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Chinese authorities initially treated Falungong as a loosely knit group of quirky but benign qigong devotees. All this changed on April 25, 1999 when Falungong showed its capacity to quickly mobilize massive numbers. From all reports, more than 10,000 practitioners, most of them middle-aged, lined up in an orderly column around two sides of Zhongnanhai, the compound in the heart of Beijing where China's leaders live and work. They had begun arriving in groups, primarily from townships in the countryside, as early as 3 a.m. Young leaders saw to it that strict discipline was observed. For example, practitioners were forbidden to speak with foreigners or with members of the press, to hoist banners, to shout slogans or distribute pamphlets, or to litter. By late afternoon the followers had dispersed, as quickly and as quietly as they had come. Onlookers said the police were as orderly as the demonstrators.

For almost three months after the April 25 demonstration, the Chinese leadership was ominously quiet. That is not to say that the forthcoming crackdown was unexpected or that Falungong leaders were unprepared. On April 28, a government official, warning believers not to repeat the April 25 protest, said in a Xinhua interview that ran in newspapers and on the air, "Those who jeopardize social stability under the pretext of practicing any `qigong' will be dealt with according to the law."29 By May 7, reports were circulating that President Jiang Zemin had called the group a major threat, that a high-level task force had been formed with Party leaders Hu Jintao and Luo Gan in charge, and that the decision to designate Falungong an illegal organization had already been made.30 By June 1999, security in Beijing had been tightened. Early in the month, police held several busloads of practitioners in a local stadium for a day.31 Later in June, some 3,000 police officers cleared out practice sites on Changan Avenue, Beijing's major thoroughfare, and vowed to clean up all public practice sites in the city.32 Even as Party officials denied reports of an imminent crackdown, they warned Falungong leaders to stop spreading rumors designed to "provoke" the membership intoreadying demonstrations.33

The Chinese leadership also began to prepare the general public and rank-and-file Party members for the upcoming campaign. On June 20, Renmin Ribao (People's Daily), the Chinese Communist Party newspaper, launched a "theoretical" series that obliquely set out the rationale for the crackdown. Without mentioning Falungong, the initial article discussed the necessity of opposing superstition and pseudo-science and advocating a worldview encompassing science and technology, Marxism-Leninism, and materialism if the goal of rapid development and modernization were to be achieved.34 Other commentaries explicitly addressed how dangerous Falungong had become. They stressed its political orientation and its threat to the Chinese Communist Party's power, the risks it posed to the nation's stability, and the appalling consequences-allegedly 1,400 deaths and counting-of Li Hongzhi's resistance to scientific medical practice. The articles also made explicit how Party members, cadres, public security officials, and judicial officers were to conduct themselves. They were expected to maintain discipline and be consistent cultural exemplars-a veiled warning that they not practice Falungong-and they were to stay within the law when "combating" the Falungong threat no matter how resistant practitioners might be.35

Falungong responded immediately and publicly. Li Hongzhi set the line- "we do not involve ourselves in politics and we abide by the laws of the country"-and, foreshadowing events to come, Falungong spokespersons vigorously protested thegovernment's use of the terms "cult" and "sect."36 They also insisted, somewhat disingenuously, that the April event was "spontaneous."37 It quickly became evident, that despite Li Hongzhi's declaration that he would "not take Falungong practitioners to confront [the government]" even in the face of provocation, members were mobilizing resistance.38 Ten days before the first roundup of key Falungong organizers on July 20, mass protests against media criticism erupted in several cities.39

Once preparations were complete, Chinese officials moved quickly and decisively on several fronts, rounding up leaders and practitioners; issuing a series of directives that would allow the government to later claim its crackdown had a legal basis; destroying Falungong material including books, tapes, photographs, and posters; and issuing a steady stream of invective against Li Hongzhi and Falungong.

C July 20, 1999: just after midnight public security officers throughout China quietly detained numerous Falungong leaders.40 Three days of massive demonstrations in some thirty cities followed. In Beijing and other cities, police held protesters in sports stadiums.41

C July 22: the Ministry of Civil Affairs and the Ministry of Public Security acted jointly to dissolve Falungong and its parent organization, the Falun Dafa Research Society; to ban the propagation of Falungong in any form including public practice; and to prohibit anyone from disrupting social order or confronting the government.42

C July 23: the Chinese Communist Party declared the "`falungong' incident [on April 25] the most serious political incident" since the 1989 pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square.43 The Central Committee of the Chinese Communist Party banned its members from practicing Falungong and launched an intra-Party study campaign to make certain cadres understood how great a threat Falungong represented and how incompatible its belief system was with Marxism. The Ministry of Personnel followed with a similar order, adding that "government functionaries must take a clear stand in opposing...Falun Dafa."44 The People's Liberation Army instructed all personnel "to take the lead in eliminating the influences of Falun Gong."45 In early May, the Central Military Commission had already ordered its active and retired personnel and their families to distance themselves from Falungong.46

C July 26: the State Press and Publication Administration, Ministry of Public Security, State Administration of Industry and Commerce, General Administration for Customs, and the General Office of the State Leading Group for Wiping out Pornography jointly issued a circular calling for confiscation and destruction of all publications related to Falungong, including "books, pictures, audio-video products, and electronic publications,"and for investigation and punishment of "all units and individuals that have published, printed, copied, and distributed" such materials.47 The General Customs Administration issued orders to intercept incoming and outgoing Falungong materials.48 Several days later, with steamrollers and pulp mills at the ready, the campaign to destroy Falungong publications began in earnest. In Shanghai alone, 1,300 government workers engaged in a search and destroy mission that netted 45,000 books and pictures, part of a one-week nationwide total of two million.49 Falungong members reported that their overseas Internet sites came under electronic attack, such as repeated requests from one or several users that blocked others from accessing the sites, known technically as a "denial of service" attack. In other cases, sites were hacked into or servers compromised. At the same time, the government set up its own official sites so users could easily access government documents and critical commentaries related to the Falungong "threat."50

C July 29: the Ministry of Public Security issued an order for the arrest of Li Hongzhi on grounds that he had "spread superstitious and malicious fallacies to deceive people, resulting in the deaths of many practitioners" and had "organized gatherings, demonstrations and other activities to disturb public order without applying for permits according to law..."51 Interpol declined involvement on grounds that it did not take political or religious cases.52

C July 29: the Beijing Municipal Bureau of Justice issued a notice requiring all law firms to seek approval for requests by Falungong practitioners for consultation and representation. The announcement stipulated that all firms must notify the Office for Law Management, a sub-division of the Bureau ofJustice, of any Falungong-related contacts and seek its approval before signing a contract.53 Any legal explanations given to those seeking services must be in accord with the intent of the central authorities' policy directives toward Falungong. The notice violates the rights of persons under international law to obtain legal counsel of their choosing. It also is inconsistent with international standards which call on governments to ensure that lawyers are able to perform their professional functions without intimidating hindrance, harassment, or improper interference.54

C August 4: the Ministry of Public Security announced it would offer a substantial reward for the arrest of Li Hongzhi, $50,000 renminbi (approximately U.S.$6,250). However, in that China and the U.S. have no extradition treaty and the U.S. had already refused to consider a request for Li's return, the announcement was intended largely for domestic consumption.

From July on, Falungong protests were countered by police sweeps which sent thousands, if not tens of thousands of practitioners, to police lockups and makeshift facilities for short-term "reeducation." According to Politburo member Li Lanqing, from the time of the July 22 Ministry of Public Security order until the end of October when tightened "cult" regulations went into effect, there were 35,792 occasions when followers were stopped by police and either taken away or told to leave Beijing.55 Many more may have been rounded up before they could reach the capital.56

Throughout August and into September 1999, the government engineered a thoroughgoing media and publishing campaign to provide "evidence" of Falungong crimes so as to justify upcoming "lawful" prosecutions, to orchestrate public opinion to support the crackdown, to promote science and eradicate "pernicious" superstitious beliefs among the populace, and to cleanse the Party and all securityorgans of Falungong practitioners.57 By then members of these units had been banned from practicing Falungong, participating in Falungong-organized activities, providing sites for such activities, holding any position in the organization, or spreading its materials.58

The media campaign featured an outpouring of rhetoric from just about every institution and social stratum on the "evil nature" of Falungong and its alleged efforts to hoodwink the public. Xinhua reported that "hundreds of thousands" of retired People's Liberation Army and People's Armed Police personnel avowed complete agreement with the Chinese Communist Party line on the Falun Gong issue."59 So, too, did religious leaders (including a Tibetan Living Buddha) who claimed to be concerned with protecting religious freedom.60 Academic experts in the fields of politics, philosophy, sociology, education, psychology, science, law, and medicine contributed "opinions."61

Other Xinhua articles exhorted workers to "stand in the very front line... [against Falungong]" and called on women to uphold modernity and women's organizations to "help women improve their overall quality and establish rightviewpoints... [toward Falungong]."62 The Xinhua appeal reflected the fact that women make up probably close to half of Falungong practitioners. Within China, women generally are viewed as less interested in science and technology and more likely to perpetuate traditional superstitious beliefs; they are also perceived as "play[ing] an irreplaceable role in families," with the potential for passing on to the next generation the meaning and practices of Falungong.

