|Questions and Answers on Recent Cases Related to Falun Gong|
|(24 August 2001)|
1. Q: Could you confirm the report that Tan Yongjie, a Falun Gong practitioner, was tortured and physically abused by police in China?
A: Relevant authorities have carried out an exhaustive and thorough investigation regarding this case, only to find that this person with the name of Tan Yongjie simply doesn't exist. The story about Tan has several doubtful points. In the so-called self-account of Tan, he says that "he was burnt with hot iron by police in China on 2 June 2001", that "he was diagnosed to have third-degree burns on 13 parts of his body and the wounds were so deep that they could not easily heal up". If it was true, it would be unimaginable that he, who had so serious wounds on his body and did not speak any English, could have survived the more than 40 days during which he first hid in a crate in a container ship, traveling on the sea for 14 days and then made a difficult and perilous journey to Huston (on 13 July as reported) without even a cent in his pocket. So this self-contradictory account and the made-up accounts about his identity and past have all shown to us that this person by the name of Tan Yongjie must have been instigated to spread rumors and tell lies. The whole case is simply another farce directed by Falun Gong.
2. Q: Could you confirm the report that Zhang Fengyun, a Falun Gong practitioner, has been tortured to death?
A: Ms. Zhang Fengyun, who died at the age of 42, was born of the Han nationality in Gai County, Liao Ning province. She was a junior middle school graduate. And she worked for the timber mill under the Gansu Construction Corporation before she began to be deeply infatuated by Falun Gong. Later on, she engaged herself in the illegal activities of Falun Gong and in July this year was detained by the police and kept at the Lanzhou No.1 Detention House. She responded with a hunger strike and refused to accept any persuasion and treatment. On 10 August, she felt dizzy and out of breath and her blood pressure was falling. She was immediately rushed to hospital. But, still, at 24:42 the next day, she died of prostration of internal organs. This is another example of how Falun Gong kills people and harms the society.
3. Q: Recently the Falun Gong website said that 130 Falun Gong followers under correction through labor at the Masanjia Correctional House in Liaoning Province had launched a 21-day hunger strike to protest against the delay of their release? Could you confirm that?
A: That has never happened. There was no such case in which 130 people were illegally detained after the fulfillment of their sentence at Masanjia. Neither was there a hunger strike of any kind. The legal rights and benefits of Falun Gong followers under correction through labour are fully provided and protected by law. Most of them were released on time or ahead of time. Only a very few, who behaved badly and made troubles for the normal order of the correction programme have been kept further under correction for appropriate periods of time in accordance with relevant laws and regulations. At present, the Masanjia Correctional House is in pretty good shape and order.
4. Q: What charges have been made against Liu Yunfan and four other defendants by the public prosecution authorities?
A: The No.1 Branch of the Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate has, in the capacity as a public prosecution authority, charged Liu Yunfan, Wang Jindong, Liu Xiuqin and Liu Baorong with using a cult to cause death and Xue Hongjun with using a cult to undermine law implementation.
5. Q: Most of the defendants were among those who burnt themselves. Why are they still held responsible on criminal charges?
A: According to relevant Chinese laws and their judicial interpretations, suicide does not in itself constitute a crime. But the defendants in this case have intentionally and in a planned and organized manner participated in organizing, masterminding, instigating and assisting Falun Gong followers to commit suicide by self-burning at the Tiananmen Square and in doing so they intentionally tried to take other people's lives illegally, leading to two deaths and three serious injuries. It is clear that they played the roles of organizers, planners, instigators and assistants in the whole incident. Therefore, they must be brought to criminal justice in accordance with law.
6. Q: There are reports that since China banned Falun Gong, more than 100 Falun Gong practitioners have been tortured to death. Are these true stories or not?
A: There have been some deaths among the practitioners. But they were not the result of the so-called "torture" by law-enforcement personnel but rather because of Li Hongzhi and his Falun Gong. Actually, before the Chinese Government banned Falun Gong on 22 July 1999, there had already been more than 136 practitioners who killed themselves, having been carried away by Li Hongzhi's vicious statements about "nirvana" and "going to Heaven". That was exactly why the Chinese Government decided to ban Fanlun Gong according to law, responding to the requests of people from all circles of the society, including the families of those victimized practitioners, so as to protect the properties and personal safety of our citizens. After Falun Gong was banned, based outside China, Li Hongzhi doubled and redoubled efforts to sell his heresies, including that the followers should "give up their hold to life". As a result, some deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers, 103 in number, gave themselves up totally to the spiritual control of Li Hongzhi and ended up killing themselves. Their real killer was nobody but Li Hongzhi. And they are just part of the 1660 people killed by the Falun Gong cult so far.
