Critical Role of Liu Yunshan and Central Propaganda Department in the Persecution of Falun Gong
(Minghui.org) Several top Chinese officials have been taken down after being heavily involved in the persecution of Falun Gong. They include Zhou Yongkang, China's former security czar, who was arrested in December 2014 and convicted six months later, and Li Dongsheng, who was charged in 2013 and sentenced to 15 years of imprisonment earlier this year.
Still more are at large. Among them is Liu Shunshan, former head of the Central Propaganda Department (2002-2012). Below is a brief synopsis of how Liu and his department fueled the nationwide suppression of Falun Gong.
Involvement from the Beginning
After training at the Central Party School, Liu became the deputy head of the Central Propaganda Department in 1993. When the 610 Office was created in June 1999, he joined it and was responsible for attacking Falun Gong through the media.
Under Liu's leadership, the media produced and spread hate propaganda against Falun Gong, such as stories of practitioners killing others or committing suicide. The campaign misled large numbers of people to antagonize Falun Gong.
Of particular note was the media coverage of the Tiananmen Square self-immolation hoax in Beijing. About two weeks earlier, Liu organized a national conference in Beijing on January 8, 2001, discussing plans to intensify the persecution. At that time, the 17-month long suppression had lost momentum, and many people questioned its legality.
Using the Tiananmen Square hoax, Liu and Li Dongsheng refueled the suppression and brought it to an unprecedented, nationwide level. Following orders from the 610 Office and the Propaganda Department, thousands of newspapers, magazines, and television stations throughout China began to defame Falun Gong. Over 300,000 defamatory articles were published within six months.
Like Li and Zhou, Liu Yunshan was promoted in 2002 by Jiang Zemin to Minister of the Propaganda Department. In the following three years, the number of confirmed torture deaths of Falun Gong practitioners soared from 700 to 2,940. At the same time, the number of organ transplants performed in China increased rapidly, a trend that corroborates the harvesting of organs from living Falun Gong practitioners.
Expanded Propaganda and News Censorship
In addition to news media, Liu also instructed officials to hold nationwide photo exhibitions attacking Falun Gong. These exhibitions intensified the persecution in many cities and were brought to Hong Kong in 2012, stirring up hate crimes led by the Youth Care Association.
Several television dramas and literature were produced to attack Falun Gong under Liu's instruction. Even children were not spared; anti-Falun Gong propaganda was also included in school textbooks.
Liu suppressed all positive voices. Falun Gong books were burned, no positive reports were allowed, and foreign journalists were silenced. When practitioners in Changchun, Jilin Province broadcast a video about the persecution in March 2002, they were met with unprecedented suppression; about 5,000 practitioners were arrested.
Liu also urged scientists to attack Falun Gong and ordered psychologists to develop strategies to brainwash detained practitioners.
All these efforts built up a nationwide, systematic network that has misled Chinese people for nearly 17 years. Liu Shunshan is one of the major players responsible for this genocide.