To investigate the criminal conduct of all institutions, organizations, and individuals involved in the persecution of Falun Gong; to bring such investigations, no matter how long it takes, no matter how far and deep we have to search, to full closure; to exercise fundamental principles of humanity; and to restore and uphold justice in society.

Human Rights Watch - Excerpts from the Publication

August 25, 2004
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Human Rights Watch - Excerpt from "Dangerous Meditation"

"China's efforts to equate the Falun Gong with terrorists are ludicrous...he charge that Falun Gong threatens the stability of China does not hold up.  Its claim that belief in Falun Gong is a public health menace is equally bogus.  The danger to health comes from the treatment its practitioners receive at the hands of the police and prison officials." HRW, 01/2002.


This appendix provides a list of the laws and regulations most often used by the Chinese government in its effort to eradicate Falun Gong. Note that many of these laws were not developed to repress Falun Gong but are part of a broader system of social control in China.

Social Organizations Regulations

When the Ministry of Civil Affairs banned Falun Gong on July 22, 1999, it listed six reasons for doing so. Only one was narrowly framed, that Falun Gong was not registered "according to law" as stipulated in the "Regulations on the Registration and Management of Social Organizations" (hereafter Social Organizations Regulations).[85] Once Falun Gong was declared illegal, the Ministry of Public Security was in a position to prohibit a whole series of activities that negated the rights of Falun Gong believers to freely associate, express their views, and manifest their beliefs.

The assertion that Falun Gong was illegal because it had not registered was disingenuous. As noted in Chapter II above, beginning in 1996, Falun Gong, or more precisely, the Falun Dafa Research Society, had tried three times to register as a social organization, through the National Minority Affairs Commission, the China Buddhist Federation, and the United Front Work Department.[86] All applications were denied.

To be accepted as a social organization, Falun Gong would have had to circumvent a registration system so skewed that the government could "legally" refuse registration to any organization it chose. Article 4 of the Social Organizations Regulations, particularly its final clauses, lays out the basic problem:

Social organizations should abide by the Constitution, laws, regulations, and the state's policy. They are not allowed to oppose the basic principles defined by the Constitution; endanger the state's unification and safety and national unity; damage the state's interests, public interests of society, and legal rights and benefits of other organizations and citizens; [or] go against social ethics and habit.

The Regulations violate internationally recognized principles of free association by giving officials broad authority to determine what groups may and may not exist. They open the door to politically motivated crackdowns on unpopular groups or organizations disfavored by the Chinese leadership. China's use of the Regulations to ban Falun Gong illustrates the shortcomings. First, although there had been complaints about certain Falun Gong doctrines, there was no move to ban the group until after the mass rally in April 1999, when the organization suddenly acquired a political profile. Second, the claims made by the Chinese government in justifying the ban were not based on rigorous analysis of actual threats, but on unsupported allegations and innuendo.

At the time Falun Gong was banned, the Ministry of Civil Affairs cited two types of "evidence" to justify its action: one, the danger to the health, mental stability, and economic well being (the costs of purchasing Falun Gong materials) of individual practitioners; and the other, the costs to society as a whole. The latter were said to include Falun Gong's habit of "gathering illegally" in such a way that "social production, work and daily life" were seriously impaired, and of disrupting social order through rumor-mongering and factual distortion. According to a sub-group of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, social order includes, "order in social enlightenment through education [and] order in social traditions," both of which, it asserted, were seriously violated by Li Hongzhi's position that illness can be cured without recourse to medical treatment.[87]

The Chinese government assertion that Falun Gong poses a threat to practitioners' health lacks a secure basis in fact. In order to support its claims, Chinese officials alleged that some 1,600 Falun Gong followers died because they took seriously Li Hongzhi's advice that sick people could regain health without medical intervention.[88] The cases were never objectively documented, however, and, even if 1,600 practitioners did die after refusing medical treatment, the inference that any one of them would have lived had he or she done otherwise would require additional proof, which to date has not been proffered. Similar defects characterize Chinese government claims that Falun Gong leads to psychological disturbances in practitioners.

