The Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident took place in Tiananmen Square in central Beijing, on the eve of Chinese New Year on 23 January 2001. The incident is disputed: the official Chinese press agency, Xinhua News Agency, stated that five members of Falun Gong, a banned spiritual movement, set themselves on fire to protest the unfair treatment of Falun Gong by the Chinese government. The Falun Dafa Information Center stated the incident was a hoax staged by the Chinese government to turn public opinion against the group and to justify the torture and imprisonment of its practitioners; they further stated that Falun Gong teachings explicitly forbid killing and violence, including suicide.
According to Chinese state media, the five people were part of a group of seven who had travelled to the square together. The incident received international news coverage, and video footage was broadcast later in the People's Republic of China by China Central Television (CCTV).<ref... Read More