The most important part of the media campaign may have been the "investigatory" reports into Falungong's accounts of its activities and motives which purported to show duplicity and subversive intent on the part of Falungong leaders. These accounts provided a justification for a legal assault on the organization and its individual practitioners. One such report purported to prove that Li Hongzhi and his lieutenants (who later received lengthy prison terms) meticulously orchestrated the April 25 protest for political gain. In so doing, the report argued, they posed a critical and unlawful threat to social order.63 Another account similarly analyzed what it claimed was the political intent and social order danger behind other Falungong demonstrations.64 Still another gave "evidence" of a tightly knit hierarchical organization unregistered with the Ministry of Civil Affairs and, therefore, operating illegally.65

Other accounts went to great lengths to refute Li Hongzhi's theories on "disease-relief and health," calling them "ungrounded gross inferences with absurd conclusions, absolutely lacking in science, truth, reliability and believability, to the point of being sheer nonsense."66 From the beginning of the crackdown, government authorities highlighted the dangers to public health implicit in Falungong theories, and suggested that Li Hongzhi and his lieutenants bore personal responsibility forthe deaths of practitioners who heeded their fallacious medical advice.67 Such emphasis allowed the Chinese leadership to claim it was on solid legal ground in shutting down the organization and jailing its "backbone elements."68 The text of Li's warrant began, "Li Hongzhi has caused the deaths of people by organizing and utilizing the Falun Dafa Research Society and the Falun Gong organization."69 An official Chinese news agency commentary on the leaders' trials cited "using cult organizations in causing deaths" as one of their many crimes.70

In late August, the Communist Party and State Council together issued a circular stating that "the overwhelming majority of `Falun Gong' practitioners were themselves victims" who must be patiently educated, converted, and extricated. Core members who "made a clean ideological break" would be spared significant punishment.71 It would be another month, however, before the government completed a legal framework designed specifically to justify prosecution of leading "cult" organizers and proselytizers.

In the meantime, Falungong leaders organized a two-track approach, on the one hand calling for dialogue with the government so as to peacefully settle the issues between them; on the other, demonstrating the organization's ability to persuade foreign governments and non-governmental organizations to criticize the Chinese government's crackdown.72 Falungong members' experience with e-mailand the Internet allowed the organization to evade Chinese authorities' repeated attempts to block such communication and to spread information about what was happening day by day into and out of China.73

Events culminated in October and November 1999, some three months after the arrests of Falungong leaders and the first massive roundups of rank-and-file members. In the course of a month, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (the legislature) and the judiciary took a series of four "legal" steps to make it possible to more easily prosecute those allegedly organizing and using cults to commit crimes. Although Chinese authorities maintained there was nothing extralegal about the crackdown, they applied the new regulations retroactively, violating well-established international criminal justice standards against ex post facto laws.74

First, on October 8 and 9, 1999, the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate issued "Explanations...Concerning Laws Applicable to Handling Cases of Organizing and Employing Heretical Cult Organizations to Commit Crimes." The document clarified the application of existing criminal law to cases allegedly involving organizing and making use of cult organizations. The document defined "heretical cults" as "those illegal organizations that have been established under the guise of religion, qigong or other forms, deifying their leading members, enchanting and deceiving others by concocting and spreading superstitious fallacies, recruiting and controlling their members, and endangering the society." The "explanations" were made public at the end of October.75

On October 27, a People's Daily article concluded that there was sufficient evidence to prove that Falungong was a true cult and, therefore, subject to the "Explanations" issued earlier in the month. Accusations included members' willingness to sacrifice for their leader, their strict obedience to his will, anestablished hierarchical structure, a system of mind control, and heretical and salvationist ideas.76 "The article concluded, "The Chinese Communist Party, which takes the welfare of its people as its prime concern, will take firm action in its ban on cults."

On October 30, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress made a "Decision...on Banning Heretical Cult Organizations and Preventing and Punishing Cult Activities."77 The government, having publicly demonstrated in the People's Daily article three days earlier that Falungong was indeed a true heretical cult, could now ban it for that reason alone, and not merely because it had not registered, the reason the government announced on July 22 when it initially banned the organization.

Finally, on November 5, the Supreme Court completed the process with a circular giving instructions to people's courts for trying criminal cases related to cults.78 A week later, the first one-day trials took place in Haikou (Hainan province) Intermediate People's Court.79

Even before the "legal" infrastructure was finalized, the judicial authorities had prepared charges against four major Falungong leaders. Although the news was not released until the day after the October 30 Standing Committee "Decision," the leaders had been formally charged on October 19 with crimes ranging from organizing a cult to "stealing, illegally possessing and leaking state secrets" and "running an illegal business."80 By November 22, according to the director general of the State Council Information Office, at least 150 people had been detained or were being sought on similar charges; by November 28, forty-four people had been indicted. Charges included causing the deaths of members, disturbing social order, using a cult to sabotage the law, and providing unauthorized medical services.81

Falungong supporters did not stay silent. On October 25, practitioners mounted defiant protests in Tiananmen Square-thousands had surreptitiously infiltrated Beijing-and succeeded in capturing the world's attention andhighlighting police abuse.82 But the protests did nothing to bring the two sides to the bargaining table or force retraction of the "evil cult" label. On December 26, 1999, as roundups continued and the protests diminished, at least for a time, the Chinese leadership sent its clearest message to date with the sentencing of four key Falungong organizers by the Beijing No.1. Intermediate People's Court. Two of the four, members of the Chinese Communist Party, received sixteen- and eighteen-year prison terms for "organizing and using the cult organization to undermine the implementation of laws, causing human deaths by organizing and using the cult organization and illegally obtaining state secrets."83 Police responded to the immediate resumption of peaceful protests by questioning and detaining several dozen practitioners, in some cases forcibly dragging them out of Tiananmen Square.84

Throughout 2000, every action taken by Chinese authorities to stop Falungong activities and punish its leaders met carefully orchestrated defiance. China's periodic claims to have won the war rang hollow in the face of Falungong's success in rallying international condemnation of the crackdown.85 It was able to do so in part through continuous protests in Tiananmen Square, in part through a sophisticated media strategy, and in part through vigorous lobbying of Western governments.

According to official Chinese media, the quiet, persistent protests in Beijing by small groups or individual practitioners had grown to involve hundreds of protesters daily by December 2000.86 On holidays such as October 1, 2000(National Day), New Year's Eve, Chinese New Year, or days that carried particular significance for Falungong, participants could number 1,000 or more.87 Falungong members, many of them middle-aged women, courted detention by unfurling banners or meditating. Within minutes, police hustled them off to waiting vans; kicking, punching, dragging them by their clothes or their hair; and knocking them over if they did not move quickly or if they tried to get away. Falungong organizers saw to it that the international media was on hand to witness the juxtaposition of peaceful protest and violent response, and they drew attention to the details of formal arrests, detentions, and suspicious deaths in custody. Falungong spokespersons issued media alerts; information was posted on the many overseas Falungong websites; and journalists were alerted to planned demonstrations.

China's crackdown on Falungong demonstrations in Tiananmen Square and elsewhere has violated the right to freedom of assembly as protected under Article 21 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). Freedom of assembly has been described as "a special institutionalized form of freedom of expression."88 Falungong practitioners when they assembled did no more than silently perform their slow-motion exercises, hold up banners, or scatter leaflets. Public security officers, in their hurry to clear demonstrations from public areas as quickly as possible, did not hesitate to use violence. This use of force to break up Falungong gatherings is clear interference by the state of the rights to peaceful assembly and expression.