The charge by Chinese officials that Falun Gong practice constituted a public order menace also lacked a basis in fact. Prior to the ban, Falun Gong routines in public parks had been similar to those of other exercise groups. Practice was convivial, low-key, and contained. Furthermore, before and after the crackdown, Falun Gong protests were peaceful, quiet, and thoroughly disciplined. Even those around government buildings or media outlets did not interfere with work regimes. It was the government's insistence that demonstrations be ended quickly, and the Public Security Bureau's use of force, that turned many protests into public order problems. The claim that "social production, work and daily life" were disrupted is also spurious. Many Falun Gong followers were workers who had been laid off or had retired, and had plenty of time to practice. Those still working could easily accommodate a Falungong session early in the morning or late in the day. For generations, Chinese workers have risen early or extended their day in order to exercise.

The Assembly Law and Implementing Regulations

Chinese officials were quick to point out that the April 25 protest at Zhongnanhai, which took the city completely by surprise, was prima facie evidence of Falun Gong failure to comply with Chinese law. Falun Gong practitioners did not attempt to obtain a permit for the April 25 protest nor did they attempt to do so for many other public actions. The fact that Falun Gong did not seek a permit is not difficult to explain: the law gives officials all but unbridled discretion to refuse to issue such permits and requests are routinely denied.

The "PRC Law on Assembly, Procession and Demonstration" (hereafter Assembly Law) and the "Regulations for the Implementation of the Law of Assembly, Procession and Demonstration of the People's Republic of China"[89] require that groups apply to the police for permits prior to demonstrations. Permission can be denied if the activity "infringe[s] upon the interests of the state, society and collectives," or would "endanger national unification, sovereignty or territorial integrity...or there is ample evidence to prove that the assembly, parade or demonstration will directly jeopardize public security or seriously undermine public order."

According to the Assembly Law, the police may issue a warning or detain violators for up to fifteen days. If the illegal assembly results in a "serious" disruption to public order, those deemed responsible may also receive administrative or criminal punishment as stipulated in the "PRC Regulations on Public Order Control and Punishment" (detailed below) and the "PRC Criminal Law" (also detailed below).[90]

Beijing city regulations, including the "Regulations of the Beijing People's Government on the Places and its Surrounding Areas Where Mass Rallies and Demonstrations Are Prohibited" and the "Notice of the Beijing People's Government" reinforce the Assembly Law by specifically prohibiting rallies in and around Tiananmen Square without the permission of the State Council and the municipal government. In addition, the city regulations prohibit the display or distribution of "propaganda materials" in the affected areas. On November 24, 1999, the Ministry of Public Security issued new public assembly regulations prohibiting gatherings of 200 or more for mass cultural and sporting activities, such as concerts, sports meets, and public exercise sessions such as qiqong practice without explicit police approval.[91]

Public Order Regulations

Chinese authorities have often cited the "PRC Regulations on Public Order Control and Punishment" (hereafter Public Order Regulations) against Falun Gong members. The regulations, although not part of the criminal law, provide for up to fifteen days detention and fines of up to 200 yuan (approximately U.S.$25).

The Public Order Regulations are applicable when "acts that disturb social order, jeopardize public security, infringe upon citizens' rights and violate property owned by the government or individuals...are not punishable according to the PRC Criminal Law." Authorities have often used the regulations rather than criminal law provisions against rank and file practitioners to show their "generosity" and, thus, refrain from permanently alienating them.

