Recently some overseas Chinese media, such as Singtao Daily and Sino-Dutch Business, reported a murder case by a person of Chinese descent in Holland. This was originally a tragic murder carried out by a person with mental problems. However the reports from the above Chinese media, from the title to the content, deliberately connected this tragedy with Falun Gong, and even misled the readers that practising Falun Gong would lead to mental problems. This kind of report adopted very similar slanderous methods used by the Chinese Communist regime in its persecution campaign against Falun Gong. Moreover these reports gave people the wrong impression as though Dutch media also reported the incident with the same fashion.
What are the facts? A reporter interviewed Peter Houben, President of the Dutch Falun Gong Association:
Reporter: Recently some Chinese media reported a murder case occurring in Holland. These reports gave people the impression that the suspect became mentally ill and committed a murderer because of his practising Falun Gong. How do you view this incident?
Houben: Falun Gong teaches people to follow the principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance” and to always consider others first. Killing seriously violates these principles. It is totally impossible that Falun Gong allows people to do this terrible evil.
Everything about Falun Gong is open. All Falun Gong teachings can be freely downloaded from the Internet. I sincerely invite people to come to learn more about Falun Gong and to see for themselves if Falun Gong would make people become cold criminals.
Reporter: as a Dutch national, you must have read the reports by the Dutch media. Could you describe to me how the Dutch media reported this incident?
Houben: In the reports by the Dutch media, one point is extremely clear that the suspect has serious mental problems. All reports without exception indicated that expert examination concluded that the suspect is schizophrenic and chronically paranoid. This has absolutely nothing to do with Falun Gong’s teachings.
Reporter: In the reports by some Chinese media, the deliberate linking between the killing and Falun Gong seemed to come from the Dutch media. However you said that the Dutch media are very clear that the incident has nothing to do with Falun Gong. Could you tell me why there are such differences?
Houben: Almost all the Dutch media obtained this news from ANP (a government news organisation in Holland). ANP initially reported that the suspect was a Falun Gong practitioner. When we learned this, we immediately contacted ANP and cleared the situation. We explained that although the suspect claimed to be a Falun Gong practitioner, it is very obvious that he didn’t follow any Falun Gong teachings. Therefore it is not correct to call him a Falun Gong practitioner. When ANP learned this, they corrected their initial report. The corrected report was issued a few hours later. Most Dutch media used the corrected report, clearly pointing out that the suspect himself claimed to practise Falun Gong. Medical experts said that his actions have no connection with Falun Gong.
Additionally we issued a statement on June the 10th in the name of the Dutch Falun Dafa Association, clarifying that this suspect is not a Falun Gong practitioner and this case has nothing to do with Falun Gong. Some Dutch media printed our statement.
Reporter: Did the first ANP report suggested in any way that practising Falun Gong led the suspect to have mental problem and even to kill people?
Houben: The first ANP report never made such misleading statement. They merely copied the suspect’s own statement who claimed to practice Falun Gong. It is very obvious he didn’t follow the principles of Falun Gong.
Reporter: What do you want to say to these irresponsible Chinese media?
Houben: I don’t understand the reason behind their fabricating the story, and using this terrible way to defame and slander Falun Gong. I hope they will correct their reports after learning the facts.
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