A 10,000-Word Letter from Prison, Written by Ms. Yang Jingxia, a Practitioner and Retired Professor From Sichuan University (Abridged)
(Clearwisdom.net) Ms. Yang Jingxia, 70 years old, is a retired professor from the College of Architecture and Environment at Sichuan University. She is highly achieved, well respected in society and operates her own company.i She speaks fluent English and has visited many countries as an expert in environmental protection. The Liuyang County government in Hunan Province gave her free land as a reward for her contribution to the field of environmental sciences.
On May 9, 2003, a group of plainclothes police officers abducted Yang Jingxia and her graduate student Luo Ping, also a Falun Gong practitioner. They were illegally held at the Chengdu City' Detention Center in Pi County and were handcuffed and shackled. They were locked in separate rooms for several days and nights, during which time they were not allowed to sleep. The two Falun Gong practitioners were also savagely tortured; however, they persisted in their belief in Dafa.
In November 2003, Yang Jingxia was held in Room 11-07 at the Chengdu City' Detention Center. In this difficult environment she wrote a 10,000-word letter to the public prosecutor, in which she analyzed the persecution against Falun Dafa and Falun Gong practitioners from a legal perspective, using facts. She sincerely and kindly advised people to choose a bright future for themselves by stopping the persecution of Falun Dafa and supporting Dafa instead.
Below is an abridged version of Yang Jingxia's letter to the public prosecutor.
To the Wuhou District Public Prosecutor in Chengdu City
Dear Public Prosecutor, Judge and Government Lawyers:
My name is Yang Jingxia. I am 69 years old and a retired professor from the College of Architecture and Environment at Sichuan University. I am an environmental expert known in the international community. I studied abroad during the 1980s and started practicing Falun Dafa in 1995.
Around noon on May 9, 2003 when I was preparing food at home, a group of plainclothes police officers broke into my home and ransacked it. They took me to a rural hotel. I was handcuffed and not allowed to sleep for 102 hours. I was tortured and told to " 'confess' my problems." On May 13, 2003, at 6:00 p.m., I was transferred to Chengdu City's Detention Center. On June 10, the police changed my status from "under detention" to "under arrest," but I refused to sign their arrest warrant.
I learned that I was arrested because I practiced Falun Dafa. To this day I still do not know what law I violated and what charges were pressed. It was from a notice to hire a lawyer that I learned that the Wuhou District Police Department had reported my case.
I think this is a typical, wrongful case that stands no legal grounds.
I hereby write this letter of appeal, so the honorable judge and public prosecutor may have a thorough and deep understanding of my case. I sincerely hope that a rational and legally recognized decision will be made.
Appellant: Yang Jingxia
Letter of Appeal
- Introducing myself
- Falun Dafa is the greatest blessing in my life
- Why do I persist in Falun Dafa practice?
- My Falun Dafa practice is protected by the Chinese Constitution and international human rights conventions
- I have nothing to do with any of the accusations
- Three statements of mine
- My suggestions
I. Introducing Myself
1. My work experience
My name is Yang Jingxia. I was born on November 6, 1935 and I joined the Party in 1958.
I graduated from the Department of Chemical Industry at Dalian University of Technology in 1957. Later that same year I was assigned to work at the Chengdu University of Science and Technology, now the West District of Sichuan Union University. I worked as dean of the Staff Room of the Department of Chemical Smelting, deputy head of the Department of Metal Materials, and head of the Environmental Protection/Scientific Research Institute.
I retired in 1996 and stopped teaching in 1998.
In 1982, I was sent to the Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of London as a visiting scholar. I studied there for two years and returned to China in 1984. I have also visited the U.S.A, West Germany, Japan, France, Canada, Spain and other countries to present lectures and conduct research.
In 1986 I was transferred to the Central Leadership Group Office to Attract Foreign Scholars in Beijing.
From 1995 to 2000, for five consecutive years, the World Bank had hired me to work as a member of the Enterprise Resource Planning Group for Environmental Protection and Relocation. I was one of a group of Chinese experts signed onto the contract. Together with foreign experts, we inspected the Ertan Hydroelectric Station and studied the environmental protection and residents' relocation around the station on an annual basis. We wrote reports and sent them to the World Bank, who in turn made arrangements regarding the next loan extended to the Chinese government. I have done similar work in Guangxi Autonomous Region. I am currently an expert in environmental protection, registered with the World Bank.
