Falun Gong Denies Hacking Chinese Satellite TV on May Day

Hong Kong – Kyodo — The Hong Kong faction of Falun Gong, a religious group branded as an evil cult by Beijing, denied Thursday any involvement in hacking satellite television programmes in southern China on May Day.

The Chinese newspaper Nanfang Daily reported earlier that on Tuesday night television viewers complained about intercepted signals that carried anti-government materials for about 30 to 40 seconds.

The Hunan satellite channel was automatically tuned to the Guangdong satellite channel and some viewers got blue or colour- stripes while some saw antigovernment slogans and pictures, the report said.

The Hong Kong newspaper Ming Pao Daily quoted a Guangdong police spokesman as saying they suspect Falun Gong was responsible for the trouble.

But Kan Hung-cheung, spokesman for Falun Gong’s Hong Kong faction, denied the group was involved.

“In the past, Falun Gong has intercepted television channels in the mainland to expose how authorities persecuted our fellow practitioners,” Kan told Kyodo News. “But posting antigovernment materials seems not to be our protocol. We support those who defect from the Communist Party and we want to break it up peacefully, but I am not sure if we were involved in the interception.”

Falun Gong, established in 1992 by Li Hongzhi who is reportedly residing in the United States after fleeing China in 1998 to avoid persecution, teaches meditation exercises with mixed elements of Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism.

Along with a few other spiritual movements, it was branded an “evil cult” in 1999 after more than 10,000 practitioners staged a silent protest by surrounding Zhongnanhai, the heart of the Chinese government in Beijing.

According to Ming Pao, Beijing has blamed Falun Gong for intercepting television broadcasts in the past in a bid to promote the religion by interfering with satellite Sinosat-1, which provides local and overseas broadcasts for China.

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Religion News Blog posted this on Friday May 4, 2007.
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