Before July 20th, 1999, Luo Gan, head of the Chinese Communist Party’s Central Political and Legal Committee, colluded with other Chinese officials to unreasonably persecute Falun Gong practitioners in order to achieve promotion. For that, Falun Gong practitioners have consistently resorted to various peaceful and rational approaches to raise awareness about Falun Gong to government authorities at various levels; however, the persecution in a variety of forms has continued.
As many people are aware, the massive peaceful petition to the Chinese central government by over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners on April 25th, 1999, took place under such circumstance. The direct cause of this petition was the Tianjin Incident, that is, Luo Gan colluded with his relative He Zuoxiu, a political scientist, to publish an article in a Journal of the Tianjin College of Education to defame Falun Gong; on the other hand, the leadership group of the Tianjin City headed by Zhang Lichang, the secretary of the Tianjin municipal committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), gave an order that the police might beat and arrest Falun Gong practitioners if they came to clarify the truth, and that the central government in Beijing had supported the practice.
Not long ago, the Chinese regime’s official media reported that Zhang Lichang died from an illness. In this regard, the Chinese department of the Radio France International (RFI) interviewed a Falun Gong practitioner, and the content of the interview was broadcast in a news programme to Asia Pacific and great Paris area on the morning of January 12th 2008. The following is an excerpt from the interview:
RFI: It is said that shortly after Zhang Lichang transferred to Beijing, after taking the helm of Tianjin City’s CPC Committee for over ten years, he was subject to the so called double discipline under investigation at an appointed duration and place, but it was not confirmed. When the media practically forgot Zhang Lichang, the Chinese official media reported that the sixty eight year old Zhang Lichang died of illness on January 10th, 2008. In comparison with the power of other political groups such as the Shanghai Gang, the Tianjin Gang is content to retain power over Tianjin area. As Falun Gong originated in Tianjin, Mr. Zhang Jianping a spokesman of the Falun Gong Association in Paris made some comments on Zhang Lichang’s death as follows.
Zhang Jianping: The secretary of the Tianjin CPC Committee, Zhang Lichang, played a more important role in persecuting Falun Gong. As we all know, one of the most important excuses for the Chinese regime to persecute Falun Gong was that over ten thousand Falun Gong practitioners besieged the Chinese central government compound Zhongnanhai. In fact, they didn’t besiege the Zhongnanhai compound. To put it simply, they just went to the State Department’s Bureau for Letters and Calls to petition in accordance with the Chinese constitution and relevant regulations adopted by the Chinese State Council. The direct reason for them to petition there was that not only were some Falun Gong practitioners attacked by Tianjin City’s policemen, but over ten practitioners were arrested. Furthermore, the police said that the decision was made by the central government in Beijing, and that the problem could not be solved by the authorities in Tianjin. As a result, Falun Gong practitioners had no choice but to petition at the State Council’s Bureau for Letters and Calls.
RFI: Did you mean that if the problem had been better dealt with in Tainjin, the practitioners might not have gone to Beijing to petition the government?
Zhang Jianping: Yes. Back then, the secretary of the Tianjin CPC Committee, Zhang Lichang, insisted on a tough and unreasonable position of no compromise and no apology. To get promoted, Luo Gan, head of the CCP Central Political and Legal Committee colluded with his relative He Zuoxiu, a political scientist, to publish an article defaming Falun Gong on a Journal of the Tianjin College of Education. In fact, what was mentioned in the article had been broadcast by the Beijing TV Station and the Station found that the scenario mentioned was not true after conducting verification afterward. Nonetheless, they still used the same allegation to defame Falun Gong in Tianjin.
As many people know that in China, secretaries of local CPC Committee are very powerful. As a matter of fact, it was especially so in this incident. The secretary of the Tianjin CPC Committee, Zhang Lichang announced many times at the Committee’s meetings about the overall persecution of Falun Gong. In addition, he also organised some exhibits to defame Falun Gong.
As a result, according to the statistics collected by Falun Gong group, Jianjin ranked fifteenth among the thirty one provinces, municipalities or autonomous regions concerned, in terms of the number of Falun Gong practitioners being persecuted to death since July 20th 1999. Besides, tens of thousands of other Falun Gong practitioners have been illegally arrested, sent to forced labour camps, sentenced or persecuted by cruel torture methods. Given these, Zhang Lichang should have taken tremendous responsibility for the persecution of Falun Gong.
To our understanding, all the key figures in the persecution of Falun Gong in Tianjin City have suffered disastrous retribution. For instance, Song Pingshun, former Chief of Tianjin City's Public Security Bureau, Secretary of Tianjin City's Political and Legal Committee, the Head of Tianjin City's 610 Office exclusively responsible for persecution of Falun Gong, committed suicide in May 2007 to avoid being punished for the charges of accepting bribes of over 100 million Yuan ($13.8 million); Li Baojin, former chief procurator in Tianjin and deputy head of the municipal Public Security Bureau was subject to double discipline action by the CPC Central Committee for Discipline Inspection in June, 2006, on corruption charges. In addition, the secretary of the Tianjin CPC Committee, Zhang Lichang, died of illness.
These indicate that the persecution of Falun Gong was initiated and perpetrated by what kind of people. They can also serve as a warning to others who have been involved in the persecution: One might get promoted or gain some personal interest through persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. However, as a Chinese saying puts it, good begets good and evil leads to evil. We hope that all those who have participated in the persecution of Falun Gong think it over carefully.
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