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.

Investigative Report on the "Tiananmen Square Self-immolation" Incident (Part I)

May 12, 2003
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1. Background

At 2:41 P.M., on January 23, 2001, a self-immolation incident allegedly took place in Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. It is common knowledge that the Chinese government’s Xinhua News Agency and the Chinese Central Television Station (CCTV) routinely guard information about this type of incident. Nonetheless, they immediately reported on the case, alleging that the five individuals who committed self-immolation and two others who attempted to commit self-immolation were Falun Gong practitioners. However, Falun Gong practitioners firmly denied the allegation, stating that the act of self-immolation is a gross violation of the principles and teachings of Falun Gong. Some international media and independent institutions have also raised serious doubts.

Shortly after the incident, Philip Pan, a reporter from the Washington Post, went to the hometown of Liu Chunling, the woman who died in the self-immolation, to conduct an independent investigation. In his front-page article on February 4, 2001, Pan revealed that none of her neighbors thought that Liu was a Falun Gong practitioner, nor had they ever seen Liu practicing Falun Gong exercises. The International Education Development (IED) made an official statement at the United Nations on August 14, 2001: “...The regime points to a supposed self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square on January 23, 2001 as proof to slander Falun Gong. However, we have obtained a video of that incident that in our view proves that this event was staged by the government.” Nonetheless, the self-immolation incident has been used as a major tool in the Chinese regime’s global campaign to slander Falun Gong. The regime has also used this alleged incident in an intense national campaign to vilify Falun Gong practitioners to the Chinese people.

Based on analysis of this alleged self-immolation from multiple sources, on January 23, 2003, the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong (WOIPFG) established the International Committee to Investigate the So-called Self-Immolation in Tiananmen Square. The investigation used the leading computer speech identification technology to conduct speech identification on some of the alleged victims, including Wang Jindong, an individual who allegedly participated in the self-immolation and appeared three times on CCTV’s Focus Interview program. The investigation included collecting evidence at the Beijing Jishuitan Hospital, where the victims were treated. Given the serious nature and the significant impact of this incident, WOIPFG is publicizing some of the results of its investigation, as follows.


2. Investigation Results

World-class speech identification technology determined that there were two “Wang Jindongs” who made several appearances on CCTV.

WOIPFG has asked the Speech Processing Laboratory at National Taiwan University, a world-renowned laboratory in Chinese speech identification, synthesis and verification, to conduct independent speech identification of Wang Jindong, who appeared on three episodes of the CCTV Focus Interview program.

For this investigation, the National Taiwan University Speech Processing Laboratory adopted cutting-edge speaker verification technology which uses the Gaussian Mixture Model (GMM), a model often used in speaker verification, to verify voices of “Wang Jindong” in the different TV appearances. Laboratory researchers reached the conclusion that the “Wang Jindong” who appeared on the first Focus Interview program isn’t the same person as the “Wang Jindong” who appeared on the second and third programs. For details, please see the Speaker Verification Report from National Taiwan University.

This confirms the results of analyzing Wang Jindong’s identity that were obtained by WOIPFG through other investigative channels. These other sources have revealed that Wang Jindong, an alleged participant in the self-immolation, was role-played by a commissioned military officer whose name is being withheld at this time.

Medical staff at the Jishuitan Hospital reports that the cause of the death of Liu Siying was highly suspicious. She suddenly died on March 17, 2001, when she was ready to be discharged from the hospital.

Medical staff who treated Liu Siying at Jishuitan Hospital have said, “Liu Siying died suddenly at a time when her burns were more or less healed, her health had basically recovered, and she was ready to be discharged from the hospital. The cause of her death is very suspicious.” During the period of time right before she died, including Friday, March 16, 2001, one day before her death, Liu Siying’s electrocardiogram (EKG) and other tests all showed normal results. Then, on Saturday, March 17, 2001, between 11:00 A.M. and 12:00 P.M., doctors suddenly discovered that Liu Siying was in critical condition. She died shortly afterwards. In addition, on the morning of March 17, 2001, between 8:00 and 9:00 A.M., the head of Jishuitan Hospital and the head of the Beijing City Medical Administration Division paid a visit to Liu Siying in her hospital room and talked to her for quite a long time. “At that time, Liu Siying was still quite animated and active,” the staff member reported.

The autopsy of Liu Siying took place at the Jishuitan Hospital, but the autopsy report was issued by the Emergency Center. In addition, the autopsy report didn’t disclose any discussion of the case. It only made a general statement that her death was likely due to problems with her myocardium. Another questionable event is that Liu Siying was able to sing songs during a CCTV program after a tracheotomy had been performed on her. A doctor at the Jishuitan Hospital commented, “It wasn’t possible for Liu Siying’s voice to be that loud and clear. It seems that CCTV did something there.”

