“China’s Gestapo” marks a decade

Official government websites, Chinese lawyers cite torture, surveillance by
secret agency

09 Jun 2009

New York—Ten years after its creation by fiat on June 10, 1999, the extralegal
6-10 Office continues to lead the Chinese Communist Party’s violent campaign
to eradicate the Falun Gong spiritual group, the Falun Dafa Information Center
said on Tuesday.

Testimony from torture survivors, human rights lawyers, and defectors, as well
as official Chinese government websites, highlight the exceptional powers still
exercised by the largely secret agency.

“The 6-10 office is just like Hitler’s Gestapo,” says Guo Guoting,
a Chinese human rights lawyer in exile. “They are powerful and they got
enough financial support from the government so…they secretly control all
the Falun Gong practitioners in their local areas.”

Witnesses and survivors of China’s vast incarceration system have reported
that 6-10 personnel were involved in many of the over 3,000 cases of Falun Gong
practitioners killed, mostly through torture.

Established by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin and announced in a
speech to elite cadres a month before Falun Gong was banned in July 1999, the
organization exists outside China’s legal framework. Jiang granted it wide-ranging
powers and the authority to use “every means necessary” to wipe out
Falun Gong.

Operating in an atmosphere of impunity even after Jiang was replaced by Hu
Jintao, the 6-10 Office and its plainclothes agents have become notorious for
regular use of extreme torture.

“The immoral act that has shaken my soul most is the 6-10 Office and policeman’s
regular practice of assaulting women’s genitals,” Chinese lawyer Gao
Zhisheng wrote after a 2005 investigation into the persecution against Falun
Gong. “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.”

Recent activities

Though the Chinese authorities deny its existence, the 6-10 Office’s activities
are an open secret in China. Before the Olympics, nationwide directives from
the central 6-10 Office were key to the escalation of the campaign against Falun
Gong in 2008, according to the Congressional-Executive Commission on China.

Official Chinese Communist Party websites from 2008 and 2009 discuss the strengthening
of 6-10 operations with the purpose of “handling” and “disposing
of” Falun Gong.

“The Municipal Party Committee’s 6-10 Office has established two
task forces,” states a posting dated December 2008 from Leiyang in Hunan
province. The “synthesizing group” is responsible for intelligence
information, investigation and research, maintaining secrecy, administrative
affairs, and handling personnel of political and ideological work.

“The education group is responsible for struggling against Falun Gong
and anti-‘heterodox organization’ propaganda work in society; it is
responsible for education and transformation work against ‘Falun Gong’
adherents.”

A typical case of how such “transformation” is carried out is that
of Ms. Xiao Sumin from Shandong’s Pingdu city. Within three weeks of her
arrest at the hands of the local 6-10 Office, she died of torture on June 21,
2008.

Official websites dated as recently as May 27, 2009 cite heightened activity
by 6-10 Office branches against local Falun Gong adherents in the run-up to
the ten year anniversary of the persecution’s launch on July 20. Last month’s
posting on the official website for Qidong in Jiangsu province states that the
town’s 6-10 Office is to strengthen and consolidate its transformation
efforts against Falun Gong.

Expanding Mandate

Beyond direct involvement in rights violations, the office’s real power
lies in its ability to direct the campaign against Falun Gong from behind the
scenes. According to former 6-10 Office agent Hao Fengjun, who defected to Australia
in 2005, the task force employs quotas and incentive systems, while latching
onto the Party’s existing and pervasive bureaucracy.

The 6-10 office is thus responsible for overseeing all aspects of the campaign
against the Falun Gong: from controlling the criminal justice system to gathering
overseas intelligence through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to infiltrating
top Chinese universities.

Multiple sources – including Hao Fengjun, government websites, and a report
in the New York Times – indicate that while the 6-10 office remains primarily
focused on Falun Gong, its mandate has been expanded in recent years. Its targets
now include other spiritual groups the Party has decided to outlaw, including
Christian ones.

“The 6-10 Office epitomizes the illegality, arbitrariness, and sheer brutality
of the CCP’s decade long campaign against millions of innocent Chinese
people who practice Falun Gong,” says Falun Gong spokesperson Erping Zhang.

“The 6-10 Office’s existence and expansion—with its power over
courts, labor camps, and prisons—fundamentally undermines any effort to
build the rule of law in China and any claims by the CCP to be moving in that
direction,” Zhang says. “It’s terrifying to think how many lives have
been ruined by this agency, and how many more will be every day it continues
to operate."

For More Information See:

* FDIC Summary: “The 6-10 Office” http://www.faluninfo.net/topic/17/
(including flowchart)
* “An Analysis of the 6-10 Office”: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/486/?cid=17
* Interview with 6-10 Office defector Hao Fengjun: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/487/?cid=17

* Relevant excerpts from the Congressional-Executive Commission on China’s
2008 Annual Report: http://www.faluninfo.net/article/843/?cid=76
* Gao Zhisheng’s third open letter on Falun Gong: http://en.epochtimes.com/news/5-12-16/35876.html

Posting date: 1/July/2009
Original article date: 9/June/2009
Category: Media Report

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