8 Jul 2002 14:15 UTC
Officials in Beijing are vowing to hunt down and punish [practitioners] of the Falun Gong spiritual movement, who have been overriding Chinese satellite TV signals. China blames overseas activists for helping the banned group get its message onto TV screens across the country.
The pictures lasted less than half a minute and showed some Falun Gong symbols and [practitioners] sitting in meditation. Top broadcast officials in China say Falun Gong and its [practitioners] [got into] government satellite frequencies and [overrode] broadcasts on June 23, reaching what they called a "vast" number of Chinese television viewers.
In Beijing Monday, China's Ministry of Information pointed the finger at unknown overseas parties that allegedly helped plan and execute the broadcast [transmission].[ ]
Falun Gong is such a sensitive topic in China that the British Broadcasting Corporation's TV news program was recently removed from a Chinese-owned satellite system because a program mentioned the Falun Gong. The group was banned three years ago. [ ]
The group says its exercises and philosophy promote good health. [ ] China's government says Falun Gong once had millions of [practitioners]. But thousands of [practitioners] have been detained, and others sent to labor or re-education camps.
China's crackdown has brought strong criticism from human rights groups and foreign governments.
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