My Experience of Being Persecuted by the National Security Police in Jiangxi Province When I Returned to China for My Mother's Birthday Celebration
(Clearwisdom.net) On January 29, 2004, I went back to my hometown for my mother's 80th birthday. However, what was waiting for me was a nightmare.
Search and detention at Changbei Airport in Jiangxi Province
As soon as I stepped into the Changbei Airport terminal, policemen from the customs office stopped me. They forcibly searched my backpack and took my copy of Zhuan Falun, an MP3 player, and two truth-clarifying VCDs. They asked me, while pointing at the book in a plastic bag, "What is this?" I told them, "It is the book I read every day." They pointed at the MP3 player and asked, "What's this?" I answered, "It is a music player. I use it while doing exercises every day." Then, I was taken to a side room, where they interrogated me and took notes. They asked where those things came from. I told them that I bought the book in Taiwan, and my friends gave me the MP3 player as a gift. My friends also gave me the VCDs to watch.
About thirty minutes later, several plainclothes policemen entered. None of them showed me their ID, and they drove me to a place without signs. Later, I saw "Nanchang National Security Bureau" on an envelope on a desk. Three of them searched my luggage again. I was a bit worried at the time since there were twenty more truth-clarifying VCDs and a set of VCDs with Teacher's lectures given in Dalian City in a biscuit tin. So I sent forth righteous thoughts while dumping everything in my backpack on the ground. Then I grabbed the biscuit tin and handed it to them, saying, "These are biscuits I brought with me to eat during my trip. Have a look!" It passed through their hands and they didn't find the VCDs. I put the tin aside quickly. After they finished searching through my things, I asked, "Do you want to search again? If not, I will put them back into my pack." I passed this test. After that, they started to search my two suitcases. Since there was nothing related to Dafa in the suitcases, I was not worried at all.
After they searched my luggage, two policewomen did a body search on me. I was asked to remove my clothes down to my underwear. Even so, the policewomen were uneasy and did not trust me. They did not allow me to close the door when I went to the washroom or took a shower.
Trying to extort a confession
After I was searched, I was asked to sit on a wooden stool while four policemen sat opposite to me on a sofa. There was a desk to the right of the sofa. A policeman whose last name is Huang took down the record. Policeman Liu asked, "Do you know what crimes you have committed?"
I answered, "I did not commit any crime. I haven't entered the country yet and do not know which law of the People's Republic of China I have violated."
Police, "How dare you to say that you did not commit any crime! Do you know that these things are not allowed to be brought into the country? Do you know they are prohibited?"
I said, "I did not know since nobody told me that on the plane. Zhuan Falun is legal in Taiwan. People from over 60 countries around the world are practicing Falun Gong legally."
Police, "It is illegal to bring these things with you."
I said, "I only know that international regulations prohibit bringing drugs, guns or explosives with me. I have never heard that bringing a book that guides people to become a good person is illegal." At the same time, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts in my mind.
Then, the policemen asked again, "What's your purpose in bringing these things with you? What's the purpose of this trip? Who instructed you to do this?"
I told them, "I have come to celebrate my mother's birthday. Nobody instructed me to bring these things. It is because I have benefited a lot since practicing Falun Gong both physically and spiritually. As a practitioner, I read the book and do the exercises every day. That's why I brought these things with me."
Policeman Liu said, "Even so, how do you explain the VCDs you brought with you?"
I told him, "It is because I was too busy in Taiwan and did not get a chance to watch them. I plan to watch them during my spare time on this trip."
Policeman Liu said, "You are going to watch them by yourself?! Won't you ask your sister and her children to watch with you?"
I answered, "I will."
Policeman Liu asked, "Are you going to ask other people to watch it?"
I replied, "If possible, I will."
In my mind, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts the whole day. Then, whatever questions they asked, my answer would be, "I do not know." Thus, the interrogation lasted till 2:30 am the next day, when they felt tired themselves.
The next day, I got up at 8:00 am. They questioned me endlessly. My answer was always, "No", "I don't know", or I kept silent. After that, they brought a so-called "order of detention." In brief, it talked about keeping me in custody to avoid contact with others in order to secure a confession, etc. It also mentioned that the No.13 Division of Nanchang Public Security Bureau would carry out the order. I returned it to them after reading and said that I wouldn't sign it. They asked me the reason. I replied, "I did not commit any crime. I did not violate any Chinese law. You are not justified in detaining me. I won't sign it." They each asked me to sign, but I firmly refused. One of them pointed directly at my nose and said, "Li Xinju, do you know how much trouble you're in? Even if you do not sign, we can still detain you. Your signature is only a formality. I have seen many Falun Gong practitioners like you. I have seen some who are stronger than you. There are none that I could not handle." I replied, "Whatever you do, I won't sign." Eventually, they left me alone.