7. Q: Since the Chinese Government banned Falun Gong, there has been one case after another in which Falun Gong practitioners were arrested and taken away from the Tiananmen Square. What is your comment on a report that tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been arrested?
A: Cheated by the evil statements by Li Hongzhi, some deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers time and again took to public places such as the Tiananmen Square. In accordance with Beijing Municipal People's Government Stipulations on No-Assembly, No-Public-Protest and No-demonstration Places and Their Surrounding Areas and a Circular of Beijing People's Municipal Government (tr.), the Tiananmen Square and its surrounding areas belong to places where assemblies, demonstrations or public protests are forbidden and it is not allowed to write, distribute, put up, hang or show propaganda materials of any kind, unless permitted by the State Council or the Beijing Municipal People's Government. And in accordance with the PRC Law on Assembly, Demonstration and Public Protest and the PRC Law on People's Police (tr.), the actions carried out against the illegal activities by the Falun Gong people at the Tiananmen Square and its surrounding areas were done in strict accordance with law. Those deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers who had gathered and made troubles at the Tiananmen Square were provided with food and accommodation after being taken away. And after identifying their ID and home address, arrangements were then made for local governments to come and pick them up. Back to their home towns, they would receive education and further help. So you can see that no one was actually arrested.
8. Q: There are reports that since the Chinese Government began its crack-down on Falun Gong, tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners have been sentenced to correction through labour. Is it something that has really happened?
A: China's practice of correction through labour began with the State Council Decision on Correction through Labour (tr.) adopted by the National People's Congress in 1957. In 1979, the NPC approved the State Council Supplementary Stipulations on Correction through Labour (tr.). In 1982, the State Council forwarded the Tentative Measures on Correction through Labour (tr.) formulated by the Ministry of Public Security. Therefore, the practice of correction through labour is a component of the whole legal system of China. It is based on relevant laws. And judicial and law-enforcement authorities carry out correction through labour by strictly following relevant legal procedures. The Falun Gong practitioners have been put under correction through labour because they had, cheated and encouraged by Li Hongzhi and his Falun Gong cult, time and again participated in activities that undermined social order. The legal rights and benefits of those sentenced to correction through labour are fully provided and protected by law in China. The law-enforcement authorities maintain the basic policy of "education, persuasion and redemption". They help, educate and take care of the Falun Gong practitioners under correction through labor in the way that "parents care for their children, teachers help their pupils and doctors treat patients" and protect their rights and benefits according to law. At the same time, in carrying out the sentences, they try to make full use of legal measures to reduce their sentences, give them parole and probation, and release them before the fulfillment of their original sentences, in an effort to best redeem and help them. After they are released from correction, the students return to school and the workers are given jobs. All in all, their right to normal life and work is safeguarded. And we have never stopped in making efforts to improve our system of correction through labour.
9. Q: What is your comment on the reports that the Chinese Government has sent many Falun Gong practitioners to mental hospitals?
A: Some of the Falun Gong practitioners did have mental illness, having been so seriously poisoned by Falun Gong. It is their families who have sent them to the mental hospitals. The Falun Gong cult and some people outside China with ulterior intentions are calling black white and telling lies when they say that the Chinese Government is persecuting Falun Gong practitioners by sending them to mental hospitals.
10. Q: What is your comment on the report that there are people outside China who have said that China's crack-down on Falun Gong has constituted a political persecution against religions and violated the citizen's right to freedom of religious beliefs?
A: China's handling of Falun Gong represents an effort to safeguard the basic human rights of all citizens in China, including those of the religious circle, as well as a necessary measure to protect the freedom of religious beliefs. As is known to all, the Falun Gong cult is not different at all from other cults that have appeared since the 1960s in the United States, Europe, Japan and other places. They share the anti-science, anti-human and anti-society nature and pose serious threats and do great harms to the whole society. China's ban on Falun Gong in accordance with law was an act conforming to the will of the people. And in any case, it is the victimized families and people from the science and technology community as well as those from the religious circle who first called on the Government to outlaw Falun Gong. The Chinese Constitution provides its citizens with the right to freedom of religious beliefs. The past two decades and more since China began its policy of reform and opening up marks the best period of China's implementation of its policy of freedom of religious beliefs. Some people in the West have turned a blind eye to the fact that China has hundreds of millions of believers of various religions, tens of thousands of religious places, thousands of religious organizations and so many religious activities going on. They call the lawful action by the Chinese Government to crack down on the Falun Gong cult a persecution against religion and confuse cults with real religion. Such an attitude in itself constitutes disrespect to real religion.
11. Q: China's Constitution provides that its citizens have the right to freedom of assembly and association. So why did you not allow Falun Gong practitioners to gather at the Tiananmen Square?