Specific provisions in the regulations which Chinese authorities have repeatedly cited as practitioner offenses include:

- Article 19 (1) "where an act disturbs order in an organization, group, enterprise or non-profit institution to the extent that work, production, operation, medical treatment, education, or scientific research cannot operate as normal but serious losses have not been incurred";

- Article 19 (2) "where it disturbs order at a station, wharf, civil aviation center, market, bazaar, park, cinema, or opera theater, public entertainment center, sports center, exhibition hall, or other public places";

- Article 19 (5) "where it involves fabrication or distortion of facts, intentional spreading of rumors, or use of other methods to stir up or disturb public order framing and distorting facts, spreading rumors, or instigating to disrupt social order";

- Article 24 (4) "disturbing social order, endangering public interests and harming other people's physical health or swindling their money or belongings through secret sects or societies, or by means of feudalistic or superstitious customs; but the conduct does not warrant a punishment for criminal offense;

- Article 24 (6) "violating the regulations for social group registration..."

The regulations designate public security bureaus and sub-bureaus, that is the police, as both sentencing authority and collector of fines. Neither prosecutors nor courts play any role. The implications for corruption are obvious. Fines that are not paid "on the spot" or within five days incur late charges of one to five yuan a day. (The maximum comes to less than U.S.$1.) Refusal to pay a fine incurs additional punishment (Article 36). Some Falun Gong practitioners detained for failure to pay fines reportedly have been severely beaten and a few are said to have died.[92] The regulations require that detainees pay for their own food.

The regulations provide for "appeal" (Article 39) and adjudication within five days from receipt of the petition, but, unless bail is provided, "the original sentence shall be enforced" pending the outcome.

According to the regulations, "A person who commits public security offense...shall be given a heavier punishment: where the offense produces serious consequences; where a person coerces or tricks others, or instigates a person under the age of 18 into violating public security... where a person refuses to mend his ways despite repeated offenses" (Article 17). None of these vague terms-"serious consequences," "tricks others," and so on-are further defined in the regulations, opening the door to politically motivated applications. Chinese authorities have often claimed that Falun Gong practitioners meet all the conditions warranting heavier punishment.

The PRC Criminal Law

Falun Gong members have been prosecuted under Criminal Law provisions relating to public order, health, fraud, assembly, organizing and utilizing cults, and "fabricating and disseminating superstitious fallacies to hoodwink people."[93] Some of the same offenses may also be classified as non-criminal, thus falling within the purview of administrative procedures such as the above-mentioned Public Order Regulations or the 1992 "Detailed Regulations in the Administration of Reeducation Through Labor" (discussed in Appendix I) under which as many as 10,000 practitioners may have been sentenced to reeducation camps.

Article 300 of China's Criminal Law provides for prosecution of a person who "organizes and utilizes superstitious sects...or sabotages the implementation of the state's laws or executive regulations by utilizing superstition."[94] The article is cross-referenced to other provisions in the criminal code which mandate punishments up to and including the death penalty for sect organized activities.[95]

As described in Chapter III above, China's Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procurator on October 8-9, 1999 promulgated their "Explanations . . . on Applying Specific Laws to Handle Cases of Organizing and Utilizing Heretical Sects to Commit Crimes." This document sets forth a list of activities subject to punishment under Article 300, a list clearly drawn up with prosecution of Falun Gong practitioners in mind. The list includes:

- besieging government organs and disrupting their work,

- holding illegal assemblies,

- refusing to disband when ordered to do so,

- publishing cult materials,

- recruiting trans-regionally,

- collaborating with overseas organizations and individuals,

- causing deaths and injuries,

- spreading superstitious heresies,

- instigating or coercing suicide or self-mutilation,

- sexually exploiting women and girls,

- swindling money or property,

- splitting the country or overthrowing the socialist system,

- and the ubiquitous catchall "other activities that undermine the enforcement of state laws or administrative regulations."