During my study in the United Kingdom, I received acknowledgements from foreign colleagues and friends as well as from the Chinese Consulate's Education Division. I received assistance for expenses to [travel to] a conference held in the U.S.A., in recognition of my hard work.
After I returned to China, I received dozens of scholars and experts from various foreign countries who were there on academic exchanges, and gave lectures in China. I have made contributions to the international exchange of intellectual ideas and academic developments in my field.
During nearly four decades of teaching at Sichuan University, I contributed to the establishment of two new degree majors, two new departments and a research institute. I also taught more than ten graduate students. Some of them have become renowned experts and scholars and now reside in foreign countries. Those who remained in China are now the technical "backbones" of their work units.
After I retired, I continued to serve my country with my knowledge and skills. I have received patents on two of my inventions and was in the process of applying for a third patent when I was illegally abducted.
2. Some of my thoughts
Since a person's actions are the result of his or her thoughts, I feel obliged to give a brief summary of my mental maturation, as a supplement to this case.
During the 69 years of my life, my thinking processes have evolved as the society has changed.
During the first phase of my life, I was educated with Communist theories with a relatively unaffected mind.
In the second phase of my life, I joined the Party as a young woman in the midst of a series of political movements.
The third phase of my life coincided with the Reform and Opening-up Period, and as a result I had opportunities to witness operations in the scientific and educational field in developed countries. I really think there are great gaps between our country and developed countries. The differences do not lie only in living standards and the availability of material goods, but more importantly in the areas of social beliefs, respect for freedom of thoughts and encouragement of creative ideas.
3. My physical condition before 60 years of age
Because of the stress I experienced during these political movements as well as stress from work, from poverty and lack of rest, I suffered from numerous illnesses before I reached the age of 60. I often took medication, had IV infusions, and was bedridden and hospitalized. Rheumatoid heart disease, kidney stones, gallbladder disease and stomach disease inflicted much agony on me, and I rolled in pain when the gallbladder disease hit. I longed for a miracle drug that would relieve my physical suffering.
I had accomplishments during the third phase of my life, was treated as a distinguished guest during foreign visits and I was well respected in my field of specialty within Sichuan Province. On the surface it seemed that I was enjoying the recognition; however, fame does not negate illness and my friends and family were incapable of alleviating my suffering.
4. Qigong practice was an inevitable step in the fourth phase of my life
Because I was concerned about my failing health, I started looking for a way to take care of myself in my old age.
This was during the wave of public qigong teaching when many qigong books were published. I was quite interested in the supernatural phenomenon observed in qigong. I discovered that qigong was a hidden treasure rooted in traditional Chinese culture, and I wanted to study it.
II. Falun Dafa is the Greatest Blessing in My Life
In late 1995, when I was trying to pick the best qigong to study in my old age, I fortuitously obtained a copy of the book, Zhuan Falun. Thus I began a new phase in my life. I was riveted when I opened the first page of the book, as every word went straight to my heart. I felt my mind was connected with the author of the book. After finishing reading the book, I felt I had found the most precious treasure. This was what I had been looking for all along! I vaguely felt that Falun Dafa was what I had been seeking for many lifetimes and it was going to lead me on a path to return to my true self.
Through repeated study of Zhuan Falun I learned many principles I never knew before.
First, I learned that Falun Dafa is not an ordinary qigong practice but is true cultivation practice. It is the great Law that can help people to raise the level of their being and it is here to offer people salvation.
I understood everything in the book and liked the book very much. I felt it was quite good and extremely precious.
