The Ban of Falun Gong Is at People's Will

The Chinese Government banned the Falun Gong cult because the Chinese people demanded action against it, a spokesman of the Information Office of the State

Council said on January 15 in Beijing.

Before the ban, the spokesman said in an interview with Xinhua, people across the country called on the government to contain the spread of Falun Gong.

On June 17, 1996, Guangming Daily, one of the leading newspapers in China, published an article saying that the book "Zhuan Falun" written by Li Hongzhi is based on pseudo-science. In April 1998, Qilu Evening News, a local newspaper published in Shandong Province, reported some Falun Gong practitioners who died of illness because they refused medical treatment. A month later, Beijing Television aired a segment about a doctoral candidate who became paralyzed when he was practicing Falun Gong. In April 1999, Chinese scientist He Zuoxiu criticized the Falun Gong in his article published by The Education College Journal of Tianjin Normal University.

In retaliation, Li Hongzhi organized non-approved protests outside the TV station, newspaper office and college campus.

To maintain social stability and protect people's life and property -- which is the government's main responsibility, the Chinese Government banned the Falun Gong cult on July 22, 1999 according to law, the spokesman said.

The spokesman reiterated the government's policy on dealing with the members of Falun Gong, saying that the majority of Falun Gong practitioners were deceived by the cult and they should be educated to free themselves from the cult's spiritual shackles. Only a handful of backbone Falun Gong members have been punished for their violation of Chinese law.

According to the Law on Gatherings, Parades and Demonstrations, said the spokesman, public demonstrations must have prior approval from the public security department. Falun Gong activists' recent gatherings at the Tian'anmen Square were not approved and are illegal. The cult members who traveled to Beijing to participate in illegal demonstration and resorted to violence were led away forcefully by police so that order could be restored quickly and tourists and visitors at the Tian'anmen Square could enjoy their sightseeing normally.

As to those who were sent to labor camps, the spokesman pointed out, those who disturbed social order, refused to break their ties with the cult, or committed cult-related crimes would be sent to labor camps for transformation according to law. They were sent there not because they practiced Falun Gong but because they participated in illegal demonstrations that disturbed social order and the people's normal life as well.

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