Under the ICCPR, the right of peaceful assembly may be restricted "in the interests of national security or public safety (ordre public), the protection of public health or morals or the protection of the rights and freedom of others." China has asserted that its actions against Falungong met these criteria. However, such derogation of fundamental rights must be imposed in conformity with law, serve one of the listed purposes and be necessary for attaining the stated purpose.89 A national security rationale requires a serious case of political or military threat to the entire nation, a charge made by the government, but never substantiated. For a public safety rationale to be credible, a specific threat to the personal safety or physical integrity of persons is necessary. Again, the government relied on generalities in invoking the exception, as it did in its attempts to legitimatize its crackdown for reasons of public order, public health and morals, and rights and freedoms of others.90 Falungong protests have not even blocked traffic, let alone caused a public disturbance.

Overseas practitioners traveled to the mainland, many on Chinese passports, from Canada, the U.S., Australia, Japan, and other countries in part to demonstrate the worldwide appeal of Falungong, in part to help organize protests and devise strategies. Many were quickly caught, held briefly for questioning, and deported.91 Once home, they publicized their own experiences in custody as well as the pressures their Chinese counterparts faced. By the end of November 1999, People's Daily had denounced Falungong for colluding with "foreign anti-China forces"; by mid-April 2000, the government accused Li Hongzhi and Falungong of having "publicly given themselves up to the anti-China forces and actively served as their anti-China tool."92 By May, Teng Chunyan, a U.S. permanent resident and Falungong member, was in detention. Her three-year sentence in December 2000 for "spying and illegally revealing information to overseas agents" effectively shut down overseas participation in Falungong activities within China proper.93

Other Falungong activities were curtailed as the risks associated with them escalated. In December 1999, the central government had instituted a policy which made local officials, from governors on down, personally responsible if residents from their areas reached Beijing to protest.94 As the incidence of demonstrations increased and as the central government's frustration grew, so did the pressure on local officials to stem the flow of protestors.

In at least one city, Weifang, Shandong province, the results were disastrous. The city's proximity to Beijing, only some 300 miles distant, the existence of a direct railroad link and relatively good roads, and the large concentration of Falungong followers in the area made it reasonably easy for practitioners to travel to Tiananmen Square time and again. As the protests escalated, so did the threat to local officials' careers, even the governor's.95 He responded by setting up a system of fines for officials who allowed practitioners to reach Beijing. The provincial government fined mayors and county heads who in turn fined Political and Legal Commission members;96 they then fined village chiefs who fined the police officers in what had come to be called "transformation centers," special detention facilities that used brainwashing and physical abuse to "help" practitioners renounce Falungong beliefs. As a result of the new system, police beatings in the Weifang area increased in severity, partly as a warning to practitioners to stay out of Beijing, and partly to extort money to cover the officers' fines.97 Suspicious deaths in custody in Shandong province significantly outstripped those in other parts of China.98

By October 2000, a year after the "evil cult" regulations went into effect, the government was demonstrating less and less tolerance for rank-and-file practitioners who continued to defy the government by participating in protest rallies. Instead of sending them back to their hometowns for "transformation," they were immediately detained. If they were identified as repeat offenders, they were quickly sentencedadministratively and shipped to reeducation through labor camps, some to serve sentences as long as three years.99 In addition, officials apparently cared so little about international condemnation that they hardly bothered to hide the daily brutality in Tiananmen Square.

The leadership's frustration with the failure of its efforts to quickly and thoroughly dismantle Falungong was also evident in its media campaign. A long Xinhua commentary in October 2000 restated allegations of the cult's danger, detailing how totally corrupt it was, how little support it had among the masses, and how it "openly opposes the party and government and has transformed completely from head to tail into a reactionary political organization with the aim of overthrowing the People's Republic of China and the socialist system."100 By January 2001, the government had to admit that, contrary to earlier statements, the war had not yet been won, and the "broad masses" had to be made to understand the "duration, complexity and ferocity of our battle with Falun Gong."101 In an effort to showcase Falungong's tenacity and deviousness, China Central Television, for the first time, aired footage of protests and of followers claiming divinity.

By the Lunar New Year 2001, the government's campaign began to make significant headway. On January 23, New Year's Eve, and for China the eve of the new millennium, a group of men and women attempted to set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. One woman died on the spot; her twelve-year-old daughter succumbed weeks later; three people were hospitalized; and two failed to ignite the gasoline they carried.102 On March 1, Chinese authorities announced the arrest of two persons who, they said, had helped orchestrate the self-immolations.103

Li Hongzhi and Falungong spokespersons immediately denied that practitioners were involved, pointing out first that Falungong doctrine forbade suicide, and later that inconsistencies in the Chinese reports of the incidentsuggested Chinese authorities had staged the immolations.104 Others viewed the Falungong disclaimer with a good deal of skepticism, and questions about the incident, such as whether practitioners were involved and the role of security officers, remain unresolved.105

China responded to the event unusually quickly, completely shutting down Tiananmen Square and whipping up public revulsion. Within a month, authorities issued a print run of glossy pamphlets entitled "The Whole Story of the Self-Immolation Incident Created by Falun Gong Addicts in Tiananmen Square," which featured color photographs of the charred bodies. Officials also attempted to claim the moral high ground by presenting their response to Falungong as protection of human rights, energetic participation in a worldwide effort to limit the ravages caused by cults, and patient, professional efforts to deprogram misguided Falungong victims.106 According to the secretary general of the State Council's Office for the Prevention and Handling of Evil Cults (established in November 2000), "China's effort to expose and criticize `Falungong'[is] part of the world's anti-cult struggle. We are ready to form the broadest united front with the global anti-cult struggle."107 He went on to compare Falungong to the Branch Davidiansin the U.S., the Aum Shinrikyo in Japan, and the Movement for the Restoration of the Ten Commandments of God in Uganda.

Chinese authorities used the tragedy of the twelve-year-old immolation victim as an opportunity to stress their concern for children and to educate youngsters to the alleged evils of Falungong.108 "Veteran comrades," members of provincial committees of the government-established Work of Caring for Future Generations, held forums to expose the "true nature" of Falungong to students and teachers.109 In response to a call from the official Communist Youth League, some eight million students joined the newly formed Anti-Cult Action by the Youth Civilized Communities Across the Nation and began propaganda and educational activities in one hundred cities using window displays, posters, leaflets, video displays, and lectures to advocate science and denounce Falungong. Anti-Falungong classes were scheduled in schools; and 12 million youngsters nationwide reportedly denounced Falungong in writing.110

Officials saved their harshest rhetoric for Li Hongzhi, comparing him to Hitler, and labeling the self-immolations a direct result of his "incitement and spiritual control."111 As evidence, they cited brief passages of Li's writings out of context that appeared to support their claims.112 The incident also provided anopportunity for the Chinese leadership to disparage "heresies" which, it claimed, Li had deliberately spread through "cheating, hinting, rumor-mongering, intimidating" in order to deceive practitioners.113

In a more virulent replay of the August 1999 effort, all sectors of society were mobilized. People's Daily, the Party newspaper, and Xinhua, the official news service, ran lengthy "exposés."114 In Shanghai, a petition to combat "evil cults," first circulated on February 13, was expected to yield 100,000 signatures within a ten-day period.115 Religious leaders expressed their anger, and jurists insisted on further legal action.116 High on the list of the leadership's priorities was publication of recantations by former Falungong members.117

The most significant changes came after a Central Work Conference (a meeting of high Party officials from all over China called by the Party Central Committee) in mid-February 2001, when President Jiang told provincial and municipal Party officials to strengthen local control over Falungong practitioners.118The plan called for the immediate formation of local "anti-cult task forces" and similar units in universities, state enterprises, and social organizations to augment the "610 office" (named for the date of its founding), which reportedly had been directing the crackdown since June 10, 1999, and the "propaganda work office, which was in charge of the media campaign."119 It ordered local officials to detain active practitioners and to make certain that families and employers guaranteed the isolation of those unwilling to formally recant. There were reports that the central government had ordered local officials to use systematic violence and stepped up psychological coercion, the latter conducted by former adherents, against hard-core practitioners.120 Estimates at the time suggested that 10,000 practitioners were in custody, 5,000 were refusing to renounce their beliefs, and 1,000 known activists were at large.121 In addition, officials worried that many of those who had been held only briefly-estimated in the tens of thousands-would return to practice if controls were even minimally relaxed.122