Maybe I would not have been so determined [to continue cultivating] if I didn't truly practice Falun Dafa. Between 1992 and 1999, the government acknowledged and praised Dafa. I cultivated Dafa for four years, from 1995 to 1999. Although I have never met Teacher Li and I practiced at home and rarely participated in group activities, I still experienced tremendous and wonderful changes. Among those were the cleansing of my body, the installation of the qi mechanism and the Falun, the protection of Teacher's fashen [Law Body], elimination of karma, and other things. I was completely freed from all illnesses including minor ones, and I was extremely happy. I was able to walk lightly at almost the same speed as people half my age. I was also released from worries and fears because I conducted myself according to the principle Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. My relationship with other people improved, as I was able to think of the other person and yield when conflicts of interest arose. My [business] colleagues respected my character and many contracts were signed. My financial situation also improved. I was immersed in the boundless joy endowed by Falun Dafa. I deeply felt that Falun Dafa was the greatest blessing in my life!
If the ban and persecution of Dafa had not taken place, I would still be peacefully practicing Dafa at this point.
III. Why Do I Persist In Falun Dafa Practice?
One may ask me, "You said you benefit from Falun Dafa. We believe what you said; however, the government now bans it. You have been a Communist party member for years. Why don't you give up the practice and stand in the same line as the Central Committee of the CCP?"
I know Falun Dafa is very good and righteous in both theory and practice. It has given me a happy life in my old age. When the government suddenly banned and even persecuted It, I was reluctant to give up the practice. I wanted to know why the government had supported it for seven years and suddenly decided to ban and even persecute it. I have been through many different political movements before. Those included many occasions where the highest-placed party leaders had made mistakes. Those historic lessons made me unwilling to just follow anything without my own reasoning; hence I calmly observed the situation and thought it through rationally. I was later arrested and detained without due cause. My own experience made me realize that those overseas reports about the persecution of practitioners [in China] were true indeed. Through four years of observations and investigation I became clear on the following issues:
1. Fundamentally speaking, the "persecution" is completely unfounded and unreasonable
After I finished watching the CCTV program that attacked Falun Dafa from all directions on July 22, 1999, I became aware of a strange, big loophole. Why did the CCTV not touch on the core content of Falun Dafa at all? The highest principles of Falun Dafa are "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," but the CCTV didn't mention these three words at all. The main content of Falun Dafa is in the book Zhuan Falun, but the CCTV didn't mention anything in the book being improper. The Falun Dafa practice methods are the five sets of exercises, but the CCTV didn't mention anything being wrong with the five sets of exercises. These core contents of Falun Dafa are the fundamental reasons I believe that Falun Dafa is great.
'''Viewing the suppression of Falun Gong from any angle, it is the persecution that is unreasonable and illegal, a huge mistake and an unprecedented injustice.
2. Persecuting Falun Gong is a large-scale violation of the Chinese Constitution, the law and human rights
The decision to persecute Falun Gong was wrong from the beginning. Without any reasons and grounds, a personal, ideological perception becomes a forced, political issue; a group of people who just want to be good persons based on the principle of "Truthfulness-Compassion- Tolerance" and who are not concerned in the least with politics, is forced into a terrible position. Furthermore, in order to force the practitioners to give up their personal belief, the originators of the persecution are applying the policy of "destroying them physically; defaming their reputation; bankrupting them financially." A series of huge mistakes have therefore been made. For example, without any due legal procedures and with no evidence, practitioners' homes can be broken into, searched and their belongings confiscated; practitioners can be abducted and detained at will, which are all against the Constitution and which clearly violate personal freedom and citizens' basic rights.
Forced brainwashing is the most absurd and severe violation of human rights. After the enforcers have arrested and detained practitioners, they can sentence them to force labor at will. Then, in a forced labor camp, the authorities feel compelled to "reform" them, that is, to force practitioners to write a "repentance statement" and a "Guarantee Statement." Those practitioners who betray the tenets of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and yield to "Falseness-Evil-Violence" are released or told to remain, to "help" to "reform" those who remain determined in the cultivation of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Conversely, those who refuse to give up "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and refuse to write the "repentance and Guarantee Statement" to give up cultivation would suffer all kinds of tortures. The tortures used against practitioners include electrically shocking the sensitive parts of the body, hanging practitioners up and beating them, forcing them to stand up straight for lengthy periods; putting practitioners into a water dungeon; sleep deprivation; prolonged exposure under the hot sun; being doused with cold water during the winter; stripping women of their clothing and putting them into male' cells, and other atrocities. These evil savageries are too numerous to mention individually. The perpetrators have even tortured people to death. Such atrocities are most severe in northern China.
