Eleven years ago this week, the Chinese Communist Party launched a campaign to eradicate Falun Gong—a peaceful and popular spiritual practice embraced by tens of millions of Chinese citizens. But the practitioners of Falun Gong are not the only victims, and the lives destroyed and lost are not the only costs.
Outside the Masanjia Labor Camp used to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, where a show-tour for journalists was conducted in 2001. (The Epoch Times)
Following the Communist Party’s decision to suppress Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, Falun Gong books were burned in mass public displays and the state-run media turned out a deluge of propaganda to vilify the practice. Falun Gong practitioners were stripped of their rights to free expression, religious practice, and legal protections. Schools expelled students for practicing Falun Gong, and workplaces turned in employees to be imprisoned and tortured.
Falun Gong practitioners today represent the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world, with hundreds of thousands extra-judicially imprisoned at any given time. Tens of thousands have been tortured in custody as prison guards attempt to force them to recant their beliefs.