Taking turns interrogating me
Next, a different person came to ask me, "What is the purpose of bringing in the VCDs?"
I replied, "The VCD's are for clarifying the truth. That being said, my main objective of this trip is to see my mother."
He continued, "What were your reasons for going to Singapore and the United States earlier?"
I initially answered, "I went to the USA and Singapore for sightseeing. Isn't that allowed?"
He then asked, "Whom did you go with?"
I said, "I went there with my daughter. She went to the USA, so I took the opportunity to go with her."
He asked me where I stayed in the USA. I said I did not know since I don't know English. He then asked the names of the persons who were in charge of my practice site and their professions. I replied that I did not know since I just occasionally went to practice there. I usually practiced at home, so I did not know. He took away my cell phone and found some phone numbers stored in there. He also asked me if the phone numbers on my cell phone were the Falun Gong contact persons' numbers. I said they were not. At that time, I started to again send forth righteous thoughts in my mind. I recited "Lunyu" [the foreword of Zhuan Falun] and asked Teacher for help. I kept silent and refused to answer any more of their questions. They started to call my name, but I still did not answer them. I closed my eyes to save energy, all the while sending forth the righteous thoughts. That person who was recording the interrogation, whose last name is Huang, started to call my name loudly. He said, "Li Xinju, you cannot close your eyes. Your treating us this way is not polite. We are talking to you. Do you hear me?" I said, "I hear you. What do you want?" They took turns interrogating me and continuously applied mental pressure on me.
They said, "Falun Gong practitioners burn themselves to death. Do you know the 'Tiananmen Square Self--Immolation' case?"
I said, "I watched the VCD that analyzes the Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation, and it is contrary to what the Chinese government said. A branch of the United Nations has investigated and found that the self-immolation was staged by the government to demonize Falun Gong."
After listening to my words, they became exasperated. They asked, "Why don't you believe your own government? Why do you believe what was reported overseas?"
I said, "Because their reports are trustworthy. What was reported by the international education organization is true." I continued, "It's like the Cultural Revolution, when Liu Shaoqi [a former national Chairman in China] was demonized as an anti-revolutionary person overnight."
They stopped me and said, "This is different from the Cultural Revolution."
I said, "Let me just ask you one question. Can you explain it for me? On Tiananmen Square, do the police carry fire extinguishers while they patrol? I went to Tiananmen Square before and I saw no fire extinguishers."
They did not answer me. They said, "You have a Taiwan passport now, so we are very kind to you. If you were holding a Chinese passport, we would not be this patient, we would have already put you in jail, and we do not need to be this way. Only for your benefit do we educate you with this much patience. You should not be foolish all the time. If you were in Shanghai, you would have already been jailed. They do not care where you come from at all!"
Making unfounded charges to slander Falun Gong
Then a person who looked like a leader came in. As time passed slowly, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts. The room was very quiet. He could not endure it and loudly called my name. I asked him, "What do you want?"
He said, "What are you thinking?" I said, "It is not up to you to judge Falun Gong. The future generations will have their own conclusions." He got angry and said, "Do not play tricks. After you are put in jail, you will know suffering."
I started to send forth righteous thoughts again. Then, that leader called my name again loudly, "You Falun Gong do not care about the relationship between parents or children at all."
I said, "It is you who have detained me. It is not me who does not want to go home. As a matter of fact, my reason for coming back to China was to see my mother. How can you say that we do not care for our parents or children?"
A local national security policeman comes to try his tricks
They frequently changed the person who interrogated me. Each of them repeated the same questions. I refused to answer them any more. Because I was very determined, they often went out to talk with each other, and then returned to continue the interrogation. At about 4 p.m., my righteous thoughts started to weaken and I became agitated. Just then, Cheng Chengda, the National Security Department associate director in Yingtan City, my hometown, came. He said, "Ms. Li, why didn't you tell me you have come back?" he asked. I also greeted him.
I got to know Cheng when I went to China in July 2001. At that time, he especially came to visit me, trying to befriend with me. He said, "I heard that you are still practicing Falun Gong" and made some bad comments about Falun Gong. I told him, "I'll tell you my personal experience. I have practiced Falun Gong for almost three years. My mind is sharp and clear. Do you feel that I look like a mental patient? I do not just blindly believe what others tell me, and I have experienced the benefits of Falun Gong personally." At that time, Cheng could not convince me, so he just said that he enjoyed talking with me and he wanted to be my friend. After I returned to Taiwan, he often called me. I took the opportunity to clarify the truth to him. Since he never argued with me, I thought that he had understood the facts about Falun Gong.
