Government refutes Falun Gong report

The government has refuted as baseless claims by the Chinese cult Falun Gong that a lawsuit was filed in Tanzania against Chinese State Councillor Chen Zhili on allegations of torture and extra-judicial killings committed in China.

The cult claimed in a report published on its website that Zhili was summoned by a court of law while on a four-day working visit to Dar es Salaam last July, allegedly after a group of international lawyers representing the Falun Gong practitioner filed a case against her.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Co-operation said in a statement the report posted on the web on July 31, 2004 did not say which court summoned Zhili who is also a former Chinese Education Minister.

The statement said the government did not have any record of legal charges against Zhili during her visit to Tanzania.

“The story is a mere fabrication aiming at spoiling the good friendship between Tanzania and China,” the statement said.

It said the government viewed the visit as a milestone of the co-operation between China and Tanzania and that it saw Falun Gong’s reliance on “falsehoods” as a loss of direction by the cult “which claims to advocate truth”.

The State Councillor was engaged in constructive discussions with the Tanzanian government officials on ways to further expand and strengthen co-operation between the two countries, particularly in the education and cultural sectors, the statement said.

The government said it would not allow “small groups of people like the Falun Gong” cult to damage the longstanding friendship and brotherhood that existed between the “upright people of China and Tanzania”.