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April 25 Beijing Appeal Incident- Falun Gong’s effort to stop the escalation of the persecution in China (Video)

Posted by Author on April 24, 2010

Data  re-organized from article “Behind the April 25 Incident”, The Falun Dafa Information Cenetr –

On July 20, 1999, then Chinese president Jiang Zemin used two secret documents to accuse Falun Gong of two crimes that he wanted to charge them with – namely conspiring with foreign forces and being directed by senior insiders in the Communist Party.  In the absence of any corroborating evidence, Jiang decided on a policy of persecution of Falun Gong in China.

The persecution was formally started on July 20, but the development and escalation of oppression actually started from 3 years earlier, in 1996.

Therefore, we can  see clearly that the well-known incident of April 25 ten thousands people’s appeal in Beijing 3 months before the formal crackdown was an effort by Falun Gong practitioners to stop the upcoming nationwide persecution.

Here are some events happened before the April. 25 appeal, listed in chronological order:

1996, June 17– Guangming Daily, the mouthpiece of the State Council, published an article by a columnist denouncing Falun Gong

1996, July 24– the Chinese News Publication Office issued a nationwide circular banning the distribution of all Falun Gong publications.

1997– the Public Security Bureau began a nationwide investigation to gather evidence in the hopes of casting Falun Gong as an “evil cult.”  However, all of the police stations around the country finally reported after much investigation: “no evidence found so far.”  The investigations thus came to an end.

1998, end of MayHe Zuoxiu (a prominent Marxist-atheist) denounced Falun Gong in an interview on Beijing Television, saying how it was harmful and such.  After that, when showing an interview at a Falun Gong practice site, the program said that Falun Gong was “feudalistic superstition.”  After the program was broadcast, practitioners who actually knew those people who had been brought up as examples by He Zuoxiu in the program immediately pointed out to He Zuoxiu and the TV station that the program was contrary to the facts because those people weren’t even Falun Gong practitioners.  In the ensuing days, more practitioners visited or wrote letters to the TV station by telling their own personal experiences of practicing Falun Gong.  Their responses were based on the central government’s official “Three No’s” policy towards Qigong:  “no beating, no argument, no reporting.” Later, the executives of the TV station said that broadcasting that program had been the most serious mistake ever made since the startup of the TV station.  So, as a correction, the TV station very quickly broadcast a positive program on Falun Gong showing practitioners peacefully practicing their morning exercises along with other people in the park.

1998, July 21– the First Division of the Public Security Bureau issued a 1998-No. 555 circular “Notification Regarding Starting an Investigation on Falun Gong.”  The “Notification” claimed that (Falun Gong founder) Mr. Li Hongzhi was spreading rumors and evil teachings and that some core practitioners were engaged in illegal activities in the name of Falun Gong.  However, the circular then also mentioned that the Public Security Political Protection Departments in each area should begin a thorough investigation to get inside information on Falun Gong activities and find evidence of crimes committed by core practitioners using Falun Gong.  We can see that the circular followed the procedure of convicting Falun Gong of a crime and then looking for evidence later.  This “Notification” resulted in the local Public Security departments in a number of areas around the country to illegally raid Falun Gong practice sites, forcibly disperse practitioners, search homes, break and enter into civilian residences, confiscate people’s private property, and so on.

1998, latter half of the year– a group of retired National People’s Congress cadres led by Qiao Shi [the former Chair of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress] conducted a detailed investigation and study over a certain period of time on Falun Gong because so many members of the public had sent letters mentioning the Public Security Bureau’s illegal treatment of Falun Gong practitioners.  The conclusion of the study was that “Falun Gong only benefits and does no harm to the nation and the people.”  This report was delivered to the Politburo headed by Jiang Zemin.

1998, September– The National Sports Commission had also conducted a comprehensive investigation and study into Falun Gong in May 1998.  So in September, in order to coordinate with this study, a team made up of medical experts did a questionnaire survey of a sample of 12,553 Falun Gong practitioners.  The results clearly indicated that the rate of effectiveness for improving health and fitness was 97.9%.

