The Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) is a taxpayer-funded institution and is a billion-dollar-a-year national institution. It is now seen to endorse and encourage Beijing’s commitment to silence critical voices not only in China but in other countries.
The ABC no longer promotes values and core principles, as it has done in the past. This is evident in its recent hatchet job on the minority group Falun Gong.
The program, called “Dark Karma” that aired on television and radio on Tuesday, July 21, has given the Chinese Communist Party’s 610 office in China the opportunity to increase its persecution of Falun Gong.
The program selected two previous Falun Gong practitioners to defame the practice, which has an estimated 100 million followers worldwide. There was no effort by the station to present a balanced report, instead, it highlighted a disgruntled former practitioner who failed to make the grade as a dancer for Shen Yun Performing Arts and the grieving daughter of a woman who died after 20 years of practicing.
By severely misrepresenting the beliefs of the meditation practice, ABC has no doubt caused untold harm to the Australian community of Falun Gong, especially those refugees who fled China, already traumatized from persecution, imprisonment, and torture by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for refusing to give up their practice.
Before the program aired, after viewing the trailer the Australian Falun Gong Association warned against going ahead with the segment, as it would allow the CCP to use it as propaganda in its disinformation campaign against Falun Gong.
A website was set up on July 17 under the umbrella of the 610 office in China, with the sole purpose of defaming Falun Gong. It promoted the forthcoming ABC program, boasting they have been “warning the world” about Falun Gong.
Many Australian parliamentary members were outraged at the program.
After the program “Dark Karma” aired on the ABC on July 21, Liberal MP Craig Kelly responded on his Facebook page, “Have the ABC been infiltrated by the Chinese Communist Party?” Kelly continued: “How else [do] you explain the ABC’s hit job on the peaceful Falun Gong?”
Veteran human rights activist Bob Vinnicombe wrote on Facebook the ABC program is a “typically incompetent, biased, one-sided frame-up by the ABC doing the work of the Chinese Communist Party in denigrating Falun Gong.”
“It is easy to denigrate any organization by giving air-play to only disaffected ex-members,” he added, alleging the ABC “never fact-checked any of their accusations.”
“And of course, no mention was made of the horror of the organ harvesting where thousands of Falun Gong prisoners for years have been killed on demand, like lobsters in a tank in a restaurant, so their organs can be cut out and sold for transplant. But then, we wouldn’t want to endanger the ABC’s cozy arrangement with the Chinese Communist Government (CCP), would we?”
On July 23, Liberal Democrats MPs David Limbrick and Tim Quilty published a media release. They asked for an investigation into whether the ABC had breached its own policies, by “inciting undeserved stigmatization of a vulnerable religious minority.”
— David Limbrick MP (@_davidlimbrick) July 23, 2020
Quilty wrote, “The ABC journalists have not only ignored a letter from Falun Gong before the story went to air that pointed out a number of basic inaccuracies, they refused to meet with members of the Australian Falun Gong to discuss it.”
Limbrick penned, “In making the program the ABC appears to have used a number of the same talking points used by the Chinese Communist Party to justify imprisonment, torture, and killings. Whether or not the CCP had any involvement in providing material should also be investigated.”
“The ABC must be held accountable for its actions,” he said on Facebook.
In a press release, a spokesperson from the Falun Dafa Association of Australia wrote: “The content of the ABC documentary … closely tracks with the discredited propaganda narrative of the Chinese Communist Party. The press release [published by the ABC] implies that Falun Gong may not be deserving of the sympathy their plight has garnered in the west.”
Addressing some of the claims of the program its statement read, “The ABC media release claims that Falun Gong has ‘cult-like abhorrence of modern medicine that’s claimed lives.’” This is an inflammatory, misleading, and reckless claim. It is also one of the primary ways that the Chinese Communist Party has sought to justify the imprisonment, torture, killing, and forcible re-education of Falun Gong adherents, and so deserves to be interrogated more closely.
The 610 Office is utilized in China solely for the purpose of persecuting Falun Gong, a group of gentle meditators who are simply trying to become better people. Some Chinese lawyers compare the 610 Office to Nazi Germany’s Gestapo. Most people are unaware of its existence and also of the evil means it uses in its persecution, which continues to this day.
On July 20, 1999, the former Communist Party head Jiang Zemin ordered elite cadres one month before he officially banned Falun Gong, that they were to “form battle strategies,” and “get fully prepared for the work of disintegrating [Falun Gong],” reported Faluninfo.org.
Human Rights lawyer speaks out
Beijing human rights lawyer Gao Zhisheng spoke out about the abuses occurring in Northeastern China against Falun Gong after an investigation into the abuse in 2005. “The immoral act that has shaken my soul most is the 610 Office and policeman’s regular practice of assaulting women’s genitals,” he said. “Of those persecuted, almost every woman’s genitals and breasts and every man’s private parts have been sexually assaulted in a most vulgar fashion. Almost all who have been persecuted, be they male or female, were stripped naked before being tortured.”
Coincidentally, the ABC’s attack fell on the 21st anniversary of the CCP’s persecution of the practice, which was put into action on July 20, 1999.
In an unprecedented move, by parliamentarians from all denominations, 628 lawmakers from 32 countries have released a joint statement calling on the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to immediately stop the “systematic and brutal campaign to ‘eradicate’ the spiritual discipline of Falun Gong.”
“The persecution of Falun Gong in China has been one of the harshest campaigns against a faith group in modern times,” states the joint statement. “Since July 1999, millions of Falun Gong practitioners in China have been arbitrarily arrested and jailed without due process and many have been tortured and even killed.”
“We … urge the Chinese government to respect international norms and … to immediately stop the persecution of Falun Gong in China, and to unconditionally release all detained Falun Gong practitioners and other prisoners of conscience.”
The complete list of signatories is available here.