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Lies of Falun Gong Hearings Exposed


April 26,2000--Xinhua News Agency released a bylined article today detailing the recent activities of Falun  Gong member Tracy Zhao and exposing the lies in her testimony at a  US congressional hearing in early March.

According to the March 3 reports from overseas Falun Gong websites, the International Relations Committee of the US House of  Representatives held a hearing in Washington on March 2 on human  rights and religious freedom in China.

At the hearing, Tracy Zhao, a resident of New York who is a flight attendant for Northwest Airlines and a Falun Gong practitioner, testified before the congressional panel about her " illegal detention" on Tiananmen Square during this year's Spring Festival.

Zhao recounted in her statement: "Shortly before midnight on February 4th, which was the night before the Chinese New Year, I arrived at Tiananmen Square. I saw many policemen beating and kicking Falun Gong practitioners and dragging them into police
vans."    "We were all taken to the nearby police station. There were  hundreds of practitioners being held there. Some were bleeding in the face; others had bruises or black eyes," she said.

"In the early hours of February 5th, around 1,200 practitioners,including myself, were taken to the Dongcheng detention center on the outskirts of Beijing. For 24 hours there was no water or heat.

Each of us received only two pieces of Chinese bread for food. And we were not allowed to use the bathroom," she said.   "After 24 hours, the police questioned me and I told them I was an American citizen. They didn't believe me and sent me to a
prison cell," Zhao said.

"Every practitioner in my cell had been abused at some point by the prison guards and policemen. In prison, we were given two meals a day, and it was always two pieces of Chinese bread with cabbage soup," she said.

"At night all of us slept on one big wooden platform, with one blanket for two people and no pillows. It was very crowded. In theentire time I was there, we weren't allowed to take any showers.

None of the practitioners were allowed any contact with the outside, nor were family members or relatives allowed to visit.

And the families usually also faced huge fines," she claimed.   In her statement, Zhao also said, "So far, 11 people are known to have died while in police custody, while countless others remain unaccounted for."

The testimony, which was riddled with lies, had the negative impact desired by the congressional committee and participants, the Xinhua article said.

It was reported that after the hearing, the head of the congressional committee posed for pictures with Falun Gong members.

At noon the following day, Zhang Erping, an assistant to Li  Hongzhi, the founder of the Falun Gong cult, attended a luncheon for over 60 US politicians, academicians, businesspeople and the press, briefing them on Falun Gong and its "repression" in China.

Zhang also quoted Zhao's testimony before congress.    But who is Tracy Zhao? She was an ordinary Chinese named Zhao Yanhong.

Zhao was born on July 22, 1969, in Beijing, and lived at 12  Liulisi, Andingmen, in the Dongcheng District. She attended the Beijing Civil Aviation Technical School from 1985 to 1986.

Without completing her studies there, she left to go to a vocational school specializing in training for the service industry. After finishing her courses there, she became a hotel
waitress.

On January 23, 1990, Zhao resigned and applied for leaving for the United States. She became a US citizen in 1996. Later, she was employed by Northwest Airlines thanks to her skills learned at the Beijing technical school.

In her first 20 years, Zhao, like her Chinese peers, grew up ina peaceful and free environment and received compulsory education. She also benefited from China's reform and opening up when she  chose to emigrate to the US.

Zhao said she first heard of Falun Gong in 1997 and became a practitioner two years later. And yet Falun Gong, which claimed to cultivate the spirituality of its practitioners, only left Zhao  confused and unable to distinguish right from wrong.

The Xinhua article notes that February 4, the eve of the  Chinese lunar New Year, was a day when the Chinese people returned home for family reunions and to celebrate the new year.
 
But 10 days before that, core members of the Falun Gong cult  announced that February 4 was an auspicious day for practicing  Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square.

On February 3, 2000, Tracy Zhao arrived in Beijing intending to prepare for the human rights conference in Geneva in March.
 
But she had ulterior motives in visiting China, a fact which was proved repeatedly during her 10-day stay in Beijing, the article says.

On February 3, at 9 p.m., Zhao arrived in Beijing on a  Northwest flight, together with her boyfriend and other three people.
 
Unlike her previous trips to Beijing, Zhao did not stay at the  home of her uncle or aunt. She did not make phone calls to wish  New Year's greetings to family members and friends, who did not know she spent the Spring Festival of the Year of the Dragon in Beijing until she was expelled by the Chinese government 10 days after her arrival.
 
On February 4, at about 11 p.m., she and her boyfriend left for Tiananmen Square. After arriving at the square, she gave her  passport and all other IDs to her boyfriend who left the square, thus making her an unidentifiable person.

On that same day, some die-hard elements of Falun Gong were preaching the ideas of the cult by waving banners and shouting  slogans. They were taken away by the patrol police who failed to  persuade them to stop.

The article questions Zhao's testimony that she saw many  policemen beating and kicking Falun Dafa practitioners". The article points out Zhao failed in the United States to answer  questions from reporters on why she was not "bleeding in the face" and had no "bruises or black eyes" like others on the square.

On February 5, at 2 a.m., Zhao and some other Falun Gong practitioners -- not 1,200 of them, as Zhao claimed in her testimony -- were removed from the square in police vans.