A: China's Constitution also provides that citizens should not harm the state, social, collective, or other citizens' interests when enjoying their own rights and freedoms. The UN Covenant on Civil and Political rights is also very clear that the freedom of speech and association should not be enjoyed in a manner harmful to state security, public security and order and other individuals' rights and freedoms. The Tiananmen Square is an important venue for national events and celebrations. The Beijing Municipal People's Government has formulated regulations, providing that prior legal procedures of application and approval must be completed before assemblies or demonstrations can be held at the Tiananmen Square. Falun Gong is an illegal cult that has been banned. Deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers, cheated and prompted by evil heresies about "going up to higher levels" and "nirvana", have tried to gather and make troubles at the Tiananmen Square. It is illegal for them to do so and therefore they must be stopped in accordance with law.
12. Q: China calls Falun Gong a cult. But why did so many people practice Falun Gong and at present how many people are still practicing Falun Gong in China?
A: Li Hongzhi once bragged that there were about a hundred million practitioners. But in fact, according to statistics, at the highest point China had about 2 million practitioners only, approximately 0.15% of the whole Chinese population. And most of them began practicing out of a pure wish to seek good health. As Falun Gong's nature as an anti-human, anti-scinece and anti-society cult was exposed, the great majority (98%) of the practitioners have stopped their practices and quitted the cult. In fact, although Li Hongzhi has never stopped making misleading evil heresies to cheat the practitioners and deeply infatuated followers have time and again sought to gather and make troubles, the number of practitioners has decreased considerably.
13. Q: Are the Falun Gong practitioners allowed to do their practices so long as they do not participate in political activities, do not break laws and do not do harms to other people?
A: Falun Gong is an illegal cult, which has already been banned by the Chinese Government. The great majority of the ex-practitioners have decided of their own will to cut themselves away from Falun Gong after its real nature was made known. The Chinese Government has adopted a policy of patient persuasion and education on the great majority of common Falun Gong practitioners, extending a warm helping hand to all of them. The Chinese Government has stressed time and again that so long as they withdraw from Falun Gong and stop taking part in its illegal activities, the practitioners shall not be held responsible for their previous participation in Falun Gong. And we did exactly as we promised. As to those who have gathered and organized people to stand against the implementation of laws and destroy social order in the name of spreading and protecting the so-called Falun Dafa, they must be brought to justice and held responsible for what they have done. But there have been very few such people.
14. Q: What is the difference between Falun Gong and Qigong? Does China also forbid activities by any Qigong organization?
A: Falun Gong is no Qigong but a thorough and pure evil cult. It is totally different from traditional Chinese Qigong. The Chinese Government is never against and will not forbid normal practices of Qigong for good health. Li Hongzhi copied some terms and body positions and movements from Qigong to gift-wrap his heretic theories and deify himself. But his Falun Gong does not help people's health at all. On the contrary, it has led so many practitioners to illness, madness, disabilities and even death.
15. Q: There are reports that the Chinese Central Government has pressed the Hong Kong SAR government to crack down on Falun Gong. Do you think it conforms to the "one country, two systems" principle to have done so?
A: As is known to all, China has adopted the policy of "one country, two systems" and "Hong Kong people administering Hong Kong" in the Hong Kong SAR. We have also paid close attention to activities by Falun Gong in Hong Kong. As we know, the self-burning incident by a few deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers at the Tiananmen Square has caused deep worries among Hong Kong people as a whole. We believe that the Hong Kong SAR government will strictly abide by the principle of "one country, two systems" and the Basic Law and HKSAR laws to handle well the issue of Falun Gong, so as to ensure the long-term prosperity and stability in Hong Kong for the benefit of all residents in Hong Kong.
16. Q: There are reports that Mr. Tung Chee-hwa has openly indicated that Falun Gong will not be allowed to use Hong Kong as a base to undermine social stability and order both in Hong Kong and on the mainland. What is your comment on that?
A: We appreciate the way in which Chief Executive Mr. Tung Chee-hw has carried out his duties of administration in accordance with relevant laws.
17. There are reports that the US Congress has appropriated money to Falun Gong and enable them to use the American Broadcasting Service network to spread Falun Gong to the mainland of China and that the US Agency of International Development has also allocated 20 million dollars to Falun Gong for its work to promote the "integration of politics and religion". What comment does the Chinese side have on this?
A: We pay close attention to these reports. And we don't wish such things to happen. We request the American side to respect the position of the Chinese Government on the question of Falun Gong, have a clear understanding of the harms of Falun Gong cult and stop supporting and encouraging it, so as to avoid damaging China-US relations.
18. Q: It is reported that Li Hongzhi has been nominated as a candidate for the Nobel Peace Prize. What's your comment?
A: You all know that Falun Gong is a cult and Li Hongzhi is its head. Nominating such a figure as a candidate for the Noble Peace Prize is to make a laughingstock of the Prize indeed.
