【明慧网2000年4月25日】On April 25, 1999, Falun Gong came to the attention of the world as some ten thousand of its practitioners gathered quietly outside Zhongnanhai, the Chinese Government leadership’s compound in Beijing. Their only intent was to communicate the harassment and injustices practitioners were facing throughout China at the hands of Chinese police. The peaceful gathering was sparked by the beatings Falun Gong practitioners endured only a few days before in the neighboring city of Tianjin. In both cases these practitioners did nothing more than remind the government of their constitutional rights to freedom of conscience, assembly, and speech.


In the one year since that gathering, we have come to witness the Chinese Government execute one of the largest, harshest, and most arbitrary of persecutions in modern history. On July 22nd, Chinese leaders turned their country upside down with their decision to ban the practice of Falun Gong. In the middle of the night practitioners around the country were dragged from their homes, arrested, detained, and even beaten, commencing the first wave of oppression. In the following days, thousands of law-abiding Falun Gong practitioners would be arrested for merely trying to appeal the ban, despite appeals being a legal, constitutionally-enshrined right.

During the ensuing nine months practitioners in China have faired little better. Over 35,000 practitioners of Falun Gong have been arrested and detained for their practice, while another 5,000 have been sent without trial to labor camps. Still others have received harsh prison sentences of up to 18 years. Numerous others have been vanquished to mental hospitals for nuanced torture. An estimated 10,000 university students must now choose between their practice and losing their education, while any high-school student who continues to practice must forgo what would have been his or her college education. Millions of Falun Gong books, videos, and audio tapes have been confiscated and destroyed. Confirmed reports of torture and inhumane treatment grow by the day, with instruments of punishment including electric batons, cattle prods, anti-psychotic drugs, the “prison in hell” device, forced abortions, beatings of every sort, and even sanctioned rape. To date, fifteen practitioners have died in custody, most, if not all, by way of torture. Many others have been stripped of their jobs, homes, education, and even family. With over 70 million people in China practicing Falun Gong as of early 1999, the social upheaval caused by the ban is hard to fathom. Hardly anyone has gone unaffected.

在后续的9个月中,中国的法轮功学员的处境几乎没有好转。超过35,000名法轮功学员因为修炼而被逮捕和拘禁,另外有5,000未经审判而被送到劳改营。还有人被判处长达18年的徒刑。许多学员被送到精神病院受到严重的折磨。估计有10,000名大学学生现在必须在修炼法轮功和学籍中间做出选择,而高中学生如果坚持修炼法轮功就必须放弃他/她的接受高等教育的机会。数百万的法轮功书籍,和音像磁带被没收和销毁。每天都有新的经过证实的酷刑和残忍折磨被报告出来,使用的手段包括电棍,警棍,和治疗精神病患者的药物,“地牢”,强迫流产,殴打全身,甚至被认可的强奸。到目前为止,15名学员在监狱去世,即便并非所有也是大多数情况下,这些人是属于酷刑折磨而死。很多人被剥夺了工作,住房,教育甚至家庭。对在 1999年初即拥有7000万学员的法轮功来说,由于禁止他造成的社会动荡难以估计。几乎无人不受影响。

Falun Gong practitioners have no political interests whatsoever. They merely strive to cultivate “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance” in daily life, while their qigong exercises give them desired health. Practitioners are good, law-abiding citizens from all walks of life. Through all this, no practitioners have resorted to violence?despite their bearing inhumane offenses. According to official Chinese sources, practitioners continue to appeal every day at Tiananmen Square and visit the appeals offices. Their belief is that if officials only knew how good this practice is, there would be no way to oppose it. Many have risked their lives to publicize the truth.


While a growing number of international organizations and governments have been unequivocal in their criticism of China’s actions, there appears no end in sight to the persecution. We reiterate our call for a peaceful dialogue with the Chinese Government, and ask for the support of all good people and institutions around the world. A peaceful resolution would benefit not only practitioners, but also the entire people of China and their government.