Radio Free Asia: Chinese Embassies Refuse Passport Extensions for Falun Gong Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) Radio Free Asia (RFA) reported on August 26 that more than ninety Chinese Falun Gong practitioners living in 19 countries overseas were refused passport extensions by their Chinese embassies. Chinese student Qing Li of Stanford University, USA talked about the refusal of her passport extension. The following story is based on an RFA report on August 26 in San Francisco.
Ms. Qing Li came to the USA in 1996 as a student and now is a post-doctoral candidate at Stanford University. She began practicing Falun Gong after she came to the US. Her passport was valid until July 2001. On April 19, Ms. Qing applied to the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco for a passport extension. She did not receive any response for a long time.
Ms. Li said, "I called the Passport Division. Upon hearing my name, the person who answered the phone said, 'How come you are asking me? You attend activities against the government.' He then hung up on me. I did not have any other choice, so I asked my advisor to write a letter to the consulate."
"My advisor said immediately, 'This is a very good student, how come her citizenship is refused?' He sent a fax to the consulate. At the same time, I asked for help from the director of the International Student Center. He was indignant too. He said, 'Ten years ago, they treated students from the Tiananmen democracy movement like this. We contacted them but they refused to respond.' He said, 'However, for you, I'll help you and contact them.' He sent a fax too."
Qing's advisor and the director of the International Student Center did not get any response from the consulate after sending the faxes. Without other options, Li Qing went to the consulate in person. She told officials in the consulate that Falun Gong helps people to improve health and to be good people. Then what was the result?
Ms. Li said, "The consul in the Passport Division said mercilessly, 'Practicing Falun Gong is illegal.' He refused to extend my passport."
Since July 2001, Qing Li is a Chinese student being deprived of her citizenship. Qing said, "I was born and grew up in China. My Chinese citizenship is my basic right. What the consulate is doing does not any basis on any rule or law. We Falun Gong practitioners ask for our passports again and again. I have asked them to give me a written statement. But they never issue a written statement."
It was learned that many of the Falun Gong practitioners who were refused for passport extensions fell into a dilemma of having no legal status overseas, but were unable to return to their home country.
Qing said, "We are currently contacting the United Nations and human rights organizations to stop this kind of act and to get back our passports. On the other hand, if there is any danger to us, we hope to get support."
The above is report from special reporter CK.