On June 11, 2001, guidance on how the Criminal Law should apply to "sects" was taken a step further with the promulgation of a document entitled "Interpretation `II' . . . on Applying Specific Laws to Handle Cases of Organizing and Utilizing Heretical Sects to Commit Crimes" (hereafter, Interpretation II). Authorities described the document as a necessary response to the self-immolation event in Tiananmen Square in January 2001 and to the Falun Gong tactical shift that followed.[96] In essence, Interpretation II attempted to make certain, through thorough enumeration, that no Falun Gong activity, no matter how limited or seemingly innocuous, could escape punishment.[97]

For example, Interpretation II provides that "those who organize, plot, instigate, incite, and help cult personnel to kill or injure themselves are to be convicted and punished on charges of murder with intent and intent to injure." It also provides that individuals involved in self-immolation attempts should be prosecuted on charges of jeopardizing public security. Interpretation II further states that if small assemblies of a banned sect's members make trouble, Article 300 of the Criminal Law is applicable; if the assembly is violent, Article 277 is germane; when state secrets are breached, Articles 111, 282, and 398 are to be invoked. Interpretation II also makes explicit the penalties to be imposed for the manufacture and dissemination of enumerated quantities of "cult propaganda materials" that incite split-ism or jeopardize national security," and it specified criminal punishments for small-scale publishing, printing, and distribution activities (see below).

In line with Chinese government efforts to separate "backbone elements" from those who could be "reeducated," Interpretation II provided that courts have the option of imposing lighter penalties than those provided for in the Criminal Law.

State Secrets and State Security Laws

Characterizations of Falun Gong as organizationally cohesive and in league with hostile forces both inside and outside the country made it possible for the Chinese government to prosecute practitioners under the "PRC Law on Protecting State Secrets" and the "State Security Law of the People's Republic of China." Official reports suggest that authorities used such charges almost exclusively against Falun Gong practitioners with access to government documents who moved the "stolen" documents through a train of practitioners to recipients outside China. For example, in December 1999, in one of the first Falun Gong cases that went to trial, four top leaders, Li Chang, Wang Zhiwen, Ji Liewu, and Yao Jie, received sentences ranging between seven and eighteen years in part for possessing and leaking state secrets. According to official media, after Li discovered top secret, secret, and confidential documents related to the government's investigation of Falun Gong, he and the others openly disseminated the contents to practitioners as a means of inciting them to take part in a show of strength.[98] In mid-June 1999, a month before the ban on Falun Gong, Xu Xinmu, a manager in Hebei province's Bureau of Affairs and Administration, allegedly leaked documents about the government's planned crackdown to followers in the provincial capital and published at least one of the documents on the Internet.[99] Zhe Yuefan, who worked in the Leshan, Sichuan province, auditing bureau, "borrowed" a circular and two appendices about printing and distribution of reference materials relating to Falun Gong. The document made its way to a Chinese-Australian who disseminated the content widely. According to a television report, "After appraisal, it was determined that the circular is a classified document."[100] Many of the documents involved government plans for impending moves against Falun Gong.

Article 4 of the State Security Law bans acts carried out by organizations and individuals inside China in collusion with or with the support of those outside the country. Such acts include: "plotting to subvert the government, dismember the state and overthrow the socialist system," "stealing, secretly gathering, buying and illegally providing state secrets," and the catch-all "other sabotage activities." The implementing regulations, "Detailed Rules for Implementing the State Security Law of the PRC," additionally list "fabricating or distorting facts, publishing or disseminating written or verbal speeches or producing or propagating audio and visual products which endanger state security"; and "endanger[ing] state security through establishing social organizations."[101] Again, the vague terms of the law and implementing regulations invite politically motivated application.

The State Secrets Law begins by defining state secrets vaguely as "matters that involve state security and national interests" (Article 2).[102] Although the law specifies a number of categories of offenses, such as breach of national defense that are obviously legitimate, its provisions include open-ended language that could be applied to a vast range of publicly available material or material that is usually not categorized as state secrets, such as "secrets of political parties" (Article 8). Article 4 of the implementing regulations, "Implementing Measures for the PRC Law on Protecting State Secrets," for example, provides that "items whose leakage may have any of the following results shall be classified as State secrets," and includes broadly worded categories of "results" such as harm to State unification, national unity and social stability. The broad reach of the law is further evidenced in Article 40 of the Implementing Regulations which leave interpretation of the law to the State secret departments (Article 40).[103] These are "functional organizations of the State Council" ("the highest executive organ of State power, as well as the highest organ of State administration") at the county level or above which have the responsibility of protecting state secrets within their respective administrative districts (Article 2).

