Key Statistics Related to Falun Gong
The persecution of Falun Gong by the numbers…
Number of Falun Gong practitioners practicing in China before July, 1999. While some have attributed the estimate to Falun Gong sources, the number actually originates from the Chinese authorities and was cited on multiple occasions by Western media outlets such as the New York Times and Associated Press prior to the ban in July 1999. Shortly after the launch of the persecution, the Chinese regime shrank the estimate dramatically to 2 million as part of its propaganda campaign and a means of downplaying the scale of violations.
Estimated number of people in China practicing Falun Gong in 2009. In May 2009, Falun Gong’s main Chinese-language website, Minghui.org, reported that approximately 200,000 underground “materials sites” exist across China. Materials sites are places where Falun Gong practitioners print leaflets, produce DVDs, etc. the content of which unveils the persecution and debunks anti-Falun Gong propaganda. These sites are operated at a grassroots level across China and usually located in the back-room of a private residence. Each site provides materials to 100-200 Falun Gong practitioners, who then distribute the materials in their locales. These numbers indicate 20-40 million Falun Gong practitioners are actively working to expose the wide-spread suppression they face in China. How many more people are practicing Falun Gong in China and yet do not take part in this form of peaceful resistance is not known.
Estimated number of Falun Gong practitioners held in labor camps, prison camps, and other long-term detention facilities at any given time, as calculated by independent researcher and author Ethan Gutmann (see here for detailed calculation).
Number of declarations posted to an overseas Falun Gong website as of November 1, 2011 in which practitioners inside China who had been forced under torture to renounce their faith publicly retracted the denunciation and announced their intent to resume practicing. 45,320 such declarations were posted since January 1, 2010 (see recent samples here).
Approximate number of underground ‘material sites’ in China, from which practitioners of Falun Gong use proxy servers to download, print, and produce literature about the persecution of Falun Gong, as found by editors of the main Chinese-language Falun Gong website, Minghui.org.
Hundreds of Thousands
Number of reports of torture against Falun Gong adherents to emerge from China since 1999.
40,000 or Significantly Higher
Number of Falun Gong practioners estimated killed in order to extract their vital organs, which fuels a booming organ transplantation business in China. These estimates are drawn from two separate, independent reports: one report from David Kilgour (former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia-Pacific) and David Matas (renouned human rights attorney), and the other report from author, investigative journalist, and China specialist, Ethan Gutmann.
Number of Falun Gong adherents documented to have died as a result of torture in police custody or other forms persecution since July 1999. The actual death toll is surely higher, given the extreme difficulty in discovering and verifying information in China related to wrongful deaths.