Spain: Chinese Embassy Refuses to Renew My Passport
I am Jie Pan, a Falun Dafa practitioner in Spain. In December 2001, my passport expired so I went to a Chinese Consulate to apply for an extension. However, so far the Embassy has refused to extend my passport, saying that it must be referred to the Public Security Department in Beijing. This has caused a very difficult situation with respect to my legal residency status in Spain.
I came to Spain in February 1999, and obtained my legal residency status following Spain's amnesty in 2000. I started to practice Falun Gong in 1996. Before that, I had various illnesses that made me unable to work and take care of my family. But I regained my health shortly after I practiced Falun Gong. Similar to me, tens of thousands of people in China have regained their health physically and mentally from practicing Falun Gong.
It is because of its great effectiveness that Falun Gong was able to spread widely in just a few years. This also made China's dictator Jiang extremely jealous and jittery. As a result, he and his gang started to persecute Falun Gong thoroughly in July 1999. They mobilized all the propaganda apparatus in the country to slander Falun Gong with fabricated stories. They also used brutal torture to abuse Falun Gong practitioners, trying to force them to give up their belief.
Overseas Falun Gong practitioners have taken various approaches to urge the Chinese government to stop persecuting Falun Gong. We have launched a series of peaceful protests and demonstrations at China's consulates in Madrid and Barcelona as well. When Jiang visited the Canary Islands in 2001, some practitioners and I went there to stage a protest. It was a peaceful protest without violence. We simply held posters reading, "Stop persecuting Falun Gong." However, it was for this peaceful protest that my family members and I are now persecuted by the Chinese government. It was reported that Jiang was furious at the protest, and sent a task force to probe into this matter after returning to China.
Shortly after I returned to Madrid, someone was trailing me. My passport, letters and photos taken with other practitioners disappeared from my home (I reported this to the police station in my neighborhood.) Furthermore, my seventy-eight-year-old mother in Beijing was interrogated many times. She was even detained by police. They asked my mother, "When will your daughter return to China? You must report it to us as soon as she returns home."
In Spain, I had never told anyone my address and phone number in Beijing. Therefore, I think their purpose of stealing my passport was to identify my address in Beijing through my passport number, in order to keep track of my whereabouts and arrest me.
The problem facing me now is to have my residency status renewed, for which I need a passport. My family members miss me a lot, and they want to reunite with me in Spain. But I have no way to complete the necessary procedures if I don't get a renewed residency status.
Jin-an Sao, another Falun Gong practitioner in Spain, lost his passport and went to a Chinese consulate to apply for a new one. Similar to my case, his application has long been delayed with the same excuse "Your case has been referred to the Public Security Department in Shanghai." As a result, he cannot get his residency status renewed, nor can he return to China to visit his father, who is seriously ill. In addition, our peaceful protests have been harassed by local hooligans hired by the Chinese consulates. They even threatened us by saying, "We'll kill you."
Jiang's group's deplorable deeds have made inroads into other countries, including some free democratic western countries. Thus we would like to call on the international community to be concerned with this issue, so as to stop China's abuse of basic human rights and its persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and other countries altogether.