(Clearwisdom.net) There is a common misconception, due to the various official documents and circulars circulated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) prior to and after July 20, 1999, that the persecution of Falun Gong falls within the framework of Chinese law and has a legal basis. Upon closer examination however, that is not the case at all—just about every step along the way, the CCP has operated outside of the law to initiate, carry out, and sustain the persecution.

In order to circumvent the Constitution and the law, the first major step was establishing the infamous 610 Office, “Leadership Group for Handling the Falun Gong Issue,” on June 10, 1999. This organization was established outside of the legal framework, and as described by Freedom House, “...functions outside the state system without any official standing. At its core, the 610 Office is a plainclothes CCP-based extra-ministerial security force focused on suppressing the Falun Gong spiritual group.”

On June 7, 1999, Jiang Zemin called a special Politburo meeting, where he gave a directive to “swiftly handle and solve the Falun Gong problem.” He gave orders that the task force “should immediately organize forces” and “get fully prepared for the work of disintegrating [Falun Gong].” Three days later, this organization was established without legislation, and no legal provisions were cited to justify its existence or set the scope of its mandate. Indeed, an entirely new chain of command was created outside the existing executive and legislative structure throughout China, from the Central Government down to the local level, as even state enterprises and schools had 610 Offices established.

In its twelve years of existence, the 610 Office has been given a series of mandates that fall entirely outside the objectives of a legal, legitimate government organization. Just a few included:

  • “Eliminate Falun Gong in three months”

  • “Destroy their reputations, crush them financially, and eliminate them physically”

  • “When they are beaten to death, no compensation needs to be given, and it should be counted as suicide”

  • “Do not verify the corpse’s identity, directly cremate the body”

  • “Kill without mercy”

  • “Laws do not apply to Falun Gong”

Clearly, these are not orders given to an organization that operates within the law or the Constitution. Other documents and circulars issued by Jiang and the CCP have the same issues of legal and moral legitimacy. On July 19, 1999, the central government issued a document to Party members, forbidding CCP members from practicing Falun Gong. This was an extralegal directive, rather than legislation. Aside from that, the government has no legal basis to restrict citizens from practicing a spiritual belief. The same problem holds true for when the Ministry of Civil Affairs, under the State Council, banned the “Research Society of Falun Dafa and the Falun Gong organization under its control,” and the Ministry of State Security banned the practice. In both cases, neither state organ had Constitutional jurisdiction over spiritual belief, and the law had no provision for banning such spiritual groups. Meanwhile, state-controlled media quickly began an all-out assault using slander, calling Falun Gong “an evil cult” and laying the groundwork for the brutal persecution to come. Ironically, when the Ministry of State Security issued its declaration in 2000 regarding “identifying and banning heretical organizations,” Falun Gong was not listed among the fourteen groups named. Despite that, this declaration is still invoked today to justify the persecution of Falun Gong.

Overall, the persecution of Falun Gong has been, and is being, carried out and directed by an extralegal, unconstitutional organization that operates outside of Chinese and international law. The methods used in the persecution, including warrantless arrests, illegal imprisonment, brainwashing, physical and mental torture, forced labor, and even murder, are outright illegal and reprehensible. No matter how the CCP chooses to cloak the brutal persecution in legality to attempt to fool the outside world and its own citizens, it cannot hide the fundamental fact that this is an illegal, incomprehensible persecution of people wishing to pursue Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It tramples on China’s own laws and is an affront to all of humanity.