The above information is included in the “Jishuitan Hospital Medical Personnel Investigative Report (Confidential).” Due to the sensitive nature and seriousness of this case, this investigative record and names of hospital personnel will not be disclosed in order to protect those who have helped with this investigation. However, in the future, this information may be offered as evidence to international courts.

Analysis of the self-immolation videotape shows that Liu Chunling was struck hard in the head by a man in a military overcoat using a heavy object.

From the video recording of the self-immolation aired during CCTV’s Focus Interview program, one can see that a man wearing a military overcoat appears to have a heavy object that strikes the head of Liu Chunling with force. She immediately falls to the ground and throws up her hands to hold the left side of her head, which had been hit. WOPIFG believes that it is highly likely that Liu Chunling died at the scene from this assault instead of from burns. The man wearing a military coat was clearly not attempting to rescue Liu Chunling. It seems that his mission was to kill Liu Chunling. Who is he? Why would he murder Liu Chunling?

Why did it take two hours for the ambulance to reach the Jishuitan Hospital from Tiananmen Square, a journey that is about 10 km long?

According to a January 30, 2001, report from the Xinhua News Agency, at 2:41 P.M. on January 23, 2001, on the northeastern side of the People’s Hero Monument, Wang Jindong was the first to set himself on fire: “Less than a minute later, several policemen used four fire extinguishers and rapidly extinguished the fire on this man. They then used a police vehicle that was on duty to rapidly transport him to the hospital for emergency care.” According to this report, several minutes later, on the north side of the People’s Hero Monument, four women who were positioned not too far apart lit gasoline that they had poured on themselves. It only took a minute and half for the police to put out the flames. “Less than seven minutes after the incident took place, three ambulances from the Beijing Emergency Medical Center arrived at the scene and transported the people who were injured to the best burn unit in Beijing, the Jishuitan Hospital, for emergency treatment.”

According to the Xinhua News Agency, the self-immolation incident took place at 2:41 P.M. Adding the seven minutes it took to put out the fire and the twenty-plus minutes that it normally takes for a vehicle to go from Tiananmen Square to Jishuitan Hospital (it should take less time for an ambulance to make the journey), the participants in the self-immolation should have arrived at Jishuitan Hospital no later than 3:30 P.M.

Yet several medical personnel at Jishuitan Hospital have confirmed that those who committed the self-immolation didn’t arrive at the hospital until around 5:00 P.M.2 Between approximately 3:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M., two hours elapsed. Reports from the Xinhua News Agency couldn’t explain where those people went during this period of time. What really happened during this period of time? Why did it take the ambulance two hours to complete a normal twenty-minute drive? Could it be to cover some ulterior motives and conspiracies? This will be a major area that the investigation will focus on next.


3. Conclusions and the Next Step in the Investigation

Based on the above evidence, WOIPFG has concluded that the alleged Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident is a major conspiracy that is criminal in nature and has grave consequences. It included malicious murders with the intent of framing Falun Gong. The case involves a variety of parties with complicated relationships. It is possible that this crime can be directly attributed to Jiang Zemin, the Chinese president and the head of the Chinese Communist Party at the time, as well as the head of the Central Military Commission. WOIPFG has recognized the serious criminal nature of this case that has the potential to be the biggest conspiracy, murder, and frame-up since the Chinese Communist Party came to power in China. At the same time, we recognize the degree of difficulty of the case and the importance to continue deeper investigation. We are determined to discover and expose all the facts surrounding this case. We will submit the results of the investigation to the International Criminal Court, international judicial and human rights organizations, and the relevant agencies at the United Nations. We will seek to bring all criminals and instigators of this crime to justice.

While continuing to search for the main culprit behind this case, we also urge anyone who has information about the case to turn in the criminals responsible and submit relevant information on the case to the WOIPFG. The focus of the next round of investigation will include:

1. The mastermind behind the alleged Tiananmen self-immolation incident
2. The man in the CCTV video who is wearing a military overcoat and who struck Liu Chunling
3. Those who are responsible for the sudden death of Liu Siying



1. “Speaker Verification Report,” by the Speech Processing Laboratory at the National Taiwan University, April 2003
2.  “Jishuitan Hospital Medical Personnel Investigative Report” (Confidential)
3. “Analysis of the Self-immolation videotape from the Focus Interview,” the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, 2003