On January 23, 2001, the day before the Chinese Lunar New Year, it was reported that five people set themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square, Beijing, China.
A week later, the Chinese government television station, CCTV, broadcasted a program showing a video of the incident, but in the video, the number of victims was increased from five to seven. Several Chinese State-run newspapers said that the closeup shots in the video were taken from a videotape confiscated from CNN, in order to answer the question how the government obtained videotaped details of the incident without knowing beforehand it would take place.
In the program, CCTV also broadcasted the heartbreaking pictures of the 12-year-old Liu Siying, who was severely burned. Her mother, Liu Chunling, was reported to have died from the self-immolation. The incident was used intensely by the government in its campaign against Falun Gong by using the pictures of Liu Siying to foment the public’s hatred towards Falun Gong.
The video False Fire which analyzes the 2001 Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident, won a Certificate of Honorable Mention at the 51st Columbus International Film & Video Festival. New Tang Dynasty TV, a non-profit, privately owned, Chinese language TV station, produced the movie. The award ceremony was held in the Kansas Center, Columbus Arts College, Columbus, Ohio.
In the False Fire video NTDTV systematically analyses the incident. The analysis shows that the self-immolation incident was very likely directed by the Chinese government to frame Falun Gong and to fabricate excuses for the persecution of Falun Gong.
Philip Pan from the Washington Post traveled to Kaifeng to investigate the history of two of the immolators who had died in connection with the event, Ms. Liu Chunling and her 12-year-old daughter. The report cast serious doubt as to whether the victims were actually Falun Gong adherents. “No one ever saw her practice Falun Gong.”
"What could be more dramatic? People are setting themselves on fire in Tiananmen Square in the heart of Beijing. CNN is there. The police just happen to have fire extinguishers on hand, and the victims are rushed to a hospital after their agonies are thoroughly photographed for state television..."
"On January 23, 2001, five individuals allegedly set themselves on fire in Tienanmen Square. Within hours, Chinese authorities flooded the state-run media with grisly photos of the event, claiming the self-immolators were Falun Gong practitioners..."
On the tenth anniversary of the self-immolation, the Falun Dafa Information Center implores media to take a close look at the evidence and report responsibly on this deadly event. The human cost of getting it wrong is far too great...