(Clearwisdom.net) My name is Bao Guofen, and I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I've lived in Japan for 16 years and am in the process of becoming a permanent resident of Japan.

Before I started practicing Falun Dafa, I had many illnesses including nerve pain, high blood pressure and low blood pressure. The pain brought on by these illnesses affected my life and work profoundly. I finally lost the ability to work, so I had no choice but to resign. In May 1997 I went back to China in order to seek treatment for my illnesses. I spent lots of money and endured a difficult time looking for a good doctor and good medicine, but my illnesses still were still not fully cured.

When I was at my worst in July 1998, a friend introduced me to Falun Dafa. I read the book Zhuan Falun (1) immediately and started to learn the exercises from my friend. Within just two months, the illnesses that had accompanied me for so many years disappeared. I lived in a joyful and relaxed state, free of illness. Slowly I came to understand that Falun Dafa is not only an effective way of healing, but it can also help people to upgrade their moral character.

Yet a brutal persecution against Falun Gong had begun. Because I have truly benefited from Falun Gong, I knew very well that Jiang's propaganda against Falun Gong was fabricated, so I went back to China a few times to appeal on behalf of this practice at the government appeal office. I also participated in many overseas activities aimed at raising human rights awareness and to call for people to help end the persecution.

Twice in 1999 I tried to go back to China to appeal. Both attempts failed when customs officers at the Beijing airport sent me back to Japan.

On my second attempt, I flew from Japan to Beijing on December 28, 1999. I was detained at customs with over ten other people who had traveled with me. What left the deepest impression on me was that the room where we were detained had bars on the windows and doors, through which the police watched us closely, took photos of us and rudely interrogated us. It was then Chinese New Year's Eve, and we were deported back to Japan on Chinese New Year's Day.

On June 10, 2002, I went to Hong Kong for the second time and was detained at the airport. Others who were also detained included people from the U.S., Australia and Japan ¨C a total of 11 of us. In a room in the airport about 15 armed policemen suddenly took violent action against us to deport us. A person from Japan was wrapped up in a blanket and carried onto the airplane. We attempted to stop such violent acts, which were in violation of our rights, but our requests prompted the police to push our faces into the walls and sofas, forcefully detaining us and removing us from the room one by one. I was shoved up against a wall and forced to stand facing the wall without moving. People who were not carried onto the flight started a hunger strike during the next two days. In the end we were still deported.

When I went back to China to appeal in 1999, the officials stamped my passport, which voids it immediately. In 2001, I went to the Chinese Embassy in Japan to try to renew my passport, but they told me, "We cannot do anything for you because your name is on 'the list,' since you were one of the more than a thousand people who went to appeal." Later Officer Wu Xiaoyin interviewed me. He requested that I sign a promissory statement not to practice Falun Gong. I did not go along with his request. As a result, I was without a passport for three years, which has been a great inconvenience. I had problems looking for a job because I didn't have a passport, and I also couldn't travel overseas.

I am a citizen of the People's Republic of China. I have not committed any crime, and I merely wanted to speak out in support of a cultivation practice that is good for mind and body. For this simple reason, my right to return to my country and my right to passport renewal were taken away from me. This is an abuse of our basic human rights. No other democratic country can imagine how badly China has breached her own constitution. I hope that the true principles of Falun Dafa will be recognized again in China one day, and those who persecute the good will be justly punished by history.

(1) Zhuan Falun is the principal book of Falun Dafa.