The fight to control the COVID-19 narrative sees intensifying persecution of Falun Gong in China: non-profit director


One way the Chinese government maintains control over the COVID-19 story is to imprison more people who practice Falun Gong, a non-profit director told the Religious Freedom Summit Thursday. rice field.

China’s ruling Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has declared war on independent Chinese journalists, doctors and civilian journalists, including Chinese practicing Falun Gong, due to the increased risk of Falun Gong.

Thousands of practitioners have been harassed by Chinese officials and police and hundreds of practitioners have been sentenced to prison in the last two years compared to 2019 numbers. panel At the International Religious Freedom Summit on June 30th.

Levi Browde, executive director of the New York-based nonprofit Farun Dafa Information Center, explained in a panel that the CCP has chosen to escalate persecution of Falun Gong. It is already the subject of the Chinese administration’s information management and disinformation methods.

“That’s why Falun Gong’s imprisonment actually increased because he was no longer the persecuted minority during the pandemic. He’s also a whistleblower,” Browne said.

Epoch Times Photo
Levi Broud, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center at the Falun Gong Learning Rally held at the City Hall in New York on May 11, 2016. (Benjamin Chasteen / Epoch Times)

He added: [Beijing] Knowing if they are hiding something about the virus in Wuhan or elsewhere, Falun Gong is the first thing they need to keep quiet. Because they are trying to publish news about what the CCP is doing. And that’s exactly what happened. “

Persecution of truth-conscious people

According to a new biannual report from the Falun Dafa Information Center, there were 3,582 harassments in 2019, a surge to 9,159 in 2020 and 9,332 in 2021. report Title released in May: “Pandemic, Persecution, Pushback: Trends and Analysis from China and Since Falun Gong Repression”.

Last year, 1,372 practitioners were sentenced to imprisonment. This is a surge from 775 in 2019.

The number of practitioners killed because of their faith is also consistent with a disturbing trend. According to reports, 180 deaths were reported in 2021. This is almost double the known deaths of 98 people in 2019. In the first three months of this year, there are already 21 confirmed deaths.

Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual discipline that teaches its practitioners to live according to the universal beliefs of truth, compassion, and tolerance. Official estimates indicate that it was widespread in China in the 1990s and had about 70 to 100 million practitioners. In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party regarded popular discipline as a threat to the rule and began national persecution of its practices and their supporters.

Millions were detained in prisons, labor camps and other facilities, and hundreds of thousands were tortured while imprisoned. according to information Center. In addition, more than 4,700 deaths have been recorded as a result of persecution, but experts say the actual numbers are much higher.

Falun Gong whistleblower

“Falun Gong learners run the largest underground media and information network in China.” report OK.

One of the confirmed whistleblowers is Fang Bin, a self-proclaimed citizen journalist. He exposed the seriousness of the outbreak in Wuhan at the beginning of the pandemic after successfully photographing the corpse in a crowded hospital in the city.

Fang Bin-Hong Kong-Protest
Democracy activist (C) of the HK Alliance has a placard of missing citizen journalist Fang Bin as he protests outside the China Liaison Office in Hong Kong on February 19, 2020. (IsaacLawrence / AFP via Getty Images)

Fang was detained by police a few days after his footage was available online. His current whereabouts are unknown, but he is reportedly detained in Jiang’an Detention Center in Wuhan in November 2021.

Prior to the pandemic, Fang was once detained for more than four years and was “terribly tortured” for Falun Gong learning, according to the report.

The report is also a whistleblower, one of the 11 Falun Gong practitioners charged with providing information related to the pandemic in the Chinese capital Beijing in April 2021 to the Chinese version of The Epoch Times. Nominated XuNa. Xu was sentenced to eight years in prison in January.

Organ murder

The panel also discussed China’s nationally recognized practice of harvesting organs from Falun Gong practitioners. This practice makes China the largest transplant tourism, as Chinese hospitals often have shorter waiting times to match patient organs much faster than in developed countries where organ donation systems have been established. It became a destination.

A motion for forced organ removal from a prisoner of conscience of Falun Gong was first revealed in 2006. Now, more than 15 years later, Browde says China is still killing organ practitioners.

“It’s happening very much in China. It’s a very money-making business. It’s a multi-billion dollar industry, killing innocent people and selling organs,” Browne said.

One of the participants in the panel was Falun Gong practitioner Han Yu, who shared how she suspected that her father, Han Jun-chin, was a victim of China’s criminal organ removal program. Beijing. At that time, Han was still in China, but he emigrated to the United States in 2018.

Yu said police told her that her father had died of a heart attack. However, she suspects she may have identified the cause of her death based on her health before her father was detained. In addition, Yu said the fact that it took more than a month for police to show her father’s body to her family caused her suspicions.

Under the supervision of police officers, Yu and her family were finally able to see Elder Han’s body. But they were shocked by what they saw.

“My dad lay there green and purple bruises everywhere. [his body]”Han said. “The most memorable thing was the thick seams on the throat.”

According to Han, the seams extended from the throat to the abdomen. She said her family had squeezed her abdomen and found that her abdomen was filled with “hard ice.”

“My uncle was furious and confronted the police about what they did to my father. Police said this was due to an autopsy, but no one in my family agreed to the autopsy. And the police also refused to publish an autopsy report, “Han said.

Every time she shared her father’s story, she said it hurts, but she has to keep doing so.

“I don’t want my father’s death to be wasted, even though I can stop the illegal removal of organs in China,” Han told the summit.

Crimes against humanity

In 2019, an independent committee called the Chinese Court discovered that such practices were happening “on a considerable scale” in China. We conclude that such behavior is a crime against humanity and that Falun Gong practitioners are the main source of organs.

Larry Liu, deputy director of nonprofit government and advocacy groups, said the US State Department could help end the persecution of China’s Falun Gong.

“We encourage the State Department to consider designating the persecution of Falun Gong as a crime against humanity and / or a genocide,” Liu said.

Frank Fang


Frank Fang is a Taiwan-based journalist. He covers news from the United States, China and Taiwan. He holds a master’s degree in materials science from Tsinghua University in Taiwan.