Chinese courts have accused or charged people with "leaking state secrets" even when the information was already known to millions. Examples include sending overseas local newspapers readily available on the streets of China, collecting information from local bookstores for use in academic research, publishing information about official corruption, or even complaining about local corruption to central government officials.

Laws Governing Electronic and Print Media

From the beginning of the crackdown, the courts handed down harsh sentences to Falun Gong practitioners engaged in large-scale publishing, printing, duplicating, or distribution of the group's materials. Until June 2001, authorities relied heavily on the 1997 administrative "Regulations on Publishing Administration," which set forth draconian requirements for application, registration, submission of annual publishing plans, and which included reporting requirements for all would-be publishing industry units.[104]

Article 5 of the 1997 regulations, used both as a basis for banning Falun Gong publications and for sentencing purveyors of the publications, requires publishers to observe basic constitutional principles and forbids harm to the state and society. Article 25 specifically prohibits any publication that promotes superstition, subverts "social ethics and the fine cultural traditions of our nation," or "slander[s]" others, all charges Chinese leaders have repeatedly leveled against Falun Gong publications. The regulations called for fining perpetrators more than double but less than ten times "the illegally earned incomes." In "serious" cases, operations may be temporarily halted or shut down permanently. Article 45 provides that, in cases where the publisher's activities constitute crimes, "criminal responsibility shall be investigated according to the law."

By mid-2001, with large-scale publication and dissemination effectively shut down, the Supreme Court and Supreme Procurator moved, through Interpretation II, to more forcefully control proliferation of small scale duplication and distribution of materials publicizing "heretical sects." In response to Falun Gong activities such as stuffing mailboxes, publicizing the names and phone numbers of especially brutal police officers and prison guards, and specifically targeting President Jiang for criticism in their handouts, Interpretation II stipulated that Article 300 and its criminal sanctions applied to all cases involving distribution of "more than 300 copies of leaflets, pictures, posters and newspapers" or more than one hundred copies of books, CDs, cassettes or video tapes about heretic sects; to the manufacture and distribution of a master DVD, VCR, or CD; to use of Internet sites for the compilation and distribution of information; and to publicity displays in public places including the hanging of scrolls or spraying of slogans."[105]

Internet Regulations

Falun Gong followers have made effective use of e-mail and the Internet in sustaining their movement. The Chinese government has responded with an aggressive campaign. According to Falun Gong practitioners, the government closed down all its websites within China almost immediately after the April 1999 protest and installed filtering devices to block access to overseas Falun Gong sites. Practitioners outside China who maintained Falun Gong sites reported repeated cyber attacks.[106] By August, 1999, the government had an anti- Falun Gong website up and running.[107]

In October 2000 and again in December 2000, new sets of Internet regulations specifically banned use of the Internet for "evil cult" activities, although a regulation dating back to December 1997 already provided that "No unit or individual may use the Internet to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit. . . information promoting feudal superstition" (Article 5).[108] Then, on February 26,2001, a filter to block access to Falun Gong and other allegedly dangerous sites was released. The software, named Internet Police 110, could be used with home computers, in campus computer centers, and in Internet cafes. It was capable of alerting Internet administrators when illegal surfing occurred.[109] Earlier, there had been reports that state security agents had installed monitoring devices on the computers of Internet Service Providers in order to track individual e-mail accounts.[110]

