[News from Ming Pao] Falun Gong practitioner He Lizhi, released after three and a half years' detention in China, held a press conference yesterday at Ontario Province Council with fellow Falun Gong practitioners from Anhui Province, thanking people and practitioners in Ontario Province for their help and support for his security. Falun Gong practitioner He Lizhi once received a gold award for China's Outstanding National Engineering Design. Since he was arrested on July 21, 2000, he has been detained for three and a half years. The day before the Chinese New Year this year, he was released from Qianjin Prison in Tianjin City. He came to Ontario Province to meet his wife on May 20, 2004.
He Lizhi expressed that he started practicing Falun Gong together with his wife in 1995. He has been detained twice. The first time was on March 4, 2000, when he went to Tiananmen Square to look for his wife when she did not return home after handing a letter to a People's Congress Representative. He was detained for 15 days in the name of "disturbing social security" for telling the plainclothes police that he practiced Falun Gong.
The second time was on July 21, 2000 when he was arrested by police from the Public Security Bureau for mailing truth-clarification materials about Falun Gong to his friends. His wife was threatened and immigrated to Canada soon afterward.
He Lizhi expressed that he was tortured both spiritually and physically during the detention. His health deteriorated. Although he was very weak, he was forced to participate in intensive military training. Later on he was diagnosed with tuberculosis, as well as kidney problems. During the 3-year detention he was also tortured spiritually. He was sent to brainwashing classes and pressured to give up his belief.
Even today he wakes up from dreaming that his life with his wife in Canada is only a dream.
He Lizhi had obtained a visa as a permanent resident in Canada, but he could not go with his wife after he was arrested.
He Lizhi expressed that the Canadian government paid special attention to his application after he was released, and approved his application the second day after it was submitted to the Canadian Embassy in Beijing.
Falun Gong practitioners in the press conference also expressed that Li Guangzhen, mother of Canadian citizen Xiao Jin; Huang Xin, mother of Ontario Province resident Zeng Xiaonan; and Huang Xiuchao, mother of Liang Biao, were all detained and sentenced by the local police and were also subjected to torture.
Practitioners appealed in a public letter to the government of Ontario Province and people from all professions to help by asking the Chinese government to unconditionally release them immediately.
During the press conference Zhang Zhaojin, the practitioner who read the announcement from the Canadian Falun Dafa Association, expressed that Falun Gong practitioners are not against the Chinese government. They only hope the government will stop the persecution of Falun Gong and let Falun Gong practitioners legally and freely practice the exercises and improve their health.
June 27, 2004