(Minghui.org) People in China often hear, “The government has banned Falun Gong.” The truth is exactly the opposite, as Falun Gong has always been a legal practice in China.

As early as 1998, Qiao Shi, a then retired member of the National People’s Congress (NPC), organized a few senior officials to conduct a comprehensive in-depth investigation of Falun Gong. They concluded that, “Falun Gong does the country and the people all benefits and no harm.” They submitted the investigative report to the Politburo of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Central Committee.

When Jiang Zemin, the then Chinese leader, launched the persecution of the spiritual practice in July 1999, six out of the seven members of the standing committee of the Politburo opposed it. Jiang was the only member who insisted on ordering the persecution and abused his power to mobilize the entire state to participate in it.

Jiang gave the order to “eradicate Falun Gong in three months” with the onset of the persecution in July 1999. Three months later, Falun Gong remained a popular practice. Jiang escalated the persecution in October that year. In an interview with Le Figaro, a highly circulated newspaper in France, Jiang called Falun Gong a cult. The next day the CCP mouthpiece People’s Daily repeated Jiang’s words in its columns.

However, what Jiang and People’s Daily said carried no legal significance. The Standing Committee of NPC, the only legislative body in China, passed the “Resolution on Banning Cult Organizations, Guarding against and Punishing Cult Activities” on October 30, 1999. Falun Gong was not mentioned anywhere in this Resolution.

The Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate of China later rolled out the “Decision on Banning Cult Organizations, and Preventing and Punishing Cult Activities.” It did not mention Falun Gong either.

The fundamental principle of criminal law is “no crime without law.” Falun Gong isn’t mentioned in the legal resolution from NPC or the decision from the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate. However, the propaganda ran by the state media 24/7 convinced people that Falun Gong is.

Furthermore, the Ministry of Public Security did not list Falun Gong as one of the 14 evil religious organizations published in 2000 either. In 2005, the Ministry of Public Security, the State Department, and the General Office of the CCP Central Committee issued a joint statement and identified 14 cult organizations. Falun Gong still wasn’t on the list.

According to the laws of China, the State Department is the Chinese government and the highest state executive organ. This means that the State Department (Chinese government) holds a different view from Jiang’s regime (Chinese Communist Party). Still now, neither the NPC nor the State Department has ever announced any ban on Falun Gong. The narrative of “the government has banned Falun Gong” only exists in the news propaganda.

In addition, Announcement 50 issued by the General Administration of Press and Publication on March 1, 2011, lifted its ban on Falun Gong books. It has since been lawful to publish and own Falun Gong books in China.

In 2017, the Supreme People’s Court and Supreme People’s Procuratorate did an interpretation on “handling criminal cases that use cult organizations to undermine law enforcement.” The judicial interpretation was not signed by the Ministry of Public Security, and hence the executive agency (Ministry of Public Security) is not legally bound by it. The interpretation oversteps the Ministry of Public Security’s authority and is illegal.

In the past 23 years, Jiang’s regime and the CCP have mobilized the state apparatus with secret documents, internal notices, coercion, political pressure, and bribery to persecute Falun Gong. It has created countless wrongful and unjust cases and a staggering number of organ harvesting tragedies.

Once we are able to decipher the CCP’s propaganda, we see how Falun Gong has always been legal in China. The persecution has no legal ground.