In China, six people hijacked the cable TV airwaves on March 5, 2002, to broadcast uncensored information that exposed a state-sponsored lie; the lie was exposed in two cities for 50 minutes, but at the cost of their lives.
“Defiance in the Kingdom of Fake News,” a mini-documentary recently produced by FalunInfo TV, presents the real story of six Falun Gong practitioners from Changchun, a northeastern city of China, who successfully took over the cable television distribution lines controlled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and broadcasted a series of programs reporting the true facts about the persecution campaign against the faith group for 50 minutes.
The six, known as the “Airwave Six,” include Liang Zhenxing, Zhou Runjun, Lei Ming, Liu Haibo, Hou Mingkai, and Liu Chengjun, all of whom have been tortured to death.
Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, is a spiritual practice rooted in the Buddhist tradition, that attracted 70–100 million adherents by the late 1990s. Practitioners come from all walks of life, from the central government to ordinary families.
Fearing its immense popularity, on July 20, 1999, then-Party leader Jiang Zemin launched a campaign to smear Falun Gong to justify a campaign of violence against them.
Suppression was escalated when a triggering event—a self-immolation event—was staged on Tiananmen Square and later broadcast nationwide by state media.
On Jan. 23, 2001, the day before the Chinese Lunar New Year, five Chinese people posing as Falun Gong practitioners publicly set themselves on fire, which is believed to have been at the direction of the state in order to demonize the group and incite the public against Falun Gong.
On August 14, 2001, the NGO International Educational Development made a formal statement which declared the incident as Beijing’s attempt to slander Falun Gong.
Although western reporters, international organizations outside China acknowledged holes in the so-called “self-immolation,” the truth was not revealed inside China.
BY RITA LI