In sum, China's leaders seemingly were leaving nothing to chance. At the same time as they were again claiming "a great victory" and rewarding some 1,600 citizens who had contributed to it, they warned that the goal of completely eliminating Falungong entailed a "complicated, sharp and long-term" struggle.123

The deaths in Tiananmen Square also forced a change in Falungong tactics. The daily small-scale demonstrations in Beijing ceased all together. The leadershipmay have concluded that the protests had outlived their usefulness for demonstrating Chinese abuses or for informing an overseas audience of Falungong's harmlessness. The organization's tacticians may also have been fearful of additional self-immolations and the damage that another such incident might do to Falungong's international reputation. In addition, stepped-up surveillance by China's security forces may have prevented practitioners from reaching Beijing, or the danger to protestors may have become too great to tolerate.124

Falungong's new strategy was directed towards getting the word out, both within China and overseas, about the treatment of Falungong practitioners in custody. The organization raised its concerns at the March-April 2001 meeting of the United Nations Human Rights Commission (CHR) in Geneva, on the anniversaries of the April 1999 protest and the July 1999 ban, and during the unexpected presence in New York of an official from Hubei province allegedly closely associated with the crackdown.125 Falungong spokespersons arranged press conferences and rallies in major world cities, organized marches and motorized processions, orchestrated hunger strikes around the world, and issued numerous press releases. Falungong websites, accessible from some forty-five countries, continued to document China's human rights abuses.

Within China, Falungong used mass mailings and handouts instead of demonstrations to "spread the truth" and to counter the ubiquitous official version of Falungong as an "evil cult."126 In a press release dated August 9, 2001 and issued in New York, Falungong acknowledged the tactic and indicated that "Practitioners sometimes also manage to post large posters and banners in major thoroughfares. They even set up loudspeakers on rooftops or trees around labor camps and in densely populated areas to broadcast news about the human rights abuses..."127

Through a series of web-based pronouncements, Li Hongzhi sought to holdtogether core practitioners inside China.128 With Falungong's tight organizational structure compromised by the on-going crackdown, computer savvy Falungong followers risked arrest in order to circumvent government computer firewalls and relay Li's words to other practitioners.129 It was not until December 24, 2001 that word of the arrests of six such practitioners between January and April 2001 came to light. On December 13, Beijing First Intermediate Court reportedly sentenced the six, all associated with Qinghua University, China's most prestigious science and technology institution, to terms ranging between three and twelve years for distribution of Falungong material downloaded from the Internet.130

In preparation for the CHR meeting, Falungong issued three lengthy reports, on abuses against women, on psychiatric abuse, and on conditions in labor camps.131 In a January 19, 2001 letter, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women communicated to Chinese authorities her "grave concerns" about the persecution of women in labor camps and transformation centers and inquired about forty specific cases.132 As of late December 2001, the government had not responded, though it is not unusual for a government to take more than a year to do so. Nor are there any reports that Beijing has responded to a request for information submitted by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture submitted on August 10, 2000.

In Geneva, Chinese delegates were unsuccessful in their attempts to counter Falungong's presence at the CHR by, for example, removing the organization'sliterature from outside the meeting room.133 A Chinese demand for cancellation of a Falungong press event scheduled to be held at a U.N. building was rebuffed by the sponsoring organization, the Geneva Association of U.N. correspondents.134

Falungong held demonstrations around the world commemorating the second anniversary of the mass protest at Zhongnanhai on April 25, 1999. In Tokyo, some sixty practitioners marched; in Hong Kong, some 200.135 Other followers gathered in cities in Europe, the U.S., and Australia. In Beijing, some thirty scattered practitioners braved extraordinarily tight security to demonstrate, but police officers broke up the protests within minutes, dragging participants to waiting vans. Police officers also forced tourists photographing the incidents to expose their film.136

Falungong practitioners' preparations for the second anniversary of the July 22, 1999 ban on their activities were more extensive. Organized around the theme "SOS! Urgent: Rescue the Falun Gong Practitioners Persecuted in China," the campaign highlighted alleged torture, beatings, and deaths inside and outside prisons and labor camps. Most of the activity took place in the U.S. with followers from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, and Orlando marching to Washington D.C. to join followers from California in a July 19 rally. Groups in Taiwan and Hong Kong and marchers in Australia, Sweden, and Germany, relayed the same demand.137

An official Chinese government report intimated that overseas Falungong practitioners bore some responsibility for the deaths highlighted in the "SOS! Urgent" campaign through messages they allegedly had sent to their Chinesecounterparts implying that "going to heaven after death is the highest level of practising."138 Falungong representatives countered, as they had after the Lunar New Year's Eve deaths in Tiananmen Square, that "Falun Gong teaching does not permit killing, even ourselves."139 However, on June 23, Li Hongzhi had written that "the old, evil forces...have taken advantage of the unremoved notions that are at Dafa disciples' human make their righteous thoughts falter. That is why some students aren't able to endure amidst the agony of the persecution, and have done what a Dafa disciple can and should not do." He went on, "Those who are `reformed' and those who are being saved can only be beings deceived by the evil."140 This message to practitioners, although ambiguous, has been interpreted by some academics studying Falungong as a call not to recant, and as a declaration that the sufferings practitioners are made to endure will bring them nearer to "consummation," that is enlightenment and an indestructible body

Chinese officials signaled through public statements and legal initiatives and through less-well publicized security strategies that they had no intention of relaxing the pressure. Public activities included an anti-cult exhibit in Beijing, a media blitz on the evils of Falungong featuring former adherents, and announcements about the trials of those allegedly responsible for orchestrating the self-immolation deaths in Tiananmen Square in January 2001.141 More importantly, behind the scenes, China's leaders continued to enforce the "responsibility system," whereby "all levels of government leaders, police, neighborhood cadres, work units and family members must receive punishment" if a practitioner reaches Beijing to protest.142 The tactic made it possible to keep Falungong from making international headlines and allowed local authorities to continue to persecute believers with little chance of eyewitness international coverage. Overseas, Chinese embassy officials took on the task of weakening international support for Falungong.143

In March 2001, in speeches before the National People's Congress, Premier Zhu Rongji and the second highest ranking figure in the CCP, former premier Li Peng, had made clear that elimination of Falungong was one of the year's toppriorities.144 On June 11, promulgation of a new interpretation of the Criminal Law by the Supreme People's Court and the Supreme People's Procuratorate further escalated the crackdown. Interpretation II, as it was known, applied specifically to "cult organizations" and, according to Chinese authorities, was a response to Falungong's "new schemes" and "new means."145 It clarified the punishments for a range of crimes, including incitement to injure oneself, self-immolation, leaking state secrets, subversion, separatist activities, small-scale "assemblies" by members of a banned sect, and small-scale publishing and distribution.146

At roughly the same time, "Opposing Religious Cults, Upholding Civilization," an anti-cult exhibition in Beijing's Chinese Revolutionary Military Museum, served as the centerpiece of the government's public activities, attracting more than 200,000 visitors according to official reports.147 Li Lanqing, vice-premier and member of the Standing Committee of the Politburo, was one of many high officials who made an appearance to warn that Falungong "will definitely use other tricks to make a last-ditch struggle, to create chaos and to destroy."148 State television followed his progress through the exhibition as he examined photographs of charred bodies and other macabre displays intended to showcase Falungong's evil ways and emphasize the harm belief could precipitate. Television coverage also made a point of informing viewers of China's involvement in what it alleged was a worldwide effort to eradicate dangerous cults. Official newspapers featured agroup of more than one hundred former practitioners at the exhibit who had nothing but praise for the government's success in "rescuing" them.149 Sponsoring organizations included the Party's Central Propaganda Department and its Central Commission for Guiding the Work of Spiritual Civilization Building, the State Council Office for Guarding Against and Handling Cult-Related Issues, the Public Security Ministry, the Ministry of Justice, and the Chinese Association of Science and Technology.150

