Spanish Newspaper "Europa Press" Interviews Practitioners about Persecution They Suffered in Forced Labor Camps (Photo)
Spanish newspaper Europa Press reported from Madrid on October the 19th that Falun Gong practitioners asked the Spanish Congress to denounce the persecution that Jiang's regime has conducted against Falun Gong in China. The following is their report.
Europa Press interview Falun Gong practitioners Xiong Wei and Chen Ying about the persecution they suffered in China
Today five Falun Gong practitioners met Mr. Gabriel Cisneros Laborda, the Vice President of the Spanish Congress, and asked the Congress to denounce the persecution that Jiang's regime has conducted against Falun Gong in China. Carlos Iglesias, one of the Falun Gong practitioners, told the reporter that Mr. Cisneros Laborda promised to bring this issue to the Congress in the form of a motion.
In the conversation with Mr. Cisneros Laborda, Falun Gong practitioners introduced the persecution as a genocide targeting a hundred million people. This persecution was instigated by the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin five years ago. Up to now, the confirmed death toll has reached 1,060. However, the actual number of death cases may exceed 5,000. There are about half a million Falun Gong practitioners imprisoned in labor camps. "The products they make in the labor camps are sold in China or exported to foreign countries, bringing tremendous economic profit to China. This fact highlights the wickedness of this persecution."
Mr. Cisneros Laborda paid close attention to this event. As an individual, he expressed his sympathy towards the Falun Gong practitioners who have been suffering from this persecution.
In the meeting, Mr. Cisneros Laborda also talked to two women Chinese Falun Gong practitioners who used to be imprisoned in labor camps. One is Chen Ying, who was arrested three times and imprisoned in a labor camp for one year. The other one is Xiong Wei, who was released in January 2004 after rescue efforts by the international community during two years of imprisonment.
Chen Ying started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 when she was in France. She went back to China in 1999 to visit her family. Because she didn't give up her belief in Falun Gong, she was illegally arrested three times. On the first occasion she was sent to a detention centre by three plainclothes policemen who didn't identify themselves at the time of the arrest. She was unlawfully detained for over a month. Another arrest was made in the name of holding an "illegal gathering." She was imprisoned in the same cell with regular criminals. The police ordered five criminals to put her onto the ground and sat on her back and beat her. Chen recalled, "I lost my consciousness because of the beating. After I regained consciousness, I found bruises all over my body."
Without following any legal procedure, Chen was subsequently sentenced to a year of labor re-education. She was imprisoned in Beijing's Xinan Women's Labor Re-education Camp from November 2000 to November 2001. During the period of imprisonment, she was forced to work on jobs such as wrapping so-called "sanitized" chopsticks, and weaving sweaters and gloves. "We had to work for sixteen hours a day. The working environment and conditions were very poor. At the same time as we were doing the work, they also performed brainwashing on us. We were forced to watch videotapes that slandered Falun Gong."
Chen Ying went on hunger strike to protest against the illegal imprisonment and torture. The police handcuffed her to the steel rail of the window, and then injected her with a drug. "When the drug was injected into my body, I felt so painful that I thought I was about to die. One week later, the left side of my body got numb and began to jerk uncontrollably. I also lost part of my ability to remember things."
She suffered from mental and physical persecution in the labor camp. In some extreme cases, Falun Gong practitioners were pressurized by the police to beat other practitioners. "There are only two choices under such circumstances, physical death if you insist on your belief, or spiritual death if you are forced to abandon the belief. The only way to survive is to distort your personality, dignity and belief. Such suffering is actually more painful than death."
Xiong Wei is a thirty-four year-old woman. She used to live in Germany, where she undertook advanced study in Mechanical Engineering. She started practicing Falun Gong in 1996 and returned to China in 2000 for a job associated with a German company in Beijing. She was arrested in January 2001 because she distributed Falun Gong flyers. In the very beginning, she was locked up in a cage inside the police station. During the imprisonment, she was not allowed to eat, drink or use the restroom. Later, she was sent to a detention centre and imprisoned for two and a half months, during which she went through a lot of inhuman abuses.
"I was imprisoned with more than twenty people in a dark cell for fourteen consecutive days. We shared a single toothbrush. Our meal had gravel and all kinds of bugs mixed in. Because the room was so crowded, we had to sleep in two rows with our feet facing each other and our legs crossed.
Inside the detention centre, Xiong Wei suffered from a series of different forms of persecution. "When I refused to give up practicing Falun Gong, the police forced me to make a 'flying' gesture, in which my waist bent all the way down until my forehead touched my knees and the arms were lifted backward and upward. I felt my head was about to burst into pieces, and my eyeballs were about to pop out. They would beat me if I could not tolerate this torture."
In March 2002, she was sent to the disposition unit for labor education. Without any legal process, she was sentenced to two years of forced labor. During the forced labor, they were forced to work from seven o'clock in the morning all the way until ten o'clock in the evening. "There was a certain amount of work we needed to complete. I saw some elderly women forced to work until 2 o'clock the next morning."
Since Xiong Wei had lived and studied in Germany, the persecution she experienced was less serious when compared with the other Falun Gong practitioners. The efforts to rescue her aroused intensive support in Germany. The German Chancellor, Mr. Schroder, and six parliament members wrote letters to the Chinese Government, requesting Xiong Wei's release. This relieved Xiong Wei of a great deal of pressure in the labor camp.
"The persecution they applied to me could not be easily seen on the face of it. Unlike how they persecuted the other Falun Gong practitioners, they didn't electrically shock or beat me such that no scar or bruise would show up on my body as evidence of torture. Their persecution of me took different forms, such as forcing me to work ten times harder."
Xiong Wei witnessed various forms of torture and mistreatment in the labor camp. For example, many Falun Gong practitioners were tied onto a wooden cross for twenty consecutive days. A twenty-year-old college student was locked up in a cell and stripped naked simply because she said "Falun Dafa is good." The police instigated eight female prisoners to take turns beating her. As a result of the assault, she had to lie down on the bed and could not move at all for almost three weeks. Some practitioners were not allowed to sleep for over a month because they wouldn't give up practicing Falun Gong.
With rescue efforts from the international community, Xiong Wei was finally released from the labor camp on January 4, 2004.
The Persecution Initiated by Jiang Zemin
Chen Ying said, "The crackdown on Falun Gong was initiated by China's former President Jiang Zemin, in July 1999. The number of Falun Gong practitioners reached one hundred million before the persecution. This number was higher than the population of the Chinese Communist Party members. This fact caused Jiang to panic and exposed his jealousy. He considered his dictatorship was threatened."
"Before the persecution, the Chinese Government issued various awards to Falun Gong because Falun Gong had made a great contributions in improving the physical health and morality of the Chinese people."
Carlos Iglesias added that the persecution wasn't mitigated by Jiang's stepping down. "The persecution went on as before. Every day, we receive new death cases of Falun Gong practitioners because of the persecution. A lot more practitioners have been discovered to have died as a result of persecution."