persecution. Since the persecution against Falun Gong involves so many people in China, the Chinese people have the right to know the truth. Those who know the truth also have a responsibility to reveal this truth to others."
Ms. Wang said (paraphrasing) that one of the responsibilities of western media is to supervise their government. By contrast, radio stations, TV networks, and newspapers in China spread propaganda for the Chinese Communist government. Since the Chinese Communist government controls the media in China, they have actually violated the public's freedom of speech and their right to know the truth. A politically controlled TV network is different by function from that of a society with freedom of speech and the press. She said, "There is no need to tap into TV to broadcast the truth in a society with freedom of speech, because there are normal, regular channels for people to express different opinions. In a society without freedom of the press or speech, to protect the public's right to know the truth is to offend the country's dictator. In doing so, the media will disrupt its function to broadcast the dictator's propaganda, which ensures the dictator's political power. It is not the fault of Falun Gong practitioners that they had to tap into TV network to broadcast the truth."
The Foundation of the Law is to Protect Morals and Conscience
When asked about China's planned trial against those who participated in broadcasting Falun Gong truth-clarification programs on Chinese TV networks, Mr. Zou said (paraphrasing), "The law has its articles and principles. Each article has to comply with the country's Constitution to become legitimate. To protect justice, the Constitution can be modified to serve that purpose. For example, if an existing article of law has such a loophole that prevents justice from being served, people would want to amend the existing law or the Constitution."
Mr. Zou said, "It is against the Chinese Constitution to block information from the people. It is also against the Chinese Constitution to persecute Falun Gong practitioners for their belief. If the Chinese Communist government hadn't executed these policies that violate the Chinese Constitution, Falun Gong practitioners would not have to tap into TV networks in order to protect the peoples' right to know the truth. The '610 Office,' a Gestapo-like agency in China, was established based on a policy that violates the Chinese Constitution. Therefore, those who protect the people's right to know the truth should not be tried based on these law-breaking policies. Such trials should not be allowed."
It is the Chinese Communist Government's Preventing Access to Information That Violates People's Freedom to Watch TV Programs of Their Choice
Ms. Xi is also from China. She said (paraphrasing), "The Chinese people are very annoyed with reruns of negative propaganda about Falun Gong on TV. If they start to think about it they will realize something is very wrong with the propaganda. They simply have not seen any positive news about Falun Gong that confirms their suspicions. It was only when I left China that I realized how absurd the Chinese Communist government's propaganda about Falun Gong was." She said, "Given the choice between the government propaganda TV programs and Falun Gong truth-clarification TV programs, I would choose Falun Gong's truth-clarification programs." Ms. Xi added (paraphrasing), "Actually many people aren't aware of the level of the atrocities in persecuting Falun Gong, or the level of fraud in the propaganda about Falun Gong on Chinese TV. Otherwise a lot more people than Falun Gong practitioners would be demanding Falun Gong truth-clarification TV programs on TV."
Ms. Xi said, "Media belongs to the people. Corrupted government officials control the media and use it to ensure their dictatorship. Of course people want to take the media back."
Ms. Dai said (paraphrasing), "I felt from my personal experiences that the Chinese people were hungry for the truth about Falun Gong. I heard about Falun Gong truth-clarification programs being broadcast on TV networks in northeastern China from Chinese that I clarified the truth to over the telephone. A friend of mine has also called a Chinese policeman at home who has persecuted Falun Gong practitioners before. His family was very eager to know the truth about Falun Gong."
* "610 Office" is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems.