My name is Cao Quanyun and I'm a New Zealand citizen. On September 3, 2002, my family in China informed me that my mother had passed away. On September 10, I went to the Chinese Consulate in Auckland to apply for a visa. At the time, the Consulate gave me a receipt and asked me to come back to pick up my visa approval on September 17. The receipt number was 454505.

When I returned to pick it up, the clerk gave me a hard time. First, he told me that I had provided them with incomplete information, when in actuality, I had explicitly followed their instructions and filled out all the information they requested in the application form. Next, they wanted me to indicate whether I practiced Falun Gong or not, and whether I was against the Chinese government or not. I asked for my passport back, but my request was rejected. In order for me to get my passport back they asked me to officially state that I voluntarily withdrew my visa application. I refused their unreasonable request and reminded them that they were the ones that rejected my visa application. They then gave me a slip and sent me home to wait for further notification.

On September 20, I returned to the Consulate to follow up on my request. Again they told me I had to wait. They gave me a phone extension number, 710. I called the number several times, but all I got was an answering machine message each time. On September 25, I went there again. Yet again, they gave me a hard time. They asked me questions about my wife who they knew was also a Falun Gong practitioner. After this conversation they asked me to go home and wait further for their instructions. On the night of September 25, a family member in Shanghai told me over the phone that the Shanghai police had visited them to check if they practiced Falun Gong.

My mother's funeral was scheduled on October 6, which I had indicated clearly in my visa application. As of October 4, the Auckland Consulate had refused to grant me a visa and had not returned my passport to me. Because of this, I am unable to bid my last farewell to my mother. I've been practicing Falun Gong for more than two years. Since practicing I easily broke a ten-year smoking habit. I get along harmoniously with my wife and my son and I treat others with benevolence. Over the past three years since China started persecuting Falun Gong, not only have Falun Gong practitioners in China been tortured to death, Falun Gong practitioners in other countries have also been mistreated and persecuted by Chinese Consulates in different countries. I hope the New Zealand government and human rights organizations can help me get my passport back and help kind-hearted Falun Gong practitioners by protecting our legal rights. I also hope that the New Zealand government can call on Jiang to stop persecuting Falun Gong.