By the mid-1990's, millions of Chinese had taken up the Falun Gong discipline. Widely regarded as an effective means for maintaining physical health and respected for its focus on moral living, Falun Gong was a house-hold name in most areas of China.
By late 2001, however, hundreds of thousands of Falun Gong practitioners had been arrested or detained. According to the Washington Post, the systematic use of torture and propaganda was widely used on Falun Gong adherents throughout the country with the aim of "eradicating" the practice.
How did such a dramatic change of environment for Falun Gong in China come about? Below are details of a few key events that dramatically altered events in China:
The Surrounding of Zhongnanhai (April 25, 1999)
What really happened in the news-making event many believed catalyzed the crackdown on Falun Gong (full story)
Jiang Zemin declares Falun Gong "illegal" (July 20, 1999)
The Tiananmen Square "Self-Immolation" Incident (January 23, 2001)
The grisly event that China's state-run media utilized to vilify Falun Gong. (news)
Ian Johnson Awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Coverage of Falun Gong (May 2001)
The Wall Street Journal's daring reporter becomes the first foreign journalist in China to detail the torture and killing of Falun Gong adherents in the Western mainstream media. (news articles)
Investigators Conclude Organ Harvesting Atrocities "are true" (July 2006)
Former Canadian Secretary of State for Asia Pacific David Kilgour and Nazi hunter David Matas issue a report on Falun Gong adherents being killed so their organs could be sold for profit. (news)