Following the news of Liu Chengjun‘s death on the 31st December 2003, Irish Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful appeal outside the Chinese Embassy in Dublin. Like similar appeals around the world, they demanded those responsible for his death to be brought to trial and punished for their crimes.
In an article, entitled China Protest, "The Irish Examiner" explained the reason for the appeal: “The protesters claimed Chengjun Liu died after months of torture and abuse in a labour camp in the northeast of China. He was sentenced to 19 years in prison for tapping ito televison signals and then broadcasting allegations of persecution against the members of Falun Gong.”
Perhaps Liu Chengjun‘s act of tapping into the Chinese state-run TV network appears extreme to those of us living in an open and free democracy. However, his act should be understood in the context of a persecution which has been fuelled by a massive anti-Falun Gong propaganda campaign by the state-controlled media. In a society where every piece of news is tightly controlled and censored, we can begin to understand why such steps are necessary and more than justified. Jiang Zemin ordered the Chinese media to incite hatred of Falun Gong practitioners with an endless barrage of fabrications and slander and to block the truth from being broadcast. As a result, millions of people in China have been dragged into persecuting their own countrymen, or tricked into turning a blind-eye to the brutalities. They have been deceived into believing they are combating an “evil cult”, when in fact, they are persecuting innocent people and their belief in truthfulness, compassion and tolerance. The persecution is based entirely on lies and deceit, and the media in China has gone to such lengths that it is guilty of inciting genocide. If the public in China could know the truth, the persecution would collapse. From this perspective, Liu Chengjun’s act was one of great humanity. It is a tragedy that he had to pay with his life for his courage.
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