“Suicide” Plot to Frame Falun Gong Revealed

Sources Reveal Jiang's Latest Plan to Bend Popular Opinion Against Falun Gong

NEW YORK, December 16, 2001 (Falun Dafa Information Center)-A reliable source inside China has revealed that Chinese officials will begin a propaganda initiative starting Monday, Dec. 17th, that frames up Falun Gong by way of a suicide case. This is believed to be the latest initiative in a long string of attempts to implement President Jiang’s orders to “strengthen propaganda” against Falun Gong; the efforts intend to win support among the Chinese people and “counter international criticism.”

“We received this information late last night,” said Falun Dafa Information Center spokesperson Adam Montanaro. “Chinese officials have used this tactic many times before – they take cases of suicide, murder, and other horrible acts, and use the state-run media to pin them on practitioners of Falun Gong so as to incite hatred towards Falun Gong among the Chinese people.” Montanaro added, “Of course, China’s officials heavily guard any information about these cases. So it’s both difficult and dangerous for us to get further details about this new initiative, but we can say this came from a reliable source and must be taken seriously. We need to follow this closely.”

According to Dr. Shiyu Zhou, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania who has done extensive research on China’s persecution of Falun Gong, the number of fabricated reports in China against Falun Gong has increased recently. He notes that the rise in such reports follows the peaceful demonstration in Tiananmen Square (11/20/01) by 36 Western Falun Gong practitioners. “Another key aspect of the propaganda war by China’s state-run media is the idea that Falun Gong is suppressed all over the world, just as it is in China,” Dr. Zhou told FDI. “This propaganda aims to convince the Chinese people that the persecution of Falun Gong is widely endorsed. For many Chinese, however, the appearance of the westerners in Tiananmen Square has led them to start questioning this propaganda, and so Chinese officials are desperately attempting to counter this trend with increased propaganda.”

A SAMPLING OF CASES USED TO FRAME UP FALUN GONG

Last Tuesday, China’s state-run media carried a story about a deranged man in Hainan Province who allegedly killed his uncle and then attempted to kill himself. The propaganda department labeled the man a Falun Gong practitioner, although no third-party investigation has been allowed. Similar cases have appeared in China’s state-run media over the last year. All outside investigations have been blocked, with foreign journalists being threatened, detained, and interrogated.

In October during the height of the international Anthrax scare and just days before the APEC meetings in Shanghai, Chinese foreign ministry sources reported that a package containing Falun Gong materials with “a questionable substance” had been received by an unidentified American company in Beijing. A few weeks earlier, however, a Sept. 19th report in Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post (see FDI 9/24 Release), citing sources in Beijing, stated that China’s regime is trying to “exploit international outrage over the US [World Trade Center] attacks” to aid its own attacks on Falun Gong. AP, CNN, and other media organizations developed this story further, questioning both the legitimacy and timing of the Anthrax-hoax described by the Chinese foreign ministry. Only days later state-run media in China quickly dropped the story without follow-up.

In probably the most highly publicized case of this sort, at the beginning of this year the state-run Xinhua news agency in Beijing reported that five individuals, who were labeled Falun Gong practitioners, attempted suicide by self-immolation on Tiananmen Square. Conflicting eyewitness reports as well as discrepancies in the official coverage of the event, however, have cast doubt on the validity of Xinhua’s account. CNN’s videotapes of the scene were confiscated, reporters were told not to cover the story and threatened, and to this day not a single third-party interview has been allowed with the victims.

Detailed analysis of the Xinhua video coverage released one week later reveals Chinese police taking what appears to be an active role in the entire event. In a statement to the Sub-Commission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights at the United Nations in August, 2001, International Education Development (IED) stated: “The [Chinese] regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001…we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the [Chinese] government.” Philip Pan of the Washington Post reported that at least one of the victims in fact had no previous association with Falun Gong.