Another form of persecution is financial sanctions: practitioners may not get paid or may be fired from their jobs, and their personal belongings are confiscated. Practitioners are thus put into financially desperate situations.
Events from my own experiences: My home was illegally searched and I was unlawfully detained. I was deprived of sleep for four consecutive days and nights (102 hours) with both hands cuffed together the whole time. Imagine - such savagery can happen in Chengdu City, the so-called "civilized city" by international standards, depriving someone of' sleep for four days and four nights, and this to an almost-70-year-old internationally-known senior intellectual. If this abuse can happened to me, just think of what savagery is done in those forced labor camps, secret "brainwashing" classes that are in "isolated" "non-civilized" cities, towns, townships and villages, to those who have relatively low social and cultural status? Moreover, what I know is just a tiny tip of an iceberg.
However, even this tiny tip of an iceberg is enough to show the severity of the violations against the Constitution, against the law and against human rights, taking place in the persecution of Falun Dafa.
3. Deception and framing are exposed in the international community; the persecutors are becoming enmeshed in a web of their own doing
The Communist party's every political movement is maintained by lies. This persecution of Falun Gong is no exception.
When CCTV first broadcast the video about the Tiananmen Self-Immolation worldwide, we practitioners and some of wise people in China knew it was a fake and was created to slander and defame Falun Gong, but many common people still believed it was true and misunderstood Dafa at that time. Not long after, though, overseas reporters who wanted to know what really happened studied the video clip carefully and found many inconsistencies.
The "Tiananmen Self-immolation" scandal was exposed worldwide, and the national reputation of China was damaged. It also shows that this unreasonable persecution of Falun Gong has completely bogged down.
4. This unreasonable persecution has deep, international repercussions
Because the persecutors who did so many evil things were afraid of being exposed, they tried very hard to block such information from being leaked, and spent large amounts of money to hire scores of "Internet police." In this highly developed, modern worldwide information society, many cases of persecution of practitioners, particularly many details of people having died as a result of the persecution, have been reported overseas. This has aroused international concern.
During the five years that Falun Dafa has been persecuted in China, the practice has widely spread worldwide. Right now, over 60 countries, including Russia, have legally-registered Falun Dafa Associations. Falun Dafa has received over 1,000 proclamations worldwide. The book Zhuan Falun has been translated into over 20 languages. Many countries have set up Minghui Schools, which teach children to understand the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." Some universities have set up a Falun Gong course for undergraduate and graduate students. Many Westerners are learning Chinese in order to read the original Chinese version of Zhuan Falun.
What about the physical place of origin of Falun Dafa - China? As reported, several tens of thousands of practitioners have been unlawfully detained; several millions of Falun Dafa books and other Dafa information have been burned, ground up and destroyed. Such items are still being confiscated during illegal house searches. Nowadays, Zhuan Falun books are extremely hard to find in China. If they want the book, people in China have to buy it in other countries; learning Falun Gong and actually freely practicing can only happen in countries other than China.
The profound international influence of Falun Dafa is probably beyond the expectation of the inceptor of the persecution.
5. Righteous forces in society have well prepared for the day when the persecutors and the crimes they committed are exposed
From my viewpoint as a veteran Communist party member I have sighed deeply, "In such a big county, in such a big Party, how can 1.2 billion people just watch such a stupid person leading the Party and the country on a path of self-destruction without doing anything to stop him?" Soon I found an answer.
By accident I read a book called Poisonous Deceit. The author of the book is a highly placed Party leader. The book was first published in English overseas. The book exposes inside stories about how the persecutors deceive common people with all kinds of lies and defamation, and how they entrap the Party employees into persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Although the author is not a practitioner, he is a person with righteousness and wisdom. He pointed out an important fact: there were some righteous people in political and legal circles who risked their lives to collect and record in detail the crimes that have been committed against Falun Gong. Much evidence had been collected, including over four thousand pictures, many videos and tapes. The specific details of how the "Tiananmen Self-immolation" [video tape] was made are also included. This information has been secluded in a safe place. Once the situation permits, these will be exposed to the world as criminal evidence.
