Falun Gong is freely practiced in more than 50 countries around the world, but relentlessly persecuted in China. The peaceful courage of practitioners there has shocked their oppressors and moved the people of the world. While China continues to block all information, FGMTV brings you the stories you may not hear anywhere else.
When Australian Kate Douglass told the police in Tiananmen Square last week that Falun Gong practitioners are worldwide in more than 40 countries, and teacher Li Hongzhi's book Zhuan Falun has been translated into 17 languages with more on the way, they thought she was deceiving them.
The police said that Jiang Zemin's Government told them Falun Gong had been banned in every country. When being asked which law had been violated for holding the banner reading only "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," the police said that the three words were against the law in China.
Hello, and welcome to FGMTV on November 27th, 2001.
I¡¯m Susan Mitchell.
This week, we bring you a special report on those 35 Falun Gong practitioners from 10 Western countries who went to Tiananmen Square to show Chinese citizens that the practice is loved and respected around the world; that it is only China that persecutes Falun Gong, and that their government has been lying to them.
To date, 320 Falun Gong practitioners are verified to have died while in police custody, although government sources inside China say the number is actually over 1,000.
Joel Chipkar, a Canadian and President of a Real Estate company in Mississauga near Toronto, stood apart from the main group and filmed them as they unfurled the giant banner in Tiananmen Square. He continued to film as police vehicles with horns blowing roared up, surrounded the group and drove them away to prison.
Joel travelled with Torontonian Zenon Dolnyckyj, the 23-year-old in the white t-shirt with the Canadian flag, whose photo taken by Associated Press photographer Ng Han Guan as he was captured by three police was shown around the world by the international media.
Zenon later reported: Three police then knocked me to the ground and took me back to the circle of vans, I told the police (in Chinese), very firmly, "You know Falun Dafa is good." I repeated this, until one big and strong man punched me in the face and fractured my nose. He continued to punch me in the head and the body to force me into the van. Another young man was punched in the face and knocked unconscious. While he lay there this big man stomped on him with his feet.
Here's their story in their own words and the footage from Tiananmen Square:
Here's the underground cell where the practitioners were first detained
Although the spokeswoman from the Chinese Foreign Ministry told media that the protesters were treated fairly and humanely, you can see from these photos that once again, the Chinese authorities are lying and trying to hide their brutal, illegal acts. These photos show dark bruises and swollen fingers ¨C one of them was broken by police.
It was already reported that one woman was knocked unconscious by police when they arrested her and also,
five women were sexually assaulted
There were many happy reunions:
Danish practitioners welcome the 7 Swedes as they changed flights in Copenhagen.
The Swedish government was quick to condemn China's refusal to allow their Embassy officials any contact with the 7 detained Swedes for 18 hours.
Swedish TV reports live from the airport on their return
3 Germans return to a warm welcome in Berlin
Irishman Brian Trought is reunited in Ireland with his father, who said, "We support him. He's very courageous to stand out to defend his belief." Brian wrote this account of his experience: Once in the van, one practitioner confidently said, "Shall we leave?" I agreed, saying that they had no right to detain us. The practitioner sitting next to me left the van through the window, I followed along with the digital tape on which the footage had been filmed. Just about everyone on Tiananmen Square had come to gather around the police vans. Every one of them witnessed the contrast between our peacefulness and the police brutality. I walked away but was detained for being a westerner with a camera on Tiananmen Square!
I was detained along with four other westerners and three members of the media. The police station was dark and gloomy and I witnessed the police forcibly taking the others through the corridor. After two hours, I was released without any charges
Israeli, Leeshai Lemish, who is currently studying in California, and American Brad Carson hold a press conference in sunny Santa Monica Beach Park on their return
Dozens of friends and families from all over Switzerland come to Zurich train station to greet the Swiss practitioners on their return from Beijing
The Australians are welcomed home and tell their stories.
Zenon arrives back at Toronto's Pearson Airport to be greeted by Joel who arrived one day earlier
FGMTV has learned that Jiang Zemin's regime has pressured Sing Tao Newspaper in Hong Kong to stop them from carrying any news of Falun Gong. In Hong Kong, Sing Tao has allowed no Falun Gong news to be printed since November 4th. This ban has now spread internationally and means not only that the Chinese government is interfering with foreign businesses again, but also that millions of Chinese readers will no longer be able to keep up with the real news of the persecution of their fellow countrymen, or of the group of brave Westerners who unfurled a giant banner in Tiananmen Square.
Perhaps the ray of sunshine in this somber account is a statement made by a Chinese tourist after watching the drama in Tiananmen Square. He said, "Perhaps the government has not been telling us the truth!"
Thanks for watching FGMTV, dedicated to breaking through China's information blockade, revealing propaganda, and bringing you the truth of Falun Gong.