Chinese official: Beijing has won the battle against Falun Gong

Beijing, China - China has won the battle against Falun Gong, the practice of which has now been eradicated. This according to an official from an association close to the Communist government, who boasts the "success" of the campaign launched in 1999 by Jiang Zemin to uproot the cult considered "illegal" and "subversive”.

Li Anping, of the China Anti-Cult Association – a movement of volunteers that has government support - said that people have understood the “true nature of the movement” and that it “is [now] impossible for them to organize mass activities”. Beijing, however, is maintaining a low profile on this issue, the official newspaper makes almost no mention of the campaign of repression against Falun Gong.

Abroad, activists and followers of the movement have organized marches and demonstrations to remember the violence of the Chinese government. The Falun Gong Information Center, an organization based in New York, denounces the killing of 3 thousand followers and tens of thousands of cases of torture.

In recent days the Chinese Human Rights Defenders (CHRD) reported the arrest of three lawyers in north-eastern China, for their defence of Falun Gong followers. The detentions occurred between July 2 and 8. They are Ruping Liu, Wang Ping and Wang Yonghang and their fate is shrouded in silence. Commenting on these reports, Renee Xia, international director of CHRD, expresses "concern", stressing that “these actions could signal a gradual deterioration of the situation, for lawyers who fight for human rights in China”.

Falun Gong is the practice of meditation and physical exercises inspired by Buddhist and Taoist traditions, with care paid to gymnastics and breathing, the quest for health, immortality, peace and harmony. On 25 April 1999 over 10 thousand followers demonstrated peacefully in Beijing against the violation of their rights. In July 1999 - at the suggestion of the then President Jiang Zemin - a fierce persecution against the group, which counted about 100 million followers in China, began. The movement was branded as a "heretical organization" and "a threat to social and political stability”.