Falun Gong followers repent of Tian'anmen suicide attempt

Xinhuanet/January 18, 2005

Zhengzhou -- On the eve of the fourth anniversary of the Falun Gong organized suicide at Tian'anmen Square, survivors told Chinese and foreign journalists here Tuesday that they regret their actions.

On January 23, 2001, also the eve of Chinese Lunar New Year, seven Falun Gong followers set themselves on fire in the Tian'anmen Square in pursuit of "heavenly glory" under the call from cult leader Li Hongzhi.

As a result, two died and three badly wounded.

Of the five survivors, three have been "properly accommodated to receive long-term education," and two are still imprisoned at the Zhengzhou Prison.

"The words of Li Hongzhi and Falun Gong boil down to only one word 'hatred' to me," said Wang Jindong one of the chief organizers of the Tian'anmen Square suicide.

He said he is still frightened by the fact that he was once so obsessed with the cult that he could commit the crime of murder.

After being rehabilitated, Wang has worked to help other followers out of the psychological control of the cult.

"I have the obligation to do so," he said.

Sixty-one-year-old Liu Yunfang, another survivor, said that without the emergency rescue effort of police four year ago, he would have been either dead or disfigured.

He still remembers September 27, 2003, as the date he woke up to reality.

"I broke away with the evil cult ever since," he said.

Xue Hongjun, a behind the scenes organizers of the suicide, told reporters that Li Hongzhi has cheated the world by claiming that the suicide was directed by the Chinese government to defame the cult. Xue is also currently imprisoned at Zhengzhou Prison.

"It's against the rule of justice to say that we were not true (Falun Gong followers), I had practiced Falun Gong since 1994," hesaid.

However, the three former cult members said they were glad that they could talk to each other once in a while in the prison about what they would do after being released.

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