In recent years, Chinese authorities have issued more than sixty sets of regulations governing the Internet.[111] Four regulations are of particular relevance to Falun Gong practitioners. The October 1, 2000, "Measures for Managing Internet Information Services" requires either licensing or reporting of services for the record; limits the kinds of content that can be "produce[d], reproduce[d], release[d], or disseminate[d]," including cult activity; restricts foreign investment; and mandates severe fines for violators.[112] The "Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China" which also affects foreign organizations and individuals prohibits telecommunications networks from making, duplicating, issuing or disseminating "material that undermines state religious policies or promotes cults and feudal superstitions," or that "spreads rumors, disturbs social order or undermines social stability."[113]

"The Decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Safeguarding Internet Safety," promulgated on December 28, 2000, deals with subverting state power, stealing state secrets, and "organizing evil cults and contacting cult members through the Internet to damage the implementation of state law and administrative laws and regulations."[114]

"Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection and Management Regulations," issued by the Ministry of Public Security in December 1997 forbid any unit or individual from using the Internet to "to create, replicate, retrieve, or transmit" certain kinds of information including destroying social order, promoting feudal superstition, or engaging in "other activities against the Constitution, laws or administrative regulations." The regulations also mandate that those in the Internet business must accept supervision, inspection, and guidance from public security organs and assist in the discovery and handling of violations and criminal activity. In other words, the regulations hold the service providers responsible for the sites their customers visit.[115]

In addition to the regulations described above, new regulations entitled "Secrecy Protection Regulations for Computer Information Systems and the Internet," issued by the State Secrecy Bureau and in effect as of January 1, 2000, regulate information flows between computer information systems within China and foreign systems. The rigorous restrictions provide that "any information concerning state secrets, including information that is approved for distribution to designated overseas recipients, shall not be stored, processed or transmitted via computer systems with Internet access" (Article 7).[116]

Given how vaguely the term state secrets is applied and the suspicion that the designation is often applied post hoc, the restriction could apply to all information not officially approved for publication. Article 8 makes those who disseminate the information "ultimately responsible," with the result that "information provided to websites must go through security checks and an approval process." The article further requires that not only "information providers, but "all relevant government agencies and ministries" undergo security checks and an approval process. Article 10 extended the restrictions to "units and users that establish electronic bulletin boards, chat rooms or network news groups." E-mail use was also affected. As of January 1, 2001, those in violation were subject to the death penalty.[117]

As noted, Falun Gong practitioners in China take considerable risk by circulating news within China and by sending and receiving messages to and from overseas. Much, if not all of their communication, is subject to the Secrecy Protection Regulations.

85 "Social Organization Registration and Management Regulations," Xinhua, November 3, 1998, in "China: Regulations on Social Organizations," FBIS, November 6, 1998. The six reasons listed in the banning notice included: "not registered according to law and has engaged in illegal activities, propagated superstition and fallacies, deluded the people, incited and created disturbances, and disrupted social stability"; "Decision of the Ministry of Civil Affairs of the People's Republic of China Concerning the Banning of the Research Society of Falun Dafa," Chinese Law and Government, Volume 32, No.5 (issue titled "The Battle Between the Chinese Government and the Falun Gong," Ming Xia and Shiping Hua, eds.), September-October 1999, pp. 31-32

[86] James Tong, "Behind the Falun Gong Facade: Organizational Structure and Finance," unpublished article, September 2000 (copy on file at Human Rights Watch). (Back)

[87] "The Socialist Legal System is Sacred...," Legal Science Subgroup of the Chinese Academy of Social Science, in World News Connection, August 11, 1999. (Back)

[88] "Chinese Ambassador to US: Falun Gong Trying to Cheat Western Public Opinion," FBIS, July 26, 2001, from Xinhua, July 26, 2001; Xinhua, "Renmin Ribao Commentator: ` Falun Gong ' Heretical Teaching Harmful...," FBIS, April 27, 2001. (Back)