6. Facing the persecution, Falun Dafa manifests its pure and righteous, universal power
Since Falun Dafa activities are managed according to the concept of "the Great Way is formless" there are no organizational structures, no membership lists and no offices. People volunteer to participate in any activities. Practitioners make their own choices and decisions based on the teachings of Falun Dafa. When the persecution suddenly attacked all practitioners, each practitioner had to independently face dramatic tribulations and choose their own response.
By thinking rationally and seriously, we firmly believe we have not chosen a wrong path to practice Falun Dafa. At the beginning, we thought that individual leaders who had misunderstood Falun Dafa had caused the persecution. We felt that once we explained the truth to them, the situation would quickly revert to how it had been when the government supported Falun Dafa and it was freely practiced.
Faced with such a mighty power that could mobilize all forces in the country, those individual, seemingly powerless practitioners, including many older people who have recovered from illness and who sincerely want to cultivate "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," look so weak and helpless. Nevertheless, once their minds contain the universal principles, they became indestructible. Facing these powerful governmental forces, practitioners follow the highest principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and persistently confront all tribulations. They do not have any political notions. All along, their only request has been to be able to openly hold their belief and freely practice Falun Dafa. They hope that the persecution in our motherland will end and that people will once again be able to freely learn and practice like those in all other countries.
Their lives shine with the light of Truth and send out the miraculous power of Dafa. All the cruel persecution methods in the human world, from ancient to modern, are useless against them. Considering the numerous practitioners, once again I see the wonder and purity of Dafa as well as its powerful strength. It is the great Dafa that has created those great Dafa practitioners. Comparing them with the persecutors only makes me more firmly believe in Falun Dafa.
IV. My Falun Dafa Practice is Protected by the Chinese Constitution and International Human Rights Conventions.
It is clearly stipulated in the constitution of the People's Republic of China that Chinese citizens have freedom of belief, freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Among other guarantees, it is also stipulated that Chinese citizens' private property and their personal freedom cannot be impinged upon, and that Chinese citizens enjoy civil rights.
At the same time, the People's Republic of China signed and ratified the International Human Rights Conventions in Geneva in 1986. One of the articles in the convention specifies that "a human being, regardless of race, nationality, gender, skin color, or education level and profession, should enjoy basic human rights and basic freedom, including the right to exist, the right of labor, and freedom of thinking, communicating and expressing one's thought; one also should have freedom of speech and freedom of the press. No one is allowed to violate these basic human rights."
My Falun Dafa practice falls within the scope of freedom of belief and freedom of thought. It is completely out of my own will and my individual action that I cultivate Falun Dafa. I don't' participate in any organization. No one's coercive order forced me to practice. The way I cultivate myself is to read Dafa books at home and cultivate my xinxing, so as to constantly assimilate myself to the standards of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" and to be a very good person. In Falun Dafa there is no need to participate in any kind of organized activities. I haven't personally seen Teacher since I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1995, neither have I had the opportunity to attend Teacher's nine-day seminars. My determination and faith in Falun Dafa originated from my deep understanding of the principles of Falun Dafa and my own experience during my cultivation. Practicing Falun Gong is based on my personal belief. Although the government has banned Falun Gong, I am still determined in my cultivation. It is my independent, sensible reasoning that led me to make this decision. It is my independent, sensible reasoning that had led me to make this decision.
V. I Have Nothing to Do With Any of the Accusations
I read the indictment statement against me on December 5 and I saw a list of "accusations" on the statement. I believe these accusations have nothing to do with me, for the following reasons:
1. I have never participated in any "cult" organization
Other than joining the Chinese Communist Party, I haven't participated in any other organization, not to mention any "cult organization." Please provide evidence as to where and when and through whom I participated in any organization, and under what kind of procedure. It is even more absurd to say I have "utilized a cult organization."