So when I saw Cheng again, I neglected to send forth righteous thoughts. He tried to persuade me, "If you have anything to say, you'd better tell them. After you finish, you can ride with me to Yingtan City in no time." There were also others trying to goad me, "Doesn't your Teacher talk about 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance?' Why don't you dare to tell the truth? You are a hypocrite."
Influenced by Cheng's fake kindness and the others' prodding, I said, "Ok. Let me tell you. I went to the U.S. and Singapore to attend experience sharing conferences. With the help of the conferences, I can find the gaps in my cultivation and thus improve myself more quickly. Another reason for going to the conferences was to see Teacher in person. This is the wish of every practitioner." They then started to ask me about the details of the conferences. At that time, I thought that the conferences held overseas were open to all, so there was no harm if I told them what happened. They questioned me until 4:30 a.m.
The third day: continual interrogation and more trials
At about 9 a.m. on the third day, they continued interrogating me about Falun Gong in Taiwan. They also asked me who had paid for my airfare to the U.S. and Singapore. I told them, "I earned that money with my hard work, and I voluntarily participated in the activities with my own money. There is no organization at all, nor has anyone aided me financially for anything." They then asked some information about Falun Gong practitioners in Taiwan.
It was after 11 a.m. when I had lunch. About 20 minutes after taking several bites of rice with water, all of a sudden, my heartbeat sped up, and I alternated between feeling cold one minute and hot the next. I wanted to send forth righteous thoughts, but my hands kept shaking. I felt extremely physically agitated, as if my blood vessels and heart were about to explode. I could not bear it, and I could not sit still. I asked the person taking notes (last name Huang), "Did you put any drugs in my food?" He denied doing so.
"It's impossible," I said. "You must have put something in my food. Otherwise, my whole body wouldn't be shaking, my heart wouldn't be racing, and I wouldn't feel as if my body is about to explode."
He said, "Is it possible that you are so exhausted from these last two days, you now have high blood pressure?"
I said, "No, I don't have high blood pressure. My blood pressure is actually on the low side. Also, if I was that tired, I would only feel fatigue, not what I'm feeling right now. Do you want to force me to become mentally impaired and then claim it was caused by practicing Falun Gong?" He remained silent.
It was very painful to lie there, and my entire body ached. Though I wanted to send forth righteous thoughts, my hands kept shaking, and mentally, I became more and more unsteady. All of a sudden, I was shocked by the thoughts in my head: I put my palms together and asked Teacher to help me. Then, my mind started to clear. I told myself that I would endure no matter how painful it was, and I could not die, because I shouldn't give the evil any excuse to bring shame to Dafa. I started calming down.
After 3 p.m., they woke me and again started their questioning. "Regardless of what methods you use, Dafa will always be in my heart," I told them. "Even if it appears that I give in, Dafa is always in my heart, and you can never take it away." The interrogation lasted until after 10 p.m.
The fourth day: attempts to force me to write the so-called "Repentance Statement" and to become a spy
At 9 a.m. on the fourth day, they again started interrogating me in turns. They wanted me to give information, including the location of the Falun Gong headquarters in Taiwan, the names of people in charge and their family backgrounds, whether or not we are compensated for going to experience sharing conferences, the funding for our activities, whether there was any overseas funding, particularly from the U.S. I said, "All Falun Gong activities are funded by practitioners. There is no financial aid from any country or individual, neither are there any offices or headquarters. Practitioners volunteer for Falun Dafa, using their own resources, because our Teacher proclaimed in writing that Falun Gong practitioners cannot participate in politics, the assistance centers cannot hold or collect money, all activities are open to the public and free of charge, and we do not depend on any political parties. If you truly want to learn about Falun Gong, you can go to the Clearwisdom website. Everything I have said is covered there."
In the afternoon, a high-ranking officer came. He talked a lot about Communist Party theory and then said that out of humaneness, I could go home to visit my mom. However, the custody was still in force, and I had to return whenever they summoned me. At last he said, "Cheng from the Yingtan City National Security Bureau will assign you some tasks."
Cheng Chengda came in and said that the Party and Chinese government were very concerned about me, but considering my respect for my mother, they decided to let me go home to visit my family. However, he asked me to write the so-called "Repentance Statement." He then said, "When you came back in 2001, we wanted you to do something for the Chinese government, however, we didn't state that clearly. Today, let's make it clear. I have said a lot of good things on your behalf to high-ranking officials to bail you out. This time when you go back to Taiwan, you will help me collect information about Falun Gong activities there and worldwide, and information about the upcoming Taiwan election. I believe you can do it." The Chinese National Security Bureau tried to force me into becoming their spy.
