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Falun Gong and the Law: Development of Legal Social Control in China

Bryan Edelman and James T. Richardson
Nova Religio: The Journal of Alternative and Emergent Religions
Vol. 6, No. 2 (April 2003), pp. 312-331
DOI: 10.1525/nr.2003.6.2.312
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1525/nr.2003.6.2.312
Page Count: 20
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Falun Gong and the Law: Development of Legal Social Control in China
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Abstract

In 1999 the government of the People's Republic of China (PRC) labeled Falun Gong an "evil cult" and began a campaign to eliminate the qigong movement of which it was a part. The West was quick to condemn the PRC's action as a violation of human rights. In response, the PRC government criticized the West for interfering in its internal affairs, and using "human rights" as an excuse to impose its will upon the PRC. Rather than formulating an attack on the PRC government using Western principles of democracy, human rights, and the rule of law, this article analyzes the legality of the PRC's campaign against Falun Gong within the framework of the legal and political systems developed in the PRC Constitution, other relevant documents and international treaties to which the PRC is a signatory nation. It is argued that the PRC government acted outside of its constitutional authority, violated citizens' basic rights, and overstepped its own boundaries in its war against Falun Gong and its practitioners.

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