19. Q: When was the State Council Office of Preventing and Handling Cults (tr.) established? What are its main functions?
A: The Office was established around late August and early September last year. Its main functions include integrating and coordinating efforts by different government departments in preventing and handling the issue of cults, doing research and study in this regard, so as to protect the basic human rights of the citizens from the harms of the cults. The issue of cults is one for the whole world. The Office therefore will also strengthen cooperation and exchange with its counterparts in all other countries the world over.
20. Q: How would China prove that those who burnt themselves at the Tiananmen Square were Falun Gong practitioners?
A: After the incident, public security authorities went all out to investigate and obtained abundant evidence and testimonies from witnesses proving that they were deeply infatuated Falun Gong followers or Falun Gong die-hards and that those who masterminded and organized the self-burning were all Falun Gong diehards. After the incident happened, the Falun Gong cult tried every means to deny that those who burnt themselves were Falun Gong practitioners. It is not strange at all for them to have said so. Because collective suicide and self-burning represent a striking feature shared by all modern cults. To admit that those who burnt themselves were Falun Gong practitioners would have been no different from admitting that Falun Gong is a cult.
21. Q: Does the self-burning incident represent a revolt by the practitioners against the Chinese Government's crack-down on Falun Gong?
A: There is abundant evidence showing that those who participated in the self-burning were deeply-infatuated Falun Gong followers, who, cheated by the heretic statements of Li Hongzhi, had wished to seek to achieve "nirvana", or "go to higher levels" or "fly to the white sun". As the person who had concocted this tragedy, Li Hongzhi has time and again issued so-called scriptures, cheated the deeply infatuated followers into "giving up their hold on to life" and led them to self-destruction eventually. He had his political aims in doing so, hoping to make troubles and create some impact on the situation to his favour.
22. Q: What Chinese laws did Teng Chunyan break? And how many years has she been sentenced to in prison?
A: Teng Chunyan entered China with a private passport in May 2000. She was later arrested on a charge of "illegally acquiring and providing state secrets and sensitive information to forces outside China (tr.)". Last November, the Beijing Municipal People's Procuratorate sued her on this charge. And on 12 December 2000, the Beijing No. 1 Intermediate People's Court found her guilty and sentenced her to three years in prison with one year without political rights.
23. Q: Can you confirm the report that Zhao Xin, a Falun Gong follower, has been tortured to death?
A: Zhao Xin was a victim of the Falun Gong cult, a typical example of how a deeply infatuated follower engaged himself in illegal activities and wished to seek "nirvana" through suicide as encouraged time and again by Li Hongzhi and his Falun Gong. Zhao Xin was a teacher of Beijing University of Industry and Commerce (tr.). Cheated by the vicious statements of Li Hongzhi, he broke the law on several occasions by engaging himself in illegal activities of the cult and undermining the social and public order. On 20 June 2000, Beijing Public Security authorities arrested him on criminal charges in accordance with law. During his detention, Zhao refused to abide by relevant rules and regulations. On 22 June, he got a chance and hit his head against the wall and broke his neck. He was rushed to hospital by the public security people. After treatment, his conditions were stable. However, on 19 December, when coming to see him, Zhao's parents, in a very irresponsible manner and without seeking approval of the hospital, took him back to his dormitory in the University. On 10 December, Zhao's mother found him having difficulty in breathing. She sent for a doctor of her own choice. The treatment however was not producing good results. On the afternoon of 11 December, Zhao died of respiratory prostration.
24. Q: What comment do you have on the case of Zhang Kunlun?
A: Zhang Kunlun is a Chinese citizen. He was put under correction through labour by relevant authorities in accordance with law for his involvement in the illegal activities of the Falun Gong cult, resistance to law implementation and damages he did to the social and public order. During his term of correction through labour, he indicated that he had realized the illegality of his previous and Falun Gong's activities and indicated that he would cut himself off the Falun Gong cult and be good law-abiding citizen and so on. In light of his deeds and words during the term and in accordance with relevant laws and regulations, he was released ahead of time on December 1, 2000. But now, he is traveling from place to place, denying what he did and said during his correction-through-labor period and telling lies to attack the Chinese Government's lawful act of banning the Falun Gong cult as well as China's system of correction through labor. He even said he was tortured. All that he did has demonstrated to us what a shameless person he is.
25. Q: Could you confirm the report that Zhao Ming, a Falun Gong follower, was put under correction through labour and tortured?
A: Zhao Ming was put under correction through labour for one year from 13 May 2000 to 12 May 2001 by relevant authorities in accordance with law for his involvement in the illegal activities of the Falun Gong cult, resistance to law implementation and damages he did to the social and public order. He was never physically abused or tortured in whatever form during that period.