They took advantage of my fear and forced me to write the "Repentance Statement"
Cheng Chengda continued, "You should love your country. Your mom, sisters and children are all in China. You should be more considerate of them and not be so selfish." I asked him right away, "Does the Communist Party intend to implicate my family?" He said that it would not happen. I asked him, "Then, why do you threaten my family members to coerce me?" Next the note taker, Huang, came over, and he kept trying to force me to write the "Repentance Statement." Previously I had refused to write it. However, I feared being sentenced if the truth clarification VCD's and the lectures by Teacher I had were found. So, I wanted to leave there as soon as possible. I spent five minutes writing an ambiguous "Repentance Statement."
Huang saw me finish the "Repentance Statement" so quickly, so he looked at it and said, "This doesn't count. We have spent several days advising you in earnest. However, you still cannot clearly see Falun Gong for what it is. You have to rewrite the statement." I wrote it again, but he still asked me to write another one. So I wrote a third statement, "In Zhuan Falun, it clearly states that practitioners should not take part in any politics. As a matter of fact, my truth clarification is participating in politics." Because of my fear, against my will, I wrote a statement that violated Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
This time, after reviewing my "Repentance Statement," they edited some sentences and then forced me to hand copy it. When they weren't paying attention, I put away the version with the edits they had inserted, and I later took it back to Taiwan. After I made the copy, they disapproved again because they noticed that there were no sentences cursing Falun Dafa and Teacher. I was angry and asked Huang, "Why won't the Communist Party let go until I curse someone? Why do I have to curse someone?" They saw that I was very emotional, so they said, "OK. This is fine!"
On the way back to my hometown, they apply more pressure
Next morning, at about 9 a.m., they drove me to my home in Yingtan City. Two female national security agents sat beside me, and Huang sat in the front. I had been detained for a total of 96 hours from the time I arrived at the airport through the time I was brought home. During the journey to my house, they kept telling me that I shouldn't tell anyone about my being held by the authorities, including my family members. They asked me how I would explain to my family where I was during the prior four days. I said, "I don't know what to tell them, because as a practitioner, I should not lie."
Cheng Chengda was also in the vehicle. He said, "Regardless, you have to have a good excuse to deceive them. Does your son know about your being taken by us?"
"Of course," I said, "My son came to the airport to pick me up. He personally saw you abduct me. How could he not know?"
Cheng then asked, "Then, did your son tell your family members?"
"How do I know?" I replied. "I am here, while my son is at home. I don't know whether he has told my family members or not, and I can't guarantee that he won't tell."
After I went home, they continued monitoring my telephone and even my son's cellular phone. The next day, I, with my one of my younger sisters and four others, went on our way to my hometown, Yushang, to celebrate my mother's birthday. Since I had not been able to buy the train tickets during the Spring Festival, we had to board the train through someone we knew and then buy tickets. When we were paying the fare, my son and my second sister simultaneously noticed that two suspicious people were following us. We bought the tickets to the town of Yushang, and they purchased passage to Shangrou City. After we boarded the train, they sat right next to us. Later, we switched to one of the cars in the front. After the train arrived at the Shangrou City Station, my daughter and nephew said, "Let's see whether they get off the train or not." They did not and stayed on until the Yushang Station. They made phone calls at a public phone and then disappeared.
Because of the delay of four days, I asked the security agents to change my ticket arrangements back to Taiwan. They agreed to the flight change, hoping to make me a spy. Cheng Chengda called my son to notify me to pick up my plane ticket. At 1:30 p.m., my youngest sister accompanied me to the Yingtan Hotel, where my appointment with Cheng was. He asked my youngest sister to wait in the lobby and took me to a room. National Security agents Liu and Huang were also in the room. After handing me the ticket, they again asked information about the January experience sharing conference held in Taiwan. I replied that I didn't know about it.
Cheng Chengda said angrily, "Why has your attitude changed?" I said, "I didn't change. I'm still myself."
Again Cheng Chengda reminded me that I should work for him after I went back to Taiwan, and asked how I wanted to keep in touch. I said, "It doesn't matter." Cheng kept emphasizing that my family members, including my children and my mother, were still in China and reminded me to cooperate with him. He also asked me to report to him before I went back to Taiwan.
