Ten years ago in January 2001, I was wanted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) because I practise Falun Gong. In order to avoid the persecution I left my hometown and went to Beijing.
Because it would soon be the Chinese New Year, I wished to send my regards to family members and also let them know that I was safe. It was the middle of January 2001, and I used a public phone to call them.
Several of my relatives and friends were officials in the CCP’s Political and Judiciary Committee and public security system. Some were officials in the 610 Office (an organisation of special agents just for persecuting Falun Gong). Therefore, my family members often received inside information from them.
During our phone conversation that day, my family members anxiously and repeatedly warned me, “Do not go to Tiananmen Square on Chinese New Year's Day; otherwise, the consequences will be too ghastly to contemplate.”
When I asked them why, my family said, “It was said by a relative who works as an official in the public security system, that Falun Gong practitioners would ‘set themselves on fire’ and that the government knows about the plan in advance and would wait in Tiananmen Square.”
At that time, I didn’t take it very seriously. Anything so irrational as this so-called “setting fire” could only be something planned by Jiang Zemin, [former leader of China and instigator of the persecution] who slandered Falun Gong and persecuted practitioners. Falun Gong practitioners cultivate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. How would people who know the truth about Falun Gong and have normal thinking believe such nonsense and illogical lies?
Afterwards, I saw the report about the so-called Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident1 repeatedly broadcast by China Central Television (CCTV). I immediately remembered what my family members had warned me about, and I once again realised how evil and shameless the CCP is.
Several years later, I read a Falun Gong practitioner’s article on the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom). The practitioner recalled his experience of being detained in the Beijing Police Department's Detention Centre. He was put in the same room with Xue Hongjun, who was a so-called “Self-immolation” participant. The practitioner personally saw that Xue Hongjun scrambled to get a cigarette from the other prisoners and Xue’s ugly behaviour because he was addicted to cigarettes. (It’s well-known that Falun Gong practitioners do not smoke.) This took me back to my own experience while I was detained in the Detention Centre of the Beijing Police Department.
One day in late April or early May 2001, I was ordered to go to a room where my picture would be taken. After I arrived, I found that someone was already there. He held a piece of white paper in front of his chest and waited to have his picture taken. On the paper were three big black words, “Liu Yun Fang.”
In the detention centre, the guards usually separated Falun Gong practitioners from the criminal prisoners when they interrogated them or took their pictures. Therefore, I naturally thought this person was a Falun Gong practitioner. I felt very happy seeing a fellow practitioner after having been detained for such a long time (practitioners were forbidden to have contact with each other in the detention centre; even an expression of reaction in one's eyes would cause practitioners to be subjected to electric shocks or other severe tortures by the guards). I quickly walked towards him and greeted him, hoping to give him a word of encouragement.
To my surprise, however, it seemed that this “Liu Yun Fang” didn’t hear my warm greeting at all. I stood only a few feet from him. He looked glassy-eyed; there was no response whatsoever in his flat eyes. He didn’t react at all to my greeting.
There was a tremble in my heart. Instinct told me that he was not a normal person. His dead eyes and abnormal facial expression made it clear that there was something wrong with him.
Afterwards, CCTV kept hyping the Tiananmen Square Self-immolation Incident. In the programme, Liu Yun Fang played the part of a practitioner who refused to be transformed [forcibly renounce Falun Gong]. After seeing him in person and now watching his facial expression in the broadcast interview, I was sure that this man was mentally unstable. In the programme, Liu mentioned how the guards treated him humanely in prison, and that he even had the freedom to do the exercises inside prison, which was absolutely forbidden anywhere outside. Through this kind of raving, I not only saw the shamelessness of the CCP, but also saw the outright stupidity of Jiang Zemin’s group.
After July 20th, 1999, Jiang Zemin's faction launched a far-reaching campaign of disinformation to justify its persecution of Falun Gong and to escape world condemnation. After the persecution started, state-run media flooded the printing presses and airwaves with fabrications about the founder of Falun Gong, Mr. Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong.
In early 2001, desperate to turn the tide against Falun Gong, the CCP attempted an outrageous stunt: a staged self-immolation of five people on Tiananmen Square. The state-run media then blamed it on Falun Gong.
1. The "Tiananmen Self-Immolation" an incident on Tiananmen Square in January 2001 whereby four people set themselves alight and the Chinese Communist claimed they were Falun Gong practitioners, yet there was video evidence to strongly disprove this claim.
Chinese version available at http://www.minghui.org/mh/articles/2011/1/30/235508.html