Commemorating Fifteen Years of Courage

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Epoch Times, Singapore Edition (Issue 491, July 25 – August 7, 2014)

By Epoch Times Staff

Imagine if your parents were arrested and interrogated because you were exercising in a park. Imagine if your relatives were fired from their jobs because you believed in being a good person. Imagine if you, yourself, were abducted, imprisoned, and tortured because of your beliefs.

For practitioners of Falun Gong in China, many of them have experienced at least one of the above scenarios. Many have fled their country, with stories of escape fit for Hollywood. And many have come to other countries including Singapore, looking for a way to make their stories heard.

You’ve probably seen these practitioners before. They typically organise vigils or other awareness-raising activities on historic dates like the recent July 20—the day the persecution became official policy. Their goal: to remind the world about the human rights abuses in China, and ask the international community to help demand the persecution end.

Personal Stories
Jane Dai, a Falun Gong practitioner from China, went to the United States with her daughter in 2007. Her husband was abducted by Chinese authorities in 2001 for practising Falun Gong. He was tortured to death in prison that same year.

“Millions of practitioners have been persecuted for 15 years,” Dai said. “My family is just one of them.”
“My daughter is 14 now,” she said. “The last time she saw her father was when she was nine months old.”
Another Falun Gong practitioner is Crystal Chen. She is 42, but can easily pass for 30. In her home in Guangzhou, China, she was abducted by police for practising Falun Gong and spent three years in a re-education through labour camp.

While in the labour camp, Chen was regularly tortured. One day the guards nearly tortured her to death. They sent her to a hospital outside the camp, and from there she was able to escape. She fled to Thailand where she became a refugee under the United Nations. She was resettled in the United States in 2009.

In his Pulitzer Prize-winning article, journalist Ian Johnson gave a vivid account of such torture. Chen Zixiu, a retired factory worker, was shocked by labour camp guards with cattle prods. She was then ordered to “run barefoot in the snow. Two days of torture had left her legs bruised and her short black hair matted with pus and blood…She crawled outside, vomited, and collapse. She never regained consciousness”. Chen died on 21 February 2000.

Extreme methods of torture in labour camps also include abusive tube feedings, “rack” torture, rape, impaling of fingernails with bamboo sticks, burning with red-hot iron rods—and many more. Many practitioners have been driven to insanity and death.

Unshaken Beliefs
The story of Falun Gong is about 100 million people in China who believed in being truthful, compassionate, and tolerant. It’s the story of a belief that Jiang said in 1999 he would destroy in three months.

Yet, for Chen and many others, the story of Falun Gong is not a sad one. It’s about 100 million people who stood strong, even when every state-run media in China spread lies about them, even when every security bureau in China was assigned to destroy them, and even when the communist regime’s lies spread abroad and the entire world seemed against them.

And it’s a story of how Falun Gong did not fight back. The parades, vigils and commemorative events all tell one story—one of unshaken will amid suffering, of people who, in the face of a hatred that sought to blanket the world with lies, were able to remain kind and calmly tell the world the truth.

And now, the crimes committed by leaders of China’s communist party and security bureaus are being uprooted and shown to the world.

Erping Zhang, spokesperson for the New York Falun Dafa Association, expressed his thanks to those who have supported Falun Gong, including several countries and non-government organisations such as Amnesty International and the United Nations. The UN and many countries have passed several resolutions condemning the persecution in China.

He noted, “We have seen great support from around the world.”

Brighter Prospects
The persecution in China is still taking place and, according to the numbers has grown worse over the last year, said Wang Zhiyuan, spokesperson of the World Organisation to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.

To date, over 63,000 accounts of torture and over 3,700 deaths from torture and abuse have been confirmed, although the Falun Dafa Information Centre believes the true death toll is much higher.

In addition, independent investigators believe tens of thousands of practitioners have been murdered as their organs have been taken for use in transplantation. The mounting evidence collected since 2000 has prompted the UN Special Rapporteurs and UN Committee against Torture to confront the Chinese government on the issue multiple times since 2006 (see http://organharvestinvestigation.net).

There are many Falun Gong practitioners, however, including Wang, who believe that very soon the oppressed will outlast the oppressor – when the persecution ends, the truth will come to light and the crimes of China’s leaders will be taken to the world stage.

Liam O’Neill said, “The CCP has the world’s largest army and the world’s largest public security apparatus. It has a total monopoly on the media and near total control of the Chinese Internet.”

“Why haven’t they defeated Falun Gong? Because good people trying to be better people is, in fact, the most powerful and enduring force,” O’Neil said.

For more information on Falun Gong and the persecution in China, visit the Falun Dafa Information Centre at www.faluninfo.net.

From – http://issuu.com/liyen/docs/july25-aug7_34 (Pg 1),  http://issuu.com/liyen/docs/july25-aug7_35 (Pg 2)

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