Key Statistics Related to Falun Gong
70-100 million – Number of Falun Gong adherents practicing in China before the ban in 1999. While some have attributed the estimate to Falun Gong sources, the number 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.
20-40 million – Estimated number of people in China practicing Falun Gong in 2009.
450,000-1 million – 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 in July 2009 (see here for detailed calculation).
420,356 – Number of declarations posted to an overseas Falun Gong website as of December 31, 2009 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. 18,622 such declarations were posted in 2009.
200,000 – 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.
87,000 – Number of reports of torture against Falun Gong adherents to emerge from China since 1999
13,153 – Number of declarations posted to an overseas Falun Gong website in 2009 in which Chinese citizens who do not practice Falun Gong publicly apologized for previously participating in the arrest, beating, firing, or vilification of the practice, its founder, or its adherents.
8,037 – Number of practitioners arrested in the six months leading up to the Beijing Olympics. Some were killed within days or weeks of arrest, while hundreds of others were subsequently sentenced arbitrarily to labor camps or prisons.
3,369 – Number of Falun Gong adherents confirmed to have died as a result of abuse in police custody or other forms persecution since 1999. Due to extreme difficulty in discovering and verifying information in China related to wrongful deaths, this figure likely understates the true death toll.
2,230 – Number of Falun Gong practitioners documented by the Falun Dafa Information Center in 2009 to have been “sentenced” to prison camps following sham trials or sent by administrative fiat to “re-education through labor” camps. Given the difficulty of obtaining information from inside China, the actual number is certainly much higher.
109 – Number of Falun Gong adherents killed in 2009 as a result of persecution. Additional, delayed reports of 2009 deaths continue to emerge from China.