The Tragedy of Falun Gong Practitioners
2 Falun Gong Activists Held

Two Falun Gong practitioners allegedly responsible for the self-immolation incident in Tian'anmen Square in January were arrested in Beijing, Xinhua news agency reported yesterday.

The Beijing People's Procuratorate approved the arrest of Liu Yunfang and Xue Hongjun, both from central Henan Province, last week.

Five Falun Gong practitioners, including a 12-year-old girl, soaked themselves in gasoline and set themselves on fire on January 23 in Tian'anmen Square in Beijing. Liu Chunling, the mother of the girl, died on the spot and four others were injured.

In an interview with the China Central Television yesterday, Liu admitted that they organized the group suicide attempt at the instigation of Li Hongzhi, ringleader of the cult.

He said that Li had called upon his followers to "go to Heaven."

The Chinese government blames the cult for causing 1,660 deaths. The Falun Gong cult was officially banned in July 1999.

( 03/01/2001)