Four organizers of the self-burning incident of Falun Gong practitioners at the Tian'anmen Square early this year were given sentences of life imprisonment or 7-15 years in prison by a Beijing court Friday.
They were all condemned guilty of intentional homicide for "organizing, masterminding, instigating and assisting Falun Gong followers" to commit suicide, according to a verdict by the No.1 Intermediate People's Court of Beijing Municipality in its trial of first instance.
Liu Yunfang, who printed pamphlets to encourage Falun Gong followers to commit suicide, was sentenced to life imprisonment with political rights deprived of for life, and Wang Jindong, who accompanied Liu to Beijing to prepare for the self-destruction, will face 15 years in prison with political rights suspended for three years.
Two other organizers Xue Hongjun, 49, male and Liu Xiuqin, 34, female, were given sentences of 10 and seven years in prison respectively.
A verdict on a woman who played a lessor role in the incident will also be announced later today.
In the self-destruction incident on January 23 this year, a 36- year-old woman died instantly, and her 12-year-old daughter died months later because of complications of severe burns. A 19-year- old girl student from a music college and her mother were totally disfigured.
(People's Daily, August 17, 2001)