The 6-10 Office – named after the date of its creation on June 10th, 1999 – is an extralegal police task force established by former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. Jiang granted it wide-ranging powers to use “every means necessary” to wipe out Falun Gong. Operating in an atmosphere of impunity even after Jiang was replaced by Hu Jintao, the 6-10 Office has become notorious for its regular use of extreme torture.
Above the law
The 6-10 Office is an illegitimate entity. Its establishment is against Article 36 of the Chinese Constitution regarding religious freedom and against Article 89 that defines the State Council's functions and powers.
The power and control that the 6-10 Office exerts on the public security and judicial systems is a violation of the Chinese Constitution (Articles 126, 128, 131 and 133). According to the above Articles, the People's Court and the People's Procuratorate have independent rights to exercise jurisdiction and prosecutorial powers. Lawyers who challenged the illegality of the 6-10 Office were subsequently persecuted themselves. Some key figures of the 6-10 Office have been sued outside China in various genocide lawsuits.
Following the establishment of the Central 6-10 Office, each province, city and county quickly formed 6-10 Offices. Even in villages and townships 6-10 Officies were established. After the persecution started on July 20th, 1999, the Central 6-10 Office became a permanent organisation within the CCP, and was elevated to the level of a Ministry. The heads of each 6-10 Office also received an elevated rank that put them above the local authorities.
Universities, government agencies and major corporations also formed 6-10 Offices. These 6-10 Offices were under the direct order of the CCP Central Committee. In China, the governing power is centralised in the CCP Central Committee. Local governments are not allowed to make their own decisions. The Central Committee order is carried out throughout the country with no distinction on how the order is implemented in different regions.
Local 6-10 Offices are responsible for the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in their region and are punished if Falun Gong activities take place or if people from their region succeed in going to Beijing to protest for Falun Gong.
Campaign of destruction
The 6-10 Office takes the lead in persecuting Falun Gong by the implementation of Jiang Zemin's order: “defame their reputations, bankrupt them financially, destroy them physically.”
The 6-10 Office has concocted numerous stories portraying Falun Gong as “anti-science”, “anti-society”, “anti-humanity”, “anti-government”, and “anti-Party”. The mass anti-Falun Gong propaganda is used as a tool to turn the Chinese people against Falun Gong. Beset by non-stop attacks in all the media, Falun Gong practitioners are isolated from friends and family, or lose their jobs or shelter. Without the warmth of simple human contact the 6-10 Office expects the practitioners to choose to abandon Falun Gong.
The 6-10 Office has established "brainwashing centres" throughout China and has demanded every township, city, county, and province to meet certain quotas for the number of practitioners they “transform”. The formal sign of transformation occurs when the practitioner writes “three statements” demanded by the 6-10 Office: a letter of repentance, a guarantee never again to practise Falun Gong, and a list of names and addresses of all family members, friends and acquaintances who are Falun Gong practitioners.
The local 6-10 Offices organise “study sessions” in work units and schools in which everyone is required to denounce Falun Gong in mandatory signature campaigns that extend down even to elementary schools.
When a Falun Gong practitioner is tracked down by the 6-10 Office he may lose housing, job, pension, or he may be suspended from university. But the punishment does not often end with the practitioner. The family also stands to lose housing, jobs, pensions, and places in university. For this reason, millions of practitioners wander China homeless today, trying to protect their families from punishment. Even neighbours or workplaces of Falun Gong practitioners may be fined, and their university may be penalised.
The 6-10 Office encourages police at all levels to steal from practitioners and their families. Huge “fines” are extracted, with no receipt given for the cash lifted. Police walk into homes and simply take anything of value. If the practitioners are farmers, they lose crops, equipment, even seeds.
To break Falun Gong practitioners, the 6-10 Office makes regular use of extreme torture. Policemen in jails will beat and kick practitioners for hours; using an electric club with a charge of 25,000 volts that burns and blisters the skin and damages the nervous system, guards will torture until the batteries die out; women face all forms of sexual abuse.
Different name, same crimes
The 6-10 Office has come under increasing international pressure as knowledge of its existence has been reported in the international press and details of its mission have gradually been unveiled. The 6-10 Office was severely critised in news articles by The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post as well as statements from concerned government leaders around the world. Additionally, in 2002 and 2003 the 6-10 Office or its leadership was named in nine lawsuits filed around the world, alleging genocide, torture, and crimes against humanity.
In response to these developments, provincial governments in China announced that the 6-10 Office had been “disbanded”. Its name was removed from most Chinese official websites. An official document from CCP Rongchang County Committee, however, revealed the true situation, that the 6-10 Office has simply changed its name, while in reality maintaining the status quo with little or no change. Since the 6-10 Office went underground in 2003, daily reports of extortion, loss of job or housing, beatings, torture and killings of Falun Gong practitioners have continued uninterrupted.