The Chinese government has promised not to punish any ordinary Falun Gong practitioners, a senior Chinese official said here today at a press conference held by the Information Office of the State Council.
Li Baoku, vice-minister of Civil Affairs, said that so long as ordinary Falun Gong practitioners break ties with Falun Gong organizations and do not participate in their activities, they will not be blamed and punished.
Li said that most of the Falun Gong practitioners are victims of and hoodwinked by Falun Gong organizations.
The major task now is to educate them to break away from the organizations.
He emphasized that the government will deal with, in different ways, ordinary Falun Gong practitioners and a handful of Falun Gong organizers and key members.
A distinction will also be made between ordinary religious beliefs and the illegal Falun Gong organizations and their activities.
The normal physical exercises and organized illegal Falun Gong activities will also be treated differently.
He stressed that those who plotted and organized disturbance activities will be punished according to law.
(China Daily, July 23, 1999)