Mr. Chengjun Liu had spent more than two years working to let his fellow countrymen know about the torture and killings of Falun Gong practitioners throughout China - crimes former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin had kept hidden under a veil of misinformation and with full control over the state-run media.
In March 2002, however, Liu was detained for broadcasting programs in the northeast city of Changchun. After months of torture and abuse, in September 2002, Liu was sentenced to 13 years in prison. (news) The torture and abuse of Liu continued at the Jilin Provincial Forced Labour Camp.
After repeated attempts by Liu’s family to secure his medical parole were denied by Chinese authorities, Liu died at 4 a.m. on December 26. According to eyewitnesses, there was blood in Liu’s nose, ears, on his legs and other parts of his body.
Liu’s body was cremated seven hours after his death with neither an autopsy nor the family’s consent.
The speedy cremation follows of pattern of dozens of reported cases where Falun Gong practitioners have died in police custody, and where then cremated before family members could identify the body. According to informed sources in China, former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin has issued orders to record all deaths of Falun Gong practitioners in police custody as “suicides” and to “immediately cremate” the bodies, in an apparent attempt to destroy any evidence of torture or other wrong-doing.
Early this morning, Falun Gong practitioners in more than a dozen cities around the world announced plans to hold media events in front of Chinese Embassies to report Liu’s case and hold memorials for his loss.
“This is a man who had the courage to show the atrocities carried out against Falun Gong practitioners to the Chinese people, and the compassion to strictly adhere to non-violent means to do so,” says European Falun Gong Information Centre spokesman, Peter Jauhal. “For his actions, those who carry out Jiang’s orders to ‘eradicate’ Falun Gong branded Liu an outlaw and then tortured him to death.”
Tapping State-run Airwaves in China
For nearly four years, Jiang Zemin has used the state-run television airwaves to broadcast anti-Falun Gong propaganda. Since early 2002, Falun Gong practitioners in China have countered this propaganda by successfully tapping into local television signals to broadcast programmes exposing the persecution against Falun Gong in China.
The programs provide information from human rights organizations, world media and other news sources that are readily available to those living outside China. Inside China, however, where the content of what people see, read and hear about Falun Gong is strictly controlled, these programmes are often the first real glimpse they have of the atrocities carried out against Falun Gong practitioners in their own country.
The first reports of Falun Gong practitioners tapping into state-run broadcast signals in China surfaced in February 2002. Since that time, practitioners of Falun Gong have utilized this method to broadcast over a dozen programmes in different cities throughout China.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a practice of meditation and exercises with teachings based on the universal principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. It is a practice that was taught in private for thousands of years before being made public in 1992 by Mr. Li Hongzhi. Falun Gong has roots in traditional Chinese culture, but it is distinct and separate from other practices such as the religions of Buddhism and Taoism. Since its introduction in 1992, it quickly spread by word of mouth throughout China, and is now practiced in over 50 countries.
With government estimates of as many as 100 million practicing Falun Gong, Chinas then-Communist leader, Jiang Zemin, outlawed the peaceful practice in July 1999, fearful of anything touching the hearts and minds of more citizens than the Communist Party. Unable to crush the spirit of millions who had experienced improved health and positive life changes from Falun Gong, Jiangs regime has intensified its propaganda campaign to turn public opinion against the practice while quietly imprisoning, torturing and even murdering those who practice it. To that end, Jiang established the 6-10 Office, a Gestapo-like agency spanning from the Central Government to the local governments. The United States Congress has described the 6-10 Office as an agency charged with overseeing the persecution of Falun Gong members through organised brainwashing, torture, and murder.
The Falun Dafa Information Centre has verified details of 842 deaths since the persecution of Falun Gong in China began in 1999. In October 2001, however, Government officials inside China reported that the actual death toll was well over 1,600. Expert sources now estimate that figure to be much higher. Hundreds of thousands have been detained, with more than 100,000 being sentenced to forced labour camps, typically without trial.
FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CONTACT THE EUROPEAN FALUN GONG INFORMATION CENTRE – Levi Browde + 1 914-720-0963 Peter Jauhal + 44 (0) 7719 508 268 Nicolas Schols +32 47 98 75 734 More contacts: http://www.falungonginfo.net/europe.htm Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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