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Hospital unmasks Falun Gong's lies
13/4/2006 10:22

A photo can be more persuasive than a thousand words.

Showing photos of a boiler house to a score of journalists, a Chinese official and two doctors yesterday exposed Falun Gong's rumors about a so-called "concentration camp" where, the cult claimed, its followers were cremated after organ harvesting.

The small window-paned boiler house with a brick chimney nearby in a residential garden is a civilian-use facility, said Zhang Xu, vice president of a hospital in the northeastern Chinese city of Shenyang.

Since March 8, Falun Gong followers have spread rumors that more than 6,000 Falun Gong practitioners were imprisoned at a "concentration camp" in Sujiatun, a district in Shenyang.

They alleged that many of the followers were cremated after their organs were harvested.

Falun Gong followers later recanted, saying that the "concentration camp" was actually in a small hospital, the Sujiatun Hospital on Thrombus Diseases, where Zhang is a vice president.

"A picture of the so-called crematorium in Sujiatun widely used on Falun Gong's Websites is actually a photo of the back of our boiler house, shot from outside the hospital compound, and my photo shows you the front side of the boiler house," Zhang told the press.

Zhang said the window-paned boiler house, taking up an area of 180 square meters, is open to the public. "How could that boiler be a cremation furnace?" he asked. "I don't know whether Falun Gong followers are ignorant or they are just trying to fool the whole world?"

He said the boiler was used to provide winter heat, disinfect medical equipment, and cook food for patients and their families.

Present with Zhang at yesterday's news briefing was Zheng Bin, the vice head of the district government of Sujiatun. She denounced the Falun Gong rumors as "groundless."

"There were Falun Gong followers in Sujiatun, but all of them are now undergoing rehabilitation in places outside the district," Zheng said.

"Falun Gong followers have slung mud at both my district and the country with their absurd, malicious lies."

Zhang Yuqin, another vice-president of the hospital, said the hospital, with only 300 beds, could not possibly have accommodated 6,000 people, neither in the "basement" nor in the so-called "crematorium."

Zhang Xu said the hospital staff and residents of Sujiatun have been receiving phone calls from overseas since March 18, some ringing even at midnight. "This has affected people's life."