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Sunday was the 10th anniversary of the Tiananmen Self-Immolation incident. That's when Chinese state-media had reported that several so called 'Falun Gong practitioners' set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square. The Chinese regime turned the event into an excuse to support its persecution of the spiritual group. The incident was later shown to be staged. [...]
On January 23, 2001, news of five people setting themselves on fire at China's iconic Tiananmen Square gripped the country. Within hours, state-run media reported that those involved were followers of Falun Gong. The incident drew world-wide attention. The Chinese regime quickly used it to justify the nationwide campaign they had launched in 1999 to, quote, "eradicate" the spiritual group. To date, there are nearly 3,500 documented cases of Falun Gong practitioners confirmed to have died in the Chinese regime's persecution.
Although the incident turned into a propaganda tool for the Chinese regime, it was later proven to be a staged event—used to rile up the public against Falun Gong.
[Mo Jiangang, Chinese Rights Activist]:
"The Tiananmen self-immolation incident is the Chinese Communist Party's biggest political failure. It used slander and lies to hurt those with belief, creating an atmosphere of fear, imposing this fear on people with beliefs."
Last week, State-run Xinhua News Agency revisited the story, interviewing two people reportedly involved in the incident. But for many Chinese, those kinds of reports are no longer convincing.
Spokesperson for the World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong, Wang Zhiyuan says as more people become aware of the persecution, more of what the Chinese regime has done will be exposed.
Many international organizations have documented the staged self-immolation incident as part of the Chinese regime's persecution of Falun Gong.