2. The words "interfering with law enforcement" are obscure
I would like to request a more explicit description, and evidence, to let me know what kind of law enforcement I interfered with and evidence as to how I "interfered." Who "enforced" what kind of law at what time, in what place? What kind of "interfering" action did I take? The prosecutors and the plaintiff must provide solid evidence; otherwise they should not levy these charges against the defendant. Legal procedure is a serious issue. If no one can provide an explicit statement for this accusation, and if no evidence be presented as to how the law was enforced, or how law enforcement was interfered with, the accusation is then groundless, and no charge can be filed.
If there is' no evidence showing that I participated in any "cult organization," I should not be accused of "utilizing" such an organization. If no evidence can be provided as to how I "utilized" and how I "interfered" and how someone "enforced" the law, suffice it to say I have nothing to do with all these accusations.
I am a determined Falun Dafa practitioner. I am not a member of any cult organization. Falun Dafa is a very pure and righteous cultivation way. It is absolutely not a cult. All my actions and behavior in Falun Dafa cultivation should be protected by the Chinese Constitution and International Human Rights Conventions. I have not violated any law. Therefore, I have nothing to do with the charges. I am innocent and should be released immediately as an innocent citizen.
VI. Three Statements of Mine
1. I am determined to practice Falun Dafa and I will by no means change my determination in my lifetime. I am willing to give up all secular things to uphold the universal truth present in "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance," including my physical body and my life. I am willing to devote my life to offer salvation to living beings.
2. In order to not be associated with politics in any way, I have decided that I am going to quit the Chinese Communist Party.
3. I have been a law-abiding person. I will continue to be a law-abiding person forever.
4. Having been subjected to unfair and unlawful treatment, I reserve my rights to continue to appeal and even to file a lawsuit against those perpetrators of the persecution.
VII. My Suggestions
To: government employees and policemen in public security agencies, judges, procurators and lawyers:
I understand the difficult situation you face in your work. From the bottom of your heart, many of you don't want to persecute good people. I noticed a detail in the indictment statement - the prosecuting office has rejected the public security agencies' charges and specified "additional investigation requested." From this detail I can see your prudence and conscience. Handling a groundless and severely unjust charge is a big challenge for law enforcement agencies. All government employees in the administrative and law enforcement agencies throughout China are facing this big challenge. Therefore, no matter how you treat this "court case," I don't bear any grievance against you personally. You make your own choices. In essence, you, too, are victims of this sweeping persecution.
I would like to suggest to you that you consider the following: it is so obvious that Falun Gong is guiltless and is being persecuted on groundless charges. The truth will come out for sure, and that day will come very soon. You may not believe in the existence of God; however, as a human being, you should cherish your future and that of your family. Be sure not to resort to "sacrificing soldiers to safeguard generals," otherwise, you will become a scapegoat. The extermination of the "three kinds of people" after the Cultural Revolution was a lesson for us to learn from. For your own safety, please make your judgment based on the true law and higher standards; do not follow verbal instructions blindly. "Verbal statement doesn't count as evidence." As personnel in the legal community, you have a clearer understanding of the implication of this statement than I do. I am telling you this as a kind senior citizen who has your best interest at heart.
It is your obligation and responsibility to uphold justice and the dignity of the law. I hope you will rediscover your conscience and will resist the persecution ordered by the evildoers. I hope you'll help the large number of good people out there. Good and evil actions will meet their due rewards or retribution. If you follow my advice, you will be laying a solid foundation for a beautiful future for yourself.
This letter of appeal could serve as a brief summary of my life as well as my last words to later generations.
I will continue to cherish my physical body and my life and I will never commit suicide. But note this: if necessary, I am willing to uphold my belief in Dafa with my life! If I pass away during my detention, it will surely be the result of persecution. It would absolutely not be a natural death or a suicide.
I hope the younger generation and all good people who have the predestined relationship to know me will remember that, I, Yang Jingxia, as your mother, or your sister, or your relative, or your friend, or your teacher or colleague, I am imprisoned for upholding the truth of the universe. It is not for seeking any personal interest that I am imprisoned or that I even lose my life! You should feel very proud of this.
I hope you will wholeheartedly cherish "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance." I hope you will have a benevolent heart and mind toward Falun Dafa. Be kind to Dafa practitioners. Please take my advice, and you will have a good future.
December 5, 2004