[89] "PRC Law on Assemblies, Parades and Demonstration," British Broadcasting Corporation Summary of World Broadcasts, November 2, 1989, from Xinhua, October 31, 1989; "Regulations for the Implementation of the Law of Assembly, Procession and Demonstration of the People's Republic of China," June 1992. Special regulations and stringent penalties are in force at some government sites. (Back)

[90] "Regulations governing public offences," BBC Summary of World Broadcasts, May 18, 1999, from Xinhua, May 13, 1994; "Text of Criminal Law," FBIS, March 25, 1997, from Xinhua, March 17, 1997. (Back)

[91] "China to regulate mass gatherings," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, November 24, 1999, from Xinhua, November 24, 1999. (Back)

[92] Ian Johnson, "Death Trap: How One Chinese City...," Wall Street Journal, December 26, 2000. (Back)

[93] "China: Four leading Falun Gong members tried and sentenced," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, December 28, 1999, from Xinhua, December 27, 1999. (Back)

[94] Article 300. Whoever organizes and utilizes superstitious sects, secret societies, and evil religious organizations or sabotages the implementation of the state's laws and executive regulations by utilizing superstition is to be sentenced to not less than three years and not more than seven years of fixed-term imprisonment; when circumstances are particularly serious, to not less than seven years of fixed-term imprisonment.

Whoever organizes and utilizes superstitious sects, secret societies, and evil religious organizations or cheats others by utilizing superstition, thereby giving rise to the death of people is to be punished in accordance with the previous paragraph.

Whoever organizes and utilizes superstitious sects, secret societies, and evil religious organizations or has illicit sexual relations with women, defraud money and property by utilizing superstition is to be convicted and punished in accordance with the regulations of articles 236, 266 of the law. ("CHINA: Text of Criminal Law," FBIS, March 25, 1997, from Xinhua, March 17, 1997.) (Back)

[95] See Articles 300, 232, 234, 236, 266, 290, 293, 296, 103, and 105 of the Criminal Law. (Back)

[96] "Responsible Persons of the Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procurator Answer Questions by a Xinhua Reporter: Correctly Apply Laws To Crack Down On the Criminal Activities of Cult Organizations," Xinhua, June 10, 2001, in "Responsible Persons of Supreme People's Court and Supreme People's Procurator Answer Xinhua Questions on Cracking Down On Cult Organizations," FBIS, June 13, 2001. (Back)

[97] Xinhua, "Responsible Persons of the Supreme People's Court...," FBIS, June 13, 2001. (Back)

[98] "Four Leading Falun Gong members tried and sentenced," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, December 28, 1999, from Xinhua, December 27, 1999; "China: Falun Gong sect accused of disclosing state secrets," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, October 27, 1999, from Xinhua, October 25, 1999. (Back)

[99] "China: Radio roundup on arrest of Falun Gong members," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, November 7, 1999, from Central People's Broadcasting Station, November 7, 1999; "China Sentences Banned Sect Member to 4 Years in Prison," Dow Jones Newswires, January 4, 2000. (Back)

[100] "China: Sichuan arrests Falun Gong follower for state secrets leak," BBC Worldwide Monitoring, November 4, 1999, from Sichuan Television, November 3, 1999. (Back)

[101] State Security Law of the People's Republic of China, Adopted by the National People's Congress Standing Committee, February 22, 1993. See also Article 23; "Detailed Rules for Implementing the State Security Law of the PRC," Xinhua, July 12, 1994, FBIS, July 25, 1994. (Back)

[102] PRC Law on Protecting State Secrets, in force as of May 1, 1989, (Back)

[103] "Implementation Measures for the PRC Law on Protecting State Secrets," promulgated by the Bureau for the Protection of State Secrets, April 25, 1990, (Back)

[104] "Regulations on Publishing Administration," Xinhua, January 14, 1997, in "China: State Issues Regulations on Publishing Industry," FBIS, January 17, 1997. (Back)

