Jun 16, 2005

Australians who adhere to the Falun Gong meditation practice have expressed that misconceptions continue to linger in some Western media about the practice.

In a recent interview with Sound of Hope Radio, media critic and award-winning American journalist, Danny Schechter, criticized western media for not investigating many of the communist regimes' claims about Falun Gong. He claims that, all too often, Western media have treated reports by China's state-run news agencies as credible sources of news on Falun Gong, or worse, repeated such reports as facts.

Australians who practice Falun Gong agree. "Certainly the media take on what the Communist Party puts out and reuse this," says Jason Wegener, 28, a sales rep who learned the practice the same year the persecution began in 1999.

"Trade has been a huge reason as to why Falun Gong has not been represented in the media. And it's not just Falun Gong- any human rights issue with China is always repressed."

Within Australian society, the duty of Chinese officials such as defecting diplomat Mr. Chen Yonglin, was to spread anti-Falun Gong materials and to seek support from the Australian Government.

"The CCP's policy towards Falun Gong in Sydney is as follows: to sharply oppose, to deliberately attack, to strive for support (of the Australian government), and to win sympathy (of the public in Australia)," said Mr. Chen at a Sydney June 4 rally remembering the Tiananmen Square Massacre.

Through his interaction with Falun Gong practitioners in Australia, Mr. Chen discovered his government's policy was wrong and in an act of conscience abandoned his post at the Chinese consulate-general in Sydney on May 26.

A week later, a second Chinese official stepped forward, Mr. Hao Fengjun, who is a former 610 security officer. Then there was news of another unnamed Chinese policeman who had fled China. Both men had left their country because they could no longer continue to be part of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners.

Recently Labor MP Chris Bowen said the information these men revealed would bring the Falun Gong issue out into the open. He told independent Chinese language television station NTDTV: "This starts to unravel the propaganda that has been put out, and there should be much more transparency and honesty in relation to this from the Chinese Government."

Over the past week Falun Gong practitioners have been popping up on Australian media, from Triple J radio to Channel 7's Weekend Sunrise, to explain the practice of Falun Gong, and to correct the misinformation spread by the CCP.

Mr. Wegener is glad to have the chance to tell people about Falun Gong and the human rights situation in China. The defections and their revelations have effectively opened a door shut by the Chinese Communist Government, one that should remain open.