Lin Lili Faces Deportation; Bishop of Oxford Protests
March 4, 2003
(Clearwisdom.net) The Epoch Times reports from London -- His Excellency, the Rt. Reverend Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, wrote a letter to Ms. Beverley Hughes, MP, the Minister for Citizenship and Immigration and a member of the UK House of Commons. In the letter, the bishop strongly opposed the possible deportation of a pregnant Chinese woman living in England, Lin Lili, who is faced with deportation back to China.
Lin Lili is currently staying at a deportation center in Manchester and was told she will be deported back to China on March 7, 2003.
Bishop Harris is influential in British circles and is especially well known to the royal family. In this letter to Ms. Hughes, Minister for Citizenship and Immigration and a member of the UK House of Commons, the bishop stated, "I was very sorry to hear that Ms Lili Lin is being deported. I would like to appeal most strongly against this. As you know, Lili is a Falun Gong practitioner, and it is clear that such practitioners are being harassed and persecuted in China. This would seem to provide clear grounds to support her claim for asylum."
A medical examination carried out at the detention center revealed that she is six weeks pregnant. Lin Lili's life, and that of her unborn child, will be seriously endangered if she is deported back to China. It would be extremely dangerous for her to be sent back to a hostile environment where she could be detained and tortured at any moment, especially as China is known to use late-term abortions to force female Falun Gong practitioners to renounce their belief.
Falun Gong practitioners in the UK said Lin Lili is an active Falun Gong practitioner in the UK, and runs a Falun Gong exercise-teaching class in Liverpool, together with her husband. Her husband's name, Zhang Jinfei, appears in Falun Gong's leaflets and websites, which are widely and openly distributed. She has frequently been to the Chinese consulate in Manchester and the Chinese Embassy in London to appeal against the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China.
Xia Ze, a UK practitioner said, "The names of many practitioners in the UK are on China's blacklist. The Chinese Embassy is continuing its extended persecution against Falun Gong in the UK. Many UK practitioners' request for extensions of their passports were rejected and their family members in China were threatened. The Chinese Embassy has collected large amounts of information about practitioners in the UK. The Chinese government clearly knows about Lin Lili and her husband's participation in Falun Gong activities. If this family is not protected, a tragedy might occur."
Several cases of persecution against Falun Gong practitioners by officials from the Chinese Embassy have taken place in the UK, which shocked the UK citizenry. The first one was the case of the Chinese Embassy refusing to issue a passport to the newly born daughter of You Yi and his wife Mou Zhengfang, who went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong in 2000 and called for an end to the persecution. Dozens of Members of Parliament joined in their appeal for the Chinese Embassy to issue a passport to the baby girl. The Chinese Embassy had to make a concession, and the parents successfully got a passport for their baby girl. In another case, Deng Xiaobin, a student in the Department of Civil Engineering at Cambridge University had his request for extension of his passport rejected. This incident was widely reported by T.V. stations and newspapers in the UK.
Xia Ze said, "I hope the UK government can keep Lin Lili in the UK based on humanitarianism, so she can join her husband and live a dignified life. This is currently impossible in China."