[105] "PRC Supreme Court's Interpretation on Laws Concerning Cult-related Cases," FBIS, June 10, 2001, from Xinhua, June 10, 2001; Xinhua, "Responsible Persons of the Supreme People's Court...," FBIS, June 13, 2001. (Back)

[106] Jonathan Dube, "China Ate My Web Site: Falun Gong Says Government Hacked Sites," ABC, August 5, 1999; Oscar S. Cisneros, "ISPs Accuse China of Infowar," Wired News,,1283,21030,00.html, July 30, 1999. (Back)

[107] Michael Laris, "Beijing Turns the Internet On Its Enemies; Sect Members Abroad Claim State Harassment," Washington Post, August 4, 1999. (Back)

[108] The October 2000 regulations can be found at "Measures for Managing Internet Information Services," Xinhua, October 1, 2000, in "China rules on Internet information services," BBC Monitoring, October 5, 2000. The December 2000 regulations, which provide in relevant part, "Article 15. IIS providers shall not produce, reproduce, release, or disseminate information with the following contents: ...(5) Information that undermines the state's policy for religions, or that preaches evil cults or feudalistic and superstitious beliefs..." can be found in "The Decisions of the National People's Congress Standing Committee on Safeguarding Internet Safety," Xinhua, December 28, 2000, in "China issues `Decisions' on Internet security," BBC Monitoring, January 1, 2001. The 1997 regulations, titled "Computer Information Network and Internet Security, Protection and Management Regulations," were issued by the Ministry of Public Security, December 30, 1997. See also "Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China," Article 57, effective September 25, 2000; "Freedom of Expression and the Internet in China: A Human Rights Watch Backgrounder,", August 1, 2001. (Back)

[109] Raymond Li, "Police release software to block Falun Gong Web sites," South China Morning Post, February 6, 2001. (Back)

[110] Despite these efforts, Falun Gong has managed to maintain public websites in Asia, Europe, and North and South America, many of them linked. In Asia, for example, fifteen sites are promoted by Falun Gong's major electronic publication ( including sites in India, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Saipan, Japan, and Korea. The U.S. list alone comes to almost seventy sites, although all may not be operable and some are mirror sites. Falun Gong leader, Li Hongzhi, who lives in the U.S., relies on the network to keep in close touch with his followers. Falun Gong also maintains internal websites which cannot be accessed by the casual surfer. Information about Falun Gong's e-mail network, other than the one maintained for publicity purposes, is not available. Control of e-mail traffic is no easy task and reports indicate that e-mail is still used by Falun Gong followers to maintain internal contact. Craig S. Smith, "Sect  Clings to the Web in the Face of Beijing's Ban," New York Times, July 5, 2001; Matthew Forney, "The Breaking Point," Time Asia, June 26, 2001. (Back)

[111] Human Rights Watch, "Freedom of Expression and the Internet...," August 1, 2001. (Back)

[112] "Measures for Managing...," BBC Monitoring. (Back)

[113] "Telecommunications Regulations of the People's Republic of China," Article 57, effective September 25, 2000. (Back)

[114] Xinhua, "The Decisions of the National People's Congress...," BBC Monitoring. (Back)

[115] "Computer Information Network and Internet Security...," Ministry of Public Security. (Back)

[116] Lester J. Gesteland, "Internet Censored Further in China," ChinaOnline News, http://www.chinaonline/com/issues/...otected/2000/January/c00012651.asp, January 26, 2000; "State Secrets Administration for the Internet," in China Legal Change, 2000, Issue No.2, January 31, 2000, (Back)

[117] "Explanations on Certain Questions Concerning the Specific Application of Law in the Trial of Cases of Stealing, Making Secret Inquiries of or Buying State Secrets and Intelligence and Illegally Providing Gathered State Secrets and Intelligence for Units Outside the Country," in "China: Supreme People's Court on Stealing State Secrets," BBC Monitoring, January 23, 2001, from Xinhua, January 21, 2001.