My Family Members' Righteous Conduct
While I was being detained, my son went to the customs office to talk to the police and asked them to release me. The customs officers told him that everything would be all right and asked him to go home to wait for their phone call. My son did, but he waited until the next day and still no one called. He went to the airport and talked to the customs officers again, telling them, "I saw my mother arrive here and she was detained by you yesterday. Now she is nowhere to be seen and I am holding you responsible. If you cannot give me a satisfactory explanation, I will call the Straits Exchange Foundation right away to report that my mother is missing from your place. I will ask my uncle and my sister in Taiwan to announce the news to the press around the world and let people know that my mother has been abducted by you guys." Hearing this, a customs officer said, "I'll call right away to find out, please trust me."
My son replied, "Why should I trust you. You said that you would call me at 6:00 yesterday, but no one has called me yet. If I didn't come here today, would anybody have cared? Who can guarantee my mother's safety?"
My Second Younger Sister Implicated Because of Me
During my stay in China, my second younger sister was also persecuted because of my admission in the interrogation of having mailed Falun Gong books and faxed Teacher's articles to her.
The local national security bureau police brought my sister to their station first thing in the morning on February 2, 2004, and interrogated her for a whole day. They tried to force her to tell them of any correspondence that occurred between local practitioners and me. Previously she was arrested twice and her home was ransacked once. She was afraid that the police might drug her to make her confess, so she did not eat or drink for a whole day while being interrogated. She kept on sending forth righteous thoughts. When her righteous thoughts were strong, the police would just sit there quietly. My sister told them resolutely, "Falun Dafa is a righteous Fa. It is great. I will not tell you anything. I won't tell even if I know the answer."
For the safety of other local practitioners and to avoid damage to Dafa, my sister decided to leave home for the time being after her release. Before she left, she told me, "Do you know why Teacher said that letting go of life and death is different in China than outside of China? Only if one has very strong righteous thoughts can one manage to let go of life and death." I feel deeply regretful for my leaving a bad mark on my journey of cultivation by not having strong righteous thoughts and letting the evil find a loophole to exploit.
Support from My Children
My children all supported me, asking me not to be afraid. They had wanted me to call a press conference as soon as I got back to Taiwan to expose the persecution. However, I fell into a deep self-condemnation after I got back to Taiwan and I could not help myself. Several times I woke up from nightmares. I asked myself, "What do I have if I don't have Dafa?" One day, when I was practicing the first set of Dafa exercises, for 10 minutes I clearly saw my transparent body. I knelt down with my hands together. With tears in my eyes, I said to Teacher, "Thank you, Teacher. Thank you, Teacher." I have done things unworthy of Teacher and Dafa, but Teacher did not give up on me and still looked over me. Benevolent Teacher continues to give me chances, how could I still have any attachment that I cannot give up?
Study the Fa and Look Inward
Through Fa study and discussions with fellow practitioners, I looked inward once more. I found that I did not follow the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" to face the persecution. Instead, I used ordinary people's approach to mislead the national security bureau police, thinking that I was doing it properly. During the interrogation, I told them that my traveling to the United States was to be with my daughter, and I only went out to practice occasionally. On the surface, I did not tell the truth because I wanted to protect Dafa. In reality I was trying to protect myself. It was for selfish reasons. Therefore the evil found a loophole in me. Teacher told us that we need to be "full of great aspirations while minding minor details." ( "Sage," Essentials for Further Advancement) I treated the persecution with an ordinary person's attitude of not caring about minor details.
Digging further into myself, I found that during my 96-hour illegal detention, although I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and reciting teachings from Hongyin [collection of Teacher's poems], and "Lunyu" [preface of Zhuan Falun], I did not have sufficient righteous thoughts. On the surface, I was concerned about the 20 videodisks and the VCD of Teacher's Fa Lecture in Dalian that I hid. In reality I was using this as an excuse to hide my deeply buried attachments, having the occasional thought of being afraid. I was afraid of being jailed, or sentenced to a prison term, of not being able to withstand the torture, and causing trouble to my children, sisters, or my mother. Therefore, although I knew I should never sign my name on their order of detention, I did not sense that signing their interrogation record was also compromising to the evil and recognizing the old forces' arrangements.
While reviewing Teacher's "Explaining the Fa during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," I found that Teacher said,
"Have you done well what a Dafa disciple should do in every regard? If so, then what you've done is right. Don't worry, and this includes some of those who've stumbled. Just hurry up and get up."
Teacher is so benevolent that I do not know how to repay him. Although I have stumbled badly, I could not just lie there. I need to follow Teacher's advice to get up as soon as I can and go work on the three things that a practitioner needs to do--study the Fa, clarify the truth, and send righteous thoughts. I need to redouble my effort of validating Dafa with righteous thoughts and actions. This way I may have a chance to repay Teacher's benevolence and saving me a second time.
Thank you, Teacher.