A free sheet was labelled “racist” and “full of distortions” by Brighton and Hove City Council today (Friday 19 July).
The Epoch Times has been posted through thousands of people’s letterboxes across Brighton and Hove over the past few days.
It blamed the Chinese Communist Party for the spread of covid-19 and accused party bosses of covering up the facts about the coronavirus.
The sub-heading on the front page said: “The Chinese Communist Party’s cover up led to a pandemic that now threatens the lives of people around the globe. What really happened and what lessons can we learn?”
The council said: “We’re asking residents to rely on official sources of information following distribution of a publication containing misleading stories harmful to our communities.”
Labour councillor Carmen Appich, who chairs the Tourism, Equalities, Communities and Culture Committee, said: “I am dismayed that this publication is being circulated in the city.
“Despite appearing professionally produced, it’s full of distortions and messaging that is frankly racist. It’s clear the organisation behind it is not to be trusted.
“We do not tolerate any form of hate in this city. Publications like this are not welcome here and will be referred to the police.
“We’ve made a commitment to amplify our actions on anti-racism to make sure everyone can live a full life free from discrimination and harm.
“We stand together with all of our communities and we are here to support anyone who has been harmed by receiving this publication or by any hate incident.”
The Wikipedia website described the Epoch Times as a “media extension of the Falun Gong new religious movement” which supports right-wing politicians including the American president Donald Trump.
Wikipedia also said: “Falun Gong practitioners in China are reportedly subject to a wide range of human rights abuses.
“Hundreds of thousands are estimated to have been imprisoned extrajudicially and practitioners in detention are subject to forced labour, psychiatric abuse, torture and other coercive methods of thought reform at the hands of Chinese authorities.”
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