They were sent to a holding center under the Municipal Public Security Bureau. At the center, Zhao told police she is a local resident and lives at 12 Liulisi, Andingmen, Dongcheng District.

At 4 p.m., Zhao was taken to the Dongcheng Public Security Branch, where she continued to conceal her identity and refused to answer other questions. The Dongcheng police branch detained her in accordance with the law.
 
However, in her testimony, Zhao said, "I told them I was an  American citizen. They did not believe me and sent me to a prison cell."
 

From February 6-10, Zhao was in temporary custody in the  Dongcheng Detention Center, which has the best conditions and is the most modernized of any such facility in Beijing, the article says.

Last year, during their visit to the place, some officials from the UN Committee Against Torture spoke highly of the conditions  there and its humanitarian treatment of the people in custody, according to the article.

Each cell has a toilet, and hot water is supplied twice a week for the inmates to take showers. According to the rules, newcomers must take baths.
 
The detention center has a scientifically-designed, heated  wooden platform on which those in detention sleep. Zhao said in her testimony that she and others slept on "one big wooden platform," according to the article.
 
During the Spring Festival, the number of baths inmates in the detention center were permitted to take was increased, and Zhao took showers on February 5, 8 and 10. Guo Guilan, who was in the same cell with Zhao, said she and Zhao bathed together. But, Zhao claimed in her testimony that "In the entire time I was there, we  weren't allowed to take any showers".

The article says that Zhao, who came to Beijing to get a "first-hand look at what was really going on", did not mention in her testimony the fact that police in the detention center had never beaten, cursed or tortured these Falun Gong members and other inmates. Both Yin Fengyan and Liang Fuwei, who stayed with Zhao in the same cell, have confirmed this, it says.
 
On February 9, the US Embassy in China abruptly sent a fax to the Beijing Municipal Public Security Bureau saying that Zhao, a US citizen, was arrested while taking pictures of those who were practicing Falun Gong on Tiananmen Square. The Municipal Public Security Bureau contacted the US Embassy immediately, asking it to
help provide Zhao's identification documents.

On the evening of February 10, the US Embassy sent Zhao's passport to the Municipal Public Security Bureau.

The Dongcheng Branch of the Beijing Public Security Bureau released Zhao from the Dongcheng Detention Center immediately after verifying her identity. She expressed her sincere thanks to the policemen involved.

At 10 a.m. on February 12, Zhao left Beijing International Airport by a Northwest flight.

She made a brief farewell phone call to her father, uncle, and aunt at the airport before boarding the plane. It was the first and only call Zhao made to inform her family members of her stay in Beijing.

During her eight-day detention, she did not submit any requests to the Chinese police for meeting with representatives from the US Embassy in Beijing.
 
She also declined the services of a lawyer.

These are the facts. But Zhao claimed that in the entire time she was in detention, "None of the practitioners were allowed any contact with the outside, nor were family or relatives allowed to visit."

An investigation indicated that since the Chinese government outlawed Falun Gong on July 22, 1999, none of the family members or relatives of Falun Gong practitioners, including Zhao's father,had received any notices of "huge fines" because of their involvement in Falun Gong.

Sources from the Ministry of Justice said the ministry's re-education through labor centers and prisons have reported no cases of mistreatment of detained Falun Gong practitioners.

Zhao's claim that "11 people are known to have died while in police custody" is absurd.
Zhao's "China trip" ended ahead of schedule, but the farce featuring the Falun Gong practitioners has just begun. The "drama" continued after the March 2 congressional hearing.

After March 11 when a spokesman of the Chinese Consulate in New York refuted Zhao's testimony at the hearing, Zhao revised her  statement that she was in China on a "fact-finding" mission.

Suddenly, actions she previously said she "saw firsthand" became actions she had only "heard about from other sources." Her testimony that she "wasn't permitted to bathe" changed into a  statement that she in fact took "three showers."

During the UN human rights conference in Geneva, Zhang Erping and some other core members of the Falun Gong held frequent news conferences, group practice of Falun Gong and other activities.

Zhao continued to join in the farce, taking a lead role.

Zhao's infatuation with Falun Gong had been earlier denounced by her father, aunt and uncle. After her detention, her relatives expressed their anger and disappointment with her behavior.
 
"I'm afraid she has become a sacrificial object of Li Hongzhi, her father said.

Observers here have tried to figure out the connections between the overseas anti-China forces, Li Hongzhi and his Falun Gong cult, Tracy Zhao, illegal gatherings at Tiananmen Square,  Zhao's "fact-finding" tour, her statement to the US congressional committee as well as the US attacks on China's human rights conditions and Zhao
's lies about "persecution" and "abuse."
  Zhao's story has once again reminded the Chinese people of the  "marvels" of Li Hongzhi's "truth, compassion and tolerance."

The latest paraphrase of the three words is believed to be that that lies would become truth if repeating them for one thousand times; to bring shame on the motherland, the perilous intention  would become an benevolent one while the "tolerance" becomes means for achieving goals.

Zhao's lies have turned into a "priceless treasure" for some anti-China forces. The Chinese people have seen time and again that these forces will use any means to gain their end.
 

 


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