Falungong in fresh attempt to hijack Chinese TV network

Inside China Today/May 9, 2002

Beijing -- The banned Falungong sect made another attempt to broadcast a film denouncing persecution of its members last month in the northeast city of Harbin and claimed it succeeded, according to a Falungong statement.

The director of the city's television office, surnamed Li, for his part said "Falungong elements had attempted to sever the city's network cable at three points."

"But they were caught in the act," he said, refuting the group's version of events, according to which some homes in Harbin were able to view the Falungong film for more than an hour.

The movement said its action in Harbin took place on April 21, although Li said it was on the 20th.

"The unexpected programming also had a big audience when it was shown for hours on the previous day (April 20) in another big town in Heilongjiang," the province of which Harbin is the capital, the sect's statement added.

According to Falungong, Luo Gan, the top Chinese official in charge of public order, had visited Harbin and ordered the arrest of 6,000 Falungong members.

At the start of March in Changchun, the capital of neighbouring Jilin province, two Falungong films were broadcast for 20 minutes on a cable TV network with 300,000 subscribers and around one million viewers.

Immediately after that incident, the city authorities launched a massive security operation in an attempt to capture the culprits.

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