On July 19, five followers, including immolation survivor Wang Jindong, went on trial "for using an evil cult to organize a homicide." Interpretation II had made clear that those found guilty of "organizing suicide plots" would be charged with murder and subject to the death penalty.151 The following day, People's Daily denounced Falungong's "anti-humanity" stance with a story, complete with a picture of the corpse, about a dedicated practitioner who allegedly neglected her health to support Li Hongzhi and whose death did not affect other practitioners' support for Falungong. To draw attention to China's policy of ever greater efforts to help followers understand Falungong's fallacies, the article highlighted the revulsion allegedly felt not only by the general public but by those former practitioners who had been "successfully" reeducated.152 On August 17, Beijing'sNo.1 Intermediate People's Court found the five defendants in the immolation case guilty of murder. Four of the five received sentences ranging from seven years to life in prison. The fifth, who reportedly confessed to her crime and implicated the others, was exempted from punishment. On August 19, the Beijing Daily (Beijing Ribao) reported that forty-five followers had been tried in nine separate cases over the "past few days." At least five were sentenced to terms of up to thirteen years for a variety of offenses including renting a safehouse, organizing the printing of leaflets and banners, and recruiting followers for protests.153

As of December 2001, there was reason to believe that Falungong was having a hard time keeping its movement alive. China, using an array of legal and extra-legal tools had completely shut down public practice and demonstrations by Falungong adherents. Practice at work units was further curtailed. Some units had always summarily fired known practitioners, with job loss often meaning lost housing, lost schooling, lost pensions, and a report to the police. Other work units, especially those far removed from Beijing, had for a time overlooked solitary exercise and meditation until controls were tightened nationwide after the January 2001 deaths.154 Although followers presumably could continue with solitary practice at home, even private practice proved dangerous when it was brought to the attention of the police or to Party officials.

29 "Chinese gov't warns cult not to repeat protest," Asian Political News, May 3, 1999. 30 Charles Hutzler, "China Sees Threat in Secret Sect," AP Online, May 7, 1999; "Beijing Has Designated Falun Gong An Illegal Sect: Report," Central News Agency (Taiwan), May 2, 1999, citing Hong Kong's Ming Pao, May 2, 1999. 31 "Beijing police round up busloads of Falungong members: residents," Agence France Presse, June 6, 1999; "Officials say Falungong members `gone home' from stadium," Agence France-Presse, June 7, 1999. 32 "Beijing Cleans up Falungong Exercise Grounds," Hong Kong Tung Fang Jih Pao, June 28, 1999, in "Beijing Acts to Restrict Falungong Activities," FBIS, July 16, 1999. 33 "China: Party statement dispels rumours on suppression of Falungong practitioners," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, June 14, 1999. 34 "Renmin Ribao Commentary Urges End to Superstition," Xinhua, June 20, 1999, in FBIS, June 21, 1999. 35 See, e.g., "Consolidate Marxist Beliefs--Fourth Commentator on Taking a Clear-Cut Stand in the Struggle to Expose and Criticize `Falungong,'" July 29, 1999, in "4th Commentator on Criticism of Falungong," FBIS, August 3, 1999; "Clearly Distinguish Ideological and Political Right and Wrong," Renmin Ribao, August 5, 1999, in "Renmin Ribao on Dealing With Falungong," FBIS, August 6, 1999; "Recognizing the Political Essence and Serious Danger of `Falun Dafa,'" Xinhua Domestic Service, July 26, 1999, in "On `Falungong' Political Essence, Danger," FBIS, August 3, 1999; "Maintain Stability and Push Forward Reform and Development-- Ninth Commentator on Tightening Efforts in Handling and Solving `Falungong Problem,'" Renmin Ribao, August 16, 1999, in "9th Commentator on Handling Falungong," FBIS, August 17, 1999; "Ban Illegal Organizations to Safeguard Social Stability," Xinhua, July 30, 1999, in "Commentator Calls for Banning Falungong," FBIS, August 2, 1999. 36 Jack Taylor, "Falungong leader speaks out about protest that rocked Beijing," Agence France-Presse, May 2, 1999; "Falun Dafa followers reject cult status," Agence France-Presse, May 3, 1999. 37 "Leader of Chinese sect that held silent protest shuns politics," Associated Press Newswires, May 2, 1999. 38 "Falungong leader will not be drawn into confrontation with China," Associated Press, June 17, 1999. 39 "Report: Chinese Buddhist Protest Held," AP Online, July 10, 1999; "Halt Broadcast, Spiritual Group Warns China," Asian Wall Street Journal, July 14, 1999; "Report: Thousands of followers protest attacks on sects," Associated Press Newswires, July 18, 1999.

40 "AFP: Further on Authorities Crack Down on Falungong," FBIS, July 21, 1999, from Agence France-Presse, July 20, 1999.

41 "China Bans Sect," BBC Online Network, July 22, 1999.

42 "Decision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Banning of the Research Society of Falun Dafa" and "Notice of the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China," Chinese Law and Government,Volume 32, No.5 (issue titled "The Battle Between the Chinese Government and the Falun Gong," Ming Xia and Shiping Hua, eds.), September-October 1999, pp. 31-32; documents originally published in People's Daily, Overseas Edition, July 23, 1999, p.1.

43 "Wang Zhaoguo on Fight Against `Falungong,'" World News Connection, July 23, 1999, from World Reporter (TM).

44 "Circular of the Central Committee of the Chinese Communist (CCP) Party on Forbidding Communist Party Members from Practicing Falun Dafa," Chinese Law and Government, Volume 32, No.5 (issue titled "The Battle Between the Chinese Government and the Falun Gong," Ming Xia and Shiping Hua, eds.), September-October 1999, pp.14-18, document originally published in People's Daily, Overseas Edition, July 23, 1999, p.1; "Ministry of Personnel Issues Notice Stipulating that State Functionaries May Not Practice Falun Dafa," ibid., pp.26-28, document originally published in People's Daily, Overseas Edition, July 24, 1999, p.3.

45 "Be Models in Following Regulations and Observing Law -- Third Commentary on Taking a Clear-Cut Stand in Launching the Struggle to Expose and Criticize `Falungong,'" Beijing Jiefangjun Bao, July 27, 1999, in "3rd Commentator on Criticism of Falungong," FBIS, August 2, 1999; "Chinese army supports ban on Falun Gong," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, July 25, 1999, from Xinhua, July 23, 1999.

46 Vivien Pik-kwan Chan, "PLA vows to purge own ranks of sect: Probe finds surprising number of members," South China Morning Post, July 24, 1999.

47 "Circular Issued on Eliminating Falungong Publications," Xinhua, July 26, 1999, in FBIS, July 30, 1999.

48 "Public Security Ministry Revokes Li Hongzhi's Passport," Hong Kong Ming Pao, July 31, 1999, in FBIS, August 2, 1999.

49 "Localities Destroy Confiscated Falungong Publications," Xinhua, July 29, 1999, in FBIS, July 29, 1999.

50 Peter Svensson, "Chinese officials try to hack U.S. Web sites, meditation group members say," Associated Press Newswires, July 30, 1999; "Press administration circular bans Falun Gong publications," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, July 27, 1999, from Xinhua.

51 "More on Security Ministry Spokesman on Li Being Wanted," Xinhua, July 29, 1999, in FBIS, July 30, 1999.

52 "Interpol won't aid search for Falun Gong leaders; Police organization rejects request from Chinese on political, religious grounds," Baltimore Sun, August 4, 1999.

53 There are three kinds of law firms in China, state run firms, collectives, and partnerships. All are answerable to the Ministry of Justice, sometimes directly or sometimes through the All China Lawyers Association.

54 See Article 16, "Basic Principles on the Role of Lawyers," adopted by the Eighth United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, Havana, Cuba, 27 August to 7 September 1990.

55 Renee Schoof, "China denies detaining more than 35,000 Falun Gong activists," Associated Press Newswires, December 2, 1999.

56 "China's Most Populous Province Fights Banned Sect," Reuters, July 30, 1999.

57 Jasper Becker, "Falun Gong propaganda blitz ends," South China Morning Post, August 25, 1999.

58 "Party Members Admit Being Fooled by Falungong Heresies," FBIS, August 27, 1999, from Xinhua, August 21, 1999; Beijing Jiefangjun Bao, "Be Models in Following Regulations...," FBIS, August 2, 1999.

59 The People's Armed Police (PAP) is a paramilitary force, under military rather than police control, which deals with border control, domestic security, and social stability. Its duties sometimes overlap with those of public security bureaus (the police), and its members are often employed as prison guards.