1998, October 20– the head of the research team sent to Changchun and Haarbin by the National Sports Commission said:  “We feel that both the Falun Gong exercises and their effectiveness are quite good.  The impact on the stability of society and the strengthening of the spiritual culture are all quite evident.  This deserves to be fully recognized.”  During this time, non-government studies into the efficacy of Falun Gong in Dalian, Beijing, and elsewhere also produced consistent results.

1999, April 11He Zuoxiu (again) published an article in the Tianjin College of Education’s Youth Reader magazine entitled “I Do Not Agree with Youth Practicing Qigong.”  In this article, He drew upon the same examples to slander Falun Gong as he had presented on the Beijing TV Station program in 1998.  Because these examples had already been fully clarified in the Beijing TV Station incident, this article of He’s had already been strictly boycotted by Beijing’s media and propaganda system.  Now that this article was appearing in Tianjin, some practitioners in Tianjin felt that it was necessary to explain the facts and the truth to Tianjin officials.  They also hoped to lessen the negative impact of the article through contact with the editors of the magazine.

1999, April 18 to 24
– some practitioners went to the Tianjin College of Education and other related governmental agencies to clarify the truth.

1999, April 23 and 24
– the Public Security Bureau of Tianjin dispatched riot police to beat up the Falun Gong practitioners who had come to appeal, resulting in injuries to the practitioners.  The police arrested 45 people.  When Falun Gong practitioners requested the release of the detained practitioners, they were told at Tianjin City Hall that the Public Security Bureau had become involved in this matter, so the arrested Falun Gong practitioners would not be released without authorization from Beijing.  The Tianjin police suggested to Falun Gong practitioners, “Go to Beijing.  Only going to Beijing can resolve the problem.”

From using attacks in the media in previous years to this incidence whereby police actually used violence against Falun Gong practitioners in Tianjin, the escalation of the persecution shocked Falun Gong practitioners.  Word of the “Tianjin Incident” spread rapidly among Falun Gong practitioners all across the country.

1999, April 25-
10,000 people went to appeal at the State Council Appeals Office, Beijing City (video)

Premier Zhu Rongji personally met with the Falun Gong practitioners who had gone to appeal.

At noon on April 25, Li Chang and Wang Zhiwen of the Falun Dafa Research Society and three other Beijing practitioners, acting as representatives of Falun Gong, entered the State Council to have talks with the government officials.  They presented three requests from Falun Gong practitioners:

  1. Release the Falun Gong practitioners who were arrested in Tianjin
  2. Give Falun Gong practitioners a loose and relaxed cultivation environment
  3. Allow Falun Gong books to be published.

The government officials who took turns participating in the talks included officials from the Appeals Office of the State Council, officials from the city of Beijing, and officials from the city of Tianjin.  At dusk, Tianjin released all of the detained Falun Gong practitioners in accordance with instructions from the central government.

More details from Behind the April 25 Incident

******

Persecution started

Unfortunately, during a high level meeting on July 19, Jiang Zemin officially announced confirmation of a total ban on Falun Gong.  July 20th saw the beginning of a wave of arrests of Falun Gong practitioners all across the nation.

Till today, at least 3369 Falun Gong practitioners are confirmed to have died in the persecution (detail name list: http://clearwisdom.net/emh/special_column/death_cases/index.html).

In addition to the deaths, over 100,000 have been sentenced to forced labor camps. Many thousand mentally-healthy practitioners have been locked up in psychiatric hospitals, brutally beaten, and drugged into submission with anti-psychotic drugs. Huge numbers have been forced into brainwashing sessions organized to coerce them to renounce their beliefs. Tens of thousands have been detained, jailed and/or imprisoned.

– Sources:
1. Behind the April 25 Incident, The Falun Dafa Information Center, Apr. 08, 2001
2.
Gruesome Death Toll, clearwisdom.net

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