NEW YORK – Responding to an Oct. 9 Reuter’s article citing a Xinhua commentary about the Dalai Lama and Falun Gong, the Falun Dafa Information Center said Thursday that the purpose of such statements was to deflect attention from rights abuses. The Center called on foreign media to stop uncritically repeating Xinhua propaganda.
“Xinhua’s statements linking the Dalai Lama and Falun Gong with cults are a calculated effort to demonize peaceful, faith-based groups,” said Levi Browde, Executive Director of the Falun Dafa Information Center. “It is irresponsible of Reuters to unquestioningly report them, especially without indicating to readers that Xinhua is the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece.”
In 2005, Reporters Without Borders called Xinhua “the world’s biggest propaganda agency,” highlighting its subordination to the CCP and regular distortion of facts. (news)
“It is a well-documented pattern of the CCP’s to use Xinhua to incite hatred against religious minorities and draw attention away from the real news—that the Chinese regime continues to torture and kill Tibetan Buddhists and Falun Gong practitioners,” said Browde.
According to a 2006 report by the U.N. Special Rapporteur on Torture, 66 percent of reported victims of torture in custody were Falun Gong practitioners. To date, the deaths of 3,097 practitioners at the hands of the CCP have been confirmed by the Falun Dafa Information Center.
One of the most recent cases was that of Mr. Chen Jianzhong from Hunan Province who reportedly passed away on September 14. Chen died having never fully recovered from 16 months in Xinkaipu labor camp, where he was detained without trial simply for speaking to someone in an elevator about Falun Gong. While in custody, Chen was reportedly deprived of sleep, shocked with electric batons, and held in solitary confinement for over three months. He weighed only 80 lbs upon his release in February 2007 (photos).
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NEWS - Oct. 11, 2007
Falun Dafa Information Center, www.faluninfo.net
Founded in 1999, the Falun Dafa Information Center is a New York-based organization that documents the rights violations of adherents of Falun Gong (or “Falun Dafa”) taking place in the People’s Republic of China. In July of 1999 China’s autocratic Communist Party launched an unlawful campaign of arrests, violence, and propaganda with the intent of “eradicating” the apolitical practice; it is believed certain leaders feared the influence of the practice’s 100 million adherents. The campaign has since grown in violence and scope, with millions having been detained or sent to forced labor camps. The Center has verified details of over 3,000 deaths and over 63,000 cases of torture in custody (reports / sources). Falun Gong is a traditional-style Buddhist “qigong” practice, with roots in the Chinese heritage of cultivating the mind/body for health and spiritual growth.