[CND, 07/29/99] A court in central China has decided to take on a civil case against the leader of the recently-banned Falungong group, AFP reported on Wednesday, quoting China Central Television (CCTV). An official in the People's Court in Sanhe, Hebei Province, has accepted the case, which was filed by 20 people, claiming to have been victimized by the sect, CCTV said.
A local law firm said that it would represent some plaintiffs to seek compensation from LI Hongzhi, the founder and leader of Falungong. In an announcement, CHEN Wenxiu, the lawyer representing the victims, accused Li and the local Falungong leaders of criminal offences, involving illegal gathering, and superstitious activities that threatened people's lives. One alleged victim died when he tried to walk on water after Leader Li told him he could do so. Li has also been accused of being responsible for another member's disability.
CCTV has recently expanded its half-an-hour evening news program to two hours to air anti-Falun Gong reports nationwide.
(LIU Weijun, WU Yiyi)
[CND, 07/29/99] A massive purge is underway within the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) during its nation wide crack down on Falungong, the Hong Kong Standard reported on Wednesday. The CCP Central Committee and its Department of Organization ordered all Party branches to intensify the political and ideological struggle against the superstition and pseudo-science of Falungong.
Sources said that the purge, which aimed at eliminating any influence of the sect within the Party before October 1, the 50th anniversary of the People's Republic of China, consists of three stages. In the first stage, all Party members must report their activities involved with Falungong. A nationwide education program on the sect will follow to "raise the awareness of members." During the final phase, all Party members are expected to denounce and break away from the cult. Those who have been associated with the cult will be subject to self-criticism. The Party leadership was reportedly furious by the fact that Falungong had infiltrated at the very high level within the Party. Some vice-ministerial level cadres are practitioners of Falungong, one source revealed.
According to the sect's Hong Kong practitioners, WANG Youqun, who is from the Legal and Regulatory Office of the CCP Central Disciplinary Inspection Commission, wrote a 7,300 word open letter to the Party leadership in May. In that letter, Mr. Wang suggested that Falungong was beneficial rather than harmful to the country and to its people. He urged all Politburo members to read the book of the sect founder LI Hongzhi.
Another official with the Supervisory Ministry was believed be one of the key organizers of the April 25 rally when thousands of Falungong followers staged a sit-in outside Zhongnanhai, the Party and central government compound. The authority had published a book detailing the heretical doctrines of Falungong, Xinhua News Agency reported. It also said that authority must destroy all publications of the sect.
Other official media have already joined in a barrage of attacks on the outlawed sect. The People's Daily claimed that Falungong had attempted to become a political force to challenge the Communist Party's rule. Political analysts said the crackdown of the semi-religious sect had evolved to a full-scale Party purge, conducted in a "cultural revolution" style mass movement.
Although there is no official figure on how many Party members are involved in Falungong, the Party estimated that around 400,000 cadres have joined the sect, one fifth of the sect's two million followers. All key organizers of the sect are facing criminal charges and disciplinary proceedings.
(LIU Weiming, WU Yiyi)