Key Statistics

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For years, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has classified any information about human rights abuses against people who practice Falun Gong as "state secrets," making it dangerous for anyone to investigate. Indeed, many who have were themselves victims of wrongful imprisonment and torture.

 

Yet, by pulling together reports from the United Nations, the U.S. government, human rights organizations, and a few quality pieces of investigative journalism, the real scope and scale of this persecution campaign emerges with much clarity.

 

The following are key indicators quantifying this human rights crisis.

 

70–100 Million Falun Gong Practitioners

There were 70–100 million people practicing Falun Gong in China before July, 1999. While some have attributed this estimate to Falun Gong sources, the number actually originates from Chinese authorities. Specifically, these numbers come from a survey conducted by the Chinese government in the latter part of 1998, and were cited on multiple occasions by Western media outlets such as the New York Times and Associated Press prior to the ban in July 1999, and even sporadically in the months that followed.

 

Several Million Detained

While it is not possible to know the exact numbers of people detained for their Falun Gong practice in China (such figures are considered a “state secret”), several indicators suggest that, at a minimum, over the past 20 years, the total number is several million.

 

Hundreds of Thousands Tortured

Since early 2000, the use of torture on Falun Gong detainees has been widely documented by major media, human rights organizations and the United Nations. There are at least 100,000 cases of torture documented by Minghui.org, and reason to believe the true number is several times higher.

 

Over 4,700 Confirmed Killed from Torture; True Number Much Higher

There are over 4,700 documented cases of Falun Gong practitioners dying as a result of torture and abuse in police custody since July 1999. Discovering and verifying information inside China related to wrongful deaths is difficult and dangerous. Some who have exposed the torture and killing of Falun Gong practitioners have, themselves been tortured and killed. It is, therefore, widely believed that this number is just a fraction of the true number of people killed for their Falun Gong faith in China.

 

In the U.S. State Department’s 2007 Human Rights report, it states: “Since the crackdown on Falun Gong began in 1999, estimates of the number of Falun Gong adherents who died in custody due to torture, abuse, and neglect ranged from several hundred to a few thousand.”[1]

 

Killed on “Significant Scale” for Organs

Estimates from multiple separate, independent reports indicate tens of thousands (possibly hundreds of thousands) of Falun Gong practitioners may have been killed in order to extract their vital organs, which are used to fuel a booming organ transplantation business in China.[2]

 

On June 17 2019, an independent tribunal in London – chaired by Sir Geoffrey Nice QC, who worked at the International Criminal Tribunal and led the prosecution of Slobodan Milosevic – released its Short Form Conclusion and Summary Judgment.[3] The judgment states: “Forced organ harvesting has been committed for years throughout China on a significant scale and that Falun Gong practitioners have been one – and probably the main – source of organ supply.… The Tribunal has had no evidence that the significant infrastructure associated with China’s transplantation industry has been dismantled and absent a satisfactory explanation as to the source of readily available organs concludes that forced organ harvesting continues till today.”

 

 20-40 Million Engaged in Civil Disobedience Across China

There are an estimated 20-40 million people in China practicing Falun Gong and actively engaged in civil disobedience activity. In May 2009, Falun Gong’s main Chinese-language website, Minghui.org, reported that approximately 200,000 underground “materials sites” exist across China. Materials sites are places where Falun Gong practitioners print leaflets, produce DVDs, etc. the content of which unveils the persecution and debunks anti-Falun Gong propaganda. These sites are operated at a grassroots level across China and usually located in the back-room of a private residence.