China Censors Tiananmen Car Incident: Promotes False Self-Immolation
Following the Tiananmen car crash incident,
the scene was immediately blocked.
Several foreign journalists were
temporarily detained at the site.
Media coverage was strictly controlled,
and all related news was censored.
When this is compared with the alleged self-immolation
incident that took place in Tiananmen Square 12 years
ago, the regime dealt with them in very different ways.
12 years ago, the media quickly reported on the incident.
Footage of the alleged self-immolation was
broadcast throughout China over a long period of time.
The recent Tiananmen incident shocked Zhongnanhai
high-level officials, and aroused global media interest.
Many police were dispatched to the site, and
main roads near Zhongnanhai were blocked.
Subway trains and buses weren’t
allowed to stop in Tiananmen station.
On that day, six Hong Kong journalists were detained
for 15 minutes while they reported the news at the site.
The six reporters argued with police.
Two AFP journalists were arrested, and video and
photos were forcibly deleted from their cameras.
In addition, the State Council Information Office
issued ban orders to the major websites.
Thus the related news was hardly
seen on the internet and Weibo.
The strict censorship makes people recall the self-immolation
incident that took place in Tiananmen Square 12 years ago.
Wang Zhiyuan, director of the World Organization
to Investigate Persecution (WOIPFG) of Falun Gong:
“The CCP handled the Tiananmen incident is
different in a different way from the self-immolation.
This happened on January 23, 2001.
News about the Tiananmen crash is totally censored,
but, the “self-immolation” incident was quickly reported.
In addition, there was live video recording
being broadcast, even using close-up footage.
It has been broadcast and promoted
for a long time throughout the country.”
In order to defame Falun Gong, the means
in which the CCP handled the “self-immolation”
incident doesn’t reflect its common practices.
In recent years, many incidents of petitioners self
immolating in Tiananmen Square has proved this point.
Human Rights Campaign in China reported that on the
first day of Fifth Plenary Session of 17th CCP Central
Commission in 2010, Zhang Peixin, a Muslim petitioner
from Tianjin, drove a private car with her husband.
They ignited petrol, set fire to the car
and self immolated in front of Tiananmen.
The fire was controlled, but the
couple’s survival was unconfirmed.
The photos of the scene were deleted,
with no media coverage on the incident.
Weiquanwang.org reported in the past that petitioners
Yang Huabei and Li Hongjun from Luoyang City, Henan,
self-immolated in Tiananmen Square on March 29, 2010.
Yang was sent to Jishuitan Hospital for emergency treatment.
Yang was in a critical condition, but the news was censored.
Petitioner Shao Yunli from Jiangsu and Wang Qunfeng
from Henan are set fire to themselves.
They were arrested by police, but no
one knows their current whereabouts.
According to incomplete statistics, there have
been tens of self-immolation incidents that have
taken place in Tiananmen Square in recent years.
None of the media reported on the incidents, and all
the victims who died or were badly injured at the sites
are missing, or have lost contact with the outside world.
All related news was censored.
Why did the regime widely broadcast the
false “Falun Gong self-immolation”?
Wang Zhiyuan: “After a year of failed persecution
of Falun Gong, the CCP struggled to incite
the nation’s hatred against Falun Gong.
The Chinese people also did not its persecution.
The CCP felt dismayed and furious towards Falun Gong
practitioners’ repeatedly protesting in Tiananmen Square.
The CCP wished to change perceptions, and urgently
needed an excuse to ease international criticism.”
Times Magazine reported that before the alleged
self-immolation incident happening, Chinese
people believed Falun Gong didn’t pose a threat.
The authorities’ suppression wasn’t supported.
However, state-owned media widely reporting propaganda
obviously changed Chinese people’s subsequently.
WOIPFG indicates that the 2001 incident
was investigated by several channels.
A large body of evidence shows that this
“self-immolation” in Tiananmen Square was
CCP propaganda, to help defame Falun Gong.
Evidence includes voice analysis of the self-immolator’s,
and video analysis of China’s Central Television footage.
It also included doctors’ testimonies from Jishui
Hospital, where the self-immolators were sent.