60 "China: Retired servicemen criticize Falun Gong cult," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 22, 1999, from Xinhua, August 5, 1999; "Tibetan Living Buddha Criticizes Falun Gong," People's Daily, August 3, 1999; "Report: Falungong Ban Does Not Hurt Religious Freedom in China," Agence France-Presse, August 4, 1999; "Completely and Correctly Implement the Party's Religious Policy and Criticize the `Falungong' in a Clear-cut Manner," Xinhua, August 4, 1999, in "CPC Committees Hold Lecture Criticizing Falungong," FBIS, August 4, 1999; "Religious Affairs Administration Director on Falungong," FBIS, August 19, 1999, from Xinhua, August 18, 1999.

61 "Scholars Pledge Support for CPC Decision on Falungong," FBIS, August 6, 1999, from Xinhua, July 29, 1999; "CASS Scholar Urges Elimination of Social Causes of Cults," FBIS, August 9, 1999, from Xinhua, August 6, 1999; "CCTV To Air 10-Part Series On Fighting Superstition," Xinhua, July 29, 1999, in FBIS, August 11, 1999; "PRC Scientists Launch New Fight Against Superstition," FBIS, July 19, 1999, from Xinhua, July 16, 1999.

62 "Workers exhorted to battle cult," Michelle Chak, South China Morning Post, August 3, 1999; "Xinhua Commentator Discusses Falungong, Women," FBIS, August 6, 1999, from Xinhua, August 5, 1999.

63 "Nature of and Harm Done by Falun Gong," People's Daily Online, August 5, 1999; "Falun Gong founder staged `illegal gathering' at China's leadership compound," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 13, 1999, text of Xinhua report August 12, 1999.

64 "Political Aim Behind 300-Odd Sieges," People's Daily Online, August 5, 1999.

65 "Handwritten Instructions Show Evidence of Falungong Group," FBIS, August 2, 1999, from Xinhua, July 31, 1999; "Ban Illegal Organizations to Safeguard Social Stability," Xinhua, July 30, 1999, in "Commentator Calls for Banning Falungong," FBIS, August 2, 1999.

66 "Confusing What People See and Hear and Deceiving the People to Build Up a False Reputation-- Five Investigation Reports that Reveal the Secret of the So-called `Effect of Eliminating Diseases and Strengthening the Body,'" Xinhua, July 29, 1999, in "Article on Falungong Medical Claims," FBIS, August 5, 1999.

67 "Xinhua Commentary: Falungong Infringes on People's Rights," FBIS, August 4, 1999, from Xinhua, August 4, 1999; "The crackdown on Falun Gong and other so-called `heretical organizations,'" Amnesty International, AI Index: ASA 17/11/00, March 23, 2000, pp. 6-7.

68 "Xinhua Commentary: Falungong Infringes...," FBIS, August 4, 1999.

69 "Wanted Order Issued by the Ministry of Public Security of the People's Republic of China," Chinese Law and Government, Volume 32, No.5 (issue titled "The Battle Between the Chinese Government and the Falun Gong," Ming Xia and Shiping Hua, eds.), September-October 1999, pp.33-34; document originally published in People's Daily, Overseas Edition, July 30, 1999, p.1.

70 "Four Leading Falun Gong members tried and sentenced," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, December 28, 1999, from Xinhua, December 27, 1999.

71 "China: Circular urges punishment...," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, August 25, 1999; "Authorities prepare to charge key sect figures," South China Morning Post, August 25, 1999, quoting Xinhua.

72 "As China Cracks Down on Falun Gong Practitioners, Falun Gong Founder Li Hongzhi Calls for Dialogue with China's Government; International Intervention to Stop Human Rights Abuses," from press release titled "Statement by Master Li: On Falun Gong and the Situation in China," July 23, 1999; "Falun Gong practitioners in the New York area will be demonstrating Falun Gong exercises outside the United Nations and appealing peacefully for United Nations involvement to help resolve this crisis," in China Crisis NewsBulletin #7, "Monitoring News of the Persecution of Falun Dafa (Falun Gong), Photo Op and Press Availability," September 17, 1999; Edith M. Lederer, "Falun Gong launches campaign to pressure China to Lift Ban," Associated Press Newswires, October 6, 1999; "Sect asks UN to speak out against ban," Associated Press, October 8, 1999; "Falun Gong International Appeal For Dialogue With China,", December 7, 2000.

73 Craig S. Smith, "Online Resistance: Falun Dafa Defies Authority by Preaching in Cyberspace," Asian Wall Street Journal, September 10, 1999.

74 See International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Article 15, "No one shall be held guilty of any criminal offence on account of any act or comission which did not constitute a criminal offence, under national or international law, at the time when it was committed."

75 "Chinese agency on use of criminal law to deal with cults," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 30, 1999, from Xinhua, October 30, 1999.

76 "China party paper says Falun Gong `true cult,'" BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 27, 1999, from Xinhua.

77 "China issues anti-cult law," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 30, 1999, from Xinhua.

78 "Supreme Court Issues Circular on Falungong," World News Connection, November 5, 1999.

79 Renee Schoof, "China sentences four Falun Gong members in first sect trial," Associated Press Newswires, November 12, 1999.

80 "Sect leaders charged with leaking state secrets," South China Morning Post, November 1, 1999.

81 "China Denies Mass Sect Detentions, Details Cases," Reuters, December 2, 1999.

82 Charles Hutzler, "Falun Gong protests intensify as police step up security," Associated Press Newswires, October 29, 1999; Elisabeth Rosenthal, Erik Eckholm, "Vast Numbers of Sect Members Keep Pressure on Beijing," New York Times, November 28, 1999.

83 "Just Trial, Destruction of Evil -- Viewing the Towering Crimes of `Falungong' from the Verdict on Backbone Elements of the `Falungong' Cult," Xinhua, in "Xinhua on Crimes of `Falungong' Members," World News Connection, source: World Reporter, December 27, 1999; Erik Eckholm, "China Sentences 4 in Spiritual Group to Long Jail Time," New York Times, December 26, 1999.

84 "Dozens Detained in Tiananmen Square---Authorities Smother Protest of Prison Sentences for Falun Dafa Leaders," Asian Wall Street Journal, December 28, 1999; "Chinese Police Detain 20 Protestors Linked to Falun Gong," Dow Jones International News, December 28, 1999.

85 "China's news agency reviews Falun Gong sect struggle," BBC Monitoring, May 11, 2000, from Xinhua.

86 "Article by Tiananmen District Subbureau of Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau: `Enforcing Law in Civilized Way, Honoring Our Mission, Sparing No Effort to Protect Normality of Social Order in Tiananmen Area -- First of a Series of Summaries ofSpeeches Delivered at Report Meeting on Advanced Deeds in Struggle Against `Falungong' Cult,'" Xinhua, February 27, 2001, in "Tiananmen Police Account of Confrontations with Falungong Followers," FBIS, March 2, 2001.

87 "China Falun Gong Protesters Seized," Associated Press, December 10, 2000; Martin Fackler, "Falun Gong, police square off in China's Tiananmen Square," Associated Press Newswires, October 26, 2000; Martin Fackler, "More than 350 sect protesters detained on China's National Day," Associated Press Newswires, October 1, 2000; Charles Hutzler, "Chinese police arrest protesters on anniversary of Falun Gong crackdown," Associated Press Newswires, July 20, 2000; "50 sect members held in birthday protest," South China Morning Post, May 14, 2000; "China detains 1,200 Falun Gong Followers," Associated Press Newswires, June 26, 2000; Duncan Hewitt, "100 sect followers held in Tiananmen," The Guardian, April 26, 2000; "China: Beijing police detain up to 200 Falun Gong followers," BBC Monitoring, May 11, 2000; John Schauble, "New Wave of Sect Arrests and Beatings," The Age, February 7, 2000; John Leicester, "Falun Gong members arrested as China welcomes Year of Dragon," Associated Press Newswires, February 4, 2000; Renee Schoof, "Chinese police detain banner-wielding Falun Gong members," Associated Press Newswires, November 16, 1999.

88 Manfred Nowak, U.N. Covenant on Civil and Political Rights: CCPR Commentary, N.P. Engel, Publisher, Strasbourg, 1993, pp. 373-74.

89 Ibid.

90 Ibid.

91 "Alabama Couple Arrives from China After Detention," Dow Jones International News, October 25, 2000; Annemarie Evans, "Falun Gong seven arrived by boat," South China Morning Post, March 11, 2000; "Bridgewater woman freed after arrest in China for belonging to Falun Gong," Associated Press Newswires, February 5, 2000.

92 Joe McDonald, "China detains American, Australians, Swede," Associated Press Newswires, November 25, 1999; "Chinese official accuses Falun Gong sect of pursuing `anti-China' line," BBC Monitoring, April 19, 2000, from Xinhua; Christopher Bodeen, "US-based Falun Gong member put on trial for spying," Associated Press Newswires, November 23, 2000.

93 "FM Spokeswoman on Imprisonment of Spy," People's Daily Online., December 14, 2000.

94 For details, see Ian Johnson, "Death Trap: How One Chinese City Resorted to Atrocities to Control Falun Gong --- Pressured by their Superiors, Weifang's Police Tortured Members of Banned Sect --- The Makeshift Jail in Beijing," Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2000.

95 Ian Johnson, "China Reports Suicide by Sect Adherent -- Beijing Speedily Releases an Account, but Stays Tight-Lipped on Motives," Wall Street Journal, February 20, 2001.

96 The Political and Legal Commission is a Chinese Communist Party organ that gives policy direction to several government bodies including the judiciary. There is a national-level commission as well as provincial, municipal, and county-level commissions, organized hierarchically. The decisions of the commissions can directly affect verdicts and sentences.

97 Johnson, "Death Trap...," Wall Street Journal.

98 Ibid.

99 "HK Paper: Beijing Decides to Send Falungong Members to Labor Reform Camps," FBIS, October 16, 2000, from Hong Kong Ming Bao (Internet Version-WWW), October 12, 2000.

100 "Falun Gong separatists forming anti-Chinese Communist Party Front - Xinhua," BBC Monitoring, October 10, 2000.

101 "China turns up heat on banned meditation sect," Associated Press Newswires, January 12, 2001.

102 "Girl Who Immolated Herself in Beijing Dies," Associated Press, March 19, 2001; "Chinese TV carries interview with suicide bid woman," BBC Monitoring, January 30, 2001, from China Central TV, January 20, 2001.

103 "Two arrested for organising group suicide," Associated Press, March 1, 2001; "China: Police give details of events leading up to Falun Gong self-immolations," BBC Monitoring, March 1, 2001, from Xinhua, February 28, 2001.

104 "Falun Gong denies tie to self-immolation attempts: One dead, 4 injured in Tiananmen Square, Beijing," CNN, January 24, 2001; "Self-Immolation or Deception?"; "China National Security Bureau Involved in Self-Immolation Incident,"

105 Ian Johnson and Peter Wonacott, "Immolations Mark Protests by China Sect," Wall Street Journal, January 24, 2001.

106 In February 2001, the official death count was 1,660 of which 239 allegedly were suicides. "Chinese Official Says Falungong Leads to 1,660 Deaths," FBIS, February 28, 2001, from Xinhua, February 27, 2001; "Cults Harm Lives," Renmin Ribao, March 1, 2001, in "RMRB Commentator Blasts Falungong Leader Li Hongzhi," FBIS, March 2, 2000; "CAS President Lu `Shocked,' `Outraged' by Falungong Incident," FBIS, February 1, 2001, from Xinhua, January 31, 2001; "PRC Official: Falungong Banned to Safeguard Human Rights," FBIS, February 28, 2001, from Xinhua, February 27, 2001; "China Urges World to Join in Battle Against Cults," Agence France-Presse, February 12, 2001; "Falun Gong Practitioners' Life at Re-education Institute," People's Daily Online, 62663.html, February 18, 2001; "Under Fire, China Defends Falun Gong Crackdown," Reuters, February 27, 2001.

107 Zheng Wen, "China's Efforts to Expose and Criticize `Falungong' Are a Component Part of the World's Anti-Cult Struggle," Xinhua, February 12, 2001, in "PRC Official Calls on Other Nations To Support China's Anti-Cult Struggle," FBIS, February 14, 2001; Zheng Li, "Evil Cults Have Become Public Enemy of Mankind," Renmin Ribao (Guangzhou South China News Supplement) (Internet Version-WWW), February 9, 2001, in "`Evil Cults' Said Public Enemy of Mankind," FBIS, February 14, 2001. In August 2001,in response to a written question submitted by the New York Times, President Jiang Zemin reiterated the charge, saying, "Cult is a public hazard of the present-day world. All countries should therefore strengthen cooperation to combat cults." ("Jiang's Responses to Questions Submitted Prior to Interview," by the New York Times, August 10, 2001.)

108 "All China Women's Federation Stresses Protecting Children Against Cult," People's Daily Online, February 23, 2001; "Campuses Reject Evil Cult, Students From All Universities, High Schools and Middle Schools Actively Throw Themselves Into Struggle to Oppose Evil Cult of `Falungong,'" Xinhua, February 12, 2001, in "PRC Schools, Colleges Engage in Struggle Against `Falungong,'" FBIS, February 23, 2001.

109 "Xinhua: Veteran Comrades Denounce Falungong, Li Hongzhi," World News Connection, February 12, 2001, from Xinhua.

110 "12 million young `sign up to denounce sect,'" South China Morning Post, February 19, 2001; "8 Million Youngsters Plunge Into `Anti-Cult' Action by Youth Civilized Communities Across Nation,'" Xinhua, February 5, 2001, in "8 Million Youngsters Across China Join in `Anti-Cult' Action," FBIS, February 12, 2001; Clara Li, "Schools ordered to teach Anti-Falun Gong classes," South China Morning Post, February 3, 2001.

111 "`Falungong' and Fascists," Renmin Ribao, February 3, 2001, in "RMRB Compares Falungong to Hitler, Other Fascists," FBIS, February 12, 2001.

112 "Why Does Li Hongzhi Induce His Followers to Burn Themselves to Death in Groups?"; Zhongguo Tongxun She, February 9, 2000, in "ZTS on Li Hongzhi's `Falungong' Burning Themselves to Death," FBIS, February 27, 2001; "Tiananmen Tragedy: A Conspiracy by Falun Gong Cult," Xinhua, February 28, 2001, in "PRC Police BlameTiananmen Self-immolations on Falungong `Conspiracy,'" FBIS, March 2, 2001.

113 "Heresies Are Injurious to Lives: Commentary," People's Daily Online, March 1, 2001.

114 "Falun Followers Urged to Wake Up," Xinhua, in People's Daily Online, February 20, 2001; "Li Hongzhi's Malicious Fallacies Denounced," People's Daily Online, February 12, 2001.

115 "Shanghai Residents Sign Petition To Show Opposition To Evil Cults," World News Connection, February 13, 1001, from Xinhua.

116 "Chinese Religious Leaders Indignant over Falun Gong," People's Daily Online, February 1, 2001; "Falun Gong denies tie...," CNN, January 24, 2001; "Beijing Jurists Call for Legal Actions Against Falun Gong," People's Daily Online, February 5, 2001.

117 "Coming Out of a Haze, Re-molding One's Life -- Analysis of Typical Cases of Transformation of Obsessed `Falungong Adherents,'" Xinhua, May 22, 2001, in "Xinhua Reports Experiences of `Reformed' Falungong Members, FBIS, June 1, 2001; "China Publishes Excerpts of Alleged Falun Gong Diary," Agence France-Presse, February 11, 2001; "To Live, Keep Away From Falun Gong," Xinhua, March 1, 2001, in "Xinhua: Former Falungong Member Says Practice Made Her `Whiny,' Suicidal," FBIS, March 2, 2001; "Former Falungong Followers Say `Sorry' To Government," FBIS, March 2, 2001, from Xinhua, March 1, 2001; "The Reason I Deserted the Cult: Confession of Former Falun Gong," Xinhua, February 15, 2001, in "PRC: Confession of a Former Falungong Practitioner Reveals Reasons To Leave Cult," FBIS, February 16, 2001; "Dialogue With A Former Falungong Practitioner," Xinhua, February 15, 2001, in "Xinhua Interviews `Former Falungong Practitioner,'" FBIS, February 16, 2001.

118 A Central Work Conference is called when the Party leadership wants to ensure that central Party directives are relayed to all locales; it is an "informal" meeting to work out logistic details before a "formal" Party conference. The membership varies with the topic to be discussed. See "New phase in fight against sect," Vivien Pik-kwan Chan, South ChinaMorning Post, February 13, 2001. See also, "Forecast on `Two Sessions' Issue," Zhongguo Xinwen She, February 20, 2001, in "`Two Sessions' To Discuss `Falungong,'" FBIS, February 22, 2001.

119 "PRC Intensifies Falungong Crackdown, Sets Up Anti-Cult Task Forces," FBIS, February 16, 2001, from Hong Kong iMail (Internet Version-WWW), February 15, 2001; "Provincial On-the-Spot Conference on Educating and Transforming `Falungong' Followers Stresses Need To Tighten Measures for Addressing the `Falungong' Issue Radically," Nanjing Xinhua Ribao, June 9, 2001, in "Jiangsu Deputy Secretary Speaks on Educating, Transforming Falungong `Diehards,' `Zealots,'" FBIS, June 22, 2001.

120 John Pomfret and Philip Pan, "Torture Is Breaking Falun Gong, China Systematically Eradicating Group," Washington Post, August 5, 2001.

121 Charles Hutzler, "Falun Gong Feels Effect of China's Tighter Grip --Shift Means Even Private Practice is Banned," Asian Wall Street Journal. April 26, 2001.

122 Hutzler, "Falun Gong Feels Effect...," Asian Wall Street Journal; Erik Eckholm and Elisabeth Rosenthal, "China's Leadership Pushes for Unity," New York Times, March 9, 2001.

123 "Li Lanqing Addresses Meeting for 1,600 Anti-Falungong Personnel," FBIS, January 27, 2001, from Agence France-Presse, January 26, 2001; "People's Daily Editorial on Fighting Falun Gong Cult," People's Daily Online,, February 26, 2001.

124 "Falungong Members Arrested in China on Key Anniversary," FBIS, April 26, 2001, from Agence France-Presse, April 25, 2001.

125 "Press Statement by Falun Gong Practitioners in Geneva During the United Nations Human Rights Commission," March 19, 2001. At

126 Agence France-Presse, "Falungong Members Arrested...," FBIS, April 26, 2001; Ian Johnson, "Falun Gong Faces Added Pressure As Crackdown Grows -- In China, Founder's Demand Entails Risk and Sacrifice -- Why Ms. Zhang Can't Go Home," Wall Street Journal, March 28, 2001.

127 "Falun Gong: Torture and Escape Across 8,000 Miles," Falun Dafa News, press release, August 9, 2001.

128 Current lists and reports available at
Index.htm; "Coercion Cannot Change People's Hearts,"; "Falun Gong leader calls China crackdown futile," South China Morning Post, March 8, 2001.

129 Craig S. Smith, "Sect Clings to the Web in the Face of Beijing's Ban," New York Times, July 5, 2001.

130 Elizabeth Rosenthal, "China Jails 6 for Spreading Sect's Material," New York Times, December 24, 2001.

131 "Women of Conscience: A Report on the Persecution of Female Practitioners of Falun Gong in the People's Republic of China," Falun Dafa Information Center, April 2001; "Special Report: Psychiatric Abuses," Falun Dafa Information Center, Human Rights Abuses Against Falun Gong in People's Republic of China, April 2001; "Special Report: Labor Camps, Detention Centers, Police Departments, and other State Facilities," Falun Dafa Information Center, Human Rights Abuses Against Falun Gong in People's Republic of China, February 2001.

132 "Integration of the Human Rights of Women and the Gender Perspective: Violence Against Women," United Nations Economic and Social Council, E/CN.4/2001/73/Add.1, 13 February, 2001.

133 Personal communication from Human Rights Watch staff present in Geneva, April 2001.

134 "China makes formal complaint about Falun Gong meeting," Associated Press Newswires, April 9, 2001.

135 "Falun Gong Members Hold Vigil in New York," Reuters, April 26, 2001; "Police beat and drag away 32 sect protestors," South China Morning Post, April 26, 2001; Hutzler, "Falun Gong Feels Effect...," Asian Wall Street Journal.

136 "Anniversary of China Sect Crackdown," Associated Press, July 20, 2001; "Protests Mark Falun Gong Anniversary, Associated Press, July 22, 2001; "Police Quell Falun Gong Protests," Reuters, July 23, 2001; "Police beat and drag...," South China Morning Post, April 26, 2001.

137 "Falun Gong followers march for 10 days to Australian capital," Reuters, July 20, 2001; Kong-La-fan, "Taiwan Falun Gong rallies on crackdown anniversary," South China Morning Post, July 21, 2001; "Hong Kong Falun Gong Mark Second Anniversary of China's Ban," Agence France-Presse, July 20, 2001; "Report from the SOS March in Sweden," Falun Dafa,
7/18/12373.html; "German Practitioners Hold SOS March in Berlin on July 20," Falun Dafa,

138 "Sect suicides `ordered from overseas,'" South China Morning Post, July 5, 2001.

139 Ibid.

140 "Dafa is Indestructible,"
11694.html, June 23, 2001.

141 "China puts Falun Gong suicide planners on trial," Reuters, July 20, 2001.

142 Quoted from a Communist Party document seen by Time magazine. See Matthew Forney, "The Breaking Point," Time Asia, June 26, 2001.

143 "China Expanding Its Campaign against Overseas Falun Gong," Associated Press, July 9, 2001; "China Urges U.S. Not to be `Blinded' by Falun Gong," Agence France-Presse, July 20, 2001.

144 Christopher Bodeen, "China: Full text of premier's report to NPC on 10th Five-Year Plan," BBC Monitoring, March 5, 2001, from China Central TV, March 5, 2001; "Top Chinese Legislator Warns Colleagues About Corruption," Associated Press, March 10, 2001.

145 "Responsible Persons of the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Answer Questions by a Xinhua Reporter: Correctly Apply Laws To Crack Down On the Criminal Activities of Cult Organizations," Xinhua, June 10, 2001, in "Responsible Persons of Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procuratorate Answer Xinhua Questions on Cracking Down On Cult Organizations," FBIS, June 13, 2001.

146 See for example, "Falun Gong followers arrested," Agence France-Presse, March 10, 2001; "China jails 13 more Falun Gong activists," Reuters, March 13, 2001.

147 "Pursuing Civilization, Keeping Away From the Evil -- Sidelights on Beijing Exhibition Against the Falungong," Xinhua, July 16, 2001, in "Beijing Exhibition Against Falungong Jointly Sponsored by Central Organs," FBIS, July 20, 2001; "Comments from China's Anti-Cult Exhibition," People's Daily Online,, July 27, 2001.

148 "Li Lanqing Visits Anti-Falungong Exhibition," FBIS, July 17, 2001, from Xinhua, July 16, 2001; "Leader Sees `Last-ditch Struggle' by Falun Gong," Deutsche Presse-Agentur, July 17, 2001; "Anti-Cult Exhibition to Be Held in Beijing," People's Daily Online,, July 15, 2001.

149 "Former Falun Gong Addicts Visit Anti-Cult Exhibition," People's Daily Online,, July 22, 2001; "Police quell Falun Gong Protests," Reuters, July 23, 2001.

150 The "spiritual civilization" campaign, begun in early 1996 by President Jiang Zemin, called for a return to socialist orthodoxy, warning that ideology, i.e., adherence to the Party line, could not be sacrificed for economic development. "Large Exhibition `Opposing Religious Cults, Upholding Civilization,' Opens in Beijing," Xinhua, July 15, 2001, in "Propaganda Official Addresses Opening of Exhibition Against `Falungong,'" FBIS, July 17, 2001.

151 Xinhua, "Responsible Persons of the Supreme People's Court..." FBIS, June 13, 2001.

152 "Another Irrefutable Evidence of Falun Gong's Anti-Humanity," People's Daily Online,, July 20, 2001; "People Across China Denounce Falun Gong Cult," People's Daily Online,, July 23, 2001. See also,"Scrupulously Fulfilling Our Duty and Stressing Actual Results," Renmin Ribao (Internet Version -WWW), June 18, 2001, in "RMRB Commentator Stresses Educating Falungong Followers; Calls for Results," FBIS, June 19, 2001; "Provincial On-the-Spot Conference on Educating and Transforming `Falungong' Followers Stresses Need To Tighten Measures for Addressing the `Falungong' Issue Radically," Nanjing Xinhua Ribao, June 9, 2001, in "Jiangsu Deputy Secretary Speaks on Educating, Transforming Falungong `Diehards,' `Zealots,'" FBIS, June 22, 2001; "Falun Gong Crime Widely Condemned,"People's Daily Online,
.html, July 10, 2001.

153 "China jails 45 Falun Gong organizers," South China Morning Post, Reuters, August 20, 2001.

154 Hutzler, "Falun Gong Feels Effect...," Asian Wall Street Journal.

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