The "Tiananmen Self-Immolation" incident is a story that was created, and has been repeatedly utilized, by former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin and the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a propaganda tool to turn public opinion against Falun Gong. However, on Friday, January 21, 2005, the Beijing bureau of the Associated Press published an article reporting this propaganda as if it were fact, using the CCP's own language.
The CCP's portrayal of the 2001 Tiananmen Square self-immolation tragedy has been called into question by numerous human rights organizations and media outlets including The Washington Post, and repudiated outright by International Education Development at the United Nations as staged by the [Chinese] government. Foreign journalists attempting to investigate the incident were barred from doing so and detained in China. A careful frame-by-fame analysis of the CCP's own video shows one of the victims collapsing to the ground after being clubbed with what appears to be an iron bar, which then bounces off her head; in fact numerous aspects of the case raise concern about its veracity.
Why would AP, one of the most respected and trusted wire services, willingly give voice to this material without full research? The Dan Rather incident is a case in point; after CBS could not validate the authenticity of its sources, it was held accountable. The article AP printed offered no expression of third-party view, no questioning of motive, and no skepticism over the details of a controversial, and by all accounts, highly successful tool of the persecution. In reporting this story without any attempt at journalistic objectivity, AP not only becomes a tool of the CCP and its terrible persecution but cloaks the story in respectability, making it appear all the more real and damning.
For over five years, practitioners of Falun Gong in China have been sent to slave labor camps and brainwashing centers, tortured and killed. Their families have been harassed and threatened, ultimately affecting hundreds of millions of people. There have even been incidents of harassment in the United States and elsewhere by agents of the CCP. We ask why there is no mention of this vast and horrific repression, and why there is no questioning of the motives of the Chinese Communist Party? One has only to look at its history to understand the ease with which it manipulates, lies, distorts, destroys the human spirit, and murders without the slightest remorse, to achieve its objective, the monopoly of power.
Friends of Falun Gong USA calls upon The Associated Press, all free-press throughout the world, and the public to consider the implications of such an article being accepted and released by a well-respected media organization and taken at face value. We ask that AP run a follow-up story to critically examine the motives of the CCP in covering up the persecution of Falun Gong, and to reveal its five-year-long persecution. On the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz, and in light of other genocides such as Rwanda and Darfur, we hope that the lessons learned will shed light on what is occurring in China the persecution and killing of people who practice their belief in Falun Gong.
Friends of Falun Gong USA is a human rights organization mandated to protect the rights of Falun Gong practitioners worldwide