Press Statement (October 1, 2001)
Good morning, ladies and gentlemen. Today is October 1st, China’s National Day. It is also the first day of this year’s Mid-Autumn Festival for Chinese people all around the world — a joyous holiday much like Thanksgiving Day, filled with family reunions and celebrations and plenty of food. And yet, on the eve of this national holiday, we were shocked to learn that a young woman in her prime was thrown to her death out of a fourth-story window by Chinese authorities.
She was Yu Xiuling from the northern province of Liaoning.
As China planned for the National Day and as PRC president Jiang Zemin’s government were preparing to re-start a human rights dialogue with the U.S., Chaoyang city police were beating and torturing Yu Xiuling in a local public security office. They were interrogating her, attempting to make her inform on her fellow Falun Gong practitioners. Sources say they handcuffed her to a heater, then police surrounded her and beat and tortured her for 13 hours.
There was only so much her body could take. Ms. Yu was dying. Figuring that if she died in a hospital, they might have to explain how she came to be in such bad shape, the police officers decided instead to throw her out of the fourth story window so that they could claim it was suicide. That has been the most convenient method of disposal since the more suicides the authorities can pin on Falun Gong practitioners, after all, the more easily they can claim that Falun Gong is a so-called “evil cult” that encourages suicide. Never mind the fact that the practice of Falun Gong is completely against the taking of life.
Yu Xiuling fell from the window and died from the impact. She was 32 years old.
Her body was hastily sent for cremation that same evening at about midnight. When Yu’s husband, Mr. Feng Dianxiang, arrived at the scene, police officers Huang and Sun threatened him: “If you want to sue, go ahead. We have orders from the top that no measure is too excessive when dealing with Falun Gong.” Feng noticed that Yu Xiuling’s arms were broken and her buttocks were black and blue. Overwhelmed by grief, he had little chance to check her injuries before the police made sure her body was burned to ashes.
On a special holiday that the young couple was supposed to spend together with their family, Feng lost his wife. She had done nothing wrong, and yet there is nowhere he can go to find justice. Nowhere to go to seek legal recourse for his innocent wife. Why? Because of a deadly and secretive administrative structure called the “610 Office.”
What exactly is the “610 Office?” As its name suggests, it is a system that was initially set up on June 10, 1999, just prior to the ban on Falun Gong on July 20th. It is a system that specializes in political persecution, reaching out from the central government all the way down to the local governments. All provinces, cities, autonomous regions, and municipalities now have a local “610 Office.”
It is deadly because it is above any law. It has absolute power over each and every level of administration in the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as over the political and judiciary branches. Why? Because, headed by Luo Gan, the Secretary General of the Political and Judiciary Committee of the Communist Party, it is the highest authority deployed by PRC President Jiang Zemin himself to persecute Falun Gong. The 610 Office reports directly to the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party.
Imagine an all-powerful system that can override every level of the police, justice system, and even the FBI. Anything it wants done to someone, it can do. No one will be held accountable. Why? Because the dictatorship, bent on the destruction of Falun Gong, has willed it so.
There was something very similar to the 610 Office during the Cultural Revolution — the ubiquitous “Cultural Revolution Leading Committee” of the Central Committee of the Communist Party. This Leading Committee also derived its authority directly from the nation’s top leader, and the Cultural Revolution’s chief architect, Chairman Mao. It was this unchecked power that resulted in so much destruction and the loss of so many innocent lives during that time. The citizens lived in fear as anyone could be labeled an enemy of the state at any time. Moreover, the required punishments and denunciations would be dutifully carried out because the system reached into every neighborhood and every corner.
Are we back in the dark days of the Cultural Revolution? Sometimes it seems that way, as white is called black and good is called evil and the persecution reaches a feverish pitch. Are the Chinese people so numbed by Party Speak that they can no longer see through the lies, or are they afraid to see the truth for fear that they will be next?
At this time of national celebration, tens of thousands around the nation cannot be with their loved ones. Millions of families cannot enjoy a quiet life – simply because they dare to uphold their belief in the peaceful, spiritual practice called Falun Dafa. They are secure in the knowledge that what they are defending represents all that is good in the world, for they are defending the universal virtues of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. They know that the faith they are defending is worth the sacrifice.
The Falun Gong practitioners in China and around the world would like the Chinese regime to know that we will not give up. Today, we call upon those in the PRC government who have a conscience and we call upon the people of China to stand up for what is right. We demand that the shameful 610 Office be disbanded. It is a disgrace to all the progress that China has made in the past twenty years. We demand that legal action to be taken against Luo Gan, one of the primary instigators of this senseless and wasteful persecution against Falun Gong.
The world knows that Yu Xiuling was tragically thrown to her death from a window. The world knows about the tens of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners still being held in the dark labor camps. The world now also knows about the shady 610 Office and about Luo Gan. And